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About Smudge

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    Chicken Eggspert
  1. As we like a real tree I don't like to put it up too early otherwise by the time Christmas actually comes it can look a bit sad, so we tend to get the tree up around the second weekend in December and I gradually add other decorations after that, finishing with the other 'live' stuff such as holly and mistletoe the weekend before the big day. We only have a small house and have to move furniture around to make room for the tree (I couldn't do without one, to me it's the absolute must-have christmas decoration even if you had nothing else) so by adding all the decorations gradually it doesn't suddenly make the house feel so cluttered and small.
  2. Agree with Olly re the breakages - I was highly delighted with our new kitchen a couple of years ago with lovely slate floor tiles and granite worksurfaces, but I've had more breakages since, than in all the years before! You might expect it if something is dropping onto the floor but we've found that even things that are just knocked over on the granite worksurfaces are now likely to break or be damaged irreparably. It is also quite cold, and a touch echoey with all that stone in there; in hindsight I'd have had a wooden worksurface which would have gone with our units just as well and softened things a little.
  3. For our first winter with just 2 girls in a Go I used to shut the door at night. We had 4 girls for our second winter and left the door open all the time, even when it went down to about -5 a few times, and they were fine. They put themselves to bed but I always try and go up and take a peek in at them later in the evening to make sure everything is ok, and I noticed that on a cold night, when you opened the back door of the Go to look in you could feel the warmth. After that I stopped worrying as 4 girls obviously generate enough heat to keep themselves quite cosy!
  4. Hubby and I will both hit 50 next year, so we're planning on renting one of the National Trust's historic properties and taking the whole family away with us for a long weekend of playing Lord and Lady of the Manor! For something special on one of the nights we want to arrange a Murder Mystery dinner party so we can all dress up and really get into the spirit of it.
  5. Been a while since I posted but been rather busy and all's been well with the girls, but we have a young Speckledy who only came into lay in April. She went broody after laying for about 6 weeks and we managed to get her out of it by using a broody cage. She got back to laying quite quickly afterwards, but a month later is now broody again! We have her in the broody cage again, but I'm just wondering if there's anything we can do to try and prevent this happening in the future as I can see it developing into a regular event! I thought hybrids weren't supposed to suffer from broodiness.
  6. I too find everything to do with the Titanic fascinating, I think peculiarly it's because of my absolute horror of being in that situation and drowning, and the thought of what would I have done, how would I have behaved. Also because of all the unlucky incidents that together led to the most beautiful and luxurious of ships sinking on a maiden voyage. My OH's great grandfather was involved with creating the beds in the First Class cabins and was offered a passage on that voyage, but because he had already started on another job he didn't go - good job as otherwise my OH probably wouldn't exist!
  7. We got the newer style Omlet netting last year and found that our girls could escape quite easily by flying over it, even though it claims to be higher it's still not high enough. They had their wings clipped but that didn't stop it either, they then managed just to balance on the top strand long enough to launch over the other side. So in the end we've had to increase the height of the netting with some ordinary garden stuff and 6ft garden canes.
  8. We stayed at the Waterhead Hotel in Ambleside the last time we went up to the Lakes for a long weekend - granted that was a year and a half ago now, but someone we know stayed there last year and was just as impressed. This is their website if you want to check them out.... http://englishlakes.co.uk/hotels/waterhead/ It's not basic B&B but if you want to pamper yourself a little it's ideal; we found the hotel to be of a very high standard, the rooms spacious, and the staff very friendly and helpful.
  9. We lost Onion this morning. It was a bit of a shock as she seemed in perfect health when I put them to bed last night, but when I went to let them out this morning, she didn't appear and I thought she was maybe on the nest so I took a peep but..... sorry it still brings me to tears, silly I know but this is the first one we've lost and you get so fond of them. She wasn't even 2 years old, and showing no signs of illness so I presume it would have been her heart. RIP Onion.
  10. I gave up with Tesco - their substitutions were terrible (always substituting with family sized items and there's only two of us!) and they never could stick to their time slot. We were unable to get Sainsbury's delivery in our area so tried Ocado and they've been fabulous! 99% of the time they're right in the slot, or sometimes they're early but always phone beforehand to see if you're in and it's ok, and very rarely any items substituted. They also sell lovely Waitrose products (but price match a lot to Tesco) but I hate food shopping and we do live round the corner from a Waitrose store!
  11. I hate dealing with couriers and CityLink are just the worst! I did at least have a card through the door when I came home on Monday, which said they would automatically attempt a second delivery the next day, which if not successful the package would have to be collected from the depot (a 50 mile round trip), unless I contacted them to re-arrange another date. Well, I would be at work all day again so I tried to re-arrange on their website using the consignment number the driver had put on the card, and that wouldn't work as it couldn't recognise the number. So I tried to call the telephone number on the card to re-arrange.... all I got was a message saying "This is a test message" over and over. Ahh! Finally I went back online, found their main customer services number and called them, and they had to track the parcel down as the driver had put the wrong consignment number on the card! It's now coming on Friday..... I hope!
  12. Through the really cold period last year I just mixed up some of their layers mash with hot water to make a 'porridge' first thing each morning - it never lasted long and they were getting something nice and warming that was giving them everything they needed as it was their proper food anyway. I think that's one of the reasons why I prefer the mash to the pellets as it seems a bit more versatile.
  13. I don't want to worry you or your OH, but this calling at any time, particularly during the night when any normal person would be asleep, may be a symptom of dementia as I know from first-hand experience with my mother. I have three sisters and we all used to get calls at all hours of the night and it was obvious that she had no real idea what time it was, she actually thought it was daytime and what were we still doing in bed! It seems the brain can just totally ignore reality and create a 'virtual' reality so the person totally believes it's daytime even though it's dark outside. You really need to talk to your OH as this sort of behaviour does need checking out and dealing with, and hopefully, treating before it gets worse.
  14. Just trying to sort out some breakdown cover for my husband's car and I can't decide which of these providers would be best to go for. AA and RAC are both very similar in price, and Green Flag is considerably cheaper than both of them, so on price alone you'd go for Green Flag. But... I'm concerned that as they don't have their own recovery network and use local garages for recovery, would they take longer to respond and be less inclined to do a roadside fix, with more of a vested interest in getting you to their garage. Does anyone have any good/bad experiences? Any recommendations?
  15. Thanks Olly - it's reassured me that it will work ok in an alcove, and having checked out the thread you highlighted it seems it might be the answer to our problem. Our little cottage has a linked sitting and dining room, neither of which are very big, and we were hoping when the woodburner was installed in the sitting room that it would heat both rooms but we've found that whilst the sitting room gets almost over-warm, the dining room still stays cool enough to need to keep the radiator on in there. It does seem quite expensive but I suppose if it works then we should save some money in the long term by reducing the central heating bill. And we're lucky enough not to have to pay out for wood as my husband is a gardener and his clients supply all our needs for free!

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