Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically, which we share with Chickens, Cats, Guinea Pigs and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I work as an environmental educator, lecturer, writer and Forest School leader at Moors Wood . I am a Master Composter and have spent the last 11 years as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council. I offer talks and run workshops and events where we talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. We also make crafts and have fun.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun. To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!


Sunday, 28 February 2010

Sunny, seedy Saturday

Today was a sunny and moderately warm day here, and I managed to get a fair bit done .

I put on some washing and then hung it out, tidied up a bit down stairs, let out the hens and vaccumed upstairs and also did a lot of dusting( the sunlight made the dust visible....)

Now Compostman has finished boarding up the loft (hurrah) and floored it , we can store stuff up there, so things are slowly moving out from the study and guest room finally to be put in storage in the loft, where they ought to live :-)

(think things that get infrequent use.)

I am starting to see floor space in the Guest Bedroom. :-)

On the downside, although it is a dry day here today, it is a quagmire outside, especially where the hens live, so hens are plastered in mud...roll on drier weather is all I have to say. I have put down lots of straw on the muddiest patches to try to reduce the swamp ness....

But nearly ran out of straw, so I went into Ledbury to get feed and bedding for the hens and called in to a friend who is a large scale organic farmer with a wonderful farm shop. We chatted and I arranged a delivery of straw for the next week.

Compostman got out the electric propogators and checked them over for me in the afternoon, which was kind of him.

So tonight I settled down to make up my seed order, I went through all the seeds for both home and for school and have ordered where I need more, but ONLY where I need more. I *am* determined to reduce the "seed mountain" this year!

Although I have been thinking (and saying) I was behind with sowing...having gone through the seeds and looked at my planting diary for last year today, I actually sowed the first few this time last year...

Apart from the overwintering salad and herb greens , which are ongoing in the PT all winter.

So, tomorrow , a seedy sort of sunday I think!

Friday, 26 February 2010

Fun filled Friday

I am off to a pre school messy play and environmental themed games session this morning which should be really good fun!

Later on this afternoon

Play session went well, it was for a pre school and toddler group near to me. So we played a run around game, sang a couple of action songs about birds, the children ( and adults!) made dens built with fabric (and imagination) we did some bark rubbing and a lot of painting on BIG sheets of paper( wow some of the smalls were really getting into imagining the "woodland" I had said the room had become...)

and then I told them the story of The Gruffalo (one of my all time favourite stories!) doing different voices AND with some soft toy re-enactment...you should have seen the little faces when I produced from behind my back a large Gruffalo soft toy, at the appropriate bit of the story....They all wanted to cuddle it as well..

I don't blame them as he is a rather lovely soft toy!

I love my work :-)

BUT I am now tired and looking forward to a rest, I have had no dizzy spells since Wednesday so I am hoping it has gone now, whatever it was. My foot is fine now as well, so this weekend I shall do no business work but instead plant seeds :-))

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Thursday

Dizzy spells abating somewhat I am glad to report. They seem linked to ear ache so I am really hoping it is just that as I have SO MUCH work to do here, it is untrue. Both "work" work AND garden/hen/volunteer/compost/house etc work.

Am very glad I am feeling less giddy as it is going to be a Manic Day here, I have Eco club this afternoon for a paper casting and paper fabric making session, then when we finish at 5 pm and I help to clean up the mess I am off to the other side of Hereford to do a Risk Assessment seminar until late.

Tomorrow morning I am the attraction at a toddler and pre school session, lots of messy play, den building and bird related stuff will be happening. I have a story to tell them, with all sorts of embellishments and puppets and stuff..

I am having to load up the car for that session NOW, as I won't get time tonight.

All this is, if course, dependent on my dizzy spells staying away so fingers crossed etc

Later on after lunch.
Well have everything ready for this afternoon, notes prepped for this evening...and all the stuff ready to load for tomorrow.

See you all later!

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Am still alive!

Dear friends!

I am touched by all your concern and am apologetic at worrying you all so much...

The foot is actually much improved...and the giddyness is something I have had before...not for a few years, but I got viral labarynthitis about 7 years ago and was very ill ( possibly as a side effect of meningitis, but no tests were done so am not sure...)

I was very ill with it though and spent 4 weeks bed bound in a darkened room, looking at a blank wall and taking lots of very nasty drugs.....not fun!

I had several bouts of it again over the next 4 years...and I rather suspect it has come back. I am still prone to dizzy spells if I get ear infections or sinus problem....I have an ear ache at the moment and a one sided sore throat so I rather suspect that is what is causing all this drama...

IF I still feel like this tomorrow ( or if I get worse tonight ..eeek!) I promise I WILL get to a GP/ Emergency room etc...although if I am worse I think they will have to come to me...

Seriously the foot is improving and is just a small amount painful now...I managed to sort out the pus etc on Sat and get it open and draining (sorry if that is tmi! and yes it did bloddy hurt...) and YES I have sloshed a lot of lavender on it, soaked it in hot Epsom salt baths ( even better than salt!) etc etc .

seriously I PROMISE I have no more desire to be ill, that you want me to be...!

Stop the world, I want to get off!

My world is whirling and twirling and the floor is moving up and down in a very odd way...

I think I have some kind of inner ear/ balance affecting virus.

Will return when I can see the screen, without feeling nauseous.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Monday....mutterings

First day of my CTLLS course in Hereford. I felt very ill part way through, all giddy and faint and had to sit out in a cool room for a while, which was not what I needed.

I still feel rather giddy and unwell.

Also there is loads of work involved, far more than we all thought ( not just me!) and I am looking at the diary and wondering how I can double up time to make 14 day weeks, for the next 15 weeks,

Maybe think I have taken on more than I can cope with this time. A lot of my adult teaching is with "drop in" parents and children on environmnetal play and craft sessions which makes sorting out a schedule for being assessed for the course a bit of a challenge!

oh dear......

Wine! I need Wine! where are my minions bearing goblets of drink!

Monday, 22 February 2010

Sunday musings

Well the last day of the half term holiday here today and my foot is slightly better, to the point where I can get my boots on and go outside to do some work!

I managed to hobble to the hens and to empty out another couple of compost bins and put the finished compost in an empty bin, ready to shovel onto the veg garden as soon as the soil is workable.

It is a good job I can use my foot again as tomorrow is Day 1 of my CTLLS course and I need to be able to drive safely to and from Hereford.

I can't get a ride on public transport or with anyone else, unfortunately. but my foot is much improved now, so I am able to hobble around and will be OK to drive tomorrow....

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Sat update..more snow here!

We had a lot more snow here on Sat. So yet again the garden is covered with the white stuff and no work can be done.

Not that I could do any work,outside, anyway...my foot slightly improved overnight, but not by much, sadly. Compostman very bravely cleaned it out for me last night, I felt sick and shaky as result of it as it was very painful.... he is a very brave man as he HATES that sort of stuff..would never make a First Aider etc...BUT he has done it anyway because of love....my hero!.



I still can't walk easily so I have spent today inside again, sitting at computer instead so am now up to date with invoices, brochures, handouts etc...also have practiced story telling skills for next weeks toddler playgroup workshop I am running... I have been making a few puppet props to help the tale along...

Friday, 19 February 2010

Fri

Update

Foot slightly improved but still very painfil and I cannot get my boots, shoes or wellies on.

Nor can I actually walk properly on my foot. So I have not been outside in the 4 inches of snow today at all.

I have sorted out lots of work stuff on the computer and have tidied up the crafting stuff...but I WANT to get on with the garden! I could have been in the polytunnel today!
Bloody foot. Bloody thorn. Bloody hell.

Am pissed off.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

No power Thursday....

Hello all

Have had no power today, the electicity supply people have been cutting down big branches from trees which were interfering with the overhead cables.

