August 2008


First of all, many thanks to Paul and Angela who wrote me an email asking if there was a Diary problem.
The answer is more the old 'minds willing, but....'!

The truth is that up until last weekend I only had one day at home since 27th. July. Add that to the fact my Laptop packed up, got repaired, then packed up again - it hasn't been exactly plain sailing!

However, here we are again. Until last weekend, it was cricket, cricket and more cricket. This included our final at Lord's, great occasion, packed house and lot's of noise. Regret to say that Kent came second, but the fact we've reached two finals this year, still in contention for the Championship and promotion in the One-Day League, it's been a good year.

The last 7 days has enabled me to catch up with loads of things around the Garden. The weather has been good for this, not too hot and not raining.
The time off started with the Wedding of my second cousin Phoebe and we had a grand time at the Reception dancing to a Kentish Folk Group.
Sunday was spent doing the Grass and other odds and ends.

The time off was marred a bit on the Monday. Having a bit of a senior moment, I decided to move some years old large Apple Boxes from the dis-used Mill to use for wood storing.
I tidied the whole area, moving this and that to make way for them. Put them in, all looked good so I went indoors.
It was then I said "Strange, I don't remember seeing my Moped". Well, I hadn't because someone had stolen it over the weekend.
They couldn't have ridden it away because it didn't have a Throttle Cable and hadn't been started for month's. Plus the fact the Sheds hadn't been entered and the car's were untouched - it was obviously targeted.

Regret I wasn't insured either. For the price of the Insurance, it didn't seem worth it. Oh dear !

But the rest of the time has been well spent. I've cut down loads of branches off 4 trees to give the PIR light more room to look at and installed another one as well. I have Camera, but like a twit, didn't record over the weekend.

Being fair weather, I decided it would be a good idea to start wood collecting for the Winter (did we have summer?). Usually I start as soon as Cricket finishes at the end of September, but no time like the present and I got enough in around 8 hours to last approx 8 weeks.

Today was Chutney Making Day. The benefits of this are you have enough to last the whole way round til same time next year. The negatives are the smells of cooking the Stuff which lingers around the house and up your nose for hours afterwards.
It's a bit like Parmesan Cheese and Hard boiled eggs, lovely to eat, but avoid the kitchen whilst preparing it !

Sadly I've lost three chickens since the last entry. I had three before all the new one's came, making 13 all told.
Two of the older one's just seemed to fade away and one of the new ex-battery hens couldn't take the change of life and went as well.
Oddly, the third one of the older one's is suddenly looking tired and, if you like, depressed. I just wonder if there is some emotional attachment somewhere for each other.
I've noticed this before that when one goes, others of the same age seem to as well. It's kind of a 'my turn' scenario.

So now it's just eleven, but I got 7 eggs today. With the days off work, I haven't been able to sell any at work, but have sold them from the Corner of the Lane.
It's odd, because you rarely see anyone walking down here, yet whatever we put out sells !
You've heard of the European Butter Mountains, we have a Tomato one! In fact, it's the success story of the summer really. Everything else has been very sparse and I have to say it's probably our worst vegetable year since we started some 7 years ago. A lot of this could be more down to me being out so much and not the vegetables themselves.

Last weekend Leo went to the Reading Festival. In true style he lost a shoe on the first night, found the few hundred which were picked up and left by the Stage, but couldn't find it.
His answer to this plight was to find another shoe of the same size, so duly wore two odd shoes for the rest of the Weekend.
Never mind, Metallica were brilliant weren't they!
I reminded him that when I used to go to the open air Concerts in Hyde Park during the late 60's, you used to lose your clothes and not your shoes !

Autumn approaches and I'm ready for it. Another season, another year, another mystery - but isn't that what's life about !



5th - 20th. July 2008


It's really hard keeping to schedule with the Diary through mid-summer. I'm either working, as in work work, or at home catching up with countless tasks semi completed on sunnier days.

However, I've just had a few days off and in that time written a few new pages.
In the Chickens section there are three (links on right). Although they are subject matters which to many are obvious, with the sudden increase in people wanting Chickens, I feel it good to go back to more the basics.
It doesn't take long to get a knowledge of Chicken keeping - after you have them, but there are some things which need to be taken into account before and just after getting them.

I've also had time to start a few Video Clips. There's one on how to make logs with the Eco Paper Logmaker (also right) and a video up-date of Down the Lane 2008 HERE.
By the weekend I should have another uploaded on Feeding Chickens.

Regardless of a red hot keyboard I have managed quite a lot of work outside; one tree down, another half a tree, cut the grass twice and generally tidied up the Garden in general.
At long last the vegetables are catching up on themselves, but a later harvest isn't too worrying, less time to store them for through Winter.

I also got five new ex-battery hens from the BHWT. The Lady Co-Ordinater for Kent is a really wonderful woman. She spends most hours of her day caring and tending to hundreds of poorly Hens who have come out of Battery Farms 'too' worse for wear.

All bar one, they are settling in nicely and there hasn't been one punch up, even with two introductions in three weeks!
I feel the poorly one won't last the distance. It's always a pity when this happens, it seems such a terrible waste of 62 weeks of any creatures existence living in such places.
On average I'd say I've lost 3 to every 20 I've had within the first 3 or 4 weeks. The poor things can't take the change, simple as that.
But at least they have seen a sky, breathed some real air and gone to sleep when they're supposed to rather than when the Timer goes out in the 10,000 plus Chicken Shed.

Needless to say something had to give on my Car - the Radiator ! This was achieved by myself driving at the said 20mph speed restriction where they were re-surfacing the road and the Pick Up Truck coming the other way at approx. 50mph.
Luckily there's a Guy at Work who's a dab hand with Cars (Lawnmowers as well!) so I brought the Radiator and he put it in. I reckon this would have saved me £50 - £75 ?
They do look after me at Work.

Tomorrow I'm off to Southampton and by chance, Kent have won their way through to the twenty/20 finals being held at the Rose Bowl. Being only three miles away from my daughