Archive for August, 2009

Happy birthday to Pinky, Perky and Fergie!

Today is Pinky, Perky and Fergie’s first birthday.

It seems like a long time ago that I was sitting in the stable with Tia as she farrowed. All in all, I saw all but two of her piglets being born. Looking at the remaining three today, I struggle to believe that they were ever this small:

Tia and her one day old piglets - 20 August 2008

Tia and her one day old piglets - 20 August 2008

Tia's piglets meet Teal - 21 August 2008

Pinky, Perky and Fergie introduce themselves to Teal - 21 August 2008

Pinky and Perky - 28 August 2008

Pinky and Perky - 28 August 2008

Jennie and (a grinning) Fergie - 24 September 2008

Jennie and (a grinning) Fergie - 24 September 2008

Looking for a good web host!

I’m getting really frustrated with the limitations of wordpress.com, specifically the fact that I can’t tinker with the look and layout of the themes.

I’ve stuck with them as, 99% of the time, they offer a great blogging tool, not to mention the fact that it’s free, but, of late, the theme problem has really been getting to me.

In short, I really need to get serious about finding a cheap but reliable web host, not to mention a suitable domain.

The following hosts have been recommended to me:

Does anyone have any other recommendations? Ideally, I’d like a UK company, but for a really good host, I’d be happy to ship my cash overseas.

Also, as I mentioned above, I also need a domain name. Most of the ones linked to “bring me sunshine” have been taken, so alternative suggestions are needed!

Get your thinking hats on!

Ocean Mist theme!

I promise this is the last time, but I’ve changed the theme again… I’ve remembered an extremely good reason why I don’t like the non-customisable wordpress.com version of the MistyLook theme (though I love the theme in general) and so have opted for the Ocean Mist theme, using the same header image that I did for MistyLook.

MistyLook theme!

I’m sure you’ve all got better things to do, but just in case you’re wondering, I’m now using the MistyLook theme instead of this morning’s change to the iNove theme. And, just for Lec, the header image was taken on 30 May of this year and is of the view at the bottom of the field, looking over the tree line:

The farm - 30 May 2009

The farm - 30 May 2009

iNove theme

A few days ago, WordPress.com announced the introduction of a new theme: iNove.

As you know, I like to chop and change the features and look of my blog on a regular basis, so although it’s only got one sidebar, and my usual preference is for two, I thought I’d give it a go.

Thoughts?

Has your PIN number been revealed?

I’ve recently subscribed to the MoneySavingExpert email and I’m so glad I did so as this week’s email contains a link to a website which claims to list everyone’s PIN number.

If you’re in the UK, I suggest you check it out. Click here and see if yours is on the list.

Bad, bad, BAD pigs!

Tia may well be one of my favourite pigs, but she’s currently very close to booking herself a one-way ticket to the abattoir.

Well, that’s what I was muttering to myself last night, anyway.

Why?

Because the little madam (accompanied by Bailey but I know who the ring leader was) decided to break out of her pen while I was at work yesterday and get into the shipping container I use as a feed shed, and to store the straw and gardening equipment.

Between them, they ate their way through the three buckets of the fruit and veg I’d cut up that morning for their “pudding”, plus an additional six boxes of fruit and veg that I didn’t have the time to sort through.

Which explains the rather large (think elephantine) piles of pig poo that I spotted nearby!

But they didn’t just politely eat and then leave.

No…….

They trashed the place!

I spent an hour last night tidying up after them – a wonderful combination of squashed fruit and veg, the juices from the fruit mud and rain water.

And all that to clean up at eight o’clock on a miserable, wet and gloomy Monday evening, after a day at work, running on empty after a very bad night’s sleep.

When I arrived the pair were sound asleep in the empty pig ark near the shipping container and I confess I bit my tongue, waded through the carnage to get their pig nuts, walked them back to their pen (serenaded by six other pigs who didn’t understand why the order I feed them in had been changed), fed them, put the fence back up, got an energiser and battery (my bad, I should have switched the fence on that morning!), cut back the undergrowth by the fence (that was meant to be today’s job, hence the switched off fence), checked to make sure they had water and were ok, switched the fence on and then abandoned them. Did they get pudding? Hell, no!

The only good thing is that they failed to get into the pig nuts or the chicken feed.

Pigs! Sausages, the lot of them!!!!!!!

Bailey: intrepid explorer

I moved Tia and Bailey’s electric netting yesterday to give them some fresh ground, which they were thrilled with. The fence now goes round a rather boggy patch, which is wet but extremely fertile. Tia went round. Bailey decided to go through…

Bailey - 8 August 2009

Hmm, what's through *there*?

Bailey - 8 August 2009

Cover me, I'm going in!

Bailey - 8 August 2009

Erm, I don't like this. Mama, help!

Bailey - 8 August 2009

I wasn't scared. Now turn that camera off and get me out of here...

That’s my boy!

Butterfly, butterfly, whence do you come?

I confess I am no naturalist, let alone a lepidopterist, so all I was able to do when I saw this beauty was ooh and aah and take a photo, in the hopes that someone out there will be able to put a name to it:

Butterfly - 28 July 2009

Butterfly - 28 July 2009

Suicidal chickens don’t have happy endings!

You may recall that way back in the depths of June (you know, “summer”) I blogged about our two new Warren hens, Maude and Mildred. For the most part, they were settling in when Mildred decided that the grass was infinitely greener on the other side of the electric netting. Whenever my back was turned, she found a way to get out but for some reason, could never find a way to get back in, so I was constantly on Midge-watch, lest her terrier instincts point her in the direction of a free and (relatively) easy meal.

I cut Mildred’s wing feathers, made sure the netting was tight and not sagging, but she still kept getting out. So I wasn’t surprised when, a week after she started auditioning for Chicken Run, I went to check on the chooks and there was only one set of brown bum feathers shaking their thing in the grass.

It would be nice to think that she’s now running wild and will one day meet a handsome cockerel so they can raise a brood of feral chickens, but the somewhat more likely answer is that she fed a fox…

Mildred - 1 July 2009

Mildred - 1 July 2009

Since then, Maude has been fully accepted into the flock, though I have started calling her Hetty. I don’t know why, but I kept forgetting whether she was Maude or Mildred and whenever I went to talk to her, “Hetty” just fell off my tongue.

Whatever she’s called, she has started laying – big beautiful eggs that look and taste like sunshine in a shell. Delicious

Hetty - 27 July 2009

Hetty - 27 July 2009

In other chicken related news, the three Pekin and Silkie chicks who hatched in April are all boys, so they’ll be for the pot later this month.

And Xander, our young Buff Orpington cockerel, is looking mighty fine! He’s very handsome and is still extremely friendly, though thankfully he no longer tries to jump into my arms!

He’s done nothing but grow, grow, grow over the past few weeks.

This is how he changed in just a month:

Xander - 1 July 2009

Xander - 1 July 2009

Xander and the bantam boys - 27 July 2009

Xander and the bantam boys - 27 July 2009

Once the boys “go”, I’ll put Xander in the with big girls (he’s going to flatten the Silkies and Pekins one of these days!) and poor Flint will have to accept that despite his own exaggerated opinion of his size, he is in fact a Pekin and will have to join the hens who are his own size. I don’t suppose Xander will mind but Flint will be furious!

Captain Flint - 1 July 2009

Captain Flint - 1 July 2009