So after a breakfast of boiled eggs, toast and tea ( thank the gods for the Aga! ) and washing up in hot water from the Aga, the woodburner and the solar thermal tubes ( thank you renewable energy gods/godessess......!)

We decided that it was a good day to go out to Hereford shopping for various essentials ( including shoes for Compostgirl who is having a HUGE growth spurt...)


I might also add that the snow is really quite bad here, thick layer everywhere and the roads are rather covered....

My day has also somewhat been ruined by my developing an abcess last night on the sole of my foot, caused I think by a thorn or some such...making it v painful to walk.  Compostman tried to lance it for me this morning and got some pus out but not enough, even though I soaked the offending foot in very hot water with a lot of Lavender essential oil dripped into it...and then put on a plaster with more lavender on the pad.

But... now my foot is swollen and red and throbbing...and I am finding it very hard to walk around on it......

suspect I may be a A & E case or down at my GP tomorrow, if it does not abate overnight...feel rather hot and odd tbh....so am off to bed soonest....

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Wednesday wonderings........

This time yesterday I was around for a cup of tea and a long natter to my friend Dandelion, a fellow Master Composter, and to meet Mr D and one of the Dandelion seedlings


In the morning I had been very busy, emptying compost bins and moving finished compost and filling leaf mould bins up, so I felt justified in skiving off for a few hours in the afternoon. It was a lovely day yesterday as well!
Today however it is VILE here, icy, wet and sleety, I have come in to thaw out and take on internal fuel, before venturing out into the polytunnel again...brrrrr

The internal fuel being pancakes for lunch here, not having managed to do them last night...and soup, a huge bowl of veg and lentil...mmmm should warm me up a bit!
 
Later on...( at 4 pm)
 
I have come inside in disgust as it is SO cold and wet outside that, even working in the polytunnel with gloves on, my hands are seizing up.....and it is already dark outside!

So I am sorting out the study instead.....Much warmer inside! I have also signed up to the RSPB Letter to the Future and done a few tweets, just for the fun of it...

Compostgirl is sitting by the fire and Compostman is up in the loft, laying down more insulation.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Tuesday "twitterings"

Well I finally gave in, and joined in......

After a very long  morning outside in the garden and then visiting a friend for tea and yummy gingerbread in the afternoon, I got home, had a meal and then sat down up here to do some work.

After a few hours I got a bit bored, so I joined Twitter........(!)

Not quite sure what all the fuss is about, tbh, but will give it a try!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Some Monday photographs

A very messy front garden
and a very untidy north borderSome help in the garden!




Tidy now.

I have feathery help in the compost area......





Lots of lovely crafting students and their creations.....



A smiley sun!



A very messy Polytunnel, but THIS is a "before" shot"......the "after shot will come later this week....!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

A very productive Sunday

Another beautiful if cold day here, have so far managed to achieve all I have tried to do , without it going wrong, blow up, die, try to kill me or in some other way injure me...or just plain not work.

So a HUGE improvement on yesterday!

Have cleared a flower bed of all the old seed heads and dead stuff ( now all eaten by birds) the new growth coming means I need to clear away the dead stuff, finally. Rather sadly I found the remains of Henny and Ginger hens whilst doing so, :-(

I moved 2 hen runs and dug out the droppings, trodden down chippings etc, composted them , put back the runs and laid down new chippings for the feathery ladies.

I managed to re capture the wild Legbar pullets and put them inside the ( newly cleaned out and freshly spruced up) Eglu house and run. They seemed pleased and relieved to be back inside, to be honest!

I dug out 3 compost bins full of compost and composted bark chippings, ready to put in the soon-to-be-made raised beds on the veg patch.  I am going to try a strip with raised beds and see if I get a better yield from them than the bare soil beds next door, by growing the same crops in the raised bed and in the flat bed.

Did 4 loads of washing, and got 2 loads dry OUTSIDE!!! oh deep joy! I have been drying washing on the kitchen dolly and it is NOT the same as air dried stuff...

Also have measured up the area where the Mega Hen Pen is going to go, and discussed what I want with Compostman, and what materials we wil need to order for him to make it.

