Planet Omlet is an exciting news feed of Eglu owners and friends on Omlet
Updated: Tuesday 31 December 2013
If you are an Eglu owner and would like your blog on the Omlet Planet click the apply button below
It is with much sadness that I have not blogged since the middle of November. Christmas has passed us by leaving some wonderful presents on the way. Amy and I noticed an increase in 'joint' presents this year, of which the majority of them were very thoughtful and gardening related. Thankyou everybody. Santa also brought me a new iPad so there is no excuse not to blog more frequently now.
You will probably remember the unfortunate news I posted about last time where our shed had been tipped over and our contents ruined, moved or stolen. Well due to the awful recent weather and localised flooding which affects the bottom part of the allotment site near to the river we still do not have a shed standing. Instead, each time we visit we are greeted with this rather depressing sight.
By the looks of things it will probably be February now before it is upstanding once again. There is no sign of the weather letting off and January is going to be a very busy month anyway.
At least the new year will give us chance to have another go on this plot. Some things didn't work so well this year from things like onions to even getting around the plot. We've reevaluated our plans and we are all set to go. It may even be worth thinking about sowing some seeds next month, chillies, peppers, tomatoes and the like. How exciting!! It is also a great relief that I dug over 2/3 of the plot at the end of November. This should give us a really useful head start next year and will save a lot of back ache in early March. I hope this early start will also give the couch grass a bit of a battering. As you can see in the next picture the paths surrounding the plot are all grass and that makes it easy for it to quickly spread through the plot.
I'm hoping to sort the rest of the plot out before I go back to work on the 8th of January. But of course that is going to be weather dependant. Any more rain and the plot could quickly turn into a lake.
Well, I sincerely hope the new year brings you bucket loads of joy and happiness even if it comes in the form of a trailer full of manure. Happy New Year, and a toast to happy gardening!!
Martin and Amy
Welcome back to Hen Corner! As featured in Country Living Magazine Our last post told you about the great time that we had on our Feather Down Farm Holiday, this week we are telling you more about Billingsmoor, the Farm in Devon where we stayed. By subscribing (box right) you’ll never miss a thing! Billingsmoor […]
On tv the previous night, we had seen a programme called Flog it! and a place called Nature in Art was mentioned. We discovered it was nearby so decided to visit. Nature in Art is based in a beautiful 18th century Georgian mansion (Wallsworth Hall) just north of Gloucester, in...
The nice people at Spalding Bulbs contacted me recently to ask me if I would like to run a competition/ givaway on my blog. Being a kind sort and liking to give you little presents from time to time, I said yes please.
All I had to do, was to select an item I wanted from the website and then they would send me two of it. One for me and one for you :-)
Bearing in mind I have to post this item onwards to the winner, I selected some summer flowering montbrecia bulbs athough the Spalding Bulbs website had seeds and all sorts of other tempting gardening items on display. As they only post out the very best, the bulbs are available at certain times of the year only.
I picked Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘Lucifer’ the more well known variety with beautiful red flowers. Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘Emily Mckenzie’ has orange flowers which look more like a lily flower.
I have a place earmarked for them and hopefully they will be a beautiful display in a few months.
So...leave me a comment and in a couple of days I will pick a name out of a hat and send the lucky winner some bulbs. Due to postage and customs I am afraid UK readers only, please.
Whenever I step outside during the day I am greeted by this...
When I go out to hang out some washing I am followed...
In fact wherever I go, I am followed! I have constant companions now, either Cassie Cat, or my friendly, feathery hens.
At the moment I am keeping the Ginger Gang seperated from the New Girls - I am still treating the Ginger Girls for lice and I do not want the lice to hop over onto the New Girls!
So I let the Ginger Gang out mid morning and then after lunch I shout...and they all come running.
A treat of some corn gets them inside their walk in run. This is the run I am cleaning out every day and dusting with Diatonaceous earth powder so as to kill off any lice on any dropped feathers. I have also dug out a dust bowl for the hens in the ground. They love it :-)
When they have eaten their fill it is sleepy time. One by one, they go over into a patch of sunshine,
And settle down on the ground for a well deserved snooze.
All together, in a huddle of ginger feathers. And slowly, their eyelids droop and they doze off.
Just a reminder that you can find all sorts of useful ( I hope) to you articles under the "how to..." tab at the top of the page!
Starting Parsnip seeds
Growing Potatoes in bags
Growing Potatoes and Jerusalem Artichokes
are all useful NOW - the way the weather has been we are at least 3 weeks behind the "normal" planting schedules, if not more...!
Happy gardening :-)
We set off towards Gloucester, over the river Severn, and downwards, to our destination. We headed towards Newark Park, a National Trust property near Wotton-under-Edge. As usual on this holiday, the weather was glorious and the sun shone all day! We arrived at Newark Park at lunchtime, after a stop...
I went to the The Three Counties showground on Friday, to attend the Malvern Quilt Show. The TCS is the home of the RHS Spring Gardening show and of course the Three Counties Show, as well as many other events.
I had a lovely time at the Quilt show - I went with a friend and we spent about three hours looking around at the stalls and the display gallery of quilts. I enjoyed chatting to the stallholders and especially to Maggi from Sunflower Fabrics. I really liked the quilt she is standing next to (she made it) and was so tempted to buy her pattern, or even the kit - but I had a budget which I wanted to spend on fabric, so I didn't.
I loved this Green Man, on a quilt made by Sew Enchanting
The display of competition quilts was stunning. I got so many ideas!
We bought some lunch ( which was ok but we really should have taken our own!) but after about four hours there, we had seen everything we wanted to see and were a bit "quilted out" so came away. But we both felt we had been inspired to do different things with our crafting.
I took more photos but my friend has the show catalogue so I shall wait until I get it back so I can tell you a bit more about the quilts.
As we walked in from the car park it was interesting to see that workers were still doing "take down" of the many show gardens from the RHS show the weekend before - presumably plants and trees not needed at RHS Chelsea?
I had a nap when I got home - the sinus problems I still have are making it difficult to sleep and I seem to be operating on "tired" all day so a four hour walk about left me a bit shattered. It was nice to go out for the day, though and especially nice to spend it with my friend Maria :-)
After my nap I felt strong enough to treat the Ginger Gang of hens, and their house and run, for lice. This is a fairly major job and needed doing today, as we are on a schedule of treatment. The Ginger Gang are prone to infestations as some cannot preen properly due to being de beaked in the battery cages :-( My usual routine seemed not to be working last month and the girls were very lice ridden (yuck) so I went to see Mike the Vet and now I am having to apply a drop-on wormer/de louser on the back of their necks every 10 days; today was the second of three doses. I have also cleared the run and house of all straw, paper bedding etc and dusted everywhere with Diatom and their run is also covered in the stuff - so have to "poo pick" every day. I also have to throw all their eggs, not that they lay very many anyway!
If I can get them clear of lice I can keep them relatively louse free, although total lice free-ness is unlikely due to the wild birds around us, who also carry them. To be honest it is all a bit of a palaver, but the Lice have been banished (so far) so the Ginger Gang will feel more comfortable and that makes it worth the extra work.
Still makes me feel itchy whenever I see the lice, though!
Speechless. Flower-love. Filed under: Home Tagged: floristry, flowers, home decor, macrophotography, nature, photography
Another lovely morning, another day trip! We packed the flask and the sandwiches and headed out towards south Herefordshire, for Goodich Castle, an English Heritage managed property. Off we went, passing through the Forest of Dean and Cinderford, again, until we hit the pretty B4234 road, which follows alongside the...
RIP Yarrow Hen, who died yesterday evening. She had a good life, well lived. With us she had had 18 months of freedom, after her 18 months in the cruel battery cages.
As those of you who have followed my blog since 2012 will know, Yarrow was a very special girl; even amongst hens who are ALL special to us, she was a little star. I am very sad to lose her and miss her hugely, already.
She had been "winding down" for a few months and I am so glad she had a really good last day in the sun; sitting on my lap and being cuddled and told how much I loved her; sitting on the ground in the sunshine soaking up the rays; being cuddled by her flock who all came and collapsed all around her as only hens can do.
Despite all this, and despite having a normal morning yesterday, by the afternoon Yarrow was obviously suffering (not able to walk around, deep purple coloured comb, gasping, not able to eat even the treat of unlimited mealworms).
I can normally dispatch chickens who are in distress or injured but this time I found myself unable to kill my pet hen Yarrow, for which I feel ashamed (as I should have been able to help her when she was suffering, but could not). So, I quickly took Yarrow down to Mike our Vet, who agreed her time had come, due to a combination of failing heart/old age, and who ended her suffering kindly and quickly.
Mike, who as a newly qualified Vet helped Yarrow to recover from a broken leg during his first few weeks at our local practice, has been such a help over the last 18 months. With all the issues the ex battery hens in my little flock have had, especially Yarrow, he has been such a help, for which I thank him so much. And I especially thank him for his kindness and understanding as to why I was crying over the death of what many people might dismiss as "just a hen". He was lovely, as are all the staff at our local Veterinary Surgery. We are very lucky with them.
We buried Yarrow hen in the wood today, in the place where many other feathery friends are also buried. She liked to furtle around in the wood and it seems a good place for her remains to be buried. I heard my first Skylark of 2013 as we were filling in the hole. Appropriate, I felt.
Fly high, little Yarrow hen and know you are missed and were very loved indeed.
I've been thinking about my "image" recently. Living where I do and doing what I do, I tend to live in jeans, t shirt, shirts, boots and fleeces. Normally I wear the same sort of thing day in, day out - I have a few plain, coloured t shirts and shirts in cotton, which I layer over jeans. If it is cold I put a cardi, sweater or fleece over the top. In summer I just wear the t shirts and trousers and leave off the top layers.
I have good versions - clean, tidy and no stains (!) and when they get tatty they get moved into "everyday garden wear" and finally "cleaning out the chickens" wear, until they end up as "rags/dusters/compost bin" fodder!
If I go out, I dress in slightly smarter trousers and tops but it is still just a variation on what I wear every day. I'm not very glamorous looking and I do sometimes feel I look a bit dull, certainly not the look I want to have, anyhow. I feel like I have got into a bit of a rut, clothes wise!
However, I have recently been invited to a number of events where it would be a good idea to wear some smarter clothes :-) I am still talking about trousers and tops, but at the pretty end rather than everyday wear. I need them to be suitable for travelling in and attending meetings and talks, as well being able to work in them (lecturing and demonstrating rather than digging compost). Fortunately I haven't got rid of anything recently which I now regret!
I do care about how I look and want to dress well, even if I am not one for a lot of makeup or glamour or fuss and my taste tends towards the casual :-) So, I have decided to buy a few, choice "new to me" items to build up a collection of clothes I can mix and match and layer, for different occasions. I also want to get some pattern in to my clothing as well, rather than just sticking to plain colours all the time.
I can't spend a lot of money, but I have been looking around at shops in Hereford and also on line. I couldn't find much in most of the usual places I shop, both charity or High Street, until I looked in New Look
New Look have some lovely clothes in stock at the moment (no, they are not just for the young and/or very skinny!) and I particularly liked their new line of tribal tops - especially this Owl top which is only available on line.
I think with a smart pair of dark linen trousers (New Look sell those also) a scarf and maybe a single colour linen long line jacket over the top (of which I have several, in different colours) these tops would look good on me and they are made of 100% cotton, which is helpful.
Maybe not for wearing to meetings, but I also saw some very fashionable ripped jeans in their on line store, which I loved the look of, but which I would need to lose a bit of weight to fit into I think. Oddly, I have a number of pairs of jeans just like them at home, so maybe I am not as frumpy as I thought and just need to give them a good wash, to be fashionable again?
Mine are patched have patchwork embellishments, though :-)
I also loved this Boho chic crochet top and it was a very reasonable price, but it is made of acrylic yarn so I think I might just have a go at making one myself out of cotton yarn.
I did however, really like this cotton version and may well buy it, as well as the tops and linen trousers I mentioned :-)
It did not take me long to find a few new items at New Look. They will mix and match with the existing things I already have at home, to make several "new looks" for me. A couple are on line exclusives; one can be bought in store as well but I will order it on line if I am placing an order.
I might even show you some photos of me, when I get some new clothes :-) or maybe not :-)
I tend to shop in New Look or M & S on the odd occasion I shop for new clothes in High Street shops, because Labour behind the Label rate them as some of the high street brands who are doing more to help workers than others. You can consult the latest Let’s Clean up Fashion report to see who is doing more and who is doing less on the high street.
I do need some new clothes and I shop in New Look anyway, which is why I accepted a paid link in this post. As always all the words and ideas are all my own - but I did copy the images of the items I want to buy from the New Look website.
I am a supporter of Labour behind the Label, and am always happy to mention the good work they do to improve conditions and empower workers in the global garment industry.
Oh dear! I have recently discovered this site, thanks to a fellow chicken keeper on a forum I regularly visit. It is very addictive. I think I will just have one go then I get so close I have to have another... and so on. You get the picture! Here's...
It seems to have a been a little while since I last posted. I have had a busy month at work and slap bang right in the middle of the lovely warm sunny weather I was hit by the vomiting and diarrhoea virus. This then swept like lightening through the rest of the family and has taken us all a little while to fully recover.
Our sunny days here in Hampshire were glorious and as you can see involved flower picking _ even though it was a dandelion and our lovely cat posed beautifully and patiently for us. We could almost see the thought bubbles above his head-"Lets hope this will be quick -I need to flop in the sun somewhere and catch the rays" Its amazing how much he will put up with for certain members of the family.
Daisy flowers were made into chains and ankles were decorated
Some people - much against their Mummy's advice turned a little pink in the sunshine.
