There was an error in this gadget

Friday, 4 December 2015

What a week!

The week started with the saddest news. One of our lovely, sweet and generous neighbours was rushed into hospital and died. So unexpected. It has saddened us so much as it comes in the same year that we lost another lovely lady from the house behind us. As is the way, she was buried a day later. Funerals are such a gentle affair but very different from the UK ones. We will miss her.
Baba Danke at the traditional wedding in September, already sorely missed. A beautiful soul.

Back on the plot. There have been changes, the biggest being that the polytunnel is up and working. We have ordered a new cover for next year, but in the meantime a lot of duct tape has gone into blocking the holes up. Strangely the day Dave was struggling with it was the day we probably had the worst daytime wind for a while, just typical. It was calm as you like when he started. Of course the weather has turned warmish and sunny again, but maybe in the new year winter will arrive. Our brassicas are well protected now anyway and as soon as the ground dries a bit I can get some seeds sown in there. Spinach, broad beans, peas, carrots. I haven't mentioned it to Dave yet....

We went over to my sister's new house for lunch this week. Her first visitors really. We wanted to see how they were getting on and I have to say they have been very busy. They have cleared a lot of scrub and overhanging branches, opening the garden up to the light, and can now see what they are dealing with. The trees have mostly dropped their leaves too. They have started to meet the neighbours, British and Bulgarian and seem to be loving the life so far (though they did get a bit impatient when the weather turned wet)

We also went over to a friends' place to collect some blackcurrant bushes, having really enjoyed the fruit we picked last summer. So we now have a potential hedge along the top plot. We won't get fruit next year but we still have a couple of established plants of our own which should do better this time. The drive over was very pleasant and it seemed the wildlife were out to see us. We saw lots of birds of prey, shrike, greater egrets, a fox, pheasant and an unfortunate dead pine marten as well as lots of flocks of small birds, masses of jays and magpies thanks to the lack of leaves, crows and ravens. Even a ladybird or two. And of course...had a good gossip!

Apologies for the hazy pics, most were very long distance
A greater egret showing how high the rape has grown in this rather mild autumn, on the edge of the village

Still having trouble getting near those buzzards! Nice sky though

The shrikes are often seen on the top of the bare trees, they aren't shy, they will pose for ages

Not sure if this sparrow hawk thinks it's hidden....

Taken in the dark, a pair of long eared owls.

We came away with another bird too. After giving the girls a hard time and growing huge suddenly, we decided Vernon was just too big and was getting too aggressive for the poor worn out ex-batts and he has been replaced by Dandy. Dandy is small and easily bossed by the girls and I have to say...another odd looking boy. He is black with white speckles....or maybe white with black speckles  (hence the name, we could hardly call him Dandruff as Dave said,,,so Dandy it is!)  And he has very feathery feet and no tail. I should imagine he will have problems when the mud arrives. A booted bantam cross it seems, crossed with a cochin or something...which would explain the lack of tail. Whatever he is, hopefully this time the girls will be lucky.

A rear view of those legs

Today Dave was round at the neighbours' helping with the annual pig slaughter. I had a massive headache made worse by wearing earphones to block out the noise. But the job is done now. No doubt it will be someone else's turn tomorrow and that's how it will be for the next couple of weeks around the village. The meat has been hung out for a few hours and has now gone into the shed while the huge job of mincing, curing and sausage making gets under way. It will take a few days of really hard work for the three or four ladies while the heavier work is done by the men. However, the shed is now under siege...I hope they don't turn their backs while Spud and Charlie are about, they have joined forces to try to find a way in! Luckily the shed is marten proof so it should be cat proof too.

And finally on this short blog...a short video of our Spud and his new passtime...he has become a telly addict!


  1. I love Dandy... he looks really handsome... hopefully he won't get too muddy on those lovely legs! I believe you can get films for cats that show fish or birds or mice as well as games with moving dots ... you play them on your ipad or smart phone and when the cats touch the moving dot on the screen they get points. Not that the cats know that lol!

    1. If the weather turns we will have to put a thick mulch of straw down as I hate the idea of keeping him in. Same with Mary but her feathers are just down the outside of her legs.

      What set Spud off was Dave playing videos of canaries long as they're just videos! We don't have ipads and such, the simple life here

  2. Dandy's coloring is gorgeous, very dramatic. Hope you get some chicks that look like him.

    1. Haha, don't know if I can cope with more cockerel chicks.

  3. I wouldn't be able to deal with the noise of pig slaughter either. :-( I still have memories of being a child under 6 on a farm in Fiji and hearing pig castrations. Ugh.

    Laughing at Spud, but of course there are interesting birds on TV! Probably more interesting than Eastenders! Polytunnel looks good and I am sorry about your neighbour, how sad. I shall have a look at your sister's blog.

    As for your cockerels (and ducks) I can't keep up!!! :-)

    1. Nor Me! I've given up now, just need to know my hens are OK.

  4. I think that every village. settlement must have at least one Baba Danka there's one in the village that I wanted to move to who is almost 90! Still going strong looking after her garden and chickens. Its sad when old faces go.

  5. Yes it is. I hate to hear the bell ringing to signify another death, sometimes it seems to be pretty constant.