Have eaten various meals, tidied up, sorted out some fabric for a quilt, have looked at my soap making supplies longingly but decided I have no time at the moment! Ditto making any creams or balms. I will just have to make some time some other day!
I have lots of work coming up which I need to plan and prepare for, also the next phase of the Teacher training starts on the 22 Feb (eek!)

Wish I did not need so much sleep...if I only needed 4 hours a night I could get SO MUCH done...but sadly I need around 8 hours on a "Normal" day and often more after I have had a busy few days....the revenge/legacy of the CFS/ME I suffered for so very many years....

Am going to go and sit down and watch "Being Human" in a bit.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Getting nowhere, fast!

Beautiful if cold day here today but managed to get nothing one at all. Tried to get lots done but it all went either wrong, blew up, died, tried to kill me ( that was a shelf falling down.....) or in some other way injure me...or just plain not work.

Everything I tried to do failed, sometimes in a quite spectacular and alarming manner.....

Even managed to lose whole chunk of my teaching course work          and my back up media also failed to produce the, well, backup....Good job I have managed to find a backup, backup version....!

At about 6 pm last night I gave up on anything at all except, eating a meal ( cooked by CM....) drinking wine (opened and poured by CM!!) and watching a DVD with CM and CG ( Night at the Museam, very funny in a silly sort of way!)...

Decided anything else would be too risky .....I WAS planning on bottling some wine, but decided I would probably drop them all or somehow ruin the 15 l worth , if I tried.....

Anyone else ever have days where ABSOLUTELY NOTHING will go right?

Friday, 12 February 2010

A day training as a Fire Marshal.....

Off on a Fire Marshall course today.....

Somehow I bet the weather changes and these were the two lovely gardening days, and then, when I am around again, the weather turns bad?
CM doing things in the loft and garden, CG last day at school before half term ( gulp)

Later on....at 5.30 pm

Am back from Fire course, now a certified Fire Marshal, so have a silver star on my chest and am armed and ready to rock and roll with an extinguisher....if this blog catches fire, I will sort it out!

Course was held at Anubis at Eaton Bishop, they are really good and excellent trainers who make all this stuff memorable, in a fun way.

Spent some time putting out pretend fires ( a large stone obelisk obliged by pretending to be the fire...) with all sorts of different types of extinguisher...Simon the Firefighter was brilliant and very kind and patient with those who were a bit concerned........he also took us in small groups into a smoke filled ( synthetic, safe to breathe...) room and we had to find our way out...glad I didn't have to do it for real as it was very unpleasant...

I am even more admiring of Firefighters, tbh...the idea of deliberately going into a building/situation, where you can't see for smoke and burning bits of stuff fall on you...to rescue total strangers...hmmm.......I might be brave enough to do something like that for my loved ones ..but I sure as hell don't think I am made of the sort of stuff to do that as a job....

Priority now is to shower and put ALL the clothes I was wearing in the wash....All my SMOKEY clothes from today smells disgusting, synthetic smoke is much worse than nice woodsmoke....yuck not an alluring smell..... .

Mastercrafts on TVtonight at 9 pm BBC2 Monty Don and heritage Crafts........lovely!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Been out all day, Went to Compostgirl's school for her class assembly, all about Planets, it was very very good and then we had coffee after and a look at their work...

then I went to spend rest of morning walking around Bromyard in company of amazing local history expert, doing another Trail ( similar to the one I was doing in Ledbury last week)

I took some photos and have written some clues, but need to get on with the rest of it and hand it over and get paid!
Then I went back home for a quick lunch and off out to a paper casting and paper fabric making session at Eco Club. The childen had a huge amount of fun doing this as it is not something they have done before. We talked about where paper comes from, it's history and how and why we recycle it.

I got back home about 6.30!

