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Updated: Tuesday 31 December 2013
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As you may remember we are currently living in a bit of a rearranged house, due to refurbishing and redecorating the guest bedroom. This means that all the furniture from that (large!) room, apart from the king size bed base, mattress and the triple wardrobe, have been moved out and re distributed elsewhere in the house.
Our bedroom has extra stuff piled in the corner, the blanket chest is in the sitting room, a chest of drawers is now in the bathroom and as for the boxes which lived under the bed and the books - well there is a lot more stuff in the attic now!
I have had to do a major clear out and a de clutter - if you remember that is how I found Compostman's Christening robe again? It came up beautifully clean, after a gentle wash and drying in sunshine :-) I must take a photo and show you all :-)
I have a lot of old towels and surplus bedding ready to go to either a charity shop or to an animal shelter. But I also have sorted out some good stuff in the way of books, DVDs, CDs, games, shoes, handbags etc. Compostgirl is also in the middle of a bit of a sort out - now she is 12 there are books and DVDs which she no longer wants but which might make her some money.
So, I would like to make some money from all this "stuff" by recycling for cash, but am not quite sure what is the best method. Ideally I would like the cash to save or put towards some new garden items (a Gabriel Ash cold frame springs to mind!)
I do have a Trade in account which I use sometimes - this is easy to do if the stuff is in good condition but you do not get much money back and it stays in your Amazon account as a gift voucher, so can only be spent there.
I have signed up to an Amazon Sellers account as The Compost Bin, to list some of the books and DVDs but Amazon take quite a cut I think? And I also feel Amazon know enough about me, already, so I wanted to try somewhere else.
Given my wish to try a non Amazon site I was pleased to be asked to try out musicMagpie as I didn't really know there were online sites like it (I am so behind the times!) where you can sell all sorts of items such as CDs, DVDs and games, mobile phones, laptops, consoles - they even offer clothes recycling for cash!
With the musicMagpie site (I am guessing there are other sites which are similar?) you enter the barcode of the CD, DVD or game, or enter the make and model of the electronics item or the brand and type of the clothing onto the site and they give you an instant price (alternatively, you can use your computer’s webcam or the musicMagpie iPhone or Android app to scan in your barcodes and start selling your items - but I am doing it from my desktop computer not my phone)
I have registered on the site, which was easy to use, and have been sent a welcome email - it was easy to register and when I forgot my password (oops) I was sent a link to re-do it straight away - no hanging around. I have entered a couple of CD's and a DS game into the valuation box and been offered what seems a reasonable price. I have a lot of good quality, little worn clothes which I will now never again wear, as I don't have that lifestyle anymore, so I am interested in clothes recycling for cash as well as CD's and DVD's.
You need a minimum of 10 items (or 1 tech,or 3 games) to complete an order, so I will have to add a few more things I want to sell before I can send it off. I found it easy to save items I have added to my seller account, until I have enough to place an order.
One of the appeals to me of musicMagpie is sending items to them is FREE! I can use one of many Local Send Shops open weekends, evenings and 7 days a week - my nearest is the Spar shop in Ledbury which is convenient, but I could chose from any other shop on the list, anywhere which suited me. If I had lots of stuff or heavy electronic equipment I could send the items using a FREE courier service which would come to my house to collect.
music Magpie pay by either cheque, bank transfer, M and S e-vouchers (ever heard of those?) or you can donate the money to charity. Obviously I have not yet sent off items and been paid so I can't yet comment on how well that side of the site works, but so far I am impressed with my initial use of the site. I will keep you posted about the musicMagpie experience as it unfolds
I have a seller account as The Compost Bin on Ebay but with the recent postage increase I gather it has become less economically viable to sell cheaper things and make much profit. The appeal of musicMagpie is that it has FREE postage and I don't have to even queue at the Post Office, as I can leave the parcel at the Spar shop, in Ledbury.
