Saturday, 30 July 2011

Competition Time Draw!

The first Grow Fish Eat competition draw was conducted today and observed by an official adjudicator (my dog Faith)...

So congratulations to the winner. I'll contact you asap to arrange delivery of your new bit of kit courtesy of Lakeland Bushcraft.

Thanks to everyone who entered. Keep watching as there will hopefully be another fab competition prize soon...

Monday, 25 July 2011

'The Barn'

That last post was a bit grim so here's a more cheery one!

This years chicks have grown into young adults, outgrown the maternity unit, and needed to stretch their legs and feel some fresh green grass under their little feet. This means I've had to spend the last week or so designing and building another coop.

I'm lucky. I have the CAD (computer aided design) skills and workshop kit to work up some designs on the Mac and the tools to cut the timber to the right lengths etc., which makes the whole thing easier to do.

See, that took about 30 seconds!

I like designing and making stuff like this. Much better than buying some of the crappy sheds out there. This one has all the fiddly bits outside the coop so there's no nooks and crannies for the red mite to hide inside - nice and clean for the chooks.

The side doors open both sides to collect the eggs on the right side and clean the coop on the left where they all roost. One trick I learnt whilst designing the previous coop was to use seed trays under the roosting perch to 'collect' the poop. You can just empty these regularly and keep the coop cleaner.

It was a bit tricky to get the little scamps into it the first night (Saturday) but last night they all filed in without any problems.

Bella the Copper Black Maran hen - very dark eyes!
Penny, the Copper Blue Maran hen, always seems to be smiling.
Ronnie and Reggie (aka 'The Cray Twins')

Sunday, 24 July 2011


I wasn't intending to write a post about this, but seeing as it is likely to have a potential impact on my ability to grow, fish or eat in the near future, why not...

About three weeks ago, I discovered a 'lump' down below. Not the usual two but an additional bump on the right testicle. I did the expected thing and trundled off to see my GP and after she groped and prodded my balls for a bit made an appointment for me at the hospital for further investigations the following week.

The following Friday, myself and my partner (for moral support) spent the morning at the swanky new hospital. The consultant (another woman, yay!) groped and prodded around with my balls again and told me that I shouldn't worry, there was a bump but I wasn't in the right 'age group' to be at risk of anything nasty. Off I went for a series of ultrasounds, x-rays and blood tests, being told all the way though the stuff about not being in the 'at risk' age group.

When I arrived back at the consultants office, another chap (senior consultant) was there to meet us. Yet another bod tickled my nuts for a bit and got us to sit down (honestly, I've never had so many women fondle my nuts in one day - except for that one occasion, but that's not for here!)

The nice senior chap quite calmly told me that actually it did appear to be a tumor and may be testicular cancer! Typical.

The bloods came back last week - clear. The x-ray - clear. I didn't know at the time but the chest x-ray was to determine if the cancer had spread to the lungs - very scary.

Anyway I have a choice now. Have the offending ball whipped off now (and dissected under a microscope to see if it is malignant) or wait six weeks for another ultrasound to see if the 'lump' has grown or whatever. 

Either way it looks like I'm going to be walking slightly lop-sided in the future.

Like I said either I'm going to be doing a lot less, growing, fishing and eating or a heck of a lot more! Hopefully the latter.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Competition Time!

I've been looking at stuff lately that I use daily around the plot, garden, riverbank and workshop and have started to review some of the products I use or might want to use and that you might find useful too.

I'll try to be utterly honest about the gear I'm sent so you won't waste you hard earned money on crap if you were thinking about investing in any of it for yourselves.

Anyway, first up is 'the pocket knife', a really handy tool that no self respecting gardener, fisherman, fisherwoman or forager should be without. And this one is really good.

Check out the 'Review Shed' and have a gander. There's even one to give away in this month's competition so give it a go. You may well be the proud owner of a new pocket knife!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Wanted: Time Machine. Any condition. Cash waiting...

What does this lever do?...Oh shiiittt!
There just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day just lately. A mountain of stuff needs to be done and it has all arrived at the same time.

The garden needs weeding (urgently), the orchard needs mowing, the chicks need a new coop (urgently), I have orders for CGI's and for bits of furniture (££'s needed urgently), and I'm not even going to mention all the fishing that needs doing (v. urgently).

So I'm looking through the workshop to see if I have enough cogs, old spoons and assorted crap with which to build a time machine so I can get it all done. Maybe get it all done last year so I can have this year off.

Now there's a thought....