Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Two months later...

I know I haven't been around but i do have a good excuse!! And this could potentially turn into a mega long post!

If you are a reader you will know that this year around august time I learned to crochet and not long after that I decided that this year would be the year for homemade Christmas.  As of the 3rd of Decmeber, I do still have a few more bits to do for presents and it has been hard  (and ive turned into a right activist when it comes to big shops and capitalism, but thats not for now!) but it has been immensley rewarding and in a lot of ways cheaper.

When I first set out on project homemade christmas it wasnt necassarily about how cheap i could do it, it was about bringing it back to a level that was less commercialised and rather than thinking what 'tat' or impersonal presents I could get on a 3 for 2 bargain because I had limited myself to so much per present previously, what could I make that someone would treasure.

Now obviously this is A LOT easier to do if you dont work and have a huusband who lets you basically get away with murder and a creative mind (though i do believe everyone has a creative mind) and resources.

And so it began.  And this is where I have been, sat under the stairs (MY place in the house):

(This picture was taken before all the mess,  I wont show you what it looks like at the moment you'd be very ashamed!)

Over the last two months I have crocheted, wool for teddies and hat & glove sets, I have crocheted silver for jewellery.  I have surrounded my self with various bits of paper for paper crafts.  The sewing machine has been in and out of its cover more times I could ever imagine, but do you know what?  I have loved every single minute of it!! It has been a real opener as what can be achieved for not a lot of money.  On some items it has been more money (like £13 for a mug), but the end product was a personalised mug that I painted and the opportunity to support local business.

So thats it for now but over the next few days I will post some pictures of homemade christmas items that have been crafted. xx

Friday, 4 October 2013

I know, I know its been a while!!

I have so much to tell - where to start?  I suppose, an explanation of my absence?  Well it simple really, Ive not been here because we've had no internet on.  Last month was a ridiculously crazy month for us financially and after paying out for the failed m.o.t, the windscreen on my car that mr husband managed to smash with his Thor like abilities, birthdays, back to school stuff, general living we had to let a couple of things not deemed necessary go, one of those being the internet.

So here goes about a week after my last post (when we still had the internet) I acquired a Cockerel.  The circumstances in which I required was due to what i would class as neglect from the previous owners.  He was weak and full of mites and just generally bleurgh looking though extremely beautiful.  I had wrote a huge post (rant) and then deleted it thinking, maybe I should wrote again once i calmed down - and then the internet went off.  Sadly, on Wednesday night they had a visit from either Mrs Fox or Mrs Mink. and colonel had been killed *insert unhappy face here*

Here he is in all his glory:

It had also tried to get into the existing girls who where all of a tizz, but because they reside in 'the lock up' it couldnt get in and gave up.

The allotment had proved its worth these last few weeks when we were so skint.  Ona very rainy day, we all got our wellies on (mr husband included) and after taking the children out blackberry picking we also went to the allotment and collected eggs for dinner that day and corn and the cobs for our tea:

The allotment is coming to and end now and really needs a good tidy up which is this weekends plan.

In terms of my crochet and preparation for the big C Im away!! Its amazing what you can achieve when you have no internet.  But Ive decided im going to have another blog for crochet etc... so watch this space xx

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Lovely jubbly bank holiday busyness!

Its a been a hot, gorgeously sunny, very busy bank holiday!  Honestly, It's been great!!

(It should be noted that today my computer in on a go slow and it's taken me about an hour to do this post!)

I absolutely love crocheting, to the point were I'm actually struggling to put it down.  After finishing all the squares of one cushion I'm making, I decided to go for something a bit more challenging. So here was Saturdays plan:

get up early and go for a run
crochet for half an hour
have a bath
tidy house in preparation for family arriving for my nephews 2nd birthday
crochet a bit more
finish the day with supper with our lovely neighbours.

That was the plan, here's what actually happened:

So after a good two mile run on saturday I decided to start something new - another present for the big C this time for my 1 and a half year old 'niece'.  And I stumbled across this little gem over at ilovebuttonsbyemma :

Now I know what you're thinking 'she's only just managed a couple of granny squares' but once I got used to the different UK and US terminology I was away.  I made two the two giraffe arms (this took me about an hour and a half!) had a bath, decided to start on the horns.  Didn't manage the horns got very frustrated that I had to put my crochet down to 'entertain the family' (in the meantime my ever suffering mr husband tidied the entire house, whilst I did nothing other than play with a crochet needle and wool!) The family left, we went to the neighbours for supper (I took my crochet -  it's a good job they love me) decided to have a go at the head of the giraffe -  but that wasn't happening.  Anyway Boo and I came back at about 9:30 and I had another go and finally finished the head about 11ish that night whilst she was in bed and mr husband played his guitar.

