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Sunday, 1 September 2013


The water here is very heavy in minerals. It also seems to be dirty, and after a shower there is sediment in the shower tray...and it's not from my feet! We were warned that we would go through kettles quite quickly if we tried to use tap water, even if we use filters for the jug which are really a must. But the other day we ended up with two unusable kettles, both well coated with minerals inside, despite filtering and little wire thing inside. We are actually using spring water from the village spring to boil, and bottled for drinking 'neat'. We used a pan for a day and the covering on the bottom was thick. So off to Kaufland to get descaler, and while we were there we bought a new kettle in case we had wrecked both kettles, so now we have three. And the descaler worked, did both kettles with one sachet. Should be OK for a while.

I wonder if we can get it for washing up...everything has a film of mineral and feels dirty. Glasses look awful.

And for me too, my skin and hair feel odd!

Venka has started to bring in the squash, but luckily so far, she hasn't sent any over to us. We asked her if she wanted some of our surplus eggs the other day....and next day she sent us some eggy bread! (And a plate of figs) Actually, I caramelised the figs and we had them on sweet eggy bread with icecream. Very nice for a change. These are the ones being harvested at  the moment.
And these are to come
 A double pumpkin
Can anyone actually eat all those? There is another patch by the gate.

Dave had a bit of a scare while he was sitting outside the other day. Jordan was laying bricks for his new chicken shed and suddenly there was a cry and a crash and he disappeared. Off charged Dave to find he had fallen off his perch (box) but came up smiling. Dave took him a choice of stepladder to use and he got on with it. We didn't see him for a couple of days and we were worried he had hurt himself, but after speaking to Venka it seems he had to go to the dentist. Normality is back.

We have been having visits from martens nightly. They are making a lot of noise and seem to have decided our garden is their territory, they keep pooing just outside the gate. When I came down at 5.30am yesterday after being woken by them once again, there was a heck of a kaffuffle over at Venka's, lots of squawking and flapping of wings, as well as the dog barking so we are presuming the marten paid them a visit. No idea if they lost any chickens, they don't usually forget to put them away. There was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing from the neighbours, but when we tried to ask about the chickens communications broke down into hand gestures and giggles. We need to be ever vigilant though.

We were invited to a bar in the village by someone having a birthday bash. It was very kind of them, I hadn't met them before. We were almost last there as we had to wait till we could put the chickens to bed, so most were the worse for drink.. I don't enjoy bars, and I don't enjoy tiddly British middle aged ladies draping themselves all over the local lads. We didn't stay long, but it made a change from our usual early night.

In the garden the beans have had a kick start due to the rain last week. The fig has sprouted figlets ready for next year, weather permitting. It will give us an idea of which branches we need to get rid of, it's a bit like a mini forest.

Dave has been digging up the stumps of fruit trees cut down by the previous owners.
He has also sunk some stakes and wired them to take the grape vines. They should give us shade and a bit of privacy next year.
This stump has proved to be a bit of a mystery. It has a lot of new growth but no sign of flower or fruit, but must be something or it wouldn't have been planted. It is too close to the house to grow it and see, but has proved to be difficult to dig out, with loads of big roots and very hard wood. So it has been hacked about with the axe and buried. Hopefully that will be the end of it.

We are leaving the peach which has started to grow back, but need to do some research as it has what I believe might be peach leaf curl. If it can't be controlled without heavy duty chemicals we will have a re-think about that too. Something has been using it to dump insect bodies. Could be bats I suppose, they areabout.
The best news today is that Solo the lonely chick will soon have company. Three Shumen chicks have hatched today with another trying, but being kicked around by the others so we'll see. As soon as they are strong enough, eating well and growing they can go in and keep her company. She is coming on really well, and already has wing and tail feathers coming. They are known to be quick growers and early maturing....but she tried to fly yesterday! She is so cute and feisty. And so tiny.


  1. Enjoyed catching up again this evening, I can't believe how much food you have at your disposal that is grown on your doorstep it is amazing. Loved the little lone chick bless her she is gorgeous hope she gets some new friends soon (not Bella!). I think Dave could have a point though about the house could start a new trend!!
    Jackie x

  2. Hi Jackie, yes, it seems some things grow themselves. I am going to have to rely on Venka to let me know what varieties grow best here, but will be experimenting with favourites. In fact we are having black kale grown ourselves for tea. One tick!

    Bella, bless her, is not a good friend for a tiny chick. Her way of saying "let's play" is to land a paw, and many a cricket has been squished. She is desperate though and more so now there are more voices.

    NO CHICKENS IN THE HOUSE! Don't encourage him!