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Friday, 25 October 2013

Building has started!

Well, the builders arrived at about 5.30 to drop some stuff off for an early start the next day....and filled the cellar. I thought they were only bringing cement and stuff, but they brought all their builder's tool as well. Took them ages to unload and there was even more the next morning! But we are now on the way to getting some internal stairs at last.

Dave has put the spoils of the footings dig to good use. He has put in a path to the compost heap (and to the back of the new chicken pen, to be built) with the concrete rubbish, and has renewed the top of the chicken run with the soil, so they are very happy!

Now that the teenage chicks are integrated into the adult flock, though they still go to bed in the nursery, the smallest chicks are now out every day in the ark with the door ajar. We have had to raise the base so that the smalls can escape the teenagers who take every opportunity to have a go at any poor soul who gets caught inside. Although they all roost together at night, it's all out war otherwise. The adults are not too bothered now and have given up on the teenagers, rarely bothering to have a go at the babies either. Bella is still very anxious when the babies get upset, but is not bothered about the teenagers now. We are working on switching the heat lamp off at night now they are all roosting away from it. They are, however, spurning both the specially made perch and the walnut branch in the pens. I would rather they stay in their own sides but it may be that we will have to let them all together as they should get on in the dark and hopefully they can all be friends by the time the weather changes. The babies are growing so fast now, the outside life is suiting them and we are hoping the long range forecast is right and we have another couple of weeks of sunny weather to come. Their feathers are looking good, a couple being quite pale grey, and they are getting their fluffy bottoms.
The little ones decided a good safe place for a rest was in one of the out buildings. They easily get through the fence.
Meanwhile the teenagers are in the spot reserved for big chooks waiting for treats from the kitchen door. I just love the way they all end up in piles.
Baby chicks happy in the main run.

We have been spending the time while the builders are here busy being creative. We started to make Christmas cards, an old hobby I have not indulged in much in the last couple of years. Dave thinks it's a race to see how many we can do, but I like mine pretty detailed. Dave has also started a new painting, this time native wildlife, a hoopoe which hovers around the garden and lane. And of course, Dave being Dave he is finding physical jobs which need doing, like the path and sweeping leaves.....handy things those old duvet covers!

We had another stranger in the sky in the shape of a microlight come over the village. With the primitive feeling here in this rural village it seems out of place to see one of these.
Autumn is continuing to show lovely colours and bare trees. We can now see our English neighbours' house.
Had a lovely tea tonight. We are trying to have walnuts a couple of times a week and today it was something I made once before when I couldn't decide what to have. This time we both had it. Very simply it was half a red onion and a couple of cloves of garlic sweated in plenty of olive oil, juice and zest of half a lemon, chervil and parsley, salt and pepper and a couple of handsfull of toasted and finely chopped walnuts. All mixed into some spaghetti and scattered with Parmesan style cheese. With home made garlic bread. Yum yum!

We had our veg at lunch time, honest. We are still trying to make a dent in the cabbages....


  1. Are you having new inside stairs, or turning your outside stairs into inside stairs?
    It has been good to see pics of the house. Do you keep an eye on the temperature? It's mild here but nowhere near shorts and sandals weather! I'm so jealous.

    1. Hi. Yes, we are having a small extension just for the stairs, knocking through the kitchen wall and then a short staircase over the cellar stairs to the window in our bedroom, which will be a door. It's a shame we won't be able to see the sun rise in summer from the bedroom any more but stairs are important to me. A lot of people do enclose the outside stairs but it would ruin the look of this house. This way the other two bedrooms and shower room can be totally separate from us with their own stairs if ever we have visitors which will not be in winter.
      The temperatures, after a wet and cold start (couple of days) to the month, have been constantly in the twenties so I am back in a skirt and Dave is regretting putting the pool away! So we have still not really used the fire, maybe four times only, and two of those because we could! We are supposed to have the same sunny days for another week yet which is great as we are trying to wean the baby chicks off the night time heat lamp. A couple more days should do it.