Wednesday 11 January, 2006
Felix and his friends (I use the term loosely), Cassius and Copper, are featuring as "Cats of the Week" on a new weblog called "The Cat's Dish"
Thursday 12 January, 2006
Dan and I were out at the crack of dawn (well, actually before the crack of dawn) today sorting out the accommodation for our new poultry. I was going to say "hens" but of course, there will also be Henry the cockerel. We're not sure what breed Henry will be - depends who the breeder can catch on Saturday morning!
That's the planned collection date, so, all being well, we'll have some photos of our new arrivals on the site over the weekend.
Saturday 14 January, 2006
Well, we got our new hens today - or to be accurate, our six Light Sussex pullets and Henry, our Buff Sussex cockerel. More of the pullets tomorrow - but Henry is the main man, king of the dunghill, cock on the rock etc etc.
Mr Ogilvie, from whom we bought our new poultry, had very kindly caught both a RIR and a Buff Sussex cockerel. The RIR was a fine bird - but then we saw Henry! He really is quite magnificent. The photo does not do him justice. He moves awful fast and he's not very keen on folk with cameras (or folk in general, see below).
Monday 16 January, 2006
After spending yesterday enclosed with the girls, Henry and his wives were allowed out to roam today, on the clear understanding that Henry was to go to bed in the ark tonight. Otherwise, the next incarceration would be longer than 24 hours.
He managed a few full blown "cock a doodle do's" this morning, as he strutted his stuff. Just checking out the opposition, I expect.
Good news is that Henry found his way back to the ark and was tucked up with his six wives when we came home from work tonight. The two tins of sardines seem to have convinced him that this is an OK place to live.
Monday 16 January, 2006
Dan spent all his pocket money last week on a new book - better than fags and sweeties, I say!
It's called "the great vegetable plot" by Sarah Raven. He got it in Waterstones half price (£10) so it seemed like a bargain. It's very, very good - at least we think so.
We've picked up loads of tips, particulraly about tomato growing. Dan's never been satisfied with his tomatoes, so he's going to folow Sarah's advice and see if he can do better.
We cleared one of our flower beds yesterday. I've never been happy with the planting plan, except for the lavender hedge. I bought a lot of cheap plants but I was never happy with the effect. So, it's cleared and we're planting potatoes in it this year. This will give me a chance to get it weed free and to plan the ornamental planting for next year.
Saturday 21 January, 2006
I've never made marmalade, but apparently if you're going to do it, this is the time of year, with Seville oranges in the shops.
I'm going to give it a go. "Country LIving" magazine (Feb 2006) has a recipe for Seville orange marmalade, but even better, it has recipes for using marmalade - Paradise Slice; Duck breast with marmalade sauce; marmalade polenta cake; steamed marmalade and cointreau pudding with caramel sauce. Yummy.
Alternatively, serve with toast!
Sunday 22 January, 2006
Prompted by an email from a reader who has tried a couple of my soup recipes, I've added 3 new soups to the recipes section of the site. When I say new, I mean new to that section - the two stilton recipes originally appeared in the diary some time ago, but are now in their rightful place. The Carrot and Parsnip soup recipe is new - and was used this weekend to try to make a dent in the bumper crop of parsnips we've got this year.
Wednesday 25 January, 2006
Felix has decided it would be great to have some adventures. I don't know how much access he had to the great outdoors before we got him, but he always seemed a bit overwhelmed by "outside", didn't seem awfully confident walking along fences and stuff - things that Cass seems to do without thinking. And he just tears around the garden at 100 miles an hour, which is quite entertaining.
Anyway, Felix has been practising his adventure skills.
Yesterday, I looked out the bedroom window and noticed a wee black shape moving up the field, followed by the three horses. Felix seems to be fascinated by the horses and they're quite interested in him. I shouted on him and he came tearing back, meoiwing loudly.
Monday 30 January, 2006
Shortly after Felix moved in, he was introduced to the three horses in the field across the track. I don't THINK he had seen horse before but, in typical Felix style, he was quite relaxed, touching noses with them as I held him.
Well, what did we start? Felix has an obsession for horses. Twice recently, we've found him way up the field, but yesterday he outdid himself. The photo really doesn't do him justice. He was rubbing round their legs, especially the horse in the photo, but the other two weren't excluded. At one point, he had his paws up the horse's front leg and looked like he was licking it, in the same way as he stretches up us and licks our ears or noses. The horse seemed quite relaxed about it all.