Second hand shops
One other alternative is "Stock Exchange" type shops where clothes, shoes, handbags etc can be sold and the shop takes a commission (usually 50%, sometimes less). We have a very up market "posh frock"one in Ledbury and a more general one in Newent - which sells good quality stuff, the shop is well run and always busy and they take children's clothes, toys, games and books as well as adult clothes, shoes, bags and family DVDs. I have a box of good, little worn items which will be going to this shop to be sold on and I get paid in cash for these if they sell or I can have them back after 8 weeks if they have not sold. I might then relist them on musicMagpie!
Car Boots sales
I know a lot of you sell at Car boots, but they really do not appeal to me at all and people do not seem to get decent prices for items? Maybe I am wrong, though - anyone any thoughts on this?
Any other ideas for selling items? Any of you do it differently or use another on line service?
Disclaimer - I had a post in mind about ways to go about selling my items for cash and then I was asked to review the musicMagpie site for a fee - so I have added in my experiences to this post. I have signed up to the site and intend to sell items through it so as to provide a fair review - as always the words I write are my own and are my honest opinions.
But the last 2 weeks things have been on the up.
Last Monday (after having the beds covered over for 4 weeks) I along with my dad decided that we would rotivate the plot our allotment society do tool hire for the day and at £10 it’s a bargain I have never used one before and I found it a bit of a pain in the proverbial the soil is heavy clay and it didn’t like it to much I found it a lot easier to pull it back over the plot rather than letting it go forward. But the end result was pleasing and now most of the beds are ready for planting at last!
After we sorted the beds out I planted out the potatoes as they were crying out to go in the ground this year I am keeping it simple only growing 3 main crops in santé Cara and King Edward and a second early called British Queen, I grew this last year and was impressed with it so giving it another crack this year.
I have also this year created 2 flower beds and have put a climbing rose up a metal arch that goes over the middle walkway through the plot, its going to look pretty grand when its grown a bit. The other plants put in are all bulbs with some daffodils and some summer ones the name escapes me now!
The cats kept us awake a lot of last night as it was obviously a hunting night - all three took it in turns to catch various unfortunate prey ( not Rats, sadly!) and then bring them in and shout to the other cats to "come and see what *I* have caught" VERY LOUDLY INDEED
I was awakened at 2, 4, 5 and 6.30 am and Compostman also in between, he woke me when he got up to sort out yet more cat antics - so we are a bit shattered, here!
Nevertheless today I have written a couple of articles, investigated an on line selling web site for a review post, done several loads of washing, pricked out yet more tomato and pepper plants and sowed more seeds in the polytunnel (oh, how I LOVE my polytunnel - it is my cheap version of a fabulous wooden potting shed - not that I would not like a fabulous wooden potting shed, but it just is not going to happen so, I love my polytunnel!)
I have also dusted all the hens with Barrier lice powder AND Diatom as they have lice (yuck - on a par with head lice in hair) I hate any sort of lice or flea infestations and dealing with it makes me feel quite queasy, but hey ho if we have animals we have to do this sort of stuff for them. :-( I am not at all squeamish about blood and guts and gore, but lice ugh.
Anyway I sorted out the feathery (now lice less) girls and then, being liberally dusted myself, went and had a shower and washed my hair. At least I am lice free, also!
I know it is now OFFICIALLY SPRING as I am now having to open up the polytunnel window and door before 9 am so my precious plants do not cook during the day and I am now watering the plants every evening. Also the porch plants need daily watering now and a window opening to stop them frying.
I need some form of automatic watering system in the Polytunnel - will have to have a bit of a think about that.
Shutting up the hens tonight at 8.30 there was a fabulous sunset - the first of many I hope! I also saw my first Swallow of 2013 today :-)
Now off to settle down to wine, food and the Great British Sewing Bee final on BBC 2 HD, I love it and can't wait to see what happens - have logged off Twitter and Facebook so I don't find out in advance who won!
Hope you all have a lovely evening :-) xxx
I have spent a lovely day in the garden and polytunnel, it has been warm and sunny and I wandered around in t shirt and jeans, no fleece, no coat, no gloves!
I have been pricking out more tomato and pepper plants - I have done several hundred now and I have them in the cold frames in the polytunnel or on the window sill in the porch. I have no more space left!
The first batch I did are growing away really quickly and are nearly ready to be potted on again!
As I mentioned I have become a Rocketeer and I received my first Constant Garden delivery from them last week.
I should have received a selection of organic seed potatoes ready to be chitted and planted - these would have been
Early potatoes x 10 tubers. Variety Colleen or similar, Second early seed potatoes x 10 tubers . Variety Maris Peer (or similar) Maincrop seed potatoes x 10 tubers . Variety Isle of Jura (or similar) Salad potatoes x 10 tubers. Variety Charlotte (or similar) Also included a 10 litre sack of wormcast
But as I have already planted out my potatoes (same choice of organic varieties - great minds think alike) , the lovely people at Rocket Gardens very kindly agreed to send me a Small Fruit Garden, instead. They also sent me the bag of wormcast fertiliser.
So I was very excited to get my box delivered on Wednesday last week.
Lovely straw packing keeps the bare rooted plants safe and damp
And paper bags to hold the Rhubarb crown and Strawberry runners
A comprehensive set of full instructions on planting the bushes is provided. All the plants are beautiful, lovely, healthy looking plants. The Strawberry runners needed to be soaked in water straight away for a few hours to rehydrate.
The rest of the plants were fine to be left for a few days as they are bare rooted, so I actually planted them up into pots on Friday, along with the now re hydrated Strawberry runners.
Four bare rooted Autumn fruiting Raspberry canes
I planted up the Gooseberry bush
And the Blackcurrant and Raspberry canes as they were on Friday evening.
I took these photos today when I was working inside the polytunnel. This is the Blackcurrant bush after just 3 days in a pot in the polytunnel Amazing what some soil, water and warmth will do to a good healthy plant :-)
And these are the Strawberry runners after being in the soil for three days - see how fast they have grown already!
I have yet to plant out the Rhubarb - have to find a larger pot to put it in.
All of the bare rooted plants were in excellent condition and beautifully packaged up and of course I have composted all of the packaging ;-)
Can't wait to get my next delivery in a week or so - this time it will be plants :-) Lots of plants ;-)
In other news, I managed to sow some beans and peas in pots and also the parsnips into cardboard tubes - if you want to know more see the "How to" page at the top of this site for more info.
One of the things we love here are tomatoes - we love the taste of a freshly picked, perfectly ripe tomato and we use them a great deal in our cooking even when they are out of season by freezing or dehydrating them and making lots of tomato based chutney, sauces and soups.
I grow a LOT of tomato (and pepper and cucumber) plants in the polytunnel during the summer and I always grow lots of different varieties - I like the flavour and taste of many different ( mostly Heritage ) varieties - which are often no longer grown by commercial producers because they do not meet the "perfection" of shape and size required by supermarkets, or because their skins are thinner and would not handle being transported around, or any one of a number of " business" reasons. I don't care about all that - my fruits are only transported a few feet from where they grow to where we eat them and they all taste mighty good! We also use lots of fresh herbs and I don't want to buy or grow new plants every year (waste of money!) so I overwinter my herbs in pots and keep them going ready to start fresh growth in the new year. Same goes for salads and other green leafy veg like kales and sprouting broccoli - I always have plants growing under cover in the polytunnel and so can eat some fresh green food even in winter. Although some of the herbs plants die back, I still get some fresh shoots to use in the kitchen.
I have just spent the last few days "pricking out" several hundred tomato seedlings from their cramped seed trays into individual 4 inch pots and I have the yellow fingers to prove it :-) The plants now live either outside, in the polytunnel, or inside in the porch greenhouse. I should have my first tomato from them in early to mid June, if all goes well.
But the polytunnel is unheated, and it can still get very cold in there at night, too cold for green leaves to survive the winter and certainly too cold for tomato plants now. So how do I manage to put tomato plants out so early, and have fresh green leaves in winter?
The answer is, I use a cold frame, well several, inside the polytunnel, along with horticultural fleece if needed. I have three aluminuium and polycarbonate cold frames, with lids, which go into the polytunnel over winter and provide an added level of protection to my overwintering plants.
In this photo you can see some lemon balm, watercress and salad leaves whch have been happily growing all winter, inside the cold frame inside the polytunnel. I have been picking from them, cut and come again, since November.
The advantages of a cold frame are that it provides shelter and a warmer microclimate for the plants inside, compared with being outside - like being in a glass house/green house, only cooler. It also provides an intermediate stage between sowing and growing under cover ( greenhouse or window sill) and finally planting out in the great outdoors (hardening off). Traditionally a cold frame was used in conjunction with a heated greenhouse, the cold frame getting its name from being outside and unheated hence "cold". In fact if you visit Victorian gardens you will often see magnificent glass houses surrounded by cold frames, outside.
At the moment I have aluminium and polycarbonate cold frames, which were relatively cheap and are lightweight and portable (handy and really useful for me to move around inside the polytunnel) BUT don't, in my opinion, provide as much internal warmth as a traditional wooden framed, glass cold frame. In the past I have built cold frames from old windows and bricks which worked well, but as I am now re thinking the whole layout of our growing area I have also been looking at buying some wood and glass cold frames - which will be beautiful in their own right as well as functional and useful.
I am hoping to add a new greenhouse in addition to the polytunnel this year - I would love a Western Red Cedar one from Gabriel Ash (if you follow me on Pinterest you will know I love their RHS range of glasshouses, and I have been drooling over the new greenhouse Monty Don has, ever since it was first shown on Gardeners World - some serious greenhouse envy going here!)
But sadly I don't think the funds are available for a Harlow Carr greenhouse like Monty's - especially as we already have an Aluminium/glass greenhouse in bits, just waiting to be re-errected!
But we do have a south facing house wall and a patio so I have been thinking about a freestanding wood and glass cold frame there. Again, if you follow me on Pinterest you can see some of the ones I have been thinking about; you can also see them on the coldframes product page here. The one I am keen on is The Upright Coldframe and it is actually on offer at the moment at a substantial discount. I also like The Grand Coldframe as I could make that into a Hot Bed - great to get tomatoes and pepper seeds growing! These cold frame look moveable, but also a lot sturdier and more solid than my aluminium and polycarbonate cold frames. I think they would provide a lot more in the way of shelter and heat, not to mention being less likely to get blown away in a gale.
I really like the Gabriel Ash website and the ethos of the Company and the fact that they are endorsed by the RHS; and have just requested a brochure be sent to me - apparently it should be posted out in a day or so (you can ask for one by email if you are really in a hurry!) so I can indulge in a bit more greenhouse envy :-)
Anyone else built or bought a greenhouse or cold frames recently? Hopefully we will be able to get started on digging the area out where our new greenhouse is to be sited - when the ground dries out enough. And yes I know I have said that many times recently, but a lot of the groundwork is waiting on the soil to be a little less soggy, as we would like to be able to use the soil after the JCB has driven over it.
Anyway - back to the polytunnel for me as I have more pepper and tomato plants to prick out. I also have lots of new soft fruit trees to tell you about - but that can wait until later :-)
Thank you for reading :-)
I saw this band in concert, as a support act to the mighty Iron Maiden. You never know what to expect with a support act, but these guys really rock! They are party boys, and came out all guns blazing to entertain us, hit us hard with the first note...
Today I have been busy outside - Compostman helped to dig over the raised beds so I could weed them and put in some more potatoes - these are Orla, an early maincrop which are good to eat as earlies or leave to lift in late summer and use over winter.
I have a raised bed which had Kales in last year and was meant to have a thick topping of compost put on it to raise the level to the top of the bed edge, but the weather was so dreadful ( and the Kales didn't come to much) so I never got around to it. So this year I am trying a new (to me) method of growing potatoes - in the soil but under a cover of straw with a top layer of compost.
Ideal for an experiment!
so half the Orla are in this front raised bed, in a shallow hole, covered in straw and then compost, the other half of the Orla are in the rear, next door bed, planted in my usual way. Both sets of potatos were planted with a generous scoop of wood ash, as is my normal method.
I shall see which bed does better :-)
In other news Compostgirl and I went on a bug hunt in the compostbins Sorry I mean a micro animal safari in the varied and many micro habitats we provide at Compost Mansions.
We found a lot of different species and had several interesting talks about habitats, micro organisms, food chains and such like. Compostgirl asked lots of very good questions and came up with many of the answers from her own musings. We also dug out various bug viewers and microscopes for her to use in her work - she is lucky both her parents were research scientists I think :-)
I also think Compostgirl now has a good selection of topics to discuss for her homework :-) And we had lots of fun :-)
She also has some photos printed off to take with her but unlike her paper copies these are better as if you click on them as they get bigger :-)
A Millipede - they feed on decaying material and are primary consumers
A Pseudoscorpion! Mighty predator of the compost world - eats anything it can get its claws on and inject venom into. Nice.
Am going to settle down now this evening to watch some TV, read and catch up with some quilting :-)
Will post about the first Rocket Constant Garden delivery tomorrow but am just too tired to do so now.
I have been so fed up with the damp grey dark days! I began to think that Spring would never come and that some how we would be jettisoned straight into a brief Summer before heading for the end of the year again. I do hope that this will not be the case.
Last week we made a visit to Southsea near Portsmouth- some of us to shop at Gunwarf ( a retail outlet ) and some of us to catch some fresh air. As you can see the weather was cold and grey and we are still wearing t winter coats.
Its lovely seeing everyone letting go and we have such fun skimming stones- its something childlike and just plain good fun.
See how grey the day was!
In sharp contrast, yesterday was glorious and I spent an afternoon down by the sea in Bournemouth. There was almost a continental feel for the day. Its funny how a little bit of sunshine can raise spirits and how magically everyone is transformed from their winter clothed selves into their Summer persona. How amazing is that little bit of sunshine! I even enjoyed a cup of tea sitting outside a coffee shop in the sunshine and just enjoyed watching the world go by.
I am sure Spring is finally here- evidence from my garden backs this up:
Today I finally got the greenhouse ready ! No seeds sown yet - I am way behind but hoping to catch up this week.
The primulas are flowering:
The tete-a-tetes are still blooming - they were such a great buy in December. I planted the bulbs which had just started to grow in my hanging basket outside my kitchen window. They have been such a joy to watch grow and flower.
The sunglasses came out today:
Someone even did a bit of revision in the garden:
After they had a little rest!
The pear tree is starting to burst into leaf:
The forsythia is well and truly blooming:
There was even some blue sky
I know it must be spring as we've been trimming the hedges
My elder daughter did some weeding!
The bulb hyacinths are in bloom
Such a pretty shade of blue!
The japonica bush is in full flower
And the heather is also a mass of flower- amazing as we are on chalk and they tend to like acid soil!
This I took to remind me that I really need to plant more daffodils for next year
Even the daisies in the grass were smiling:
And last but not least I know its Spring as Mr H used the lawnmower AND the shredder!
Spring has finally sprung!
Last Sunday we went for a walk in one of our favourite, and nearest, places. The Lickey Hills. It was incredibly windy! Thankfully, it was also dry and sunny, with beautiful blue skies and fluffy white clouds. You can see a long way from the Lickeys, down to the Malverns...
Thank you Moneysupermarket.com for the payment :-) And thank you Ilona for the original heads up that this was happening :-)
So they are still paying bloggers at the moment. Wonder how much longer?
No idea if I am too late to get the £30 from Moneysupermarket.com
but thought I would have a go at this, anyway :-)
This is what the Moneysupermaket.com website has to say
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the £1 coin, we're asking the UK's most talented and creative bloggers - that's you, by the way - to give us as many money saving tips as they can. We want 1,000, to be precise!
We realise that asking each of you to give us 1,000 ways is perhaps demanding a little too much, so we'd like to reach to the magic figure by getting up to 30 ways from each blogger.
To thank you for your hard work and inspiration we'll be giving away £1 for each money-saving tip (up to £30).
So here are my 30 tips to save at least £1 - in no particular order.
I love this song! I must have heard it growing up in the 1970's but never really took much notice, as a child would! However, I rediscovered it watching a US talent show, and did further investigations, and sometimes I just can't get it out of my head. I particularly...
I am lucky enough to be offered all sorts of stuff to review here on The Compost Bin. Some are really right up my street, others are ..well lets just say completely not me (am being really charitable, here!)
To be honest, sometimes I despair at what a company is thinking about when they contact me, given my ethics and the content of my blog - I mean, cheap chicken dinners?
Not on my blog.
In case you were wondering, I will only EVER accept stuff to write about that meets my ethics and hopefully will interest you, my reader. I am glad to say I am getting asked to review some interesting items - recently including wind up radios, interesting plants, organic veg seed sets, gardening books, exotic seeds, garden furniture, bee friendly seedballs. All things which I really like and want to review and then share my views with you all. I hope you all agree!
As some of you might have noticed, I have today added a new badge on my sidebar. I have become an ambassador for organic plant supplier Rocket Gardens , which apparently makes me a Rocketeer :-) ( I love it!)
In case you do not know, a Rocket Garden is a box brimming full of baby organic vegetable, fruit, flower or herb plants packed in golden straw and delivered direct to your door. Rocket Gardens say they take out the risk and hard work that comes with growing organic plants from seed and look after the plants when they are young and vulnerable, only letting you have them when they are the perfect size, ready to be transplanted straight into your garden. All you have to do is pop your baby plants into their new home to begin growing. Sounds great to me!
Last year, after a lot of my plants were smashed to bits by heavy rain for the umpteenth time and I finally ran out of spares, I ordered a herb garden and some extra veg plants from Rocket Gardens - you may remember I wrote about it here
I was very impressed with the plants which came, they provided me with some lovely crops and were really great looking and cropping and I loved the Rocket Gardens ethos. So, when they asked me last week if I would let them send me a Constant Garden to review throughout 2013, I jumped at the chance :-)
Rocket Gardens say on their websiteOur new range of Constant Gardens are the best and easiest way to ensure you have an amazing and continuous supply of fresh produce bursting from your garden throughout the entire year.
Your Small Constant Garden will comprise of a series of 5 gardens delivered throughout 2013.
As with all Rocket Gardens we’ve done all the tricky stuff for you, so all you have to do is unpack your plants on arrival, pop them into the ground and watch them grow. A detailed growing guide will be provided with each garden delivery.
You will need 10-15 m2 of space to grow this garden. Larger plants which take up more space such as courgettes, pumpkins,potatoes,and tomatoes can easily be grown in containers.
The plants get delivered and all I have to do is unpack my plants on arrival, pop them into the ground/final container (or into holding pots until space is available in the ground) and watch them grow. I get sent a detailed growing guide with each garden delivery.
So today, I received by courier the first of the five mail outs as part of my Small Constant Garden. I will post about the contents later this week but for now, here are some reasons why I have agreed to work with Rocket Gardens and review their products and become a Rocketeer ( still loving being called that!)
Today marks 30 years of us first starting out as a possible couple. We had " a date" on this day in 1983. I went to his house for a birthday tea and we ate home made cherry cake - I was impressed then at his culinary skills and I still am, now!
Happy Birthday Compostman - we have been married for 28 years now and are still together, despite a lot of difficulties, and I love you very very much. Even more than I did 30 years ago!
This week the sun has come out and somewhat un-coincidentally everything is starting to look a little brighter. All of the seedlings are really getting a move on and it will soon be time to move things on up to the plot!!
For the first time I was able to make use of the extended daylight hours yesterday because it was dry, sunny and warm until almost 7pm! It was lovely to be back up the plot and I am so glad that we started digging it over last Autumn, because if we hadn't we would be in a real mess now. Thankfully the head start has really paid off!
The plot is now almost completly dug over and ready for use. We have 3 compost bins full of compost to spread over the potato patch, and providing the weather stays dry, I'm hoping that Friday might well be Potato day!! At last!! I have previously said that we always liked to get them in on Good Friday, but this year there was still snow on the ground and the plot was just completly unworkable. The potatoes still cover the kitchen table but all have really healthy strong sprouts/eyes which will be a real benefit when they finally get in the ground!
