Monday, 14 April 2014

They are all mad!

They are all mad, the whole lot of them.  This morning I let them all out.  Faith wasn't impressed at having slept in the broody house.  The dummy egg I gave her was cold so she obviously didn't get the right idea.  She stomped and stormed about the run until I took pity on her and opened the gate to let her out.  She didn't come out but Nerys came from behind me, barged in there and went marching up the ramp, into the house and onto the nest box.  Faith was a bit put out by this behaviour and followed her in to tell her off.  I had hoped the altercation would give Faith the right idea but no they just had a stand off and eventually I gave in and let them both out. 

Meanwhile in No2 house Lucy and Nancy were having a tussel over the green Asda basket.  They were last seen sharing it, neither looking very impressed.  Blue must have had a ding dong with someone in the shed over the cat basket because I found it on the floor upside down and Blue was the last one seen with it.  Good job Faith was otherwise occupied with Nerys because the cat basket is her designated broody spot!

All this before 9am!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Tos, froes and woes

I feel the need to document the trials and tribulations of chicken keeping and this seems as good a place as any.

Yesterday we said goodbye to Lottie, one of my Light Sussex girls from Hemsby.  She had been having egg problems and I think egg yolk peritonitis set in.  It was such a shame, she was a nice little girl who never gave me a moments trouble or concern.  She went back to bed and died in her favourite nest box.

Today has been interesting.  My neighbour came by with 15 newly hatched quail chicks for me.  I have never kept quail so this will be a learning curve.  They are so tiny, some are like little bumblebees.  I put their chick crumb in the blender because it seemed far too big fir them!

After the disaster last week with CeeCee deciding not to be broody and letting her eggs go cold I have them in the incubator and am hoping for the best.  She is a silly girl, she really wanted babies until I moved her from her favourite spot.  Now Faith is broody so I have moved her straight into the broody house with a dummy egg and will see if she sits before I get her any eggs.

And finally...someone laid an egg by the back door.  What was that all about?

Monday, 4 February 2013

Signs of Spring!

I know the Spring Equinox isn't for another six weeks but with Imbolc just past you can really feel the earth waking from her long winter slumber.  I took Action Dog for a walk today, her first proper walk since the operation which saved her life two weeks ago.  We didn't go far, just along a local lane to look at the hedgerows for signs of rebirth.

As we walked the feeling of a change in seasons became stronger and stronger, I could almost smell it in the air.  All around me other humans were responding to the change, probably without even knowing why.  As I walked past a row of bungalows at the start of the lane many of their owners were outside tidying flowerbeds and doing minor repairs.  One was even on his roof jet washing the tiles to remove thick moss!  I found it interesting that people respond to the calls of nature by instinct just like the rest of nature that so many people consider themselves to be so separate from.

Most of the hedgerows along the lane had been recently trimmed but there were one or two showing signs of first growth.  I have Snowdrops in bloom in my garden.  I planted them last year underneath my precious Hawthorn tree which I call my Spirit Tree.  There are Daffodils coming up everywhere in the wood.  They are the only bulb which the Pheasants don't eat and there are massive clumps of them out there.  

The animals can feel it too.  My doves are nesting again.  Mind you they barely stop for the winter, just a few weeks off and away they go again.  I have seen Blue Tits prospecting nest boxes and Robins chasing each other about.  I've even seen Wood Pigeon doing their wing clap display over the house.  

It really is a glad to be alive time and of course that is literal for wild creatures, they really must be glad to have survived the hardship of winter.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Just how hard can it be?

I really ought to be updating about the happenings in the garden but that will have to wait.  I just must get this off my chest.  It's one of those stories that could only happen in this house.  No one else has things like this happen, I am sure we must live on a ley line or something.  Mind you that would be this house and the last which would be too much of a coincidence really.  Anyway, this is what happened yesterday...

