Yesterday was a busy one. Super stressful morning. Went out to go to the market and found a box by the car. We knew what would be in it before we looked, and sure enough, there were two tiny kittens huddled in the corner, at a guess under two weeks old. The box hadn't been there long and the kittens were asleep so not cold, so we made a snap decision to leave them there as we would be gone only a short time. Our neighbour was watching from her gate and with builders opposite they would be quite safe. Off we went, first stop vet to see if he had baby kitten milk, fat chance. Give them raw cow milk he says, like this one has....little kitten in the shop.
Returning home, neighbour still there, box gone. Phew. Next worry...where? On questioning neighbour it seems someone came and took the box away. Strange how she knows everyone in the village but not who took the box! We have enough with the rescue kitten we already have, and if we ever had to return to the UK we would have trouble enough finding a rental with two dogs as well. And the last thing we need is a name for taking in all waifs and strays that no-one wants or will prevent! Obviously everyone knows we took Splash in when he rolled up at a few weeks old. Consolation is that they cared enough to take them away again instead of leaving them for village dogs, cold or pine marten to take them.
Anyway, back to 'normality' and it was an afternoon of clearing the garden of anything we wanted to keep that isn't frost hardy. The chilli plants came out and we potted up the largest one and put it upstairs in the corridor to see if any more fruits ripen. We have given up on the idea of keeping any plants, we only need a couple and they are easily grown from seed. While we were pulling up the others for the compost heap there was frantic Venka beckoning us over and she took them, no doubt she will be pickling the fruit. In return she gave us a huge pumpkin, much better suited to themselves to feed to the pigs! We managed to reinforce the fact that we do not want any more pets thank you very much! Now please pass that to the relevent friends and relatives.
The butternuts are in the cellar which seems a bit warm so I hope it will cool down with the weather. All the geraniums are put into sheltered places, they can be put away later and will cope with a little frost. I brought in eight decent sized cabbages which I shredded and made into sauerkraut...all three jars of it. I can't believe how much you can pack into a kilner jar. But heck, what a mess. It is so simple to make but clearing up afterwards takes an age! Dave has moved the rhubarb, the lettuces are in and there are just the leeks to sort out. I will leave them for a bit as they might put on a bit more growth with the rain. The brassicas we will use and feed to the chickens as and when.
|Lots of chard, wilted and chopped for the freezer. My legs were burning sitting in the sun|
|Dave found these in the compost heap, there seems to be several ideas about who's grubs they are, so we asked the chickens for their opinions.....|
|Daft thing, you'd think he was never fed!|
I also made more jam this week. I know I said I wasn't going to do any more, but having ginger to use, quince, apples and medlars I had to do something. So we now have rhubarb, quince and ginger jam and quince jelly, along with spiced medlar jelly most of which is staying in my cupboard. The colours of the jellies are amazing and they taste good too! The rest we will take to the car boot sale if it isn't called off due to weather, but I think they are a bit to exotic for most tastes over here. (Or is it?)
|Straining the juice|
|Spiced medlar jelly, stunning colour|
|Rhubarb, quince and ginger jam|
|Venka's contribution, a crate of apples|
I have been around the garden taking photos for future reference. I know I do this a lot but it is useful to have them on here as most photos go onto a hard drive for safe keeping....never to be seen again! But with frost due I wanted to take photos of the cosmos which seeded itself this year and is now flowering, the roses which were quite badly hit in summer by changeable weather and are now growing vigerously. The late insects are busy, mostly flies, bees and hoverflies, but also a few butterflies, most striking being a deep, bright, small yellow one which won't stay still for a moment.
|Self sowm morning glory amongst the herbs|
|Bothe echinaceas still flowering|
|his year's self sown cosmos, about to be cut down by winter unfortunately|
|And those nicotianas still keep flowering and smelling|
In the hen house poor Cagney is losing feathers by the fistful, as is her friend Chubba. They were last year's chicks so this is their first big moult. They are unlikely to lay till next year now, and the Shumens too it seems. There are feathers everywhere. Even Sevi was more threadbare than we have seen him before, but is looking much more dapper now. His ardour has not been affected. The ex-batts are laying four between the six, so at the moment there are enough for us and a friend who has some from us every week. Things have calmed down since the last of this year's boys went to a new home, Sevi is much relieved!
|Poor bedraggled Cagney|
|Walnut and cheese sausages, home made coleslaw (almost healthy)|
|Dave's roast pork dinner. We do use smaller than dinner plates|
|Cheese scones, treat size lemon drizzle buns|
|Oooo-er, fish and chips, made with those square fish portions which fall apart when defrosted...which unfortunately means it takes more batter....|
And finally, a short video showing what poor Bella has to put up with. To the background sound of Downton Abbey