I then ate a meal, and read a book and watched "Only Connect" which we had recorded from the other day, both of us love this quiz and last night I got all the answers correct...perhaps I should go on the show? :-)

I have a busy day tomorrow, doing yet more training...should be much fun!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

The lost post

I posted an extensive missive about what I got up to today, but it seems to have got lost....................

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Sleep, sleep and more sleep!

Slept like a log last night, but felt curiously unrefreshed this morning...just wanted to go back to bed and get some more sleep!

And, as I had nothing scheduled for today and tomorrow, I did just that, for an hour or two.....and was woken up 3 hours later, at lunchtime!

I must have been even more exhausted, than I thought.....It has been a hard few weeks and the last few nights broken sleep plus all the work last week and yesterday, plus all the "normal" stuff here....has left me a bit worn out,.

I need to watch out for getting too low and going down with something again...don't want that to happen!

Later today I had  a flurry of emails about the next bit of the Teaching certificate...and a reminder it starts in less than 2 weeks...( groan) couldn't they give us at least one day off without reminding us  ?

I have had a nice evening cleaning out the Guinea pig, watching Suvivors ( what a load of old tosh...!)
and drinking nice glass of wine. I am off now to bed... early, to sleep some more!
 
Tomorrow I shall be busy in the garden, if the weather is kind.

Monday, 8 February 2010

CW does a happy dance of success!

Dear friends, am shattered, have today spent ALL day being assessed doing teaching AND assessing everybody else while THEY did THEIR teaching...very hard work indeed and had very poor night sleep last night ( fire alarm battery failed, so it kept on going "beep", then cat was sick on bed, then CM got up...)

so am shattered now...(6 pm)


at moment am sorting out what I need to do to finish my teacher training portfolio..if I do it NOW I will remember all the comments etc made today about what I need to do...if I leave it till tomorrow...I won't remember ANYTHING....(rolls eyes)

trouble is, am so knackered.   tired, I can't remember anything, anyway.....
 
later...( 10 pm)
 
It is wine time!
LOTS of wine time!

I have just finished my Teacher training (part 1) portfolio!.( hurrah!)

Today was very hard work, but it is over now and I have finished my portfolio!!! (CW does a happy dance around her study)

I now have 2 clear weeks until I start the next part of the teaching stuff.....so I can get on with LOADS of outdoor stuff ( if the weather gods are kind to me...)

AM a very happy CW, tonight :-)

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Sunday musings

Its been a beautiful day here, a lovely sunny, if cold Sunday. I raked up leaves, before they overwhelmed the daffs poking through underneath, then finished the PT tidy up and got some seeds and plants planted out in the raised bed in there...!!!!


Have been investigating various fence options, local reclaimation yard wants an arm and a kidney for
 ?Heras? fencing ( security /building site stuff...) which I wondered if I could use to make an enclosure against the fox...ut it also looks very ugly...

Wood and wire to make is also v expensive in "one off" quantities...IF I was building a house, the economies of scale would make it economic, ...but I am not..

So....looks like I am just going to have to buy something...which at least can be un bolted and moved around as flat panels, if we want to move the whole lot...

Or I could just get rid of all the hens, except for a couple....and keep them inside the existing house and run combination......which sounds quite appealing at the moment.....!

Only joking!

But..it IS a bit of a problem for us, I am having to clean out the hen runs more than normal, because they are shut in ( to avoid being eaten by the Fox...)

So I am spending lots of time ( I don't have) sorting it all out...sigh

Saturday, 6 February 2010

A day out with fellow composters....and a really good talk!

Back from a lovely day out at a social gathering of Herefordshire and Worcestershire Master Composters held at Worcester Woods Country Park. We had a fabulous talk from a member of the Countryside Services, Senior Greenspace Officer Wade Muggleton, on his amazing recycled garden

Wade is a local award winning gardener and writer. His talk was titled "Gardening like a Womble! a talk on permaculture and gardening"

Wade has travelled extensively in New Zealand & Australia, visiting and working on organic farms and permaculture projects. He “walks the talk”, having spend the last 7 years developing his own small garden into an intensive food producing plot that contains more than 23 kinds of fruit and about 20 types of vegetables. “Grow It” magazine awarded him their coveted “plot of the year” award in 2009 and he writes for Permaculture magazine.

