Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Numpty Dumpty!

Had a bit of an accident prone few days really!

Firstly, a friend took me out for a drink and a meal at the pub where my son works. It was an absolutely glorious day and a stunning setting, so we sat in the garden . The chef wasn't due in for an hour and a half, so we were quite happy, sitting in the warm sunshine, chatting and sipping!

Well, when it was time to order, we decided to go and look at the 'specials' board inside, and as I got up I managed to trip over a small wall, scraping and grazing my leg and shin! Duh....how embarrassing, having first aid in the bar (good job my son had gone home by then!!!). I hadn't even had much to drink either!

Then the next morning, was out for a walk with Bailey and a tree had blown down across the path we take. I did my usual 'grab a large handful of ivy to pull myself over with' routine, but it snapped, and I fell backwards over the tree, scraping and grazing the back of my other leg! At least I now know what Bailey would do if I had a serious fall while out walking her. She would jump all over me. Hahahahahahaha!

So today went to work with the front of one leg and the back of the other grazed! Not a good look really.

Then this afternoon picked my little grandaughter up from school and took her to her ballet class. As we turned into the lane, we were behind another car, which  reversed into the entrance of the dance school car park. As I continued down the road to park, BANG! Her car rolled forward into the side of my car! She wasn't thrilled as her bumper was smashed. Luckily, my car seems fine.

So that's three things. According to the rules, that's it then now, isn't it?

Monday, 28 May 2012

Eggy update

I popped the eggs and the 'eggs for sale' boards out again on Saturday before I went to work, but when I returned home, nothing. When I returned from taking Bailey out....nothing again. I was really beginning to wonder what I was doing wrong.

Then, a couple of hours later, I was looking out of the bedroom window....was it.?....had they??? YES!!! they had ALL gone!! Yippeeeeeeee! I know it is only a small thing, but it was £3 towards chicken food and bedding. Also I had sold a dozen to my lovely neighbour, so another £2, although, if I am totally honest, 'sold' is rather a misnomer, more like 'insisted'! Ha ha ha!

I still had a few surplus eggs, so decided to have a really good search for the egg boxes which I was sure I had secreted somewhere. Rummaging under the stairs I felt cardboard. Yes! Cardboard with egg holes! So I tugged, but the egg boxes tore in half, leaving the lids behind.

So, still on a high from the morning's success, I put another 2 lidless boxes (called 'trays' in the trade!) out for sale on the road.

An hour or so later, a friend was due to arrive to take me out for the afternoon as a belated birthday treat. I was convinced she wouldn't see my eggs and just drive into them, so moved them slightly for safety. She arrived and off we went for a brilliant afternoon out.

On our return home, one of the boxes was empty on the floor, no eggs anywhere. The other one had 3 broken eggs and 3 whole eggs left in it. Arrrghhh - very frustrating!!!  I have been trying to convince myself that as they were in only egg trays rather than covered boxes, it must have been crows, possibly as it is less upsetting than the idea of some idiots stealing and breaking my eggs. They take such a lot of both my chooks and my own efforts and I only ask £1 for 6 eggs, which is so reasonable anyway.

I had such a lovely time out with my friend, that I completely refuse to let this upset me too much or put me off selling eggs at the gate again when I have a surplus. Onwards and upwards!!

Friday, 25 May 2012

An eggy dilemma!

Isn't that typical? When the egg rack fell off the nail it is balanced on a few months back and smashed 2 dozen eggs, within minutes, someone had popped round wanting eggs!

Well, as absolutely no-one in the universe seems to want eggs at the moment, my chickens have gone into laying hyperdrive! I am getting 4-5 eggs a day from my coop of 6, mainly elderly chickens, which include  2 ex battery ladies, Wallace and Grommit, and 2 ex free range - Purple Myrtle and Nora. The other two - Jake and Ellwood, are skyline hybrids named after the blues brothers, as when I got them, they had an 80% chance of laying a blue/green egg. As it happens, I was very lucky as one laid olive and one sky blue eggs. Sadly the blue eggs keep getting broken at the moment as the shells are very thin due to their age.