Sundays plan:

have a lie in
have a rest from crocheting

Sundays reality:

I got up at 8:30 with one intention; I was going to do the ears and these bloomin' horns this morning if it absolutely killed me!!! Well I can very proudly say I did!  And here it is so far:

HOORAAAAH!!! The only problem is now I've run out of that wool! But by the by I'll get some.

The last bank holiday of the summer was glorious weather and it was spent on the allotment, strimming and having a general tidy up.  The grass is now in full growth and its so nice to see it in the lovely green colour it should be and not the big muddy mess it had been for so long:

My afternoon was finished off, by my cousin (whose daughter im making the giraffe for) knocking on my door with two big black bags at her feet containing.......:

(minus the sunflowers!)  So this should keep me busy for a while!!!!

And finally, you remember way at the beginning I told you it was my nephews birthdays this weekend? He is truly gorgeous, but maybe a I'm just biased! Either way I adore that kid.  So here is a picture of him at one of my favourite places:

Happy Birthday Jack Attack!! 

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

A new hobby!

I know what you're thinking two posts in as many days - what is going on! Well I'm having a lazy day and it's a good job mr husband loves me, because I have a new hobby and it's the main reason for my lazy day:


Now years and years ago when my lovely nana died I got (amongst other things) her crocheting needles, to be honest I'm not sure why, I can only think I pestered my granddad until he gave in on the basis of 'but i'm going to learn'  Well after nearly 12 years of picking up and putting those needles down.  I've finally picked them up for good! Now as I was saying in my previous post, with the big C fast approaching homemade Christmas presents are the way forward, and about a month ago I thought 'wouldnt it be great if I could crochet some hat and scarves for Christmas.  Turns out crocheting is harder then I thought it would ever be, and not only that a lefty learning from a load of right handed you tube tutorials - the air has been blue and the crochet needles have been thrown several times across the room, with the dogs running for cover and not getting speared!!!

But Monday night, was the night.  The night that I WAS REFUSING TO GIVE UP!  Refusing to move from newly designated sewing/craft area in the house (another post, for another time, but basically I've lived under the stairs like Harry Potter) and I would watch you tube videos until I got it - because if there's anything about me.  I hate not being able to do something (apart from quantam physics, you can keep that for me), and so that what I did.  I sat and watched and crocheted and watched and unravelled and started again and again and....... but I can proudly say I FINALLY got it, granted it wasnt good but I got it:

All the while feeling very jealous of Helen over at a country grandma who has been very patient with me.  Though we've never 'met' she has been very encouraging and convinced me never to give up!

So now,obviously I am a professional crocheter (you only have to look at the above picture to prove it!), the skies the limit with  presents?  Well no, but I am in the the process of making some lovely cushions for my friend for the big C.  And that where today's lazy day has come in:

What more do I need? A Brew (i'd like to tell you its good but, its not I make an awful brew) wool, needles and my lovely nana (in spirit) oh and in between the squares I've made crocheted 11 little hearts and made some pretty twine bunting:


Monday, 19 August 2013

Busy as a Bee.

I've think I've met myself  a few times going round in a busy circle over this last couple of weeks.

First things first, Martha hen decided that at about day 16 she didn't want to sit on the eggs anymore.  I say eggs it ended up whittled down to one due to her either standing on them or eating them.  But she gave, she's back at the allotment now.  It was tricky because she had to be re-introduced by putting her back in the coop/house at night.  I was back down there first thing the next day and honestly, I dont know what i worried about, it was like she'd never left.

August has also been the month for birthdays.  Its been my brothers, a couple of nephews, one nieces and Boos, who turned 7! This involved a birthday sleepover last weekend with a bunch of screaming and dancing girls in my living room!

This weekend just gone was spent up in the lake district with my friend and Boo.  The lakes is one of the most beautiful parts of the country - it was a shame that it rained the entire time mind.  Here's a picture from the weekend, you can see how miserable the weather is and how choppy the sea was:

  And that brings me up to date to today, and as of today my car is broke and off the road.

To be honest, with everything that has been going on the last few weeks I haven't had any time to get to the allotment, which is a shame because i'm missing it.  I go because of the chooks but that is it.