It was a really good talk, as Wade said, “if we use small garden plots and allotments we reduce carbon emissions, waste, transport and pollution.” He is the most amazing skip diver, vegetables and fruits were flourishing in an amazing variety of containers and raised beds. As you might expect from an audience of Master Composters, we then had a lively question and answer session .

We had some lovely lunch, followed by a workshop, again headed up by Wade, on making willow structures such as obelisks and hurdles. We all had a really good time and, as always ,I came away enthused and energised by these gatherings with like minded folk.

Wade demonstrating how to make a willow obelisk




Also no hens were killed today and it was lovely weather.

So all in all a good day!.







Master Composters cutting willow.



Finally, if anyone reading this lives in Herefordshire or Worcestershire, the Waste Management team are looking for some more people to train as Master Composters? So, if you are interested, give me an email and I can give you more details?
Me and my lovely willow obelisk.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Paper crafting workshop for grown ups....


Monday night, car loaded up with paper craft stuff, card blanks, stuff to make envelopes, the paper and paper fabric and papercasts the participants all made last week...

Had to iron some of their paper as it was a bit thick and had dried crinkly, but have sorted it all out now!

and the stuff to make up tonights project, which are A5 notebook covers, which are then filled with A5 paper to make a note book...

I got some wonderful wallpaper sample books ( 3 very expensive books!) from the scrapstore and have spent a very nice afternoon making up cards and notepads and books, some as examples, some as future stock.

The envelopes look amazing, though I say so myself...I have used various nature magazines and some wallpaper as well, picking out wonderful pictures, and made beautiful lined envelopes which I will use for my cards, and they look ...wow...

Even CM thought they were good, and he is usually unimpressed by such stuff....

Sunshine and twiggery

Its been a lovely day here today,

My day started well, with a meeting in my "office" ...a walk around the wood with a prospective client (grin)

I then spent a pleasant hour walking around Ledbury taking photos and thinking up clues for a trail I have been commisioned to write.....so got to have a wander around a historic market town, in the sunshine and get paid for it...my kind of work...!

Then had lunch out in pub with Cm.

This afternoon I have been making twig hearts and stars and writing a lesson plan and tutorial sheet on how to make them, for a class I am teaching next week.
Also let the hens out to have a wander in the sunshine, I stayed close by and kept an eye open for the Fox. The feathery ladies seemed very pleased to be out of the runs!

Thursday, 4 February 2010

A trip to the Orthodontist and other stuff

Back this morning from trip with CG to Orthodontist, poor child has inherited Mum and Dad's tendancy to huge teeth as well as our brains and beauty...( cough)

Hens all shut in runs all day today, have divided them all up so everybody has as much room as possible in the secure runs while I try to decide what to do. And don't worry about me showing fear to the fox..., I have taken to carrying the air gun with me as it may well recognise THAT as dangerous...also I shall kick it if it tries anything...and if all else fails I WILL shoot at it with the air gun ..even if it only stings it, it might make it think twice about yipping at me.....

Got email from lovely teacher at the school I worked at yesterday, apparently the children were running out at home time going "Look, Mum! I made a book!!!! Look I made some paper! " ....which was a lovely thought..

2 of the Yr 6 children gave me the books they had made, having written really nice things inside the covers about my teaching and Eco club ...which made me well up a bit as well...! I gave them some stuff I had made in return, as I didn't want them to leave the craft session empty handed apart from their hand made paper, ...just little cards I had made from bits of stuff..

Fox around again tonight, scared Tom and Tabitha cats witless...they came charging in, fluffed up to the nth degree....very scared..

Feel a bit under siege here, tbh...hens v disgruntled at being shut in, but better in than dead, I think...Must admit, have asked a friend if he fancies a trip up here with his rifle? .

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Attack of the fox?

