When I came to France I had visions of relaxing on a terrace, Pimms in hand and a good book to loose myself in for a few hours. Ok there would be renovations to do and a new business to set up after my retirement from tax this year. But somehow life presents unusual twists… Continue reading New career move
Just over six months ago we finally got two Jack Russell’s, my favorite dogs. Since the day I visited a friend, whose mother was asigned to baby sit me at 18 years old, after a jaw reconstruction operation, to make sure I didn’t joke on my liquid lunch….I fell in love with these naughty, feisty… Continue reading Bella
Napoleon and the girls just chillin. Trouble is it’s also Heff and Penquins patch. They won’t be happy!
It’s Friday. Exhausted from a lot of physical effort working on furniture, the chicken coop and garden. Time to do what the gang do so well….take a break. Have a great weekend everyone. You deserve it.
Sadly since I posted these photos of my magnificent seven, Jasper has passed. A traumatic accident occurred just a few days ago. Ever curious and ever friendly, Jasper had climbed in under our pickup. Driving home from our local provincial town, about 5 miles from home we saw a cat on the side of the… Continue reading Cats everywhere
On one of our evening dog and cat strolls. We have two Jack Russell’s and seven cats. All tag along and it’s some lovely bonding time for everyone. When the world us in such a mess there is something very special when animals trust you with their company and time.
A bit late but the garlic started showing signs of shooting and we hadn’t really planned to plant much this year given the building projects taking up so much time. But the awful virus arrived and we realized what bad timing. We had seeds but hadn’t really prepped the beds. A long slog in the… Continue reading Garlic
When you see your naughty Jack Russell Bella with her best little black cat friend Tokyo head to head burrowing in the nettles, oblivious of the stingers, something is being either brave or stupid. In this instance a poor lizard was being hooked out and tossed about. By the time we noticed, the poor thing… Continue reading Lounge lizard
A misty morning should mean a mellow day ahead? Hardly. Our mellow is unloading two new cast iron stoves, bagging up our flurry of leaves for composting and making a new chicken ladder. The silly cou nous cant jump. These podgy naked neck chickens have no sense of balance and at bedtime literally wail because… Continue reading Little daily musings
Because I finally found my vocation…. Every day this chicken slave trudges through mud to do her egg collecting and cleaning duty. My bleary eyed morning routine at the farmhouse starts with a hot cup of English breakfast tea. Can’t abide that thin whispy Smokey Earl Grey stuff. No has to be robust enough to… Continue reading It’s a poultry thing
On my 7th birthday I asked my parents for Charles Tunnicliffe’s book of bird illustrations. I had at the time a mild obsession with painting owls, especially barn owls, along with Dutch windmills for some obscure reason. Maybe it was a flight thing, the sails rising up into the sky, the connection with the wind,… Continue reading The art of birds
I am so behind with blogging I should pay a fine! I have also to catch up on everyone else’s wonderful blog posts and apologise for being so sloth in adding my comments. But tonight I managed to read a few and this prompted me to manage an update. The Anxious Gardener is busy. I… Continue reading Inspired by comments
Bella and Sake after bath time AGAIN because we must have rolled in poo!!! Stinky. AND emitting the odd cabbage farts too. Ah puppy love!
I have so many plans afoot for 2020 and wrote about a few in my rather long post – Fridge. Here’s a brief pictorial version for you busy bloggers. Happy holidays everyone.