Anyway, back on topic - the bottom line is that I have loads of eggs. So I decided to pop some by the road to sell like I did last year. Well, this led to several slight problems.

1) Where are the egg boxes?
2) Where are the 'Eggs for sale' signs?
3) Where is the egg money jam jar?
4) Where is the crate I used to put the eggs for sale in?

It has taken a couple of weeks of vague looking/thinking/deciding.....but today I really did all three. I thought I had too many eggs, then decided that 4 dozen eggs was really excessive for just me (I use perhaps 1 doz a month!), so I decided to properly look for all the missing items.

I found a broken blackboard, but am not convinced this is what I used last year. Anyway, I used a  black permanent marker on the back to say 'Fresh eggs' - that will do nicely!

What is more impressive was that I found the crate thing that I used for selling eggs last year, under the bed. Not only did I find that, but inside it was also the money jar and the 12 or so glasses with chickens on, which I mislaid months ago and have hunted for on several occasions. Yippeeee!!!

Although I only had 3 scrounged egg boxes to use, I popped them out at the roadside. The end result was that I was reasonably pleased with my little sales area but sadly, nothing sold today.

I am hoping the weekend will see some sales although I wish I could ask them to buy the eggs but leave the egg boxes!!!!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

A wonderful walk on the South Downs with Bailey!

Summer has arrived at last! I am always thankful that I live in such a beautiful place, but today.....aaaaaahhh....today.......

I took Bailey, my very bouncy springer spaniel, out for her daily walk this morning. For several months now the mud has been horrendous and really dangerous, and I have had to restrict my walks somewhat, but today, for the first time in ages, I was able to walk right through the woods and over the top of the hill. This has to be the most breathtaking view in the universe - as I emerged over the ridge, to see miles along the South Downs and the little villages which nestle at the base.

In case you were wondering, I am certainly not the most fanatical of walkers or at all exercise orientated, but my goodness, what a fantastic morning I had! Bailey is always inspirational as she is so enthusiastic about everything.

Meet Bailey!

It was lovely to bring her home fairly clean for a change, and the weather looks settled for the rest of the week - hooray!!! 

Thursday, 17 May 2012


A couple of weeks ago the dog bell went and Herman arrived. In case you are wondering, he is a sourdough starter for a German apple cake - a friendship cake. It was quite lovely to be given something in friendship, and I duly took him (and the instructions) into the kitchen and started the 10 day nurturing process!

Actually, it was quite easy, he is left on the worktop in a large bowl and just covered with a tea towel. Every day for 10 days he needs a good stir, and on day five I had to add some sugar and flour. Around day seven I noticed Herman was definitely trying to make a bid for freedom, although he was diminished somewhat again after a good stir.

If I am truthful, the last thing I felt like doing at the end of the ten days was baking the cake, but I did, adding apples, raisins, cinnamon, flour, baking powder, eggs, butter and sugar. It looked absolutely disgusting when I put it into the tin and took much longer to cook than I expected.  I used a 9½" tin and produced enough cake to feed an army! It didn't fit in my cake tin so I had to cut it in half and put it in two tins.

My goodness, it may look a bit rough and ready here but how delicious! Yummmmmm!

Now the reason it is called a friendship cake is because before you make the cake, you divide Herman into four portions and give three of them to friends. Great way to poison an entire nation actually! 

I offered him to my daughter, feeling certain she would love him, but sadly it seems she had already baked him once and didn't have the time to do it again at the moment. Luckily, I had an unsuspecting friend coming for the evening, so she went away clutching one portion. The second one, I was going to give to my neighbour - I was going to put Herman on his doorstep, ring the bell and run away! Ha ha ha! As it turned out, he wasn't in, so I just left Herman on his doorstep. At least he couldn't refuse!

The third one is still sitting on my worktop waiting for the next visitor!