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Everything posted by Valkyrie

  1. You get very wet! You know it works when they get so cross they try to get away and both legs go like the clappers! Then they have a bath and you get splashed even more. Eventually you get to chase them, but by then you know they can get about and it just needs a little prompting to exercise! A couple of lads have crash landed a couple of times, but again, make them walk for a little bit, then a little bit longer and they've all been fine - no bathing for them necessary thank goodness - I'd drown!
  2. Well done to all. We had a poor year here. Weather wasn't kind and the voles, pheasants and crows have been a pain! Crows pulled up all the onions and I had to replant. Pheasants dust bathed and crushed plants. Voles just burrowed and nibbled everywhere. Weeds grew and when the weather was kinder, all I did was weeeeeeeed! But did have broad beans, the onions that survived grew huge and they will last us well into the new year and then the leeks take over. Spuds didn't do too badly, courgettes late planted and have given us a few - better than none! Didn't do much else as the beds were too weedy. But for the last couple of months we have made deep beds and added corners much taller so that I can set up canes for runners or climbing beans etc without worrying about them being blown down. So gradually sorting ourselves out and catching up. In the greenhouse the toms started off super even with the late frosts, but it was the rain and the dark clouds that seemed to interfere with their progress. They did catch up eventually and I still have some Sun Dried ones growing. We've started to dehydrate the toms - we have loads of passata and sauces! The dried toms are great to nibble on! Some we have turned into powder so that we can use that instead of wasting jars of tomato puree. More room in the freezer too! Mice have been a problem lately in the greenhouse - I guess the recent monsoons have driven them to find s omewhere dry - with food on tap! Slugs also been an issue because the constant wet has been ideal for the slimy creatures to squash themselves under the flooring. Peppers didn't do too well but I do have some enormous green ones. I'm hoping the current weather won't affect them as we are due some nice sunshine - otherwise they'll just go in the freezer green. Mice even ate the chillies! But I have elephant garlic making nice root systems so they are going into the veg beds this week. The normal garlic is a little tardier. Rescued some uprooted shallots that actually started to root where they'd been pulled up. They are now in the greenhouse and doing well. If they don't turn into yum shallots then perhaps I'll use them for seed. I have new shallots on order but won't get them until spring. Winter onions have arrived so I'll be popping them in the greenhouse this week too. All to thwart the voles! Popping netting over the top to keep the birds off and hopefully we will have a better year. I have saved seed from onions and leeks (and broad beans). This week I've sown a fair few cabbage, some Romanesco, salady things and I have cauliflower seedlings that are coming up strong. Fingers crossed! Indoors I have planted turmeric and I have a lot of ginger roots to go in. Turmeric is already sending up spikes nearly 3 inches tall while others are still a bit behind. Ginger has nodules so that will be planted soon. Just for something different.
  3. Congrats on your retirement! The thing when you have time on your hands but you wonder where that extra time goes!
  4. I've had a few jump down awkwardly and Squirt was a habitual bad lander - but she never learnt! Perhaps a massage or metacam will help as an anti-inflammatory and pain killer but I think that is by vet. You should see me massage ducklings - but then I can give them hydrotherapy sessions! LOL! Hope Dottie improves - tuna and mealworms, anything she likes, even make some pasta (vet gave thumbs up for Fudge re pasta) anything that will help put on weight - sunflower seeds etc.
  5. Still here but not on forum for some time! All a bit hectic here - renovations have started and I nearly have 3 walls to the new sewing room. Needs a roof though! Kitchen extension under way so hoping for January. Seems we have had family on and off since March and I am definitely nevereverever going to run a B&B! I need a holiday afterwards! I haven't done much at all this year - I have finished my daughter's wedding quilt but it needs binding (her 1st anniversary today!) but will be having the deferred celebration place in a couple of weeks - I need to get my act together. I too haven't been feeling creative this year. Seems a blur of veg (not brilliant but some late successes) and ducks and loads of tea making for builders! Trying to get my act together, but I will miss out this time. Thankies for thinking about me though - I didn't get any notifications! I notice the forum has changed around again. Or maybe my memory is failing - not difficult as I had a head start when I was young! Shame about customs - even if it is a gift? I can understand purchases, but a present shouldn't be charged. Postage is daylight robbery now, worse for overseas. Nice to see some of you still enthusiastic and it will be lovely to see how you get on.
  6. Yes I know. And yes I did have that issue. That is why I just use the normal emojis instead. It is only the equivalent of a Facebook like and to be honest, I really am not fussed using them now because of that silly rule.
