Saturday, 10 February 2018

What a difference 12 minutes makes

The cats are taking the weekend seriously. This was Saturday morning

This was Sunday afternoon at 4.10pm

Followed 12 minutes later by this

The chickens are hunched and bedraggled under the hedges and all the cats have scarpered! The TV has disconnected itself in protest. Ah weekends!

Monday, 22 January 2018

Mushrooms / toadstools or what you will

A neighbour's pine tree dropped a lot of dead "leaves" onto the top of our old woodpile roof. It made the most amazing compost. So I filled a few pots with it and some other soil from the garden. There must have been lots of spores in the compost, because I keep seeing mushrooms in the morning. They have vanished by tea time, like they've gone for a bit of a stroll. Here are the latest little beauties.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Anniversary weekend

During public holidays we are held captive in our own home. The only road "out" is usually gridlocked in both directions, so we stay home and feel sorry for those stuck for hours on the main highway.

A certain ginger has spent the last 24 hours recovering from catching a coney (leveret) and having it confiscated by yours truly. It missed being eaten by a bunny whisker. As you can see, he is totally unstressed in his rabbit deprived state.

The birds are snoozing, enjoying being soggy after the desert temperatures of recent weeks.

And we are enjoying the night sky palettes at the end of lethargic days.

Not a bad place to be "imprisoned"

Friday, 19 January 2018

RIP Esmerelda

This week the lovely brown hen from next door, Esmerelda died under our verandah. I felt really sad all day at work. She had been attacked by a neighbour's dog when they had been returning from a walk. The hen was nesting at ground level on the neighbour's shared driveway and was disturbed by a boisterous running dog. The said dog is a hunting breed, so the "inevitable" happened and she was bitten but escaped. She lingered for a couple of days.

When I noticed that she was sick, she was hobbling over to our water bowl on the lawn and then drooped on the floor. I fed her bread and got her to drink. By tea time she was sheltered under the verandah and I put a fruit box next to her so she couldn't be seen by the other chickens as they were pestering her. She even let me stroke her, so we had a wee talk and I prayed for her. Later I learned that my husband had done the same. The next morning she was dead.

I love the feather dusters. They have real personalities, and it seems sad that they live such short lives, yet grace us with humour and affection in their own feather brained way.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

2018 and all that

It has been a desultory start to the year. Hot, hot, hot and only now after 9 weeks have we had a prolonged shower of rain. Our lawn is the colour of sand, bushes haven't had the energy to blossom and the chickens complain very frequently because of the heat. I realised that they were very noisy and surprised when we had a 5 minute downpour; they haven't experienced this kind of weather since they were eggs!

This evening I have been sitting on the verandah enjoying being cooler as it has rained. I have been sitting at the verandah table, with a heavy file of Family History perched precariously so that I could move the hundreds of pages easily. Cumin, our ginger female was jealous not to receive the attention she deserves and she repeatedly sat on the bit of paper I was reading. Eventually she jumped away when I let out a loud "good grief!" Included in the paperwork were several exercise book pages describing the best way to attack with a bayonet and the various kinds of poisonous gases, and the effects on various parts of the body. I didn't recognise the handwriting, but it was obviously contemporaneous with WW1. I shall have to dig around a bit to check where that came from.

I have just become a grandma of sorts, as one of my god daughters has just had her first child last night. It is a lovely feeling, but tinged with sadness as they are so far away and I won't get the chance to see him grow up.

So, here is our river, not looking like a river, grass, not looking like grass, a cat trying to cool off, a lawn which is dead and a neighbours new born foal.

Happy New Year to you all.

Monday, 25 December 2017


An hour before I started to write this, it rained. We are officially now declared a drought area. We have had no rain other than a few early morning mists for nearly 8 weeks. The situation for farmers has been so desperate there have been suicides. Tragic and terrible.

So I'm here to state publicly how thankful I am. Today we have shared our Christmas lunch with friends, and we are very thankful for them. I have had a much better year health wise. I actually survived a trip to the UK without being sick and coped for two weeks on my own on my return whilst my husband visited relatives in the N. Hemisphere.

I still have work, and we have a wonderful home and the amusement of 3 cats (ours) and 19 chickens (not ours, but they think they are). I've taken hundreds of photos, written thousands of emails. I have had some sad milestones; two of my mother's siblings have passed away, an uncle and an aunt (both in their nineties) and my Dad's oldest friend. But there were lovely milestones too; one of my God-daughters became engaged, the other is due to give birth to her first child in two days. Also a friend has moved to NZ from the US, so it will be easier to see her.

So I am thankful and signing off for 2017.