Sunday, 22 June 2008

My new toy

People who have been reading this blog for a while will know that I am a great fan of the power tool.

Power tools bring so much enjoyment and relief at being able to do tasks simply and properly.

For example, recently I bought a hedge trimming attachment (135 deg adjustment for those powertool geeks) for my Stihl KM90 combi engine. I already have a rotorvator attachment for it, which is incredibly useful in the veg plot.

I first tried this mean machine in our back garden - because we've been taking care of the new place almost everyday, our home we live in has been left to overgrow a bit. The grass was up to my waste and the weeds were over 5' tall!

I thought I'd test my new cutter on the garden, and low and behold, it was like a hot knife through butter - it literally took minutes to do almost the whole lawn (which normally took me 1.5 hours to do with the small electric mower we have).

After that successful trial, I took the trimmer down the new place and did a little practice on one of the hedges.

WOOHOO! I thought as I gently stroked the hedge with the cutter end - it was so easy!

With my new harness all of the weight of the engine section was supported, and with how the strapping was routed meant that I could hardly feel I was carrying anything at all!

Instead of dreading trimming the hedges with a hand tool, I can now look forward to hours of fun with my trimmer ...

..*COUGH!* I mean I can look forward to working hard shaping the hedges to a better form!


Park fun

Last week it was really nice and sunny, and after school one day, Kane decided he'd like to go to the play park in our village.

So, armed with a carrier bag of goodies - some Quaver crisps, some mini Jaffa Cakes and some drinks, we ventured along the road and into the park.

It's only a smallish park, but it has some very fun climbing equipment and a couple of small slides and some swings.

Kane took me to the back of the park where it is overgrown, but there is a little path running along the length of this area which the kids use to hide and play 'jungle'. I didn't like it as I was too tall for the path - I got a little fed up after walking into the third branch, and my idea of fun is not seeing Kane having to wrestle with brambles the thickness of his arms, but we eventually made it to the other end, albeit with a few more scratches than usual!

After that we went on the swings, with Kane being quite brave and wanting to swing quite high. Then it was time for the climbing frame and the monkey bars - which Kane has never really shown any interest for - nor me actually, I've never really been able to use them!

Sitting down for our little picnic was nice, as we chose a great tree to sit under. The dappled shade was cooling on a hot day and the rest did us both good.

Ever the adventurer Kane wanted to climb the tree we were sitting under, and, with a little help he managed to scramble up to a great spot!

After a bit more running round and chasing each other it was time to go home, but we both agreed it was a very fun time!

Saturday, 21 June 2008

MMMMMM! Apples!

Just a quick post to show my ladies eating out as they do frequently.

Today's menu comprised of layers pellets and apples, gently laid in random places through out the run, and the whole meal was free!

I must admit, it's not my idea of a fancy night out, but for my ladies - well, they just love it!

Letting them eat apples makes a major difference in the taste of the eggs as well!


New gateway opens!

Here it is, the moment Jo's been waiting for...

...the moment the gate between the vegetable plot and the paddock is up and working properly!

It's a classic 5' field gate, (I didn't make it) hung on strap and adjustable galvanised hinges for the ironmongery geeks out there.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Building update

I thought I'd write an update on here today, but the only thing is, the pictures are a few days old...

...not a problem you say, but with the current speed of the builders, it could already be finished! (we wish!)

So without further ado, here we go - scream if you wanna go faster!
The first picture is the front, with the porch to be tiled. The ramp for Zak's chair will be going from the porch along the wall to the right as we look at it - with a 'landing' area for Zak from the lift on our van, which will be a nice flat area.

This is the lounge, the photo taken from one of the patio doors at the back of the house.

Already you can see the way the open plan is going to work. The front door leading into a fair sized hall, the stairs will go on the wall next to the kitchen wall, near to the small window by the front door, with the kitchen area on the right of the photo (the sink will be going in front of the window). The kitchen stops at the short piece of wall jutting out - so it's basically a square shape.

The lounge is going to be our family room, with no computers apart from a Nintendo Wii - which the whole family can join in with - basically it's our chilling out room.

This view shows the 2 large dormers upstairs, and Zak's lounge which is the furthest patio door opening on the left. There has been quite a bit of building work with approx 7' being added to the back of the property along the whole length.

This view shows the dormers in better detail, with Kane's bedroom being the nearest window to us, and the spare bedroom/playroom being furthest away.