And then the sunshine disappeared and my thoughts turned to cooking and a batch of plum chutney was prepared and made
Daughter made some coffee cupcakes:
The preserving obsession has begun to bite again and a batch of apple and chilli jam just had to be made:
This mouli device was a present from my sister some years ago. I wasn't very sure of it at first as I have a blender as well as a hand blender-I'm ashamed to say that I had even thought of getting rid of it but this has been so useful especially when making apple puree and most of all when making my apple and chilli jam!
I've been busy making more preserves but more about that later.
I still looking for my new chickens and have made a definite decision to get bantams . I'm just searching now about possible sources and hope to update you in due course. There seems to be a shortage of them and apparently they are in very high demand this year!
I'm sorry this is a short and sweet post but with the youngsters coming and going at home, time is short! Hoping to get back to you soon.............................
Welcome back to Hen Corner! As featured in Country Living Magazine We have discovered the perfect way to enjoy a bit of the countryside, and a well deserved treat, when you have a few days to escape from the city. We’ve just come back from a Feather Down Farm Holiday on Billingsmoor Farm in Devon […]
So we are finally fully installed in our little house. Who knew buying and renovating a house could be such work!? The boyf has worked his socks off and inside the house is stunning. We need to work on our green-ness but as we settle down it will get easier to remember the recycling regime, water saving ideas and composting. Here's a sneaky peak inside... Now that the sun is out and the exam classes are gone I am no longer hiding inside by the fire marking of an evening but racing out of school to get home and enjoy my beautiful garden. Unfortunately, spring has sprung and the garden has gone mad! The site of the garden last summer when we first viewed the house was terrifying but the boyf worked hard to clear the end garden (henceforth know as the orchard despite its teeny tiny size) so we can loll about in the evening and drink wine. This is where my greenhouse is (minus 2 panes of broken glass) and my raised veg beds will live, it also homes a huge, beautiful and very old apple tree which after a bit of pruning looks like it will be fruitful. The Orchard is separated from the rest of the garden but an ancient grape vine arch which was so overgrown we though it was dead. Clearing through here has revealed many treasures including a well established Clematis, roses and lilac tree. We have decided to develop the screen that the vine produces by adding an espalier conference pear and a plum- can't wait to get them in the ground! As the garden grows it is kicking up some amazing surprises. The neighbours warned us that a lot of money had been spent only the garden but it's been hard to see where in the last few months- although now it is clear. We keep finding little gems, from hellebores to peonies, roses to clematis. In the last week we have uncovered a magnolia tree (my favourite) 4 gooseberry bushes, 2 loganberries, a lilac tree, a dwarf peach, sweet Cicely, a bank of chives, roses, japanese quince, 3 clematis, raspberries and loads of other little bits and bobs. This garden is amazing! The front garden is becoming a jungle and I am hacking my way down the path in the morning to get to work. I kind of like it though as it's full of forget-me-nots and bees. The boyf spent an arduous afternoon cutting back the wisteria that was covering the front of the house and now there are flowers budding.... Life is rampant in the garden, it's such an exciting time! Now if only we can get rid of the less savoury resident...Rattigan the enormous bloody great rat! Ewww...
I have written before about Yarrow, my ex battery hen who was rescued from the cages at the end of 2011.
She had a broken leg when we collected her and for a time was very poorly indeed and had to be kept in hentensive care in the polytunnel. She lived in there, with Comfrey aka Flappy chicken - who had a broken wing - for several months.
When she finally joined the rest of the feathery gang, she rapidly took over the top hen spot and, despite being lame and a bit slow to run around, has maintained the top spot ever since. She lost her friend Comfrey in the great fox attack this time last year :-( but joined up with the other ex battery hen Marjoram and old girl Nutmeg to make a triumvirate of old Ginger Hens, all handbags at dawn and annoyed muttering at the antics of the "new hens" and the cats :-)
She has had a good year of freedom, creating mayhem, chasing Cassie Cat, invading the kitchen and generally having loads of fun and giving us so much joy watching her antics. But she has been slowly winding down the mischief over the last few months, there is nothing wrong with her that anyone can see - she is just getting old.
Yesterday she seemed very weary and when I let the Ginger Gang out to free range, she didn't want to walk very far out of the run, so I picked her up ( she has lost a lot of weight) and sat in the sunshine, cuddling her. She leaned into me and crooned a bit and nibbled on my hand. And I told her how much I loved her and what a good hen she was. I carried her into the barn and I offered her some mealworms and also some Garvo (which she adores) and she ate them up but only some very tiny beakfuls.
She still enjoys a dust bathe, eating mealworms, lying in the sunshine and pecking at the other hens to keep them in their place, but I am watching her for " the moment" when she can't do any of that any more.
But for now, she is still having fun, in the sunshine, even if it is at a slower pace than before.