Monday, 21 August 2017

Love at first bleat

There are compensations for getting out early in the morning and digging up weeds on the driveway. About five minutes into my dig I heard a high pitched bleat from my neighbour's front paddock. There were two newly born, wobbly legged lambs staggering around in the frost and moving instinctively towards mum and sunshine. One picked sunshine under the tree, the other picked mum.

and a few hours later

The mild and torrential weather of late appears to have forced spring into an early arrival if our cherry and plum trees are to go by.

And our neighbours chickens only spent a few seconds on our frosty lawn before heading back to the sunshine of the paddock.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Shaking a tail feather

I do far too much sitting around - whether at work in an office, reading, sewing or typing at the computer. Today, I had to get the muscles moving so went for a perambulation in the 'hood. It is amazing how many neighbours I met, either running or taking dogs for walks.

Just a few photos from the stroll and Mademoiselle Plume when I got home. She is rather a pretty creature. I do enjoy her gentle murmuring to the other hens. Not so much Reg the Rooster who has finally found his crowing register and practices at all opportunities. He started off with the sound of an old Austin 7 engine being cranked with a handle. This was alarming and very funny at the same time. I did wonder if I needed to buy him some cough drops. Now he is in fine fettle and proudly screeches to his girls. This has had an alarming effect on the cats who occasionally have been dozing on the verandah when he has strolled right underneath them and let rip.

Monday, 14 August 2017

The rain it raineth every day, but dogs don't care

We have had an extended period of rain across the Lower North Island which is causing a few issues with flooding. In theory at least, we should have weather cold enough to have snow, but we don't, so we live like walking sponges.

Our road is rather worse for wear. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. The dog belongs to our neighbour and friend. He is a livestock dog, but today he was "dressing up" as a water dog. A happier creature you could not find!

Friday, 4 August 2017

Secret Sylko hoarder

One of my earliest memories is of my mum's sewing table (built by dad) and playing on the floor of her sewing room. When I got dextrous enough, I was allowed to "sort" her thread drawer. She was a seamstress by profession and always had dozens of alterations on the go for various neighbours and friends. I absolutely loved the lazy afternoons of childhood, listening to the musical whirr of mum's Pfaff sewing machine, and "Women's Hour" on the radio followed by "Listen with mother".

Today I have been sewing half a dozen draught excluders for our very draughty home. It has only taken me 3 years! Other projects have got in the way. I got distracted part of the way through the project when my sewing machine spool ran out of thread. I ended up sorting out my sewing threads (two drawers of them!)

I love the names given to the colours, which seem richer and bolder than the synthetic threads of today. You can almost visualise the trendy two piece or daring miniskirt to go with the name.

I am always hunting for a colour I don't have, so fabric fairs have a frisson of "the chase" as a result. As they seldom cost more than a couple of dollars each, I don't feel too guilty collecting!

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Flight Lt Mango defends the borders

Poor Mango doesn't know if he is coming or going. Our neighbour who has a farm at the back of us has nine very polite and somewhat timid chickens who occasionally wander into our paddock. But he has to be in a position to see them when they do, because there are a lot of trees blocking the path they follow down to the fence.

The new neighbours chickens are a different story. They are quite happy to arrive on our lawn in the morning, less than a foot drop from the verandah and eat all the remaining bird food from the night before. They are currently doing some long overdue weeding for us in the border which separates our property from our neighbours. The paddock chickens were unceremoniously chased away by Mango around 10 minutes ago. He was showing off, because he lost interest quickly and proceeded to run up three trees in succession - great watch towers.

Meanwhile Mr White (I think he may be a rooster) and his 4 girlfriends are blythe and bonny and only quietly indignant at being watched by two gingers from the table on the verandah. Cumin runs from them all bushed up, and given that she is actually smaller than one of them, I'm not surprised.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Returning the egg boxes

One of our lovely neighbours occasionally leaves us some eggs from her chickens (the white ladies who like to flutter around in our paddock). She pops them in our letter box and emails me to let me know they are there. Today I returned the egg boxes with some afternoon tea in them. Her chickens lay the most delicious eggs, so I reckon I get the best part of the deal!

One of our resident solar panels has been soaking up the last few moments of a winter sun day. She is now middle aged and I think feels the cold a bit more. Tonight we are expecting -3 degrees, so we will be lucky if there is room in the bed for us after the cats make themselves comfy.

Monday, 24 July 2017

When you can't pee in peace

Our large ginger lad has a particular corner of the garden he likes to dig a hole in. Today he was royally interrupted by the next door's new flock of chickens. They have taken a liking to this corner of our garden; it is shady and has plenty of soft soil and delicious worms.

Here is the poor lad trying to read the paper on the loo, being harassed by a chicken, then being royally told off by the chicken. He went off to sulk elsewhere!