A flat joke and a dirty stop out hen. 

Monday: Had a good morning in the greenhouse, potting on and sowing seeds, tidying up a bit. Decided that I could use the poly tunnel that the tomatoes go in a bit more wisely as they won’t go in for a couple of months yet. So I dug out the old pasting table, put a plastic sheet on it and moved a fair few seedlings and plants in there to grow on, just need to remember they are in there otherwise I will forget to water them. The weather was quite a bit colder than previous days and windy, so in the afternoon I decided to try and get the end of year PAYE done, unfortunately I have some data missing from when my hard drive was chewed and even after three hours of reading the manuals I couldn’t find out how to re enter the data, I would have phoned the helpline but I have hardly any voice at the moment and am prone to fits of coughing 😝Tuesday: A warmer day today, I spent a while trying to clean the floor of the front chicken hut a bit better than I have of late. The problem is it is so dry, when we have rain the wet feet of the chickens keep the floor moist enough to scrape easily, when it’s dry it sticks like glue and is difficult to get the last bits off, anyway if I do that for a couple of days I might be on the right side of good. Came in and put the dinner in the slow cooker, picked a load of fresh herbs to go in and some sprouting, good splash of red wine, braising steak and the jobs a good un, I can forget about it till later on tonight. I also picked some fresh mint to make a mint syrup, this cough is doing my head in and as rose hips are not about yet I thought I could try mint instead. It’s different lol, I guess if I had peppermint growing it would be more minty than the garden mint but it tastes sweet, not too minty just a little bit of the flavour comes through, you can use it on ice cream or in long summer drinks so I will use it for various things and see what is best. 

The ducklings are doing really well, we have had to put a bigger water bowl in already which will mean they will start making a real mess very soon 😝

Today we found two dead rats, just like buses, none, then all at once, the first was probably killed by one of the cats (as it was out in the open with a hole in its side) and was a grey rat ‘big’ John said, when I went out to pick it up I thought, that’s not big. The second really was big and was the one that had been nicking eggs from the POL pen at the back, how do I know it was that one, it died in the nest box! I had fed it two sachets of rat poison over the last few days, good to know the stuff works. I sent John up to get it out as I didn’t have my gloves on when I was collecting eggs or I would have done it myself, besides he never believes me when I say there is a rat nicking eggs, well the proof as they say……. John then decided it would be a good idea to sit the rat somewhere the girls would see it when they came to the yard to do the horses, then wait for the scream 😝 To be honest, I went along with the idea, naughty I know, they walked past it without even noticing 😂😂😂😂😂 we hid like children and waited then were disappointed when our little joke went flat lol

We went to bed around 10.30 only to be woken around half hour later by the dog yapping intensely, I went to have a look through the windows and from the side door could see a chicken trying to get through the gate towards home! Obviously having too good a night to realise she should have been back hours ago, I got my shoes and coat on and went out to grab her and put her in with the orchard hens, lucky I got up or she would have been supper for either the fox or Kai depending on who got to her first. 

Wednesday: Quick sprint round this morning as off the the hospital for my routine check up, all well on the lupus front but I have high blood pressure, well I knew it was coming as it has been creeping up over the last year, but here it is the actual diagnosis 😝 What does this mean for me well I could do nothing and go on the tablets and hope it settles down or I could take a good look at my diet and give it an overhaul, I decided on the latter. It’s not that we eat badly really it just that if I am busy I will either skip meals or go for a quick fix, if there happens to be a banana handy that’s good, if not it will be a biscuit (or 4) that’s not so good, chocolate when I have had a busy, hard, tiresome well any kind of day really, so I will try my best to be good from now on. That will mean less batch baking days from now on 😜

I think I spent the rest of the afternoon, doing a shopping list and looking up the kind of meals I would like to eat.

