January 2007RSS feed

Hobbes update

Wednesday 3 January, 2007

by Rosemary at 8:34pm in Poultry 2 comments Comments closed

Well, the bold boy (ha!) has mastered the ladders and can now get himself to bed. We let them out yesterday and the girls, particularly Miss Yellow and Mrs Red, were giving him a bit of a hard time but they did let him have some corn and they did let him go to bed. He'll soon learn that the call "chook, chook, chook" means something to eat.

In fact, he likes his bed. I had to "encourage" him down this morning and he was first upstairs tonight (by a long way). It's been a pretty miserable day here, weatherwise, so maybe he's smarter than the others, who were huddled under the hedge.

First drive

Friday 5 January, 2007

by Rosemary at 6:33pm in Equines 2 comments Comments closed

Yippee! Smokey and I had our first drive on Tuesday. Claire and I got him set up then she drove him first, being much more experienced than me. Then I had a turn. It wasn't what I expected - it was much bumpier for one thing although that might be due in part to the surface. Smokey was so good. We stayed in walk and in the arena, but he was so cool. The surface is quite deep and wet, so I think it must be quite hard to pull. After we finished, Smokey took the gig back to the shed, along the road and it was obviously much easier for him. Since Smokey didn't look like he was going to explode, Claire had time to take a short video of the big event!

Onions, shallots and potatoes

Saturday 6 January, 2007

by Rosemary at 8:36pm in Growing 2 comments Comments closed

I've promised Dan that I will take more to do with the vegetable growing this year and I do intend to keep it. Unlike last year, when I undertook to look after the orchard and didn't. Actually, pruning trees is a bit scary - I'm happy to scalp the buddliea every year beacuse it grows like a weed, but I'm a bit anxious about doing long term, or even terinal damage to the trees.

So today I sorted out my onion sets (Jet Set), which came yesterday. I took out any soft or rotten ones and spread the rest on a tray, which is now in the spare room, to keep them cool and dry until planting time in March.

Marmalade polenta cake

Saturday 6 January, 2007

by Rosemary at 9:10pm in Recipes 2 comments Comments closed

This is for Anna, who has lost this recipe. It was in "Country Living " magazine in February 2006, inspiring me to make marmalade for the first time. I opened the last jar this morning, just in time for this year's Seville oranges to hit the shops.

Anna recommends this cake as easy and delicious.

200g softened butter; 250g golden caster sugar; 1 medium orange; 2 tbsp of fruity virgin olive oil; 4 large free range eggs; 150g SR flour, sifted; 1 tsp baking powder; 100g polenta flour or fine polenta; 100g Seville orange marmalade.

Working ponies

Sunday 7 January, 2007

by Rosemary at 8:36pm in Equines Comments closed

I spent a few (!) minutes surfing the web tonight and found two sites that I thought were interesting, so thought I'd list them here.

The first is www.daleslogger.com which is the website of the Working Dales Pony Centre in North Cumbria. I'm planning a visit already.

The second is www.suffolkpunchtrust.org, which is the website set up by the Trust to publicise its work in protecting and promoting the Suffolk Punch horse. If any of you have read Paul Heiney's books, you'll remember that it was Suffolk Punch horses that he worked with. The Suffolk Punch is in the RBST Critical category so could use our support!!

New gadget

Sunday 14 January, 2007

by Rosemary at 10:59am in Gardening Comments closed

Now, I would always claim to be impervious to gadgets, but it's not really true. So, I have to confess to having a new gadget - a pH meter. Now, those of you who are experienced gardeners might be shocked, nay, horrified, that we haven't invested in this piece of equipment before, but there you go.

I've always suspected that our soil is too acid for some of out crops to grow as well as they could and now I have the technology (costing about a fiver) to confirm this (or not).

So I expect to be liming this season and, in response, getting bumper crops.

Wee moan about the weather

Sunday 14 January, 2007

by Rosemary at 11:03am in Anything goes Comments closed

I don't know what it's like where you are, but it is truly dismal here. It's 11am and it's hardly light. The forecast said "light rain" - they must be joking. It's light rain interspersed with mediun rain and heavy rain. And it's windy. It's not cold, though.