I opened my fridge today and realized it represented all my plans and resolutions for 2020. There is fresh cooked chicken joints with a rich jelly for our cats. Tired of uneaten tins of cat food and mountains of rubbish created from pouched food, we decided from now on we are making our own cat… Continue reading Fridge
The parcel said Fragile. I am not sure these two wiggly sausages read that! Me trying to control the excitement with Archie our cat perched on my shoulder. Another mad moment at our home that’s becoming more like Noahs Arc, what with the heavy rains here and number of animals we now have. Tomorrow we… Continue reading Christmas parcel
After a hard dog day you dream about giant flying cats stealing your dog biscuits. When you get home your naughty sister steals the dog food and hides it behind the logs by the wood burner. She does this while your sleeping, blissfully unaware and then has the cheekiness to share your dog food by… Continue reading Brother and sister
Stubborn, fearless, intelligent, energetic, athletic, vocal. Yep and wiggly, poopy and naughty. So the definition of a Jack Russell means that potentially for 16 years the last shreds of sanity between 7 cats, 5 geese, 2 ducks and 20 chickens has popped! That bubble of a perfectly quiet Sunday afternoon reading a book on the… Continue reading Thanks Jack
Our first frosts arrived this week and the tomatoes finally curled and collapsed. We gathered the remaining unripened fruits to turn into green chutney and overwintered the strawberry plants. The tom crop was huge this year even though they grew from last years roots and the drought meant no watering either. Somehow nature gets in… Continue reading The Magnificent Seven
The gang are wrecking the place. The long wait for their spaying and doctoring ops was beginning to tell. Shredded table covers, naughty wees in their baskets and anything not anchored down was lost under cupboards and spiders were making homes in them. We moved them to a temporary room at the farmhouse, a cat… Continue reading The Great Escape
We finally hauled ourselves after the long hot summer into the Farm House to start renovations. Somehow a trillion excuses manifested to keep us from mustering up the courage to tackle opening up this lovely property and get some order into the rooms. With no rear access to the house, the kitchen off the bedroom… Continue reading Letting in the light
Yesterday was quite a day for the geese. In the morning I bought the usual lettace and tomatoes, but no geese. Called them. Tried to get excitement in my tone. Nothing. Then saw they were all quietly standing near the fence. Very odd. Entered the pen cautiously and walked over to the little goosie gang.… Continue reading Goose not on the loose
The heat has broken. Thank goodness! After weeks of drooping and lethargy, all the girls and Mr Chicken were out enjoying the cool and airing hot feathers in the breeze. Lots a lovely fluffy bottoms and bloomers on show and Mr Chicken trying to look important. As usual failing hopelessly. Everyone ignores him. But he… Continue reading Bright and breezy or maybe a little windy!
Pecan and Cashew are getting all feathered up. And the tufts on their heads look just like daddies!At that dirty grey stage. Ugly ducklings who will turn into beautiful swans..no I mean stroppy, demanding, clumsy, geese. Now we will have five rubbery footed guys yelling at us instead of just three.
Very poorly. Our little six month old Cou Nou or naked neck from Transylvania, cannot breath. A few days ago I noticed her gasping for breath, her little velvety skinned neck stretched skyward to grasp air.We have a dog kennel in our kitchen for emergency patients and Myrtle settled in for a few days of… Continue reading This is Myrtle. I know how she feels.
I am absolutely run off my feet at the moment with trying to decorate, unpack boxes holding our life stuff and managing our abundance of babies at the moment…kittens, ducklings and goslings. I am also downsizing my accountancy work, meaning just six months and it’s over for good. No more deadlines. No more burning the… Continue reading Bedtime
Last week excitement peaked when two little goslings hatched. As of today these guys are growing both in size and in their demands for lettuce. Spoilt to be honest with mum, dad and auntie Bumble trailing around them continuously. But they are sweet and we do believe some little tufts are starting to show on… Continue reading Little ones
Not just one little goslings hatched today, but a couple of hours later, another! After feeling immensely proud of Barley and Bonnie this morning, to have two little cuties….over the moon and back. Poor Bonnie suffering from lack of sleep. Having guarded all last night and today, he was starting to drift off. Get some… Continue reading And then there were two
Living here in France throws up two almost daily situations in the ever increasing heat and passing weeks into summer. One is renovating. The other is wildlife. We are in a crazy few months of being out all hours trying to make an impact on the to-do list. With a few properties on the go… Continue reading Brushes and baby birds
The grass has grown but we are only mowing thin access strips to protect the butterflies, moths, and the million other little bug heads that live here. Today I saw so many different species, we made a pact, husband and me, to leave a third of our field to grow savage each year. The farmers… Continue reading Coropisnita – scary bug
Barley has finally decided she will brood. Could there be a tiny slither of hope that one of those large grubby eggs will hatch a mini version of a happy-go-lucky Barley crossed with an aloof tufted headed Bonnie ( Dad)? In three weeks we will know. Barley chose a secret spot near the chicken forest… Continue reading Your place or mine?
Freezing, links, recipe and what to do with eggshells: I see this question a lot on the internet forums. Our lovely girls are laying eggs as if there is a local competition going on…which coop can egg it the best this week – wins meal worm treats! Well my girls get treats regardless but our… Continue reading Can I freeze eggs?
