Friday, 25 February 2011

What's better, sex or revenge?

That's the question Hermione asked me when I suggested that we switch off her Katy Perry CD in the car, due to foul language and sexually evocative lyrics.

Note to Craig - listen to albums before downloading them for the children!!!

Apparently Katy Perry has much greater moral standing than Andrew Lloyd Webber because the music to Phantom of the Opera incites vengeful actions! Hmmm, I'm still pondering that one...

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Flat Travelling

Miles' flat, complete with passport, set out on his travels today. He's headed for California and we're all ever so excited. For those not familiar with flat travelling you can read about it here. Looking forward to receiving our flat guest and showing him the sights.
Gotta go. Miles is busy defacing a picture of David Cameron on our 'news bulletin board', which may not be so bad (it being David Cameron and all) but I don't want him to mark the wall too!.
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Monday, 21 February 2011

When daddy fell into the pond..

Well, to be honest he didn't so much fall in the pond as waded into the pond. I just like to say that, having been a fan of this poem since I was wee.
After much debating Craig decided to spend his birthday money on a remote control boat. He scoured Ebay for a few evenings until he had found the exact one. I suspect at the time he was looking he had in mind sunny weekend afternoons with the boat and the children, all playing merrily and having great fun. Well, on a grey afternoon we set out for the maiden voyage.
The children and I had to assist in carrying out technical tests of range on dry land so as we would know how far out into the (large) lake it could go. We figured it had about a forty foot range. Quite impressive I thought. All was looking good - that is until we put it into the water. Having gone about ten feet it stalled and refused to start again. It began to drift and was soon marooned amongst some reeds and it became apparent that any attempts with the controller would be futile.

There was nothing else for it, Craig tucked his socks in his boots and rolled up his jeans to go and retrieve the boat.

It wasn't long till he was out of the lake. Apparently the water was deeper than he had thought and he needed to take off his coat, tuck his shirt into his jeans and roll the trousers yet further.

Sadly they weren't rolled high enough.

After about twenty minutes, during which time dozens of people passed making all sorts of interesting comments (my favourite was, 'take care, things drop off at those temperatures'), he staggered triumphantly out of the lake.

Wet. Very wet and very smelly.

'It's my turn! My turn now!' shouted Miles, who seemingly couldn't appreciate daddy's predicament. So, here they are, one very wet smelly father and one dry toasty son, sailing their boat on a much smaller enclosed wet area. Bless his wet, stinky socks - I guess he's one of the few who would have done. It was so cold.

As we wandered back to the car I suggested that he email the seller and ask for a refund. 'No, it just takes practice' he said.

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Friday, 18 February 2011

Round up

Miles seems to have developed a caring streak and has spent prolonged periods this week breaking peanut shells, with a wooden spoon, to remove the nut for the new hens. Awww bless.

I was so pleased that they didn't make it to the very top of this structure. It looks high as it is, but it was actually on top of a climbing frame which was already much higher than I am tall!

we were recently invited to join in a very exciting exploration of fibonacci numbers. I have to say that I'm still nigh on as clueless as I was beforehand, although I can honestly say that there are certain fruits and vegetables (particularly pineapples and cauliflowers) which will never look the same again. I will aways be seeking the hidden depth.

Is it normal for a cat to allow itself to be dressed in a balaclava? She even seems to enjoy it!
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Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Bon Bon and Waka Waka

Missed my zumba class this week but having found this track on Youtube I'm happier than I was. Also found this track with people dancing the exact same routine we do - although only the instructor looks as these people do. Goodness, no excuses for slacking now! I shall pop on Youtube and go for it tomorrow.

Red Velvet Cup Cakes

Not the best of pictures but the vibrant red of the cake still shines through. They were nice, although no tastier for being red in my view. Sorry Nigella, but I think we'll be sticking to our usual wholesome cup cakes with the yellowy tint of garden fresh eggs.
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Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Love on the worktop

Oh, and promises of Red Velvet Cup Cakes too!