We have been trying to sell our camper van on EBay.  We listed it for 7 days with a start price of 99p and a reserve.  Naturally we got all the usual stupid questions about what is the reserve, do we have a buy it now price, will we take cash today, why has it been raised (it hasn't you moron its a 4x4) where is the cooker (look in the pic) and all sorts of other rubbish that I can't even remember now.  Lots of people were very interested and wanted to buy it now but we decided to leave the auction to run.  True to form all of the people who were so desperate to buy it today didn't even bother to bid.  That's what bugs me about EBay, there are so many tyre kicking time wasters.  So the auction ended and the van hadn't reached reserve so we were pretty cheesed off because as much as we love the van we are not using it and it's going rusty with this salty air here in Norfolk.  We want to use the money to buy a boat which we should get more use out of.

Next day The Hairy Person got a phone call on his mobile.  "Hello, my name is (something unpronounceable) I live in Poland and I want to buy your van".  Erm OK so how are you going to do this?  Turns out he intends to fly into Norwich airport buy the van and then drive it back to Poland!!!  Honestly we thought it was a wind up.  He said he would let us know when he had a flight.  We didn't really expect to hear from him again.  But on Monday he rang saying he was flying in on Thursday and would be with us mid afternoon, could we pick him up from a local rail station.  Erm...yeah OK we can do that.

So Thursday arrives and we are still wondering if this is actually going to happen.  Poland is a very long way to come to buy a camper van!  The phone rang about half three, he was at the station so Hairy set off to pick him up.  He took the camper so Polish man knew who he was.  They arrived back at four o'clock and set about going over the van, explaining how things worked and where things were.  Then Polish man wants a test drive.  The trouble is he has never driven right hand drive before or driven on the left!  Hairy said he had the ride of his life with Polish man almost putting them in the ditch at the side of the road at least twice.  He looked very pale under his usual coating of oil and grease when they finally came indoors to complete the paperwork.

It was then that Polish man dropped his bombshell.  In his broken English he announced that he needed insurance to drive the van.  Erm...wouldn't it have been a good idea to sort that out before you left Poland?  Then he asks if he can use Hairy's insurance for a day.  Erm NOOOO!  The next two hours (yes, TWO) were spent with him on the PC and ringing his wife in Poland trying to sort out insurance for one month.  The cheapest he could find was £800...for a month!  After about half an hour I had to run away, I made an excuse that I needed mushrooms and legged it to the shop, I couldn't stand it any more.  It was still going on when I got back and I was informed that he was going to put the insurance at this address and we would pay for it on our card.  Are you mad, Hairy, I asked!!!

Eventually we convinced him that his Polish insurance should cover him to drive it.  Whether it did or not we didn't actually care because we were starting to lose the will to live at this point.  After another conversation with his wife in Poland he was happy with that so we started filling in log books and the horrible form he had downloaded as a bill of sale which was in both Polish and broken English.  

Finally at about seven o'clock we made it outside for him to drive away with the van.  Then he drops his next bombshell.  He intends to drive to London in it (120 miles) to meet his friend at an unspecified train station so his friend can drive it through London because of all the traffic.  The trouble was he had no map.  Honestly, hells map!!!  A friend of ours had turned up meanwhile and had been waiting about half an hour and he gave Polish man his own atlas just to get rid of him.  You can imagine things were getting pretty desperate by now.  

Eventually just to get rid of him Hairy drove our car with him following as far as the main 'A' road which is about 15 mins away.  Then they guy points to his newly acquired map and tells us he will pull over on the M11 and ring his friend!!!!  EEK oh no you won't matey!  Hairy ended up going into the petrol station with him, helping him fill up and pay and buy some food and drink before setting off to meet his friend at Redbridge

It was quarter past eight by the time Hairy got home.  Four hours to sell a vehicle.  It has to go down as the most traumatic sale we have ever done and we have sold 100's of cars over the years.  I was starting to think I was going to end up having Polish man stay the night.  At one point I was hissing at Hairy 'He is not staying in our spare room OK!'  Hairy said he would have to sleep in the camper van on the drive!  I had a visions of me taking him a fried breakfast on a tray in the morning.

