Thursday, 23 August 2007


Just got back from a fab camping holiday in Wales! Found a lovely little camp site at Pontrug, just outside Caernarfon. Small site, garden centre (bonus!), by a river under the trees. Small trauma after the second night when the river threatened to burst it's banks and I insisted we move the tent, but it didn't take us too long and the river subsided. And then the sun came out!

There was myself and hubby, our three boys and hubby's two grandchildren, ages of kids: 15, 14, 10, 4 and 2. They all got on really well, were well behaved and great fun to be with! We rode the Ffestiniog railway; the Great Orme tram between the Orme and Llandudno; visited the Great Orme Copper mines; visited Henblas Farm Park on Anglesey; had a boat ride into the Menai strait; rode the train to the summit of Snowden and flew kites on the beach at Dinas Dinlle. A lot in 5 days! But I never did get chance to shop in the garden centre!

It was also a maiden trip for our new tent - a fabulous Vango Diablo 900xp. Loads of room; easy to put up; cosy and waterproof - highly recommended!

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Finished at last!

Chateau Cluck is finally open for business! The girls discussed the new accomodation over supper. I think they approve!

Rain stops play

I got up first thing this morning and got out into the garden to finish the run. I patched up the gaps in the netting - can you see the join? I made a chain fastener for the door. Then I stretched chicken wire over the top along the front edge and nailed it into place. I was going to run another length alongside it and use cable ties to fasten the lengths together. When I looked for the cable ties, I found out why my very helpful son had been quiet for half an hour. He had used all the cable ties to decorate his bike. I was not a happy Mummy. And then it started raining. Time for a cup of tea I think!

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Garden Redesign (again!)

Since we've had the chickens the garden has been redesigned so many times - my poor hubby must be totally fed up! But to be fair, I do most of it myself - he only comes in handy when there is heavy manual labour involved!

But I did need him this time. I asked him a while ago if he would consider building me a 'proper' chicken run. The answer was an emphatic 'no'. So I went ahead and drew up plans and costings for wood and netting etc. When my Dad came for tea I told him my plans and helped me make a start by building one side. Hubby then decided he could get some wood for me from work (old pallets they were throwing away). I got some netting off freecycle (thank you Kevin!). And hubby got to work. I never said a word - honest!!
So Chateau Cluck is nearly finished. This was how it looked yesterday - the netting was finished and door added thid evening (no time to take pictures though). Poor hubby is back to work for a rest tomorrow, so the boys and I will try to finish it off (latch on the door, more netting on the roof). Then the chooks can move in! Will post again when finished.
And on Friday we go camping in Wales - in our super duper new waterproof tent. Which is a good job as it's forecast to rain all weekend again!

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Meet Bandit

Great day today!
Got an email from a lady who had an unwanted hamster that she put on freecycle – he’s ours now! Went to collect him at teatime. He’s called Bandit and he’s a Syrian (I think) long haired little puffball. Very friendly and happy to be handled by me and the boys.
Here he is:
What a sweetie!

Then Dad and Stepmum called round for tea. Dad was obviously bored sitting in the sun drinking beer, so asked how I wanted my new chicken run building. Anyway, he cracked on with it and one side is now built – only 2 more sides to go, plus a door and the wire to put on!

Made a pasta salad to go with the BBQ meat – picked French beans and courgette from the garden to go in it. Yummy!

Sunday 5th August

What gorgeous weather we’re having now! After the wettest June on record, summer has finally arrived! It’s lovely to be able to get out in the garden every day again. The chicken runs are drying out. I actually managed to strip them all down yesterday and give them the good cleaning that they needed!
Ruby and Rosie, the new babies, are growing – I’ve just realized that they are now bigger than Bella, their coop mate. And they both cluck now – gone is the baby cheeping.
But they won’t go to bed at night – I have to leave them out and wait for them to go into the run themselves! Dirty little stop ups!

The veg patch is doing well, it’s great to be able to go out and pick a selection of tasty, fresh veg for tea every evening! I’m currently picking courgettes, runner beans, peas, broccoli, salad leaves and radishes. Ripening nicely are French beans, leeks, spring onions, cucumbers, carrots, sweetcorn and tomatoes. At least I think the tomatoes are ripening – there’s plenty of green ones but I did find an orangey green one yesterday! It certainly looks very pretty anyway.

And yesterday I got carried away on freecycle and offered to take a hamster (and cage) whose owners are moving and can't take him with them. I didn't think I'd get him but guess what! Am just awaiting confirmation from his owner that I've been successful and I'll go and collect him. The boys will be delighted - not so sure about the husband though! Watch this space.