Saw the Fox tonight again, hanging around at dusk...so shot outside to lock in all the chickens, even though they were all inside the electric fenceing...

All hens present and correct at bedtime , including the wild rover Spot, who I managed to shut in tonight!
So...I decided to do a big swap around when all the birds were sleepy, later...so he and the 2 Legbars are then in the Eglu run for a few days and the others can come outside in the electric fence area or, stay inside the bigger secure run.

LATER TONIGHT UPDATE....

Tonight was a bit...worrying ,though..

I went out to get Spot the feral cockerel from inside the hen house to transfer him to another closed run and house. I did that and then opened up the big house and run where the other two ( recently ) gone feral Legbar hens were enclosed. Got one, shut door, trudged to Eglu where Spot was, put Legbar hen in with him.

Went back to get Legbar no 2...she flew out of the door as soon as I opened it!..and ran around in the dark squarking madly.....she got the other side of the electic fence and then, as I went to try to grab her...she and I froze because the fox was there...Foxy made a lunge for the hen , I shouted and Foxy backed off BUT just stood there, growling...about 6 foot away from me?

I grabbed Legbar hen, shouted again at Foxy and finally it ran off into the wood.....

All 3 Legbars are now shut inside the Eglu and run, where they will stay for a few days, and the other 9 hens will be inside the secure runs for the next few days as well..

Have NEVER seen a fox "square up" to a human like that before...it really wasn't scared at all....

a bit worrying TBH......

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Of foxes......

6 pm ....Saw Foxy just now...grrr...chased it off by shouting....going to lock in hens asap.

managed to shut in Legbars yesterday but cockerel not having any and is still feral, up a tree all night....

It has been suggested I shoot the fox but bugger all chance of doing that I suspect, don't have suitable gun, so instead have got male large carnivore ( CM) urine being sprinkled along the fence, and am watching what is going on generally during the day, but if s/he (suspect she) can leap OVER an electric fence ( as happened Sat), I am a bit stuffed (and so will s/he be, with MY blardy hens!)

Don't have or want a dog....so apart from keeping the hens shut in the runs all day (not a great idea!) am a bit stumped as to what to do.....

The Fox was a beautiful animal though, really well groomed and glossy..
That would be due to being SO WELL FED, I guess.....

Oh well, Fox is just being a fox.....

I have been asked about shooting the Fox ? I only have an air gun for squirrels etc so have nothing which would kill a Fox ...even if trapped in a cage IMO...I don't think a .22 air gun pellet would go through a Fox skull, even in the eye?...guess one would need a .22 rifle? And not sure I want to, tbh

Really wouldn't feel comfortable about attempting to shoot a fox , even at point blank range, with a .22 air gun as would not want fox to suffer at all, even if the bugger DID eat my hens!

Monday, 1 February 2010

Paper crafting workshop for grown ups....

Monday night, car loaded up with paper craft stuff, card blanks, stuff to make envelopes, the paper and paper fabric and papercasts the participants all made last week...

Had to iron some of their paper as it was a bit thick and had dried crinkly, but have sorted it all out now!

and the stuff to make up tonights project, which are A5 notebook covers, which are then filled with A5 paper to make a note book...

I got some wonderful wallpaper sample books ( 3 very expensive books!) from the scrapstore and have spent a very nice afternoon making up cards and notepads and books, some as examples, some as future stock.

The envelopes look amazing, though I say so myself...I have used various nature magazines and some wallpaper as well, picking out wonderful pictures, and made beautiful lined envelopes which I will use for my cards, and they look ...wow...

Even CM thought they were good, and he is usually unimpressed by such stuff....

Must have shower before I go though, and get changed into clean, paint-y clothes, rather than clean, gardening clothes....

Couldn't get onto the RSPB site to upload my BGBW results...it was too busy

Update at 11 pm.....Late in from paper crafting workshop ( 10 pm...!) so sat on sofa, drank wine, watched Kirsty Young on social history of UK and went to bed. Slept well, but not long enough..
UA-40361266-1