Tuesday, 23 July 2013


Last Saturday I went to Salisbury Rare Breed Poultry auctions with Lyn & Fraser.  As I only have 2 chickens at the moment I was hoping to get 2 more at the auction.

I have never been to any livestock auction and I did find it fascinating.  The auctioneer spoke so fast that I could not understand the prices so when I had chosen a cage of 2 white hens I got Fraser to bid for me.  Success!

Light Sussex hens
We think the birds are Light Sussex hens but there was no breed stated on the sale document.  Having got them home I needed to integrate them with my 2 Black Rock hens who are already well established.

Black Rock hens
So I divided the hen run and gave the new hens water and feed; I also clipped one wing so they cannot fly...........well that is the theory.  I found that night they had both flown up onto the edge of the chicken run and were roosting for the night.

I know that it is best to introduce new hens at night when they are all roosting but you should have seen the look my Black Rocks gave them, it was just as if 'who are they and are they staying?'  Very funny.

Well at the moment the Light Sussex are confined to the hen house during the day and after about a week I will let them mix all the time.  Fraser thinks that they need about another 2 months before they will start to lay so they should see me through the winter.

I love doing new things.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Elderflower cordial

I have a beautiful elderflower bush outside the lounge window and over the weekend I stripped it of flowers and made elderflower cordial.  It is really wonderful and very fragrant.

I have never made cordial before but if this is the result then I will try again next year.

The recipe made 3 bottles but I have already drunk half a bottle so I made need to make more this year!


Sunday, 23 June 2013

House work!!

Possibly from the title you might expect me to say that I have suddenly become domesticated....Nooooooooo........not me!

I have had a very satisfying weekend of house maintenance, I have cleared 2 gutters and unblocked a down pipe so the rainwater flows well.

I found an electric wood shaver (I did not even remember that we had one) and managed to shave the top of the door into my en-suite bathroom and now I can close the door again, hurragh!

The creeper that was going up over the velux window has now been chopped down and I weeded out all the grass around the pond.

The chickens are now in the greenhouse and making a good job of clearing all the ground weeds so that just leaves the run free for me to clean out the chicken house.

Last job today will be to open the velux window and do some maintenance work.  I just feel so satisfied that I have been able to get these jobs done on my own.

Sunday, 19 May 2013


Debbie at Heligan
Vanessa, Socx and Maia at Heligan
How blessed we have been with the weather this week.  Debbie and I visited Cornwall and the Lost Gardens of Heligan.  I was last at Heligan about 13 years ago just after it opened to the public.  Now the gardens have matured and so much work has been done that it really is a very special place.

I also stayed with my nephew David and his wife Karen who are both Druids.  The evening conversations were wonderful and opened my eyes to another way of viewing life and this planet.   David has a connection to the spirit world that I find fascinating and intriguing - I would so like to know more but I am uncertain as to whether I want to know.

One evening we took the dogs for a late walk up the lane near David's cottage, the moon was crescent and the first evening star was just visible.  There are a lot of bats in the area and some came really low so they were easy to see, I love bats and find them fascinating.  In fact Debbie and I saw a bat in daylight over a lake at Heligan which is very unusual.  

I have a lot of bats in my garden here at home and this evening I was sitting with my neighbours in their new summerhouse watching bats (and drinking wine).  There are a lot of insects in the gardens and there must have been at least 4 different bats about tonight.

I also love spotting owls when I drive home at night.  David has a captive African Grass owl in his garden; Issie was not sure about another 2 dogs in her garden and she kept a close eye on both Socx and Maia.  I was not sure if she viewed them as 'lunch' or 'predator'.

Do you like this toilet roll holder?  I do!  this is in David and Karen's home!  Wonderful.  xx

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

How lovely!

As most people will know 2012 was a lovely year until the 28th September when David died suddenly.  

I really have not felt like blogging..... until today.  I have received a lovely email from a client that has restored my faith in life and made me smile.

'Hi Vanessa,

You very kindly sent my last year’s tax return and some good advice in order that I could complete my own self-assessment.

I am triumphant to say that the mission is accomplished!  I really didn’t think I would be able to do it without you!

The prevailing factors in our turbulence have been flooding and M's Mum.  One is receding, the other keeps going!  At least we have no snow, unlike your poor self and thousands of others.

I was so saddened to hear of your loss; the heartbreak of losing the beloved is beyond description and my heart goes out to you.  As you struggle to make your new normal in the months and years ahead, I pray that your memories and the love that continues, will warm you and bring comfort.

I will contact you if I need your help in the future, but I am deeply grateful for all that you have done for me, you are a true professional and a lovely lady,

Always with kindest regards,


I am sitting here smiling and crying just a little, it means so much to me that S has said such kind words.  

Being without David 'sucks'; for over 35 years I had his love and support that never wavered (I was not always so kind in return) but being without my life partner is just LONELY.