12th - 26th. February 2007


A very busy and hectic two weeks. Last weekend's weather enabled me to get stuck into outdoor work at home. I dug an area and sowed the broad beans, cleaned out the chicken shed 'A1 category', collected about three weeks worth of wood, sawed it all up and still had time to have a grand bonfire of universial proportions.

The week before that I was decorating at the Cricket Club all week and the last week has been spent with a couple of days at the Club, then starting my decorating job in Minster.
I have to admit I've found the work there quite difficult this week. The plaster is brand new and the thinned down first coat dried after about 10 seconds and caused me much grief. There are six areas to do including two hall, stairs and landings, so this week I'm with camp bed and a moped full of food.

It's amusing planning the trips by moped, it's the only form of vehicle, beside a bike I guess, where you have to take wind direction into account. The two days I went to Minster there and back, because of a fairly strong northerly wind, took me 57 minutes to get there and 75 coming back!
The poor little thing was sounding a little worse for wear yesterday, so I gave it an oil change today - now she's purring.
Yesterday, the chap over the Lane said he didn't want to disturb me because he could hear me strimming - it was the moped!

I even managed 4 hours working over the Lane yesterday, again clearing the banks along the side of the stream. I must admit to finding it quite therapeutic and get a lot of thinking done.
The same though applies to decorating and I'm intriqued with two 'senior' ladies who live in the house at the back of the Minster job. It's not that I'm nosey, but they sit in their Sunhouse every morning with one broadsheet and one tabloid paper sipping cups of tea or coffee, then swap over the papers etc (imagine it's The Telegraph and Express!).
But thoughts go through your mind like what has been their experiences to bring them to where they are. All sorts of short stories go through your mind. Expect a Blog entry when I come back!

The chickens are laying again!! This week has been about three a day. I have two 'pedigrees' in amongst my ex-batts, a Sussex Star and a Black Rock. The Black Rock lays eggs are a work of art to me, natures absolute brilliant best. They're pure terracota colour and always the perfect shape.
You could put them in egg cups and just have them as ornaments (I'll be after the Turner Prize at this rate).
All the chooks are looking really healthy at present and seem quite happy with life. At the moment they're using the large shed (with the nest boxes in) to sleep and the other smaller shed, designed for sleeping, to lay in!
They're obviously being difficult because it means a slippery dangerous walk through the mud for egg retrieval. Some would call it clucking you hear as you nearly sprain your ankle keeping balance - I call it sniggering!

Talking of ex-battery hens, forumer Wendy has sent an article in about her hens. You find the link at the top right of this page.

I was quite pleased with myself last week. The site suddenly got, in about 4 days, over 1500 hits above normal. It appeared that the BBC put a link called 'Dragons Den ideas' on their main BB2 page and linked it to the Blog entry. At last, my 15 minutes of fame!
A discount on my TV Licence wouldn't go amiss would it!

Leo's picked up a part-time job at a local Restaurant, so with three days College as well, he'll be out much of the time now and hopefully afford the bus fares!

I promised myself a day off today, but alas there were things to be done again outside. I haven't got round to replacing the glass lost in the greenhouse by the high winds a few weeks ago, but at least I found on piece of the plastic sheet glass this morning. It was lodged in a tree at least 200 meters from here. And what a bounty, whilst going into the depths of wood to get it, I came accross an old really nice shaped bucket which is now pride of place in the shed awaiting something to go in it.
Certainly Spring is in the air down here, even Mimi and Ginger the cats have stayed out for more than two minute intervals over the last week. Big Ron spends most of his life outside though. Last night we were 'presented' with a rabbit. What can you do?

Well, I shall now go and fill the Moped up. I love saying "Fill her up please" at the local olde Petrol Station and the "That'll be £2.75 please Sir". Magic.
After that I feel a Blog entry about Trainspotters coming on, I must pack my things for the Minster Expedition and round things off with a nice hot bath lazing away with my home made honey soap kindly sent to me by a kind Forumer.

Why? Because I'm worth it!!


29th.January - 12th.February 2007


One day late, the first time this has happened I believe.
A feverish PC problem has caused something to go wrong. I've almost fixed it, but can't get my Camera Card Reader to work, so the photo's left are from last year

The last two weeks have been quite eventual in many ways. The weather once again has been surprising us with a daily variation on a theme. I tried digging the garden on Sunday and gave up after two slippery attempts.
Apparently Kent has had half the February average in the last 24 hours. I can vouch for this because I rode my moped to work this morning looking like a water rat on wheels!
I still can't begin to write my annoyances of car drivers who recklessly overtake mopeds in frightful conditions leaving tiny spaces between them and yourself. You can't move left as every drain cover nowadays seems to be like the Grand Canyon and hitting those at 30mph would certainly be quite serious.
I've touched on this in The Blog (link on left) under 'moped v car', which I wrote following another scary journey last week.
It's an eye opener riding the Moped. Also, there's no gender thing in it either - both are equally as 'guilty'.

Lightning up a bit, I returned to teenage years on Sunday. Leo and I took a golf ball and an old 5-Iron over to the Cricket Pitch nearby for a knock around. Leo's final shot of about 60 was the best of the afternoon but soared over the high hedging into the Lane further up from us.
To cries of two people giving grand verbal, we both ran for it out the opposite side and made off down the lane and back home.
I think asking for our ball back may not have been the right thing to do.

I'm working full time at the Cricket Club still and at present, painting the corridor in the Offices.
Everyone there is so pleased to see me when I come in and remark on the lovely weather and how excited I am about the days work ahead.
I can't quite make out the answers I get, but have a feeling it's not in full support of my statements!
The buzz is starting at the Club now. It's the run up to the AGM and the players are returning in dribs and drabs in preparation for Team training in a few weeks time.

Next week I start a 7 - 10 day decorating job in Minster, just outside Ramsgate. As it's an empty house, I'm taking the camp bed etc. I'm quite looking forward to this, appeals to my 'adventurous slant'. Perhaps I'm a Downdrifter rather than a Downshifter!

It would be good to get a camping holiday of some description this year. I'm unsure if Leo will come, co I could go solo for the first time.
It would be great to have him there as well, but I also find it an exciting prospect just to do things on my own and wander up the mountains with just me and my thoughts.
First I have to obtain a bit of extra cash though!

My 'ideal' for when I am on my own would be a field of about half an acre, mobile home with all services, a few chickens and a vegetable section. The remaining space would be designed for the wild (by the wild!!).
I can see me now sitting outside strumming the old guitar with an eye on my lot. At least that would keep the foxes away, probably the chickens as well!.
I don't think that will happen though and where I shall be in another 5 - 10 years is a complete mystery to me.

The chickens have started to lay again and I've had two eggs this week (it's Wednesday). It's so odd that no chicken owner seems to have the same patterns as another.
In the forum it's interesting sometimes to read how egg laying varies so much between locations and weathers.
Seems to me they are more clever than we think and just like to give us something to analyse and think about.
But even they seem fed up with the weather now and tend to sit under their feeding area gazing down the garden most of the time.
Also, there's no signs of any rats either. It's about a year ago they seemed to vanish. I never put poison down, so I can't work that one out - unless the chickens are giving them room service of course!

I managed at last to get the first Newsletter out last Sunday. If anyone else wants to receive them, please do so by going to the Newsletter page (link on right).

So, I promise myself the Broad Beans will be going in this weekend come rain, come shine. They must, or I'll miss the boat on them.
Then it's Tomato seeds on the window sill - time flies doesn't it. More reason to have a good time and reward yourself with natures gifts which money can't buy.


Going back to look at the future


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