I must say that although I have known a lot of builders etc, our builders are the fastest, most professional, most helpful, polite (and cleanest! they sweep out the property every night!) I have ever had the pleasure to work with (or for us rather!).

Friday, 13 June 2008

The snake charmer!

..well not exactly a snake, but a slow worm.

Interesting fact for today:

Slow worms are a protected species, found in Eurasia (Europe and Asia), and is in fact a member of the lizard family, rather than the snake family!

I found this one while moving an old garden parasol, and showed it to Kane who thought it was absolutely "cute" and although he thought it was a snake, showed no fear at all or hesitation in holding it!

After Kane had these photos taken (taken by Jo) we put it gently back where we found it, and made sure it was safe.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Chick, chick, chick, chick chickens!

This is our 5 year old son Kane singing one of his favourite little songs.

He asked me if it could go on my blog, so here you are!


Saturday, 7 June 2008

Summer has arrived.

The weather today was pretty good - not great, but it was nice, dry, warm and not too humid.

Rydian took his ladies to the hedgeside to dust themselves thoroughly and soak up some rays - he certainly had a lot to crow about today, surrounded by 8 ladies and fully in control as I was elsewhere.

The funny thing was, after I finished mowing the paddock yesterday, I decided to take some photos... shot I didn't take was of one of the hens walking up to the others right in front of me, turning her back on me about 3' from my face, and doing a poo...


Suddenly I realised that perhaps lying in the grass next to a load of chickens probably wasn't the best idea I could have thought of!

(EDIT: changed spelling of Rydian to proper spelling of Rhydian)

I love my tractor mower!

Now I KNOW I've mentioned this before once or twice (ok LOADS!) but I love my tractor mower - I really don't know what I'd do without it... fact I DO know what I'd do without it - it'd be having to mow 1.5 acres with a poxy little electric mower that I have to use at our home now!

I hate it - in fact hate is a little weak for how I really feel about it - but my hate only REALLY bubbles up when I have to use the small thing - it has a cutting width of about 2" and it weighs almost 3 tons...

..well, slightly exaggerated, but I'm sure you have used something as useless as it I'm sure!

Anyway back to my mythical steel charger, my mower..

It suddenly dawned on me that if I had to use it on our new place, I'd be dead after a week, because that is how long it would probably take me to cut all the grass!

I cut the grass in the paddock yesterday, and this is how much there was - bearing in mind the post at the front of the bay is about 3' high, and the bay about 4' deep!

Lest to say, it took me about an hour and a half, mainly because after pushing it back to it's home 2 days ago when it broke down, I discovered that the starter motor had broken, so armed with my trusty screwdriver to bypass the thing, I set to work cutting the grass.

I shall have to fit one of those speedo things to one of the wheels, to see how far I actually travel on the tractor - I'm sure it would be a few miles!

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Herding time again.

Yes, after my digging and moving, it was time for the ladies to be locked up safely for the night.

Today, all my practice seemed to pay off, as I managed to herd not only the ladies but RHYDIAN as well!!

I know this may come as a surprise to some, but today really WAS the day!

For the first time, Rhydian was herded into the run without even any bread!

Here I am jubilant and triumphant!!

Mucking out day!

Never let it be said that I don't know how to enjoy myself!

I had a wash, put my best green clothes on, and my bestest boots and jolly well went out the house and down to the new place....

.. today was the day, oh yes, today was the day...

...that the chickens had to be mucked out!


With my trusty shovel in hand, and the wind blowing sweetly over my bald head, I made my way over to the chicken run.

Luckily only one run had to be mucked out today, but that WAS the biggest run. At 6M x 6M and at parts 4-6" deep, the combination of straw, mud and poo had to be transported to our compost area.

It was harder than I though, mostly because all the straw had matted together, and with the mud and poo, had formed a weird sort of concrete crust, with really horrible mush underneath.

Lucky for the chickens they were allowed out in the paddock, so they didn't have to witness the horror that I experienced.

Although I worked hard and moved about 15-20 full wheelbarrow loads, there was still a bit left to do, which I shall do tomorrow, but at least the 'ladies' had a clear area to run about on.

Hopefully the air will dry out the muddy layer over the next few days and get the run back to what it was, but it'll take some time.

Here is Kane pointing to the transported muck!