Thursday, December 31

Happy New Year

I'm not promising anything but I'm going to try and blog a bit more - more than once a year;-)

Trouble is modern technology is causing me a few issues...which I am trying to resolve.

This photo is of Dottie taken in the summer.

Tuesday, June 10

Summer has Arrived

Being a cat or chicken here means you get to chillax everyday especially if the sun is out

Bailey taking it easy in the little shelter

Hester and Scarlett having a light lunch

Dandelion asleep

Molly - ditto

Thursday, April 17

All Change

Since writing my last post little Vera has gone to chicken heaven...she was with us for almost 6 months and got to feel grass beneath her feet and the sun on her pretty little face….

As you can see from the photo any future chickens won’t be feeling any grass under foot as it’s all gone! 4 chickens and one of the wettest winters for many a year has done for our little patch of green and we have decided to cover the sea of mud with pea shingle as it’s cheap, easy and the girls love kicking it about. I am hoping they will keep any weeds down although bindweed is not to their’s about the only thing they don’t eat around here...

Next week we are taking delivery of much larger run for the girls, 12 foot x 9 with a roof to keep the worst of the weather off.

As our garden is so small we decided to be radical with what could stay and what needed to go...the pond has gone! Sometimes a clean sweep is the only way.

Re-homing the fish was the biggest challenge but I found them homes albeit the local pet shop and aquatic centre. It has made the biggest difference to the garden.

Sunday, March 2

Wood and Chickens

Vera overseeing the applewood kindling one of our neighbours gave us…

Then Scarlett and Josephine wanted to see what all the fuss was about…

Once seasoned this will be wonderful…

I've said it before but if you have neighbours with fruit trees it is always worth letting them know you would be happy for any prunings as it will save them a trip to the dump and free wood gives off the best heat

Wednesday, February 19


This is what Vera looked like when we first collected her from the rescue centre back in October 2013

And this is what she looked like on Sunday

She's such a sweetie - very good natured…loves her grub.

Monday, November 4

Avian Hiatus

it's been a long time -

Part of my absence has been down acquiring 3 chickens back in April.

Prior to getting them I spent almost every hour reading and researching everything I could - I guess I was like an expectant mother getting ready for baby to arrive...

If you are thinking about having chickens then you should know


Disease and pestilence will visit you regardless how clean and attentive you are.

They are very fragile and can be well in the morning and dead by the afternoon.

Their eggs are NOT cost effective.

But they are delicious.

Last month we re-homed 4 ex-battery chickens, within a few days one had to be put to sleep but the 3 remaining have made it thus has a chronic chest infection which all my 'flock' are currently being treated for and they rarely lay eggs...and when they do they are very poor quality with runny whites.

All the disease and death I have mentioned is expensive - I don't wish to do it myself when the times comes to say goodbye nor do I particularly want to become an 'internet vet'

Beth who was only with us a few days cost £5 from the rescue centre but £45 to be euthanised - I don't begrudge her a dignified end but in none of the 8 books I read before I got chickens did anyone really discuss the real costs of keeping chickens.

Even saying all of the above I just love my girls...they are such sweet funny little creatures and really love human company...

Monday, July 29

Paris Buns

I am not sure how successful these beauties really are and that is why I am not offering the recipe until there has been a bit of a tinker.
Paris Buns

I found the taste of the bicarbonate of soda and baking soda a little over powering but the man of the house loved them....

Saturday, February 9

When Life Gives You Lemons

When life gives you lemons clean your microwave
You should all know me by now- cleaning isn't my forte but as I was about to throw some used lemons away I seised the moment and put them in a bowl with some water and heated everything for about 5 minutes until there was a lot of steam within the microwave - I left it for a few minutes then wiped - to my credit the microwave wasn't that crusted up but it looks like new again and involved very little effort.
Most natural cleaning solutions involve a lot of elbow grease which rules it out for me but on this occasion I was very impressed just how easy it was to create such excellent results.

Tuesday, January 1

2013 My year of Gracious Economy

A Very Happy New Year to you all!

For the next 12 months I’ll be sharing my endeavors in controlling the household budget.

There are many blogs today focusing on extreme frugal living but my approach is going to be gentle and flexible sourcing old cookery and household management books ; recession, depression, economic crisis, war have all gone before us and although we may feel our lives are so much more advanced than a 1930’s housewife struggling to make ends meet they aren’t that different.

My other topic which I plan to share is my love of baking - again my reference will be old recipes which may not be fashionable or on trend but are still delicious and economical.

Wednesday, October 10

Concerning Drying Laundry

One of the best things about summer - even the rather washed out one we’ve just had is being able to get the washing out on the washing line to dry - zero expense and for many purists the only way if you want to save the word and your bank balance but even this early in the autumn and with the winter months ahead my pragmatic head knows that there has to be a plan B. This morning I removed my filter of my condensing tumble dryer and had rather a looked like a fluffy grey blob; I hung my head in even more shame when I was told via You Tube that a tumble dry filter should be washed through once a month or after 20 uses!!!!!! not once a year if it’s lucky! On Stella’s recommendation I have purchased a heated clothes dryer from Lakeland - and so here’s my plan to tackle drying for the next few months On dry clear days washing will be hung outside to dry but then finished off on the airer over night On wet days washing will be started off in the tumble dryer and finished off on the heated airer. Apart from the obvious aim of achieving dry washing I don’t want a house full of condensation. I also don’t want to have a huge electricity bills - so watch this space The Lakeland airer is said to cost as little as 5p per hour....

Friday, August 31

Vanessa Visits

Last week I put an over ripe pear onto the bird table as my small birds appreciate orchard fruits if the mood takes them. As the week progressed and the sun came out the pear became a rotting lump that I kept meaning to remove...
This morning however butterflies have been visiting drinking the fermenting nectar within. As I only see one butterfly at any one time I don't know if it's one very thirsty visitor or several - anyway it just goes to show just how wonderful and thrifty nature is not wasting even an old pear.
My visitor is a Red Admiral - the latin name is Vanessa atalanta which is suitably pretty for such a beautiful butterfly.

Thursday, August 23

Cat Hut

Bailey has taken a liking to the new cat hut -it was bought for her cousin who prefers the great outdoors but has so far been ignoring it....
I am very pleased with the colour which is Sandolin Superdec in Jungle Green - bit of an unfortunate name but very similar to Farrow and Ball's French Grey - a definite green but with a grey undertone -

Friday, August 17

August in a Vase

I feel guilty picking flowers for the house - but as my poor roses don't seem to be able to survive more than a few days in this summer's strange weather I picked the last two blooms along with Japanese Anemones, Dahlias and Verbena Bonariensis that had self seeded itself in the gravel.
I have never been very good at arranging but I feel the spirit of Constance Spry helped me on this occasion - ha ha ha Yesterday I had my chimney swept which never fails to give me a little trill as it means autumn is in the logs are already stacked in the garage so I am looking forward my favourite season.

Friday, June 1

Love in the Mist

The love-in-the-mist is just coming into flower....isn't it the easiest flower to grow?
I could only bring myself to cut 4 stems but had planned to cut some of a very rampent rosemary to bulk out my 'arrangement' but it was covered in cuckoo spit and I wasn't feeling in the mood for killing insects however detrimental they might be...and after looking up frog hoppers it seems they don't do much damage so they can stay.
N.B. I always collect seeds so if any of you would like some please let me know and I will send them to you in a few months time when they are ready.