At last I managed to get down to Southampton to see the family, first visit since the end of May.
I do believe there weren't any virus's there, but Grandson Thomas was sneezing a bit before I left this morning - so I await with patience.
It was so good to see them looking so well, especially my daughter Vicky who has just had her gall bladder out and is now eating for England !
With son-in-law Cyril entering Amatuer Boxing Contests and planning out yet another extension to the house, making 4 bedrooms, it all made my own life seem really boring and dull !
It's always hard for me to come home after visiting 'the flock' and it was made worse by seeing the results of 5 days of heavy rain here. I cut the grass last Sunday and it's longer than before I did it. Plus the weeds are rampant again and I haven't any time off for 12 days or so now.
However, the cabbages are looking reasonable and the runner beans, which were very slow to start, are now sprouting everywhere. The sweet corn tastes as if they have four spoonfuls of sugar on them - amazing, but maybe a tad too sweet.
This has all meant the big switch on of the outside Chest Freezer.
The chickens have gone silly again with their egg laying and I can't keep up with them !
As a little exercise and nothing better to do, I worked out all the costings of them the other day.
The brought in Layers Pellets and Poultry Mix comes out at £9.44 per month. The eggs we don't have to purchase and the eggs we sell averages out at 'sales' of £22.60 per month = a net profit of £157.92 per year. A grand sum indeed !
What that does go to show is how many you would have to have to make a pretty good 'extra business'! Plus the extra work of cleaning out a couple of hundred - the mind boggles.
But, for us and your good selves, it's not the money, but the enjoyment of having pets which give you such nice food and plenty of entertainment.
I would certainly recommend anyone with children to keep some if space permits, the learning from them is something else.
It's somehat of a mystery that I haven't seen a Rat since Spring. The Farmer harvested the fields around us a couple of weeks back and this is usually the sign they are returning - but they haven't.
I have one or two theories here........They have found another chicken pen on the other side of the fields where the food is served up on chinaware; they are holidaying in Spain or they're on the A28 giving out leaflets to all passing predators with this winters menu and all inclusive weekly deals including a romantic evening in the Lawnmower Shed.
Whilst in Southampton I had a conversation with Cyril about Mobile Phones. I am due an up-grade and phoned the Phone Company to find out if I could have a new handset. They said I could either have a new phone or £100 of credit !! No surprises as to which of the two options I chose. This means that, short of dire emergencies, I shouldn't have to pay for any calls til about the end of February !
So, the winter preparation is well under way. The savings by running the moped rather than the car, plus the phone bills, I reckon I'm saving about £75 - £80 per month !
So I'm now looking around for something else to make it up to £100.
The obvious answer is to eat less, but at 5'11" and 10stone4lbs, there's not much room for manoeuvre there !
By the way, there's a couple of interesting threads in the
at present, especially in the Chicken Keeping and Frugal sections. Please take a peep and join in if you have any questions or have an input which would be helpful.
The forum is completely free of any 'spyware' or pop-ups.
So, I start my final stint at Cricket tomorrow. Although it's a sad time in many ways, you can see by the surrounding foilage and the grass that it's time to lock away the outdoor practice stuff and store away the Hoover in the cupboard and let winter take it's course.
I seriously think that some of the Cricketers think I'm stored away in a Cupboard somewhere, re-appearing in March to continue where we left off.
Silly thing is that it actually is a bit like that !
But winter gives me the chance of seeing the family more and further my experience of doing things I've not done before - The future really is a true mystery !
Well, as you can see left, I'm mechanised in my transport again. 50 power packed cc's are getting me round at full running in speed of 25kph !
I've been to Canterbury and back a few times, like having a weeks holiday by the time I get there, but still a bit quicker than bike / train / bike.
Naturally I intend to use it to obtain extra money and I have a cunning plan - may even take it to TV's 'Dragons Den'.
I attach a Microwave to a rear luggage rack and wire it up to the battery - place an Advertisement in the local press for Pizza Deliveries - Get the telephone order - ride down to Sainsburys - buy a couple and heat them up in the oven on the way to the customers house.
The only drawback I can see thus far is should they want two. In that case, I buy a Thermos lined Rucksack; heat one, then the other !
Got it, that's it, I'm a Millionaire.
I can't afford a proper alarm for it yet, but have rigged one up (can't say how, should a local Chinese Moped Thief be reading this).
But beside that, I have my new Security Guard employed to sit in my Car on 24/7 look out.
I know it has the desired effect because he's already nearly put three neighbours and two visitors into the local A & E with cardiac arrests.
At dusk and under PIR - it's pretty convincing !
In the continuing story of my physical degeneration, I had an Abscess come up the other day and it got so bad I went to Hospital with it. I have therefore decided to run into the Ashford Post Office Glass Door and have all my teeth extracted and sorted out for nothing. It's either that or asking one of the Cricketers to give them a bit of assistance fielding me at silly mid on when they're practicing six hitting.
Oh how I'd like to have them done and I remind anyone who's considering downshifting for less pay to get their teeth sorted out well in advance !
In the garden everything seems to be winding itself up OK. The seetcorn are now ready and the tomatoes are outgrowing our ability to make things from them with. I've sold a few outside the front and that's paid for the seeds for the next 4/5 years ! I always think the very worse time of all is when you've eaten your last home grown one and taste the first one from the Supermarket - urggh !
Sadly I lost another chicken this week, that's two in 3 months. There were no signs of anything wrong, she just seemed to say 'that's it'. I would guess at some of them being 5 years old or more. At least they didn't just have the one year in a cage - so it makes it a bit easier when you have to sort things out so to speak.
I spent 4 hours last Sunday strimming the nettles away in there. At least by letting them grow quite wild it has given the chickens more areas to lose themselves in and they had a whale of a time scraping around the newly found ground.
All the others seem quite fit and happy and the eggs are still plentiful
September is going to be another busy month. Next week 6 days at cricket, then 4 days in Southampton, three days off and another 9 days or so at Cricket for the final match and clearing up.
After that I have an endless list of things to get done and I reckon I won't have a setttled period now til about mid-October.
Leo has been helping me with some gardening work over the last fortnight and between us we've successfully demolished three trees and tied a load of climbing roses which were hanging and not climbing !
It's always re-assuring when you're twenty feet up the ladder to know there's someone at the bottom holding it for you, but not so when you ask a question and the voice replies from the other side of the garden !
But he's done OK. Next week he starts a Catering Course at College so I'm expecting at least Poached Eggs in the near future. Ahhh, wait a minute, he could come into my Pizza business and cut out Sainsburys altogether !!!!!!
You will see that I've spent the last two weeks getting quite a lot of work done to 'Down the Lane' with two new sections and a few new pages as well - plus the Book revamp.
It's been really enjoyable doing all this; I had a lot of memories come floating back plus I learnt a lot from the bits of research I did for some of the pages.
I'm hoping to continue the expansion of the site through Autumn and Winter and hope you will be popping in to see what's happening.
I hope all your harvesting is coming along fine and you're eating the benefits.