It's also good to see signs of life already emerging on the plot without having to plant anything, the rhubarb is getting stronger each day and I love seeing the contrasting colours of the bright red stalks and succulent green leaves! Rhubarb is an allotment favourite, and I really don't know what an allotment would be without it. After all, it comes back every year without much need for love and attention!
Inside, the tomatoes that we sowed in the last week of February are now several inches tall, the chilli plants have also started to kick on this week which is great news.
There is so much positivity for gardeners to embrace in April and May and it is much needed after the extremly long winter we have endured. I still can't believe that in less than a fortneight I should really consider sowing runner beans and courgettes yet on the other hand the potatoes and onions still aren't in the ground yet! Madness!!
I'll be back down the plot tonight finishing off the potato bed, and if I have time I will plant out my 30 new strawberry plants and 7 bareroot gooseberry bushes. That may have to wait until tomorrow though, we'll see!
I really look forward to catching up with other blogs over the common days. It is very nice to see so many signs of life on my 'reading list'.
Have a good week!!
Having started my new job recently- it was difficult to take time off this Easter. I did ask but it was too short notice for cover to be arranged so I worked - I didn't really mind as I can have time off later. My hours do mean that I do get to spend some daytime at home with the youngsters - so we can still get out and about and the youngsters have time away from me too!- much to their relief.Hence I haven't done much crafting but I did make a throw for the back of the sofa
Our cat spends a lot of time sitting on the back of the sofa sunbathing and watching the world go by!
The back of the sofa is starting to wear and I thought I had better make a throw for the cat to sit on-
I made it using lots of scraps I had in the cupboard. I tried to choose mainly nautical type colours as the summer is coming and I love red cream and blue!
I patch worked the squares and then backed the patchwork piece with a cream and navy boat pattern
The cat has given his seal of approval but is not very fond of having his photo taken - he has a resigned look on his face!
He has used this quite a lot - so hopefully the sofa may last a little longer
We did get a bit of a surprise yesterday when we heard rumbling in the chimney in the living room. We were confused as the weather outside was still and sunny. The rumbling was accompanied by soot coming down the chimney and eventually a bird appeared.
Our feathered friend was equally as shocked as ourselves. Daughter squealed and flapped around and the cat was delighted to have a play thing and immediately went into hunting mode. We eventually managed to separate the cat from the bird and then encouraged the bird to fly towards an open window. The bird escaped and flew up onto the roof of a neighbours house to recover.
Even after we cleared up the mess the cat kept prowling around looking for his prey!
Needless to say I think he has forgotten about it today - I think it was too much excitement in one day for an ageing cat!
Happy 1st Henniversairy to Babs, Bunty, Tiny and Titch. One year ago today we went over to the other side of Hereford and met up with the BHWT rescuers and brought home five pathetic looking hens. Sadly one of them (Ginger) died soon after but the other four hens have lived very full and happy lives during this last year, laying some eggs but generally just being the most friendly and entertaining group of hens we have ever had.
Tiny Hen now, still small but top hen in every way. Still terrorising the cats and trying to get into the house at every chance she gets!
Today, from l to r, Babs, Bunty and Titch all trying to get in through the cat flap - their latest new trick to get up to mischief!
Babs in the sunshine. She still follows me around and sits on my feet :-)
And this is what they looked like a year ago :-(
Babs on left and Bunty on the right
Don't they look good now!
They have had mealworms and yogurt and cuddles and played "Chase the Cat" and "House break in" and generally done what hens do, all day, in the sunshine. Happy first year of freedom, girls !
Now for the serious bit
These girls were rescued a year ago. They came from an "Barn" system, so lived crowded together with thousands of other hens, under artificial light, inside a huge shed. Never seeing daylight or going outside. "Colony" or "Enriched" eggs mean the hens are also shut inside a small cage, inside the huge shed.
If you do buy free range eggs already - Babs, Bunty, Tiny, Titch, and Yarrow and Marjoram the ex battery hens thank you from the bottom of their hearts , as do I.
If you don't - please - for the sake of hens like Babs, Bunty, Tiny and Titch and all their sister hens still in barns and cages - switch to buying free range eggs - it is the only way to make sure that the eggs you buy come from hens that have had a reasonable life.
Thank you for reading :-)