  7. Yes, I had that before so I tend to do the usual emojis, but they tend to make the page jump and I have to scroll to get back to the comment section. I did mention it but that doesn't seem to happen to others and I think it was Mark? dunno who it was, said nope, it doesn't happen elsewhere. Annoying though. I do think the old system was way better.
  8. Our boiler is connected to an external thermometer - it is currently reading -3 (up a notch from -4) and adjusts accordingly. It is more economical as it keeps the heating at an even temperature without needing a drastic boost so uses less gas to do so. The house has been very comfortable all year round - we do turn it off in the summer - as when we first moved in, the house was freezing all winter long. The industrial boiler (why??????????!!!!) was replaced in time for the previous winter and served us well. I gather a lot of care homes have a similar system.
  9. Only accidentally spotted teeny ice balls on the back of OH's car this morning, not visible elsewhere! No slippers this evening! But the floor is cold in the kitchen so they get slipped on to go out there. Had about 30 seconds of teeny snowballs that the ducks tried to catch this evening but nothing else. Wind dropped too. Perhaps that's why it feels warmer. Lovely sunny day, but cold wind.
  10. I have two rows of carrots growing along the middle of two rows of tomatoes. One row has finally been harvested and we are working through the second. Both different varieties, a couple have carrot root fly but mostly pretty darned good and very sweet. Can't remember what they were called, but the seeds came from Franchi. It was an experiment and I was so surprised - never grown well outside but I've not tried outside in this place. Time for more experiments!
  11. They do choose their hoomans don't they! I'm wearing slippers this evening! It is that cold here at the moment!
  12. Well for small spaces, I'd recommend Huw Richards books. A young fellow and really knowledgeable - Veg in One Bed is really good - got it for my daughter who's garden space is limited. But I'd grow a few things together. Runner beans generally don't like having other things with them, but climbing French beans can be grown up a wigwam and you can have beetroot around the bottom - this can be done in pots too. Salad crops can be grown in pots for a cut and come again session. I grew carrots in the greenhouse with my tomatoes - they did well. If you have a pot for potatoes, I'd pop 3 on a small layer of compost at the bottom, add compost and another 3 spuds, layer with compost again and put another 3 in. Cover with compost and let them romp. But as potatoes are easy to get hold of and carrots also, I'd use my limited space for things like chives, thyme and other herbs. Then the peas, beans, tomatoes and peppers. We grew melons in the greenhouse this year. Ok but I could have used the space for something else. Sweet potatoes grew fine, but they were bitter - another smallholder agreed they can be hit and miss, so I can't be bothered with them. Gherkins are easy to grow and you can pick them as mini ones or larger. Kale can be picked leaf by leaf so you only need one plant - two if you want to add some leaves for the chickens to chomp. As they get taller you can underplant with something else like lettuce. Nasturtiums are great for salads - eat leaves, flowers and the seeds - bit hot though! OH pickled the seeds as capers. Chard - rainbow sort - can be eaten small like spinach and colourful. Spinach also easy. With the small raised bed you could grow courgettes with sweetcorn and French beans (3 sisters planting). Nothing quite like fresh sweetcorn - they haven't been left in the shop for hours - those like peas, are best straight from the garden. Sweetcorn turns to starch and loses flavour the longer it is left waiting. You need to ask yourself what you like eating, and go from there. I loathe beetroot, but I grow it for OH. Then you can try for successional planting where you harvest one thing and plant something for the later part of the season. Leeks or broccoli for winter and spring chomps! Oh aubergines in the greenhouse too! Hope we've all given you food for thought! And don't forget strawberries!
  13. Lovely pics Catsy. I do rather like your cat! What a handsome fellow - assuming it's a boy. It's darned windy and very cold here at the moment, but dry and the squelching is much reduced apart from where the vehicles churned up the orchard to the barn, but even that is better in parts. We were out this afternoon setting up electric fencing for the ducks new area. Yesterday was cardigan weather, today it is several layers!
  14. Brilliant - very colourful Luvvy!
  15. Looks good Catsy. Here, the ungrateful duck lads have a shelter with fence panels and a really nice roof with lots of straw - do they go in there to shelter? Nope, they sit on top of straw bales in all elements looking miserable. Those who really don't like getting wet sometimes go in their house, but the chickens would appreciate it. It's been a glorious day here and only just clouded over - cardigan at the most type weather and, if you were in a sheltered sunny spot, then you wouldn't have needed that . Started with what looked like a heavy frost, but it wasn't that bad. We've been out marking the ground for new electric fencing to go round the new duck house which was put up just before bird flu lockdown - it stands empty, but it seems to be water tight and it's had everything thrown at it to test before the birds move in. I gather we won't be getting snow, but Wiltshire might see a bit around the edge of the county. We'll see.
