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!

Friday, 21 July 2017

Mock Pecan Pie

I have been sick for 17 days. Today is the first day I have felt almost totally recovered. It is a massive relief. So, I decided to use a recipe which has been sitting on my desk for a month and bake a pie. It is supposedly one of those recipes adapted during rationing after WWII, but judging by the amount of sugar in it, I'm not sure where the "adaption" came in. After all, sugar was rationed for 9 years after the war finished in the UK! I think perhaps it is simply the substitution of oats for pecans.

Anyway, here it is. The main ingredients are wholegrain oats, eggs, butter, sugar and milk.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Birthday cards

I have always loved receiving birthday cards. It was a chief pleasure as a child to have a birthday card sent to me in the post. So much so that I didn't throw many of them away.

On my recent trip to the UK I managed to photograph a lot I had stored in the garage. I was amazed the memories, even to the extreme of remembering where I was when I opened the card and how I kept it safely in a drawer in my small bedroom. The styles are reminiscent of the 1950s even though many of them were given to me in the 1960s and early 1970s. Here are a few of the favourites.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

The sound of silence

I have a streaming cold, which I decided not to bless my colleagues with, so I am at home on a work day. I think I picked it up at a community meeting hubby and I attended on Sunday morning. There were over 300 people present, and several million germs it would appear.

The meeting was about a proposed motorway (called expressways here) which "may" be heading to our road or intersecting it, or running right over it. This inevitably has us very concerned. No decision will be taken on the route until February 2018, but looking at the topography of our area, it looks like we are slap bang in the middle of two of the options.

So there is a bit of grieving going on in our household, and many hundreds more in the area.

This morning, feeling a bit maudlin, I took myself and my sneezy nose down the driveway with a large mug of tea. Although it was minus 2 overnight, and still with a heavy frost on the lawns, in the sunny patches it was absolutely glorious. I happened to look above me as I ambled down the drive, and saw two very, very large Kereru (native wood pidgeon) sat on the branches of the cherry tree above me. They are glorious birds, larger than the European variety, and wearing an ivory white vest over jewel green wings. When they fly it is with a slow "schlooop schlooop, woosh, thud" kind of flight technique. Avian Harriers they ain't, more Lancaster bomber with engine failure.

It was such a privilege to stand and chat to them both with absolutely NO SOUND at all, save one of the highland cows next door chewing and crunching some grass.

I guess I will need to make the most of these moments.