August 2005RSS feed

Paradise on Earth

Tuesday 2 August, 2005

by Dan at 7:55pm in Anything goes Comments closed

Not related to smallholding, but what the heck! This is a shameless plug for the website Paradise on Earth which I've just completed for my friend David Morin. It's a collection of his poetry, illustrated with loads of photography from the excellent stock.xchng.

David's got a level of enthusiasm I envy, and he loves to receive feedback, so anyone who visits the site and enjoy it, please drop him a message - he'll be stoked. Or even better you could donate to one of his nominated charities and let him know - that really would make his day.

TAS On Air

Saturday 13 August, 2005

by Dan at 12:54pm in Anything goes Comments closed

Next Tuesday we're expecting a visit from Nancy Nicolson, presenter of BBC Radio Scotland's Grassroots, a rural affairs and community programme. She's going to interview us for a programme about smallholding to be broadcast on Saturday 27th August (you can also listen on line, live and after the event).

To be honest we don't really know what to expect. I've been on the radio before, when ClacksWeb won a national award in 2002, but that was a brief 5 minute interview in a studio. So we'll just play it by ear, be ourselves and no doubt cringe when we listen in. I always said Rosemary had a good face for radio...

TAS on air

Tuesday 16 August, 2005

by Rosemary at 9:02pm in Anything goes Comments closed

Well, we had our first (and probably last) foray into the world of media today.

Nancy Nicolson, from BBC Scotland, came to record some stuff for "Grassroots". She was really nice and made it all seem easy - I suspect that there will be a lot of skill in the editing, though.

The hens took stagefright and skedaddled when Nancy tried to record some hen chatter. Cassius came and sat on my lap while we were recording but had to be removed when he started to throw up. No wonder it's said that you should never work with children and animals.

Table birds and replacement laying hens

Tuesday 16 August, 2005

by Rosemary at 9:26pm in Poultry Comments closed

Well, we've finally bitten the bullet and ordered our incubator, brooder and despatcher. This is the first step towards raising our own layer flock replacements and raising our own table birds. We have ordered a kit from Ascott Smallholding Supplies.

We intend to buy fertilised eggs - the incubator we have bought takes 24 hen eggs but we might start with 12. Once the equipment arrives, we'll spend a few days playing with it (we might even read the instructions) and sussing out what else we need before we start.

It's a dog's life

Tuesday 16 August, 2005

by Rosemary at 9:36pm in Dogs Comments closed

As part of the "Grassroots" programme, we wanted to "show" a meal that was all home produced. Tonight, that meant roast pork, "Red Duke of York" potatoes, courgettes and carrots.

We duly roasted the pork - Nancy recorded the sound of it sizzling as Dan took it from the oven. It was a magnificent roast with lovely crackling, succulent and juicy. The house was full of the warm smell of good meat. We all tried a bit - it was delicious.

After Nancy left, Dan popped into the study and I popped out to get some potatoes from the garage.

Hillfoot Cafe and Gallery

Saturday 20 August, 2005

by Rosemary at 9:56pm in Anything goes Comments closed

This is a plug for a new cafe, owned by a friend of ours. It's called the Hillfoot Cafe and Gallery, it's at 17 Hillfoot Street, Dennistoun in Glasgow (G31 2LD) and it opens the first full week in September.

Mike Thomson, the owner / manager, will be serving bagels, omelettes, salads, home made soups and baking and pasta dishes. The emphasis will be on organically produced, fair traded and locally sourced food.

The gallery has both prints and original art work for sale.

Mike's probably going to be plagued by visits from former colleagues - we'll all be a bit jealous, I think, but we'll all be wishing Mike the best of luck with his new venture.

ADDW Review

Thursday 25 August, 2005

by Dan at 8:02pm in Anything goes Comments closed

I'm just back from Dundee, where I was attending the 'Accessible Design in the Digital World' conference. It was a great event, with speakers and delegates from academia, business and government, and even though a few of the papers presented went straight over my head it was great to see so many people from such diverse backgrounds so clearly enthused by accessible design. I had the privilege of speaking at the conference, about my experiences adopting web standards and accessible design at my work. I always find public speaking something of a nerve-wracking experience, but with Jim Thatcher in the chair for my session I was always in good company.


Monday 29 August, 2005

by Dan at 7:50am in Growing Comments closed

Windfall apples3 years after planting, our orchard is finally bearing fruit this year. Last year I rubbed the blossom fairly ruthlessly, allowing the trees to put more energy into growth and less into the intensive process of creating fruit. This year I was more circumspect, since a good few of the trees are now well-established and should support a small crop. The Victoria plum produced a grand total of four plums, but they were very tasty!

Poor Homer

Monday 29 August, 2005

by Rosemary at 8:19pm in Cats 1 comment Comments closed

We've had a bit of a scare with Homer this weekend. For those who don't know Homer's background, we rehomed him from the Cat Protection League in December 2003. He was very depressed in the shelter, had been a stray a long time and was very nervous of people. He was "10 plus" years old then and shortly after we got hime, he was diagnosed with FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus). He's come on great since then - he used to live under the bed in the guest room, but now he's comparatively sociable and will sit on the sofa with you and get a stroke.

Blackberries and black bunnies

Wednesday 31 August, 2005

by Dan at 8:15am in Growing Comments closed

There's not much better in this life than getting something for nothing, and at this time of year that something is brambles, or wild blackberries. Yesterday morning while walking the dogs I noticed that this year's crop was starting to ripen and ready for picking, so this morning, armed with a suitable container, the dogs and I set off to forage along the field margins. We filled the tub with ripe fruit, and tonight it will join our windfalls in an apple and blackberry crumble.

It means for the next couple of weeks the dogs won't get their usual walk, but neither of them seem to mind much. Meg brings her tennis ball along, and as long as it's thrown or kicked every 5 minutes or so she's happy. And given our local rabbit situation Tess is in her element, sniffing, watching and chasing (but never quite catching).

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