Thursday: Today after feeding I took the bull by the horns and called the HMRC to figure out how I am supposed to put back in lost data, 3 calls to different departments and nearly 5 hours later the decision was, just send what you have got as long as you are sure the information that was sent in real time was accurate and on time……………….🙄 it was, let’s hope we hear no more about it though I seriously doubt it😣I then took a brisk walk to the post box to post a letter, how good am I 😀gotta help this heart as much as I can. 

Still got this annoying tickly cough though it sounds much worse than it is, however it does break out at very inconvenient times, like when you are on the phone to HMRC 😝 I also woke in the night with toothache, on analysis in the morning I think it’s more to do with this virus and sinuses than my tooth at least I hope I’m right or I could be in trouble over the bank holiday weekend after deciding against bothering the dentist about it.  

Good Friday 💐 This morning I have decided to slow things down a bit lol, it’s a bank holiday after all although John has gone to work so it’s just me here. I wanted to leave the hens in a bit longer than usual as we are getting eggs laid all over the place, if I leave them in they will have to lay in the nest boxes, that was one good thing about them being confined, you could always find the eggs. I put more poison down at the back yesterday because despite catching that big brown rat there is still something eating the eggs, the rest of its family I expect! The weather is not as nice as it could be for the holiday weekend but it’s dry at least, I will probably spend a bit of time watering today as everything is quite dry outside, it’s not the established things like rhubarb and asparagus it’s the seedlings, strawberries in the raised beds etc that need a drink. 

Well first I did a good clear out of the floor in the front hut, had to wet it first so sloppy chicken shit everywhere, foolishly as it was a tad cold this morning I decided on two layers plus my gillet, sweating like a heifer now 😝 but at least the floor is clean 😀

The ducklings are doing well, I would put up more photos but they haven’t really changed that much, it’s a shame they can’t go outside yet there would be ample photo opportunities then 😀 they also need a clean out as they have moved onto a large water container and making a right mess! Spent a wonderful couple of hours in the greenhouse and garden, thoroughly enjoyed a bit of potting on and watering everything. 

Saturday: Skyped Charlie first thing as it’s her birthday but she is going out so we won’t see her until tomorrow. Then got the animals done while John went off to get feed, then off round to see my sister who’s birthday is also today. John did a bit of tidying up in the garden area, stuff that he has left lying around after doing various jobs! As Josh is now walking we begin to notice the things that are a bit dangerous including building materials left lying around, I am going to have to change a few of my habits such as leaving the asparagus knife lying in the bench, he makes a beeline for anything he can’t have lol, luckily he is easily distracted by stones and putting them into a pot 😜 I noticed some flowers on my orange and lime trees, very exciting I hope they form properly into fruit I will be chuffed to bits with that result. 

John cut the grass in the front drive, while I got dinner on, (worthy of a mention as I can count on one hand the times he has cut the grass in the last 30 years 😝)

Easter Sunday: The sun came out for a short while this morning although as soon as it went in you could feel the cold. John did the routine jobs this morning while I made a cake some bread and cooked a piece of beef for sandwiches later, I’ve never really done the Easter roast because it’s usually a good day and that means working in the garden so no time for cooking. We culled the poorly duck, I felt sorry for her but her joints were swollen and hot and she was using her wing tips to try and get around, she was getting into a bit of a sorry state and there was nothing I could do for her so her time had come 😔I also cleaned out the ducklings, they are getting quite big now and making a real mess with their water I shall be regularly cleaning them from now on in. John cleaned out the back pen and put up some boards for the next muck heap, considering how massive the old one was it has shrunk down to a neat 8ft square, lots of people have had some for their gardens and we have used a fair bit. The dung beetles are active at the moment and you can almost see the muck moving under their activity it’s amazing how fine they turn the muck. Mum came over as an extra pair of hands today and did some hoeing and planting, also helped me think a bit more clearly about what is happening in the garden at the minute, sometimes there is so much crammed into my head I can’t think straight lol. Some of the family came for sandwiches and cake and then the day was more or less over and it was time for a well earned rest.

Quail getting bigger

The ducklings have actually started to grow rapidly over the last couple of days! 


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