Here though, are some photos that I've taken tonight:


The blueberries are taking their time ripening up this year

Poppy hen is growing every day

Lulu hen is laying bigger and bigger eggs everyday

Ah Boo's pumpkin, hopefully the colour will start turning soon, otherwise we will have a green halloween pumpkin in our window this year

Runner beans - I have no idea what to do with these?

Brussel Sprouts - note to self you do not need 8 brussel sprouts plants!!  They are massive and just getting bigger and bigger!

The onions are also coming on well

This last few weeks with all the birthdays has also hit home at just how expensive it is and that can only mean one thing - Christmas is coming! Im sorry to use the C word in August but I have.  I have started planning what to make who for this year to try and not noly cut the cost but to make it more personal.  I've asked my mum to knit me a lovely aran jumper rather than buying me something.  Im sick of the cost of season and the fact that people cant afford to live because of it, its too extreme and not how i want my friends and family to live.  So, expect a few posts coming up!!

And next weekend, well what a way to round up august - new hens are arriving!!! Two white leghorn rescue hens. yipeeee!!! At least I wont have to buy eggs for the christmas cakes this year!

Friday, 2 August 2013

Its been a while, but i've been so busy!

I've not been on the plot, I've been decorating Boo's room and I've been festivalling last weekend!!

And i've also been driving mr husband mad, with my new hobby - the ukulele! 

I got this last year and have only just really shown an interest in it.  I've joined a local group that meets once a month, and to be honest, I'm really enjoying learning something new, so much so I'm getting a new uke for my birthday this year.

Anyway, back to the usual.

Martha hen is on the 15th day of her eggs today.  To be honest, I'm not entirely sure whats going to happen.  As you know there where 6 eggs under her and the night before I went to the festival, I decided to candle the eggs, thus dropping one on another - and cracking them! So then there were 4.

At about day 10 she seemed to get off the eggs maybe for about an hour they went really cold, so I thought maybe she'd given up, but then she got back on them and has been on them since.

This morning I went out and i gave her some scrambled egg and she had a little walk about and as she was off them, two of them are quite light in weight and a little warm the other two are quite dense and really warm.

I'm just leaving her to it and seeing how she gets on, come maybe day 25 if there is no show of chicks I'll take them out from underneath her and then decide what to do from there.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Day 2 of Mrs Martha Hen's Egg Hatching Adventure

I'm not sure about where you are in the world but here in Lancashire, the temperature seems to have cooled down, thankfully!

We're on day 2 of Mrs Martha Hen's Egg Hatching Adventure and I must say she's taken to her mothering duties very seriously:

In fact, she doesn't move off those eggs, not to eat or drink.  I've had to put water and food right in front of her so she can reach them whilst led down.  I've also had to section her off, from the rabbits who not only like to sit on top of her box she's sat in and peer down at her, they like to also eat her food!

Today though, I've taken her off the eggs, picked her up and literally had to throw her so she would flap her wings and land on her feet so that she would go and have a walk around and have a well deserved and by the looks of it enjoyed dust bath!  I also wanted to check she hadn't smashed any of her eggs,  she was off them for all of 5 minutes then I put her back in and she got back on them.

In fact, the only issue with the egg hatching adventure so far, is trying to explain to an extremely over excited 6 year old, that we WILL NOT be keeping all of the chicks!! xx


Thursday, 18 July 2013

6 hatching eggs, two rabbits and one very broody Brahma!

Firstly, I must apologies for my absence, but the weather has been just gorgeous that sitting in Blogging has not been on the fore-front of my mind.

Anyhow, this is my rabbit run at home in the back garden:

And normally the only tenants are my rescue rabbits mother and daughter duo Mimi (the daughter):

and Tallulah:

They were in the adoption section of a local pet shop and i couldnt resist them knowing I had space in the back garden for them.  The run was orginally sectioned off to grow veg in and so the dogs couldnt trample my palnts but the soil is useless and full of stones so that area was just going to waste.

So the two rabbits have been living happily together for about 6 weeks now in their new big run, their hutch is always open so they go in and out as they please.

They have a new tenant now though Martha Brahma Hen (to use her full name):

Martha has been reeking havoc down on the allotment lately.  She has been attacking the other hens, she's not been letting the other in the hen house to lay, she's been sitting on laid eggs then attacking me when I try to get them - because she is broody.

