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Everything posted by Olly

  1. Www.loveknitting.com is where I buy most of my wool - lots of choice and delivery is very quick. If you register you'll get regular emails about special offers, discounts etc - usually you have to buy quite a lot to benefit from the discount though.
  2. Ooh, that looks lovely. I still have my mum's very old hand-crank machine and it works like a dream. (I also love the idea of treacle power! Sorry Plum, but you have made me smile )
  3. Congratulations, Patsy! Wonderful news. (AndyRoo, I think I have managed to move the posts to the correct thread. )
  4. Perhaps the fox didn't like eggs, but was too polite to say so?
  5. I've moved this to the Nesting Box for you! I would Google the name of the company, and see if there are any discussions groups about this on (for example) Money Saving Expert forum. It used to be the case that these companies would send threatening letters but never follow through, but that has changed lately and they can and will pursue it. There should be information in the letter of how to make an appeal to an independent body, but of course you run the risk of having to pay the full fine if they don't grant the appeal, rather than the discounted figure. I doubt if they have to refer to the NHS Trust, the company probably pays them a flat rate for running the scheme and keeps any profits. Last time this happened to me (at a hotel, not a hospital) I gave up and paid the fine because the whole thing was making me so cross and stressed, I decided it was simpler to pay it and forget it.
  6. I think once it's an established habit, it is very hard to break. I used the anti-peck spray for six weeks earlier this year, and apart from making me very grumpy, it made no bloomin' difference as far as I could see! Like yours, mine have a large run, treats hung up to jump for, a dust bath and regular free-ranging. The hens seem healthy and happy - although it can't be very nice having your feathers pulled out, there is no actual bleeding or damage to their skin, and I'm afraid I have just given up.
  7. Also very sorry to hear about your wife, Keith. Thank you for offering the Eglus to a beginner, I'm sure they will have hours of pleasure from the chickens as you and Trish did.
  8. I did the Level 1 RYA Dinghy Sailing course many, many years ago ... never did any more. Then my friends bought a 28 foot Jaguar a couple of years ago, and we usually go out on it when I visit them. I love it, I don't really understand what I'm doing but my friend's partner shouts which rope to pull, or tells me what to steer for, and I really enjoy it - it's so peaceful once you've got the sails up and the engine off. We had an absolutely brilliant day last Bank Holiday weekend, perfect weather and we just sailed up the river and back. I'm hoping there will be many more trips, they are really pleased that I enjoy it as much as they do.
  9. I don't like the taste of most lettuce, as you say it is bitter. If I get any I usually buy Little Gem, as they keep well in the fridge and I only have a few leaves, but I'm just as happy to have a salad without the green stuff. Give me a big plate of tomato, beetroot, celery, spring onion, cucumber etc and hold the grass. And don't get me started on the way even a simple sandwich in a cafe is 'garnished' with a few bits of wilting greenery! Home made coleslaw, dressed with yoghurt and mayonnaise, might be a good alternative - otherwise, I tend to buy the vinegar-and-oil type of dressing, rather than make it myself.
  10. Olly

    Elderly cat woes

    'Barry' is now Bertie, he has settled really well, he is going out in the garden now and presented me with a dead great-tit last week ... Vet gave him a clean bill of health, he just needs the second half of his vaccinations and I can settle back and enjoy him. Unfortunately the microchip cat flap isn't working as I'd hoped, his chip has migrated to his shoulder (I can feel it under the skin) so that might be the problem, for the moment I've taken the batteries out of the cat-flap so it can just be used normally. I would love a tracker device to know where he goes, although he's quite a homeboy - don't like the idea of putting a collar on them though. Here's a gratuitous pic, to show how well he's settled in now
  11. Hello Mrs Tilytinkle I recognised you at once from your very distinctive style! Lovely to see you back. Whereabouts are you moving to? I love my hens, but I think if I ever gave up it would be hard to start again; so your husband is probably right that after seven years, it's time to part with the Cube. (And you can always look for another one, once you've moved .... shhhhh! ) Hope you find a buyer, they are usually popular. I hope you'll continue to visit the forum, owning chickens isn't a prerequisite, you know!
  12. Happy Heniversary - and it's lovely to see some former (I won't say 'old'!) forum members back on here! I haven't been counting, but I must be into my 12th year of hen-keeping ... which means it is 11 years since I bought eggs from a shop. I've learned a lot during that time, both about chickens and other things - and my house has a few Omlet must-haves, none of which has disappointed me because they came so highly recommended. Here's to many more years of happy hen-keeping.
  13. Over here in the UK we don't call them 'Easter Eggers' but I'm assuming you mean hybrids that lay blue or green eggs? It depends what they have been crossed with I suppose, but generally they are standard sized hens, i.e. not bantams and not large fowl. Six should be absolutely fine in a Cube. How big is the run - is it the standard one that comes with the Cube? Allow around 1m square per hen.
  14. Happy birthday - what a fabulous cake! Enjoy the benefits. I already get free prescriptions due to a long-term medical condition, but apparently I won't qualify for a Freedom pass until I am 66.5, same as my pension age. Boo.
  15. So sorry to hear it, I never met her but remember her posting on here and her involvement in some of the Omlet meet-ups. Her energy and enthusiasm for life was evident. Thanks for letting us know, Egluntyne.
  16. Now, now Cat tails ... don't tease the poor word censor, he's hunched over his computer day and night picking up these naughty phrases. It's tempting though ....
  17. Olly