  16. Our boiler room is always warm - except when the weather temperature outside falls below the levels that the boiler is set to. It works by external thermometer and if it is cold outside it either gives a little boost when needed or ticks over instead of a mega boost to warm the house up. As a result we use less fuel as the house is warm enough to keep OH happy. Which means role reversal - I now feel the heat and he always feels cold. Long gone are the old boiler days when I used to turn it on and him turn it off. I thank menopause for that and for a while I gave him a basinful of what he had done to me. We turn the water on if we need it because the solar panels charge up the heating system for hot water and anything extra power that we aren't using is passed onto the grid. Which means the money we get from the grid pays for our water bill which has seen a big rise due to filling up duck pools! We use a lot of water nowadays! We also have plenty of water butts and tanks - when the set up is finally in place, I'll be making use of the rain to fill those! The rain here has been quite the penetrating sort - and I have a waxed coat! It just takes a bit longer to dry inside the lining. Luckily those days are few and far between - it's only happened twice this winter so far. Radiators work nicely - I only dry the microfibre cloths and jumpers on them - the cats play with the rest! Otherwise everything goes into the tumble dryer - free electricity on sunny days and sometimes cloudy but bright days too.
  17. All the plants are going bonkers. Crocuses up before the snowdrops, even the daffs are up and budding before the snowdrops appeared. Gradually they are appearing but daisies are already blooming and the primroses are out. Add camellias to that and it looks like a spring race. 2 days ago the nuthatch was gathering food in it's beak - surely not nesting yet? But a chaffinch today was yanking up moss. Well we have a lot and he needs to work harder. The ducks didn't stop laying, well, Dixie and Cooter and now it is just Dixie with 2 youngsters. Even Peppermint Patty, the bantie light Sussex laid all winter and now that Fizz has started, Patty is having a rest. Meanwhile the snow has gone apart from clumps falling off the roof and it is still misty! But warm - I didn't need my coat this morning. Just as well as it is hanging in the boiler room still drying after getting a soaking last night. Looks like rain headed for us on the radar - which times it perfectly for sorting out the birds tea later on! I hope my coat is dry by then!
  18. Was watching the weather radar with the types showing. We had pink for snow hanging over us for most of the day while the clouds moved from the west - interesting because the wind was coming from the east! No wonder it stuck! Turned to rain eventually. Very misty.
  19. I was quite surprised when I read that because around here, the shops do request masks to be worn and the bigger supermarkets have masks to hand to people who may have "forgotten theirs". I'm not sure about the Brazilian virus as apparently the British virus was originally from Brazil - or was it? I've heard no end of thisies and thaties that I have had enough. The changing of minds for you can you can't cancan't - so many confusing guidelines that they may as well call a dance after it all - the CanCan't where masks are whipped away showing mucho nasal hairs instead of doing the flipping up of the skirts showing frilly derrieres! This morning flights were needed to and from Brazil, shortly followed by flights not allowed to and from Brazil. No wonder the people are throwing their hands up in despair!
  20. Ice, ice baby . . . Very pretty here. Sun is out with the first clear sky for ages. No wind which is making it feel warmer than it looks. I went out in layers upon layers and I sweltered! Thick ice on the duck baths so easily lifted off. I cleaned and refilled them last night so the ice is beautifully clear! And now the movement of the birds and the sun's warmth will keep it from freezing much more slowly.
  21. I think the elderly have split into two groups - those that fear death and those that think they will make the most of whatever time they have left. It certainly isn't living at the moment. Personally I feel it is now trying to shut the stable door et ceteraaa et ceteraaaaa et ceteraaaaaa (as in the way Yul Brynner said it) and the tiers are a joke. Just prolonging the agony as we go up and up and when we get to tier 6 or eleventy twelve (which is quite a possible figure considering all the numbers that they have plucked out of the air and found to be wrong), then I'm giving up too. I have serious distrust issues at the moment, but I still go along with their unenforceable rules. Edited to add that uniformity across the globe would have helped initially but each ruling body decides that they want to try something different and each have found to be doing not that well either.
  22. Confirm it is yum! But best to book in advance - if Christian will let us! Oh we'll just take over the quilt shop further along! Hahahaha!
  23. Save a couple for pots Soapy! That is a shame. Christian, I've ordered a couple of honeyberry plants. Don't know what they are like, but it will be interesting! Also bought some more blueberries. They will do well in our soil as it is slightly acidic. I thought the acidity would be too much for the veg, but no - they seem to be fine! I'm waiting for more raspberries and strawberries.

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