Now I've never had to deal with a broody hen before, I tell you what it's hard work!! She's really grouchy and well if im honest like a hormonal female (sorry ladies, but you know it true!) She's become so bad that i've had to take her out of the allotment pen and bring her home so the others can have a bit of peace and are safe.  So shes in with the rabbits.

Now with a broody, there two things you can do (apparently, and its at this point I would like to thank all my chickeny friends who have advised me over the last few days) you can either break the broodiness or give her some eggs.  To break the broodiness from what i can gather you have to bring their body temperature down which means dunking their bum in cold water (I can tell you know Martha is not going to go for this as an idea) and put ice packs wrapped in towels under them in the nesting box, thus bringing their temperature down because if you think about it when they are broody and they are hatching babies they are basically walking incubators.

Now it just so happens that as Martha became broody I've also had the opportunity to extend my run by another 36sq foot, and really would it be the worst thing in the world to have more hens?!!

So this morning I've been and bought some hatching eggs:

I went to a lovely nearby place called Pear Tree Poultry, where a man called Ken couldn't have been more helpful.  Bare in mind I've never hatched eggs before I've only bought them from a day old so I don't really have a clue.  Ken advised me it take 21 days for her to hatch them after which she will probably 'look after' them for about 6 weeks, by which time she'll have had enough.  She can go back to the allotment then and then the chicks have to go under the electric chick heater until about 16 weeks.  He also advised me to get half a dozen because Martha hen might stand on them and break them.  But when I aired my concerns that what if all 6 hatch he said he would happily be able to take some back.  The place itself, well I tell you if you ever need to get hens, ducks, geese etc...  I would consider going that extra mile out of your way to go to Pear Tree Poultry.  Their animal welfare is second to none.  Their hens are kept in great condition and are kept in the biggest spaces.  They are a definite must and I would without a doubt be going back there in the future.

So I've got home put the eggs in a big box for martha hen and I'll let you know how they get on.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

The sun is shining

It turns out the chicken proofing of the plants worked well - for about 5 weeks, until the plants grew too big for the hoop and net system! Now the growth is being restricted.  So this weekend I've had to rethink the system and honestly i don't know why i just didn't do this in the first place.  I've ended up putting canes around the beds and attaching netting to that creating a wall like barrier so the chickens cant get in.  The only down side of this is if i want to weed the beds i have to climb into them but i deal with that when it happens.

Last weekend on the allotment we had a community day.  It was really lovely actually we all (I say all, but it was some of us) got together and the allotment community shed and had a plant and seed swap.  A few people made some food and it's so nice to have community down there with like minded people where you can get and share advice.

This weekend the weather has taken a turn and it's just glorious!! The downside to this being the plants are so dry and thirsty, but its a small price to pay.  I got my first ever courgette this weekend too! And Boo picked a couple of strawberries from her bed.

We also planted an apple tree:

And most importantly we've lifted a fair few flag and put then around the chicken pen to stop mr fox from getting in!!

I'm hoping to take my camera over in the next few days so i'll get some good pictures xx

Thursday, 27 June 2013

My brilliant cooking skills....

..normally leave a lot to be desired.

 After spending yesterday on the plot a lot of shifting heavy stuff, I've been so sore and tired that I've not been down there today (other than tend to the chooks).  So I decided to do some baking at home.

Now genuinely in my head I'm a cross between Delia and Nigella, in my head I am without a doubt the best reality I'm pretty crap.  I'm better at baking - but not much.  I have a tendency to burn stuff and really the problem is I dont read recipes! Today however, I've had a breakthrough!!

Chocolate cookies taken from the lovely Nigella, but actually not having all the ingredients!

Makes 18

150gms plain flour
30gms cocoa powder
1tsp of baking powder (no bicarb in the cupboard!)
75gms of butter (not enough as stated in the recipe)
125gms caster sugar
1/2 tsp of salt
1tsp of vanilla extract
1 egg
a bit of chocolate cut up
2 tsp of golden syrup

  1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 3
  2. In one bowl put the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a seperate bowl cream the sugar and butter and when it's looking a bit dry put a little bit of milk in to bind it together.
  4. Once it's nicely creamed together add the dry ingredients and continue to mix adding the egg cut up chocolate and golden syrup and a bit more milk if needed.
  5. On a large baking tray (covered with greaseproof paper) put 6 separate desert spoonfuls well spaced out (because these cookies grow), bake for 18 minutes and et voila!! 