We were paranoid all evening, or what was left of it anyway that we were going to get a phone call to say he was lost, or crashed.  I half expected to have customs and excise on the doorstep...or Interpol or the drug squad!  What a night!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Introducing Baby Sparky!

Sparky is growing fast.  He is already about 2/3 size of a full grown dove.  These littlies grow so fast.  He is pretty much white now too, that didn't take long either.  It was less than a week ago he was growing his little pin feathers.  It's good that he has his feathers because they will keep him warm now that Esme is not sitting on him much.  Mind you he is so big it would be hard to sit on him!

Baby's first photo!

Friday, 26 August 2011

We are NOT amused!

We had an unusual visitor today.  There are lots of rabbits out in the wood but they never venture into our garden.  When it snowed I went out a little way into the wood, only a few yards and there were bunny prints everywhere but none at all in our garden.  The snow is good for providing evidence like that.  Anyway today there was a lovely flopsy bunny in our garden pootling about as bunnies do.  We were so pleased to see him and were watching him out of the window saying things like "Ah isn't he cute", well I was anyway.  Suddenly Rosie came into view, running at full speed with wings a-flapping, charging like a bull at the poor bunny.  Naturally upon seeing the chooky apparition bearing down on him he turned and ran for cover.  Rosie of course looked very pleased with herself and strutted about like a conquering hero clucking her head off.  Obviously she didn't want bunnies in her garden!

The reason for Rosie's stroppy mood could have been the weather.  It was foul this morning, absolutely teaming with rain.  I had to don full waterproofs to go out there and let them out, feed them and poo pick the house.  Not a pretty sight at 7am I can tell you.  They were all very put out when I let them out.  They poked their heads out very tentatively, peering about as if there was something really wrong with their world.  You would think they had never seen rain before!  Then they came down the ladder making scolding clucks as if it was all my fault and they were telling me off.  They were definitely not amused!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

A guest for breakfast!

The doves brought a new friend home to play this morning.  I had just got up and was outside feeding them and the chooks and thought to myself  'There are too many there'.  A quick count up revealed seven birds not including Sparky.  I ran indoors and grabbed my binoculars for a closer look and found that sure enough there was an extra bird on the bird table.  He is smallish, looks quite young and has some dark patches on his head and back, so not quite pure dove but with a bit of feral in there somewhere.  I knew that Hairy Hubby wouldn't be too amused that a mixed bird might be joining the flock (he wants them all pure white) so I decided to tell him that the new boy was a bit grubby.  Sadly he didn't fall for that one and knew right away that they were darker patches not dirt.  Luckily he didn't go too mad about it.  I had visions of him running outside scaring the new boy off.  It will be interesting to see if he hangs around, the new boy that is, not Hairy.

Sparky seems to be doing well.  I heard him squeaking today for the first time.  Usually he just sits there quietly but Esme was on the nest so he was probably harassing her fro more food.  You can see his back quite well from the ground now he is getting bigger and starting to grow feathers.  I reckon another week and he will be pretty much white.  I just love Pidgie babies, they are so much fun!

At lunchtime I was thrilled to see Davey (Daisy) collecting nesting material.  He and May have been 'doing the do' a lot lately so I was hoping for the patter of tiny claws.  My elation was quickly doused when he flew off with the nesting material, over the house and over the road.  What a cheek!  The little traitors are nesting on the neighbours house!  I was gutted.  Heartbroken in fact.  I should have expected it really but I just prayed they would come home to breed.  I suppose really they live over there but just come here to feed and hang out occasionally.  I wish there was something I could do to get them to come home.  I keep dropping very loud hints to Hairy Hubby about making another dovecote.  Maybe if there was an extra one which didn't have the resident Mr and Mrs Lovey-Dovey breeding in it they would feel more at home.  Sadly my very subtle hints ("You need to make another dovecote") went unheard.  It seems that The Hairy One is suffering from that deafness which so often occurs at awkward moments like when their other half asks them to do something....