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Saturday, 12 February 2011

Sad update on the rescue hens

Sadly, Sally, the smallest of the three rescue girls, passed away peacefully this morning. It wasn't until she had actually passed that I had a really good luck at her. I knew she was in very poor condition but hadn't realised just how skeletal she was. Why do people do it? No one pressures you to have animals. There's no need to take them on and just not look after them. I have notified the RSPCA and hopefully they will act. It would be nice to think that Sally's very short life wasn't in vain and that through her others may come to know much better conditions.
We have never washed a hen before. We've never had need. It was however becoming apparent that the caked on faeces was no going to come off easily by rain and preening. We took what I considered to be the brave step of bathing them. Actually they really liked it. Hens love warmth and the warmth of the water really soothed them. It was important to dry them thoroughly afterwards (with a towel and hairdryer). Here's Sapphire enjoying her wash - as did Splash after her.
Here's hoping that Splash and Sapphire make it. I've spent much of today on the telephone to vets trying to get help and advice. The trouble is that none of them round here treat poultry. I'm giving them poultry spice and citracidal. Hopefully they will be fine. It was always the little one, Sally, that I feared wouldn't make it.
Hermione has been extremely distressed and that has made me wonder if I did the right thing. Should I bring home animals that I know are likely to die? It's a tough call - but then death is part of life and I hope that she can see that on balance, despite the tears we have both shed today, what we have done is worthwhile.
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Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Awww, poor skanky rescue hens

Having sold some spare eggs to friends Hermione had finally saved enough to go and buy an Orprington hen today. We went along to a place we hadn't been to before. I must say I was shocked by the conditions - so much so that I felt compelled to rescue all I could and we came away with three not one. Just look at them, feathers matted with poo and stuff. I could cry for them and only wish we could help more. They're now tucked up in their new digs - a roomy hen house all of their own, and tomorrow they will hopefully enjoy strutting their stuff round the garden. Poor little things were really wary of the grass when we brought them home - never seen it before. Hopefully I'll be able to update with pictures of happy fluffy hens within a few weeks. Just a point to note, these hens are not battery rescue, they actually came from what many would consider to be 'free range' conditions. So sad.
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Sunday, 6 February 2011

Little Salkeld Watermill

What fun we had here! We stumbled across it by chance. Tempers were becoming frayed as we were lost and had spent what felt like an age driving around the fells of Penrith. We were hungry, frazzled and in need of sustenance. Thankfully we pulled in here and were in for a treat.

The cafe sold the most delicious bread and cakes I have come across - using flour they had milled and baked on the premises. It was ever so small and quaint with a large log burner in the corner and lovely views over the stream driving the watermill. The only downside was the price, although having said that it was a high price for very high quality grub - sometimes you pay top notch and the food is horrid.

As well as exploring the outer workings of the mill we had really enjoyed checking out their various poultry breeds which were wandering about the place. Hermione fell in love with their big Buff Orprington and is now waiting for our local poultry breeder to be able to sex her last clutch of Buff Orps before one heads our way. Apparently they are more difficult to sex than many breeds so we probably won't take one till it is about twenty weeks - I'm not chancing a cockerel!

We also stumbled across an earthen oven outside. I would love to be there in summer when they bake bread in it. I suspect it has a very distinct flavour. It made me think back to when we joined in a clay oven baking day a couple of years ago. It was fab.

For me, the rather steep prices of the cafe were off set by the beauty of the place and also the friendly miller who showed us around free of charge. He was very patient with the children as he guided us through his flour covered milling area. Look at the steps and tops of the handrail below!

We got to see the water wheel being started up, the grain going in, the flour coming out and the area where it would be bagged. The children got to mill some flour by hand and marvel at how rough the hand ground stuff was in comparison to the stuff that came out of the watermill.

Certainly worth a visit.

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Friday, 4 February 2011