Saturday, 22 June 2013

How high can a carrot fly, fly?

My computer had been hijacked!! By some advertising, I don't know what but Mr Husband had to sort it for me (he was in his element).

So how high can a carrot fly, fly? It a serious question.  I've recently found out if you plant your carrots in the ground they are likely to be attacked by carrot fly and therefore, unusable. 

(source: RHS)

What I didn't know up until now is that carrot fly also effects other root plants too like parsnips and celeriac (to name a couple)

If you have to/want to put your carrots in the ground then you can cover them carrot fly mesh which is one solution, but a carrot fly can only fly to height of two foot.  

I heard this a couple of years ago, on a tv programme about allotmenting,and the gentleman who has speaking had a good few hints and tips about owning an allotment (I wish I could remember the name of it) but one of those tips was plant your carrots higher than two foot!!

So this week, the carrots have been planted in a high sided container, next to the rhubarb.  Now I know what your thinking that isn't two foot high?  No its not but is all I had but i figure with the use of some cut up railway sleepers it'll be high enough, or I might just put some kind of plastic around the top to make it two foot.

(Now let me take this opportunity to say, don't take the above as sound advice we all know that I do not know what I'm doing!! So take it on board and research it for yourselves).

I've also had the chance this week to plant some tomatoes up.  I've decided to go for upside down planting this year seen as planting them the right way up only encouraged slugs last year! 

You can just see the potatoes underneath

This week also saw the first time all the chickens were out together.  The chicks are now 13 weeks old and when they reach 18 weeks they will be going in the big pen with the big hens so it's a good time for them to start getting used to each other when I'm there:

It went well for about 5 minutes!  The Brahmas and Penny seemed to accept them ok, the ex-batts on the other hand, they need a bout more encouragement to be nice - with a water pistol! We'll try again next week! 

Friday, 21 June 2013

April - Part 2 and May

I'm slowly coming to the point were I'll be able to write posts in 'real time'!   All this thinking back in time  isn't half confusing!!

So, the plot was ready to have the raised beds put in.  After buying the timber (treated 6x2) I got it delivered to work were the lads cut it to the right sizes for me and took it down to the allotment - thanks guys - again!! (I think by this point, they had enough of coming to the allotment and helping me!)

When I looking and deciding what wood to get I first thought I would get some scaffolding planks and use them and the advice I got was that these would be far cheaper than treated timber from a timber yard.  Honestly, after looking and budgeting it worked out about £15 - £20 cheaper than treated timber and the timber lasts longer than scaffolding planks.  I think back in the day maybe scaffolding planks were a lot cheaper but with more and more people turning to grow your own and wanting raised beds in the garden, scaffolding yards seem to have put their prices up.  I rang one company to enquire if they had any planks for sale and he said "if I had a pound for every phone call I got asking me this, I'd be rich".  So treated timber it was.

It was easier to get some treated 3x3 cut to about 8 inches long and screw the 6x2 into that rather than trying to screw the 6x2 together and it made them a bit sturdier.

The ground underneath the beds could probably have benefited from rotavating, but not only did I not want to end up catching the draining pipe underneath, more importantly, I genuinely could not be bothered.  The only problem was that the beds didn't sit flat on the ground.  And so began building up the bottoms of the beds, so that the soil etc... wont come out of the bottom.  I lined the beds with some really good quality weed control fabric I then ordered the top soil and because it was delivered that day I didnt have chance to put manure in the first two but the 4 after that, Ive put in about 1/3 coverage with manure, then the top soil will go in.

I got a tonne of top soil delivered straight to the allotment.  Now I'm totally useless when it comes to volume and measurements, I always have been and I'm not sure at what point when I was ordering a tonne of top soil that a, I could move it all myself and b, that it would only be a couple of wheelbarrows worth of soil!! When I pulled up at the allotment with my wheelbarrow in the back of the car (the wheelbarrow i borrowed from work because the wheel on mine has buckled and will only do for light jobs) I could have cried! I have never seen so much soil, we're not talking a couple of barrows full - I lost count at 45 barrows full, and it filled the first two beds.

Despite every muscle aching in my body...I could FINALLY plant something!!! Waaahooooo, so with my walking stick (the muscular pain was that bad!) I went veg plant shopping!  Looking back now i probably don't need 12 brussel sprout plants, because we don't eat brussel sprouts unless its Christmas...but we have them anyway.  We also have about 8 cauliflowers, a tonne of peas and onions from that shopping trip!  Minor problem - whilst I was planting the veg - the chickens were eating it!! So I've had net all the plants so the chickens cant get them.