    Elderly cat woes

    hi Scarlett - in fact, I ended up feeding Claudette on Waitrose basic catfood because it seemed the only one that settled her tummy, and she was not eating enough biscuits to keep her weight up. However, before that I was buying Royal Canin Sensible biscuits (I think it's pronounced the French way, but who knows!) and they were definitely better for her digestion.
  18. Olly

    Elderly cat woes

    Haha, great name suggestions, thanks! He is 4-5 years old, and yes he's a rescue cat, I've never had any other sort. Apparently he was abandoned when his owners moved away, they had not bothered to have him neutered and so he was getting into fights and his coat was getting very matted living outdoors. Hard to imagine as he's a real softie, and clearly loves being pampered! He's already allowing me to groom him, and has settled in really well. He won't be going outside for a bit, but I'm going to get a microchip catflap when the time comes. As he's a bit tubby (due to having been living in a small space) and quite vocal, my friend suggested 'Pavarotti' but I don't think that's his name.
  19. Olly

    Elderly cat woes

    Thank you for all the kind words. I meant what I said above, about taking a break from the responsibilities and worries of cat-ownership. However, I soon found I was not enjoying the freedom. I hated coming back and putting my key in the door, and finding nobody there to greet me and an empty house. I kept thinking I saw Claudette out of the corner of my eye, or I'd hear a noise (the house creaks a bit) and think it was her jumping off the bed. I missed her, and I felt So .... this is Barry (not his forever name). He came to live with me just a week ago and we are already firm friends, he is curled at my feet as I type this. I'm trying out new names to see what fits, but he is gorgeous and has made me very happy. I still miss Claudette, but he needed a home, and this home needed a cat.
  20. Don't think it was Silver Cross but my mother had a massive, solidly built pram (it had done service with four others before me!), there was a sort of arrangement of boards so you could sit up in it, when big enough. She kept on using the pram till long after I was able to walk, because it was great for carrying heavy shopping. It was always parked outside the shops and left there with me sitting in it, because there wouldn't have been room to take the pram inside. That cage fills me with anxiety, because I don't like heights - I think it was designed for the sort of tower block where it would be almost impossible to keep a pram and get it up and down stairs.
  21. After eleven years of keeping chickens, the fox finally outwitted me on Sunday. There is always a fox around here, and after a particularly bold/fearless one last year, I have been very vigilant about letting the hens out. I have an Aviaries4U run, made of mesh panels in wooden frames, and was satisfied that it was secure. The run must be seven or eight years old, I can't recall when I got it, and it has served its purpose admirably, but I noticed some months ago that two screws had either sheared off or broken, and so there was a slight gap - less than an inch - where the panels joined to form the corner. I knew this gap was there, I've been meaning to fix it but it didn't seem urgent, and I was sure that it was too small to be a problem. On Sunday morning I saw feathers scattered around this corner. A quick count revealed all six hens still there, but then I discovered one with a bleeding foot. It seems that the fox must have been waiting till they got up and managed to get a paw or possibly its nose through. Given the size of the run and this being right in the corner, I am amazed they went anywhere near it - it suggests to me that the fox is such a regular visitor that they were not alarmed by its presence. Thankfully the hen is recovering well, but if anyone else has a similar run, do check the panels are still closely screwed together and don't underestimate the temptation to a hungry, cold fox of a chicken dinner. (It took me less than fifteen minutes to put some new screws in on Sunday morning )
  22. Olly


    Sorry to hear it, thanks for letting us know.
  23. Olly

    Elderly cat woes

    Thank you for the responses above. I said goodbye to Claudette on Monday, with sadness but also with relief - her kidney disease had worsened, and last week she lost her sight, she was not looking happy and I feel glad that I was able to let her go with dignity. Prior to Christmas, she would only sleep on the front doormat, and was only getting up to eat and drink. I was convinced she had senile dementia (which the vet agreed with), and had she developed another infection at this time I think I would have declined treatment. Then the vet changed her thyroid medication - and it was like having the old cat back again, we had lots of lap time and she was interacting with me and we had a few good weeks. The last few months have been grim, and I am still not convinced that all the vet trips etc were worth another six months or so of decreasing quality of life. I also feel quite disappointed in the information and advice I got from the vet, they were not helpful in giving a clear picture of the possible outcomes, although I never doubted their care of her. It has made me really question whether I want to have another cat, something I never thought I would say after a lifetime of cat-ownership. I will be taking a break for a few months, anyway - although the house feels strangely empty.
  24. Well I am astonished to look back and see that I bought my Turtle mats in 2011 - they are still going well, and were definitely a good investment. You won't be disappointed, Chrissie - I probably don't (ahem) wash mine as frequently as it deserves, but they come out looking as good as new.
  25. Ouch Ursula, sorry to hear that - it's a Christmas you won't forget. Just popped on to see all the gifts, you have all done well - I'm still sad that I didn't join in this year as that is often one of the most interesting presents under the tree, my sister said eagerly 'where's your crafty swap?'. Well done everyone, I hope I will have more time next year.

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