Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Back from St Lucia

Just in case any one is in any doubt, the above is Jan and Jeffs house in St Lucia where we have just spent a fabulous two weeks. It rained a lot but then that often happens in the rain forest, but warm rain and then magically as soon as it is gone the skies clear and the sun shines, it all dries up again and all is well! We had a magnificent time and did lots of new stuff, including celebrating Mums 80th birthday in style. Champagne and Lees Macaroon Bars for breakfast followed by a visit to a beauty salon, a trip on a lovely shiny boat to a fantastic bay with a great view of the Piton Mountains and then back for more champagne before a hair raising boat trip to Castries and dinner at the Coal Pot restaurant. We also went quad biking through a banana plantations, swam in a rain forest river. Showered under an icy waterfall in the jungle, had a sunset champagne sail, ate lunch at the Royal St Lucia Yacht Club, narrowly missed seeing Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta Jones, Amy Winehouse and some nameless but well know sit com star at Discovery. (So well know nobody could remember his name!) But the real stars were Jan and Jeff who are just about to come to the end of a month long invasion of friends and family and who are about to have six weeks guest free if they are lucky. Great hosts of course, as expected and good fun to boot!

Back here, things that were dormant when we left have burst into bloom, the snowdrops are all up, the crocus too and the doos and chickens are as productive as ever. We think we have two doves on eggs at the moment so will be waiting to see what hatches before we release the doves into the air in a few weeks time to take their chances with the ever present sparrow hawk.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Sad Sad News

When I opened the curtains this morning and looked towards the dove cote I saw something white on the ground, fearing it was Holly I went over and to my horror saw that it was a small chick, probably about two or three weeks old, that had fallen from the dove cote and frozen to death on the ground. I had not even known that we had eggs as with the doves being confined within the homing net it is difficult to get a good look in.

It may be that we have another chick in a nest as I have noticed one bird in particular has been staying in a nest box a lot so fingers crossed that it survives. I think that with the extreme cold weather we have been having this little chap was lucky to get this far. But still sad and very disappointing, let us just hope that once spring arrives we get healthy, happy, living chicks to increase our flock.

The fostering and adoption of the hen girls went well. They were collected on Sunday and we have heard from Susie that one of the Veras has laid an egg and that Trinny and Susannah are now the Jacks! I don't know if the downsize has had any effect on the mud problem as the ground has been frozen solid or snow covered ever since they left.

Today it is cold and very sunny so that should gove some nice warmth to the doos and chickens, let us just hope that we are seeing the last of the icy weather and that spring will arrive very soon, the snowdrops are all up and have multiplied really well, there is going to be a veritable carpet of white in the garden soon.

Sunday, 1 February 2009


It is going to snow today! Well, that is what the Met Office Severe Weather Warning said but on least two occasions lately it has been nothing more than a few flurries and that was it. I love the snow and cannot wait for all the resultant Traffic Chaos, Temperatures colder than Siberia and all that jazz. So just picture me, the sledge is dusted off, I have hunted out my Moon Boots and Balaclava and I sit and wait.

I am also sitting and waiting for Susie to come and collect Trinny, Susannah and The Veras who are off to pastures new. Susie is adopting T&S and she is fostering The Veras until Easter when she will be taking them to meet a new man down in Milton Keynes. I had anticipated a few squawks getting the girls out of the hen house and into the travelling boxes and I was not disappointed. As ever Big Vera put up a fair fight and squawked for Great Britain. I am just glad nobody for the RSPCA was around. However they are all settled into individual boxes and asleep awaiting the drive over to the other side of Scotland.

The Little Red hens were not amused by all the fuss and I got a sharp peck on the leg from Roxy as I picked up a protesting Vera at one point! Once I am four hens down I am hoping that the run will be able to be seeded, at the moment it resembles the Bog of the Eternal Stench and I am truly fearful of slipping into it and never being seen again.

It will be strange not having so many girls but I am reassured that the homes that they are all going to are going to be lovely and all will be well.

Holly Doo is fully recovered now and happy to be back with the rest of the Moonzie Flock. Someone had laid an egg the other day, but on the floor of the homing run so I disposed of it, hopefully it will be the first of many and hopefully this time we will get some babies.

Right now I am off to plant some garlics having dug over the ground last week.

Watch this space for news of snow.