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Daphne last won the day on March 19

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About Daphne

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    Effusive Egg Layer

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  1. Daphne

    **Thread of little facts & things**....3

    I have not had a good time the past 10 days in France. However, I was unexpectedly in Nantes at lunchtime yesterday and stumbled on a park, with a lake, complete with lots of wild fowl and some FR chooks. I very happily watched a pair of white crested black polands potter about in the blazing sun, then I saw another breed of cockeral walk very fast (comically) to where a spare white poland hen was wandering about. He flew over the water to join her, but soon after the WC cockeral saw what the other cockeral was up to, so also he walked very fast to join them, spirited his white wife away and all 3 of them walked back to the original hen. I really have missed my own flock and this cheered me up no end!
  2. Daphne

    The Weather Thread #9

    Its been a mixed week in Normandy, quite mild, bits of sun, bits of wind, slight amount of rain, lots of grey sky, but much better than you seem to be having in the UK. Apparently in Portugal it has been 20 plus.
  3. Daphne

    Take one whole free range chicken

    I might roast it whole, then use some of the left overs in a giant curry, and freeze what I didn't eat, then make a risotto using stock from the carcass. Or I might joint it and roast myself 2 legs - one to eat as its my favourite and the other one to make into a curry. Then I might use the breasts in whatever I was feeling like, possibly egg and breadcrumbs for one meal and some sort of lemony spicy thing to go into a salad with the other. The carcass would be boiled up and either freeze the stock or use it for risotto which in our house is a posh word for leftovers and rice. I absolutely love roast chicken!
  4. Daphne


    I'm sorry I don't have any advice, but I know the difficulties of trying to communicate the details of medical things in another language, so I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone and you have my sympathies. My BIL was told he had high cohlesterol in France, and was advised to cut down on this, that and the other, including cheese. Just the one piece per day was the advice, camembert is fine (doctor and patient live in Normandy). I hope somebody can come along and be more use to you. I hope you can enjoy the apres ski a bit, at the very least, even if you are not hurtling down any mountains.
  5. Daphne

    In the kitchen

    Somebody gave me a wedge of pumpkin today so I think I am going to roast it, with some other root veg and cheese on top, with a green veg on the side. I got some beef cheaply yesterday, marinaded it in wine overnight, and today I fried an onion/bacon/garlic/carrot in a cast iron casserole, added the beef, wine and some water, plus herbs and stuck it on top of the woodburner. I hope that by tomorrow night it will be edible! Today we had pasta with a fried bacon/fennel/mushroom/garlic and wilted cavalo nero top. I dressed the pasta (fresh) with sesame oil, and it was lovely, especially all the crispy bits. I feel the need to add that we are exhausted by the puppy so are very hungry!
  6. Daphne

    **Thread of little facts & things**....3

    Beautiful birds, but not blessed with brains in my experience! These are all great photos you have captured; their plumage is spectacular, well for the males at least.
  7. Daphne

    Blue Orpingtons

    Well I bet they will be big, beautiful, and slightly dim! My second favourite bird of all time, behind the blacks. What is that buff bird to the left of the blue orp? BO boy? Celine looks adorablešŸ˜€ We are pup sitting a German pointer right now, he is so energetic its untrue, he is blessed with speed, some brains, and a lot of naughtiness!
  8. Daphne

    In the kitchen

    I guess miso adds that extra savoury touch that you can get from putting Marmite/Bovril or Worcestershire sauce in things, but its much better for you. OH loves miso so I might see if I can find any here (long shot). I discovered yesterday that he puts a spoon of Marmite in what is otherwise a delicious spinach and chickpea curry, so I have extra motivation to find some miso (I am not overkeen on Marmite). We have a friend coming to stay who is very keen on Asian/Japanese food, so I will see what he cooks for us with some excitement. I really like Asian salads, very fresh and tangy. Last night we had guinea fowl legs, with baked potato and broccoli. I am staying in a house with limited cooking facilities and a small puppy. Not a happy kitchen combo!
  9. Daphne

    Gardening thread

    That sounds a very fair price; they are very slow growing and I can tell by the width of the trunks that yours are a reasonable age. You have far more top growth than we would see around here because we prune out branches aiming for maximum olive production and ease of picking. But yours are more decorative, almost a mop top! And they look like a good balanced pair, so I think I would try to site them somewhere for maximum impact, ie one on either side of something, if that was possible. They do make excellent dappled shade cover, I am imaging one of those small metal bistro tables and a pair of chairs, some drinks and nibbles, or coffee, or breakfast outside. Some leaves will fall each year, that's natural. Lets keep our fingers crossed you get some fruit. As a coincidence, OH has just shown me a small plot of land with a dozen mature olives and some vines and space to plant more trees for 1,500 euro; its so tempting!
  10. Daphne