This week I had a delicate matter to resolve. Below we have an innocent looking tea-towel. An Irish linen one. Great at drying dishes and quite an old one. I think I may have even bought this from Harrods in Knightsbridge, London. Every January the sales are often with 80% discounts. The China department is… Continue reading The evidence is clear
Simply my lovely Tolouse goose Barley lays her eggs daily, carefully covering them with straw and twigs in an attempt to be a careful mumma goose. Except she doesn’t brood over them. Bonnie her mate (Sorry we thought he was a girl) doesn’t chastise her either. So I collect them and in return for the… Continue reading From field to plate
My twelve girls do me proud. Fresh eggs daily. I try to collect the eggs every day around mid afternoon. This gives latelayers time to lay and not miss out on the lunchtime treats. In the morning it’s chaotic. Everyone is either laying, thinking about laying and hovering round the laying hens or all trying… Continue reading All about eggs
My good intentions this week to update progress on the barn renovations fell fowl. Pun intended. A couple of weeks ago our electrician invited us to his home for drinks. An ice breaker so to speak. Accepted. Lots of fun and resulted in an invitation to join his wife’s sewing circle in a small village… Continue reading Heff the duck
We had a happy hour digging for worms today. Everyone got stuck in helping to scratch up the earth as I dug. I know it seems harsh on the worms but the girls will find them eventually and it’s good to have some bonding time. Collette is looking very fed up. The only juicy worm… Continue reading Worms
It took me 10 minutes to cook scrambled eggs, chop up some leeks and add some sunflower seeds. The girls scoffed the lot in one minute! Really couldn’t you all just take a bit of a breath between pecks!
Sometimes we do slightly zany things in life. Coming to France seemed a little zany at first, but now I am settling and the benefits of being in this wonderful countryside surrounded by cow’s and mountain pines and oaks, well it seems the most sensible of decisions in reality.I have always tried to support charities.… Continue reading Funky Chicken Rescue
I really thought Barley had a false alarm the day before yesterday. Nest building all morning but no egg. Barley had found a quiet spot in the goose pen and had been trying to arrange the few bits of straw and dried grass there. Her nest efforts were a disappointment with such megre materials, so… Continue reading Poop an feathers: We have goose eggs!!
Today Barley built a nest. The geese have been extremely territorial recently and grumpy. Bonnie and Bumble have been hissing at every one and anything, including wellies, buckets, egg baskets, grain bags. But quiet Barley has been making a little spot to maybe lay her first egg? The geese are a year old now and… Continue reading Nest building
Our mountains to the South send strong, almost hurricane proportion winds across Limousin. Farm roofs take off, trees are uprooted and last year our garage collapsed. Today was no exception and the ominous drone above our barn made me uneasy. Wandering down to the garden for my daily coop clean and tussle with the hormonal… Continue reading At home and hurt
Snow finally arrived. The geese love it. Living inside your own goose down duvet makes you cuddly and ready for a big goosie hug! Bonnie doesn’t mind a bit. Orange feet go a little pinker in the snow but the girls seem oblivious. In fact it seems they tried to footprint every snowflake in sight!… Continue reading Snow geece
Blogging fills the planet with information. Much of it fills us with amazement, awe and humour. Some fills us with constination and feeds our curiosity. Some is downright misinformed and even dangerous and misguided. Heading towards my first anniversary as a Chicken Mumma, I have devoured both blogs and books to learn about my feathered… Continue reading Poop and feathers: The Chicken Whisperer
Have you ever had a feeling of overwhelming guilt and heartache when you realise you have unintentionally harmed someone or something in the process of trying to do a good deed? Today my heart is heavy and I feel I should do penance. I am not religious but I hope there is a little country… Continue reading House mouse – guilty feelings
In these cold and wet wintry days, there is nothing better than taking some time out from muddy chores and wet wellies, to catch up on reading. In a couple of months we sign for our farmhouse and begin a huge planning session, working out where the new chicken coop and runs will be and… Continue reading Poop and Feathers: Books about chooks
Who would have thought there could be so much fighting over a small rubber tub of water? Everyday clean water for geese to waterproof feathers and clean muddy feet. Geese relish a good splash about. Orange pond for paddling and a temporary small tub for floating in. Plenty of time to share? No. Bonnie hogs… Continue reading Feathers and Poop: Territorial
My first Christmas in France and we finally got our tiny little tree up. Having only just finished the bedroom in the barn, the tree is perched on top of my yellow chest of drawers as the floor is still full of boxes to be unpacked. But it’s full of Christmas bling, bells and flashing… Continue reading Bon Noel from France
There is a little mouse in the house. He lives near our log burner – sensible guy – and although we shouldn’t, we leave him French bread and sometimes cheese. Once the barn is finished, he will have to move his little home to the hay barn at the back, but for now we indulge… Continue reading House Mouse
I have been a little too quiet on this blog. Life’s ups and downs as they are. But today in December was wonderfully windy, autumnal and the bright golden leaves looked like the sun had been scattered to the ground ready to swept up for a winter slumber. The chickens were out – the coop can get… Continue reading All change – French property plans