I know some folk are worse than us - saw photos of flooding in York yesterday, so I am grateful that we're not in that position.

But it is dismal...

Spring is on its way

Sunday 14 January, 2007

by Rosemary at 2:04pm in Anything goes 4 comments Comments closed

Despite my moan about the weather earlier, and despite there being no improvement in said weather, I am feeling better. For two reasons, both poultry related.

Firstly, Hobbes has found his cock-a-doodle and is now crowing his head off. And secondly, we've had our first eggs of the year. Our girls stopped laying probably a few weeks before Christmas. Just ths other day, I said to Dan that I would know Spring was coming when we got our first eggs - and today we have!

Dan came in at lunchtime with two lovely brown eggs - laid sometime in the last week (we haven't been checking the nest box regularly, but I cleaned them out last Saturday).

Bruce Logan in the UK

Sunday 14 January, 2007

by Rosemary at 8:23pm in Equines 7 comments Comments closed

Smokey and I are lucky enough to be going on a three day foundation course with US horseman, Bruce Logan. Bruce was a Parelli 3* instructor before going off run his own Foundation Station in Texas. He's worked with some of the greatest horsemen of our times including Ronnie Willis and Buck Brannaman (the "Horse Whisperer" of Robert Redford's film).

Bruce is coming to the UK for the first time in February to do the three day Foundation Course for eighteen horses and riders, including our good selves, and a ten day colt start at the new Scottish National Equestrian Centre at Oatridge, West Lothian. Spectators are welcome at the Foundation Course - �25 for one day, �45 for two and �65 for three. For advance tickets and info, email infobruceloganuk@yahoo.co.uk

Curried sweet potato soup

Tuesday 16 January, 2007

by Rosemary at 8:01pm in Recipes 3 comments Comments closed

We had this lovely soup at Carol and Graham's just before New Year. First time I made it, I forgot to add the coconut milk, but it was still lovely.

1kg sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

1 onion, peeled and chopped

two dessert spoons of curry paste

1l vegetable stock

can coconut milk

olive oil

Sweat the onion in oil, add paste and cook for a few minutes, add the sweet potato and the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes or so until the potato is soft. Add the coconut milk. Whizz until smooth.

Hobbes and his girls

Thursday 18 January, 2007

by Dan at 8:18pm in Poultry 2 comments Comments closed

Looks like the fella has settled in. Just needs to earn his spurs now.


Diary upgrade

Friday 26 January, 2007

by Dan at 8:40pm in TAS Website 2 comments Comments closed

Tonight I've upgraded our Movable Type installation to version 3.34. This is long overdue, and will hoefully cut out a lot of the spam we've been getting the past few months.

It's also a precursor to some new stuff coming soon. The forums are installed and just need a bit of styling and testing, there are a load of recipes to be added, and the comment system will be changed to get rid of the pop-up windows. If you find any glitches with the diary please do let us know - it looks like the upgrade went smoothly but there might be some gremlins lurking in dark corners. :-)

Busy day

Saturday 27 January, 2007

by Rosemary at 6:15pm in Gardening 4 comments Comments closed

It has been the loveliest day here - dry, sunny, blue sky, a bit of a breeze. Out of the wind and in the sun, it was quite warm. So we've taken advantage of it and worked all day in the garden - thank goodness the days are still short! Don't know about Dan, but I can feel a few muscles aching already.

We finished cleaning the glass in the greenhouse. We did about half a few weeks ago - one of the panes "exploded" and it's taken us until today to get a replacement. Dan went off to Stirling to get it, and the lawnmower, which has been in for a service, and some bark, lime and bone meal. Anyway, he must have been almost at our road end coming home when...another one shattered! So we still need a pane of glass. The inside of the greenhouse needs cleaned out now - maybe tomorrow.

White washing

Saturday 27 January, 2007

by Rosemary at 6:28pm in Anything goes 7 comments Comments closed

Dan thinks I'm dead weird about this but I get a real buzz seeing my washing line full of white washing (coloured stuff isn't AS good), blowing in the breeze, knowing that it's going to come in soft and fresh (and not needing ironed!).

This was a white washing day, dry and breezy, so I'm well content! Simple pleasures, eh!

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