Sunday, March 2

Wood and Chickens

Vera overseeing the applewood kindling one of our neighbours gave us…

Then Scarlett and Josephine wanted to see what all the fuss was about…

Once seasoned this will be wonderful…

I've said it before but if you have neighbours with fruit trees it is always worth letting them know you would be happy for any prunings as it will save them a trip to the dump and free wood gives off the best heat

Wednesday, February 19


This is what Vera looked like when we first collected her from the rescue centre back in October 2013

And this is what she looked like on Sunday

She's such a sweetie - very good natured…loves her grub.

Monday, November 4

Avian Hiatus

it's been a long time -

Part of my absence has been down acquiring 3 chickens back in April.

Prior to getting them I spent almost every hour reading and researching everything I could - I guess I was like an expectant mother getting ready for baby to arrive...

If you are thinking about having chickens then you should know


Disease and pestilence will visit you regardless how clean and attentive you are.

They are very fragile and can be well in the morning and dead by the afternoon.

Their eggs are NOT cost effective.

But they are delicious.

Last month we re-homed 4 ex-battery chickens, within a few days one had to be put to sleep but the 3 remaining have made it thus has a chronic chest infection which all my 'flock' are currently being treated for and they rarely lay eggs...and when they do they are very poor quality with runny whites.

All the disease and death I have mentioned is expensive - I don't wish to do it myself when the times comes to say goodbye nor do I particularly want to become an 'internet vet'

Beth who was only with us a few days cost £5 from the rescue centre but £45 to be euthanised - I don't begrudge her a dignified end but in none of the 8 books I read before I got chickens did anyone really discuss the real costs of keeping chickens.

Even saying all of the above I just love my girls...they are such sweet funny little creatures and really love human company...

Monday, July 29

Paris Buns

I am not sure how successful these beauties really are and that is why I am not offering the recipe until there has been a bit of a tinker.
Paris Buns

I found the taste of the bicarbonate of soda and baking soda a little over powering but the man of the house loved them....

Saturday, February 9

When Life Gives You Lemons

When life gives you lemons clean your microwave
You should all know me by now- cleaning isn't my forte but as I was about to throw some used lemons away I seised the moment and put them in a bowl with some water and heated everything for about 5 minutes until there was a lot of steam within the microwave - I left it for a few minutes then wiped - to my credit the microwave wasn't that crusted up but it looks like new again and involved very little effort.
Most natural cleaning solutions involve a lot of elbow grease which rules it out for me but on this occasion I was very impressed just how easy it was to create such excellent results.

Tuesday, January 1

2013 My year of Gracious Economy

A Very Happy New Year to you all!

For the next 12 months I’ll be sharing my endeavors in controlling the household budget.

There are many blogs today focusing on extreme frugal living but my approach is going to be gentle and flexible sourcing old cookery and household management books ; recession, depression, economic crisis, war have all gone before us and although we may feel our lives are so much more advanced than a 1930’s housewife struggling to make ends meet they aren’t that different.

My other topic which I plan to share is my love of baking - again my reference will be old recipes which may not be fashionable or on trend but are still delicious and economical.

Wednesday, October 10

Concerning Drying Laundry

One of the best things about summer - even the rather washed out one we’ve just had is being able to get the washing out on the washing line to dry - zero expense and for many purists the only way if you want to save the word and your bank balance but even this early in the autumn and with the winter months ahead my pragmatic head knows that there has to be a plan B. This morning I removed my filter of my condensing tumble dryer and had rather a looked like a fluffy grey blob; I hung my head in even more shame when I was told via You Tube that a tumble dry filter should be washed through once a month or after 20 uses!!!!!! not once a year if it’s lucky! On Stella’s recommendation I have purchased a heated clothes dryer from Lakeland - and so here’s my plan to tackle drying for the next few months On dry clear days washing will be hung outside to dry but then finished off on the airer over night On wet days washing will be started off in the tumble dryer and finished off on the heated airer. Apart from the obvious aim of achieving dry washing I don’t want a house full of condensation. I also don’t want to have a huge electricity bills - so watch this space The Lakeland airer is said to cost as little as 5p per hour....

Friday, August 31

Vanessa Visits

Last week I put an over ripe pear onto the bird table as my small birds appreciate orchard fruits if the mood takes them. As the week progressed and the sun came out the pear became a rotting lump that I kept meaning to remove...
This morning however butterflies have been visiting drinking the fermenting nectar within. As I only see one butterfly at any one time I don't know if it's one very thirsty visitor or several - anyway it just goes to show just how wonderful and thrifty nature is not wasting even an old pear.
My visitor is a Red Admiral - the latin name is Vanessa atalanta which is suitably pretty for such a beautiful butterfly.

Thursday, August 23

Cat Hut

Bailey has taken a liking to the new cat hut -it was bought for her cousin who prefers the great outdoors but has so far been ignoring it....
I am very pleased with the colour which is Sandolin Superdec in Jungle Green - bit of an unfortunate name but very similar to Farrow and Ball's French Grey - a definite green but with a grey undertone -

Friday, August 17

August in a Vase

I feel guilty picking flowers for the house - but as my poor roses don't seem to be able to survive more than a few days in this summer's strange weather I picked the last two blooms along with Japanese Anemones, Dahlias and Verbena Bonariensis that had self seeded itself in the gravel.
I have never been very good at arranging but I feel the spirit of Constance Spry helped me on this occasion - ha ha ha Yesterday I had my chimney swept which never fails to give me a little trill as it means autumn is in the logs are already stacked in the garage so I am looking forward my favourite season.

Friday, June 1

Love in the Mist

The love-in-the-mist is just coming into flower....isn't it the easiest flower to grow?
I could only bring myself to cut 4 stems but had planned to cut some of a very rampent rosemary to bulk out my 'arrangement' but it was covered in cuckoo spit and I wasn't feeling in the mood for killing insects however detrimental they might be...and after looking up frog hoppers it seems they don't do much damage so they can stay.
N.B. I always collect seeds so if any of you would like some please let me know and I will send them to you in a few months time when they are ready.

Tuesday, May 29

Just Discovered

Vintage TV - on Freesat.... it's brilliant for folding the ironing too (snort - I never fold anything) it's great for sorting the washing into heaps....that's more like it.
The cats are loving this hot spell; I find if I don't move I can enjoy it too...ha ha ha Dandelion Unrelated photo of Dandelion (one of next door's) being uber cute. N.B. I am having a few technical difficulties - it's been such a long time since I've tinkered with the layout I have become a beginner again ..........for some reason it won't let me start a new paragraph..grh....

Thursday, May 10

Decorative Living Fair

Despite the dreadful weather my neighbour and I ventured over the boarder to Kent to visit this years Decorative Living Fair. It’s a kind of small scale Country Living fair but the focus is more on vintage, although saying that there was jewellery, gardenalia etc. Untitled To my great delight I met the lovely Viv of Hens Teeth who had travelled south to do the fair. Hens Teeth I was very restrained and hardly bought anything - as fabric and notions don’t count do they? Wonderful houseleeks

Tuesday, May 8

Is it really May?

Ha ha - it's May and quite honestly it still feels like March. This morning while I was visiting a local charity shop my Liberty radar went off big time. As I am sure most of you Liberty fabric lovers will know old lady clothes -or posh old lady clothes are often made in Liberty fabrics and you can often get a lot of fabric out of an old lady dress or skirt - Poppy and Honesty is the name of the design -I checked on the Liberty fabric archive... One of the reason my blogging has fallen by the wayside is my new computer; I shan't bore you with the technicalities but it's do to with getting photos uploaded onto until I resolve the problem...todays photo is of last years auriculas. This years show which has yet to be photographed is surprisingly good considering I have thought them to be on the verge of death... Other news is a pair of herring gulls have decided to nest on a neighbours roof....and before any of you go all Spring Watch on me they are very noisy and I am not at all happy about it. Abused and Neglected but still alive!