    Gardening thread

    Oh my - they do look fabulous and really quite mature and guessing the price you do not want to kill them! Olives won't like it much below freezing if it is a wet cold, so don't put them in a frost pocket (somewhere that cold winds eddy and frosts collect). They can withstand any amount of rain but only as long as the soil is open and porous with excellent drainage. I am not very au fait with keeping them in pots, so you will have to read up on that if you are going to keep them there. All I would say is put the pot up on something so they can drain, and if you are repotting then mix in plenty of grit/vermiculite/perlite and if it was me I'd mix in any number of small stones as well. I also use a John Innes type compost, rather than a multi-purpose because my gut feel is they need some soil round them, rather than MP compost, but avoid clagginess at all costs! Excellent drainage should be your motto. Obviously they can take any amount of sun and they should be in a warm place. However, if you transplant them into the ground make sure you water them in well so they establish. A lot say once a week is better than a little every day. If you keep them in a pot then they will probably also need watering in the summer because although they can withstand drought very well, that's only if they are in the ground and well established. When I planted new young trees I put a bit of blood/fish/bone into the ground to help them establish (its a slow release, balanced, organic fertiliser) and I remember reading that you mound up the soil so they have a small hillock around them and excess water will run off, which is the opposite of what you normally do, which is make a depression so the water puddles around. This is because you don't want the roots rotting. I'd have a read up about growing olives in the UK as obvs it is different for me here in Portugal. I do know that locals here dig up mature olives with diggers and move them, so it is quite possible to do. For my next masterclass (ha ha) we might tackle pruning and harvesting. Do you know what variety you have? I am super excited for you!
  11. Daphne

    The Weather Thread #9

    What a gorgeous view you have! I know its been the hottest Feb on record in the UK, and we have also had a lovely month, although not record breaking. But yesterday and today we have irridescent clouds, which is where you can see rainbow colours in the clouds, a bit like looking at the irridescence in petrol on water, which are caused by tiny water or ice droplets apparently although there is absolutely no sign of rain down at Earth level! So, our good weather continues, allegedly around 20 degrees, although it is set to break on Sunday night.
  12. Daphne

    **Thread of little facts & things**....3

    I have never seen an egret up a tree, only on the ground, so that's a great shot. Yesterday we took tea with 2 Japanese ladies; we had green tea to start with, and then Japanese black tea. I should have asked them about the cherry blossom but I forgot. My OH and I were given the china cups with saucers, whilst everyone else had a mug. We were also treated to cake made by one of the ladies under the guidance of an older Portugeuse lady. After being civilised for 30 minutes (we taught them to extend the little finger whilst drinking!) we then all gave up and spent the next 30 minutes drinking home made red wine and aquadente (grappa by another name)! Today, in the middle of nowhere where we live, there was the annual car rally, so 4 hours of very loud car engines (classic cars) and bits of tape to keep us safely off the road.
  13. Daphne

    Gardening thread

    Well done! Have you got those nicotiana which bloom at night or the ones which bloom in the day? They are lovely, whichever you have. I should have thought of trying them, I think they would do well here, as part of the tobacco family. I have tried growing mesembryanthemum from seed but gave up, as they are so cheap to buy here as small plants. They flower their socks off for a few years, spread and grow, but mine then succumb to something, I'm not sure if its ants or if they are just short lived. I have some which are what I'd call a 'dirty pink' which I am trying to kill off, to replace them with something which is a sort of neon bright purple, to go with my orange and yellow pot marigolds which are now hybridising to their hearts' content! Its clear that the more highly bred ones like 'porcupine' don't survive well though, its the basic flower forms which dominate. I just love the marigold's intense pop of colour so early in the seaon (they are out now) and they are good for the bees, as well as being good companion planting in the veg bed, although I can't remember what you are supposed to match them up with!
  14. Daphne

    Gardening thread

    PL - Snap! Your daylilies are very similar to mine, but mine are a bit darker. I'm not sure what they grow from, I have only ever bought them in a pot and then divided them up before planting to build up more clumps for my money as they split quite easily! Its really encouraging seeing the new growth poking through the ground, there is something quite pristine about the foliage. My camellia is a similar colour to yours as well, I think most of them seem to be a variation on pink, shading from white through to red, but yours has a single flower, meaning it is easy for bees to get in and harvest the pollen, which is really important this early in the season. Mine is in bloom but the blossom is a double, so access isn't so easy.
  15. Daphne

    **Thread of little facts & things**....3

    Perhaps the plum blossom comes before the cherry? I don't really know. Monty Don had a programme on Japanese Gardens last Friday, and very instructive it was, I hadn't realised about the importance of space in a garden as well as the planting, and the fact that 'prettiness' didn't seem to count for much. It was all about seeing things in a different way. The cherry blossom was out of this world though, beautiful in any language and culture!