The babies moved down to the allotment in May, their first night there I ended up down on the plot at 10:50pm terrified that something had eaten them.  As it happened poppy hen (the white one) wasn't in the hen house, so i put her in, but because there wasnt a lockable door on it im not sure how long she stayed in there.  The next day I was down there making adjustments to the old house so they could be shut in at night, which meant going down there every morning to let them out.  They got the idea though after a couple of days and took themselves off to bed.

Miss Bootsy planting pumpkins for halloween:

Miss Bootsy and Mum planting up Boo's raised bed, with runner beans, more pumpkins, strawberries and some flowers 

And I think we're now in June 2013!! Hooray!!

Monday, 10 June 2013

March and April 2013.

I've been thinking for a few weeks what to write about march because it was pretty much the same as february.  It was a bit of a rubbish month as it was all about letting the land dry out nothing could really be done.  I was continuing to get an egg or two a day, one from penny and one from martha brahma hen, but there was nothing new going on.  And what happens when nothing new is happening - well i got these two bundles of gorgeousness:

Originally, they were Meg (the yellow one) and Lois but they've since changed to Poppy (the yellow (sussex)) and Lulu (the blue ranger)

They had to live at home for about 8 weeks in a box in the back room with their heater, and they would come out at night and sit on the sofa and watch tele!!

April 2013.

April was the month that really made a difference the drainage system was completed with a tonne of pea gravel needing shifting into the trenches, then drainage piping and the whole thing being covered over again:

The chicken run was moved back to its original spot with an extra 6 x 6 foot put on the back to accommodate the new chicks moving down there.

However, the chicken run now was big enough for another two hens!! What to do, what to do?? Yep you guessed it!  I decided at this point ex battery hens were the way forward.  I found a lovely place in wigan called lucky hens rescue, arranged how many hens I wanted and picked them up at my designated time and date - honestly it couldn't have been simpler - and the added bonus is its makes your soul feel good!
I have to say, the staff and volunteers at lucky hens do an amazing, fantastic job,  if I ever get the opportunity to get more hens I would undoubtedly get ex-batts from lucky hens, and if you ever get the opportunity to keep hens really consider getting ex-batts.  They are so lovely, and like i said previously it makes you feel good that not only are you helping them, but seeing them improve day by day is amazing.

So here we are introducing (brace yourself they arent the prettiest in these pictures, but this is their first day out)

Babs - she was in the worst condition of the two she had no feathers on her chest or on her wings

And Betty, who had more clothes on.

It was a family day out collecting the hens and Mr husband developed a real soft spot for babs (though he called her, and still calls her frankenchicken), he sometimes goes to the allotment just to see how she is.

So we got them into there new pen and realised I hadnt bought them a house!! Thankfully with a good supply of wood, sleepers and a dab hand with a drill I managed to build them a temporary house until they were ready to go in with the other hens (it did also have a front on it, but not on this picture):

Three weeks after getting the ex batts this is how they were looking:

Babs might not look like much, but you can see her feathers coming back in on her chest.

And betty, well you can see what a difference three weeks can make!

By now with all the hens that would be going into one coop, the old house wasn't going to be good enough for them, so i bought them a new one that could be put on the outside of the coop giving them more run space:

April was also the month for putting the raised beds in....buts that another post for another day!!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

February 2013.

Now if there's one thing i regret its not having videoed the moment the trench was joined to the drainage system.  It was a joyous moment to hear all the collected water finally draining away.  So much so that I was jumping up and down like a gazelle - clearly forgetting the boggy earth that was still underneath my feet, and yes I ended up flat on my arse in mud, thankfully with my water proof pants on!!

February was a good a month the plot drained brilliantly quickly once all the falls in the earth were correct:

Trench phase 1 complete.

The weather was a lot milder but most importantly WE GOT OUR FIRST EGG!!!

I was happily one day minding my own business when I realised Penny Rogers was missing.  I went to look in the hen house and there she was looking very suspicious.  After about 10 minutes of leaving her in there, there was an almighty racket as Penny jumped out of the hen house and I went and looked and there it was an egg!!! Well actually there were three but two were rubber eggs, it took me a while to get used to those!! Penny was squawking away like 'look what ive done!!' I tried to pick her up and give her a cuddle but she just pecked me.