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Thursday, 4 December 2014

A quiet life

There is very little going on at the moment, so I apologise for the lack of news.

We have been more or less confined to the house lately. It's not snowy and apart from a few days, not particularly cold...but it has rained buckets so we need to keep off the mud. It is lethal without the right footwear, especially when there is mud over a hard surface. I took to taking a stick with me to let the birds out, I have no wish to go splat! And it wouldn't do Dave much good either, trying to get me back on my feet. One day we had freezing rain. There was nothing much to see, especially with the dark and dismal mornings, and I couldn't understand why the gates and bolts felt greasy, frost didn't occur to me in the rain. But once it was brighter I could see the fence and trees were dripping with icicles, not water. This winter has been rather like the ones we left behind in the UK, not at all like last year.

Once again there are floods and weather warnings across the country with vulnerable households moving their belongings upstairs. There will be a lot of folk who will be glad to see the back of this year.

The ducks have settled in well. They are now with the chickens and even though the chickens have never seen a duck before, they have accepted them as part of the family. The ducks have learned to splash in the pool and on their third day spent hours in there, cleaning themselves up and showing feathers which are much nicer than we first thought. So for a day they were pristine and busy checking out the estate. Someone is lasying in their shed, but I think it is probably a hen as we are letting the visiting hens in there as usual and the ducks take shelter with our chickens in the barn.

We are still getting between two and four eggs from my girls, with someone coming back into lay as we are getting a pale egg. Not sure if it's a Shumen as one of them lays creamy coloured eggs when she first starts back into production, they turn white later, or Cagney who also lays pale brown eggs. We are getting enough for us and the neighbours at any rate.

We had a ring on the bell while making cards a few days ago, Venka inviting us for breakfast coffee in five minutes. We love our neighbours but would like a little notice simply because we have our breakfast early. Dave had eaten three rounds of toast and I had a bowl of porridge, so we really did not need a mountain of hot, fresh cheesy bread. Didn't need but it would be rude not to....the first few mouthfulls yummy, but struggling from then. Talk about bloated! It did us till supper time.

We have made a lot of cards, Dave helping, for people in the village and in others far and wide. It has given us something to do while the weather is so poor. Dave wants to get on with paintings but that side of the house is a bit damp feeling, a fire will be needed up there but first we need to find some smaller logs. We bought it ready cut this year and the pieces are rather large for the small fire. On the up side, they burn slowly and easily keep going all night in the kitchen, much to everyone's delight. With only needing the heat low when it is in pemanently we can make stew, rice pud, baked beans and mash for the chickens and it is still in to make a slow and creamy porridge in the morning.The dogs sit in front of the fire while I am in the kitchen and Splash loves all the warm floor tiles, spreading himself into some strange shapes. Other than that he likes a nice fleece to sleep on thank you very much, but if it's warm enough the bed upstairs is a nice quiet spot!
Creamy rice pudding with some of our spiced medlar jelly

Elongated cat

Not sure if Bella's a duvet or Splash is a pillow....


Can't resist a rustling plastic bag with noisy, moving walnuts

Better pu it away before he smothers himself...

He is still waking us in the early hours. He doesn't actively disturb us to make us get up, just wanders about, playing with toes and clocks, purring very loudly and with no concern where his feet end up. I am a light sleeper and shattered! Tonight, rather late in the day, we are going to try to start crate training him in the hope that he might settle in a den till a bit later than 3am. We can only try. At the moment he is happy to sleep in there during the day.
Nothing much happening in the garden. The woodpeckers are being rather noisy and the black redstarts are back in residence. Unfortunately with the new fence we can't photograph that part of the garden so easily, if we try to get a better position we tend to scare birds away once we come from behind the outdoor sink area. We have taken all the cabbages in, some to eat fresh and some for sauerkraut. Secondary cabbagelets are growing on the harvested stalks for later.

But we still have some flowers. These chrysanths are from the weedy little cuttings Baba Danke gave in spring when she thought we didn't have enough flowers in the borders....she couldn't accept the seedlings were not weeds!


  1. I like how your dog and cat sleep together. It looks like your cat might get squished, ha ha. How fun to have chickens and ducks, the ducks are enjoying their pond, I see.

    1. Haha, the dogs really don't get to decide, the cat sleeps where he wants! Bonnie is tolerant to a degree, but her labrador wagging tail is so inviting to a playful kitten and he will attack, making Bonnie dance to get out of the way,

  2. I looked at your most recent post too and you are having some awful weather! Loved the video of the ducks - I love seeing them bathe and preen like that. Splash looks like he has grown a huge amount... until you see him next to one of your dogs, then he looks tiny again! :-)

    1. We are having bad weather, most unlike BG, but others are having much worse. Animals are being stranded and animal lovers are getting together to rescue them, people are without homes and have lost their belongings. Luckily all villages have empty houses so hopefully they can get a roof over their heads.We are hoping the forecast for the next few days is right (!) and damage can be assessed.

      I still can't believe we have a cat, and yes, sometimes I think he's quite well grown, then he seems to shrink to kitten size. Often when he is being chased out of the poultry pen by Sevi, his ex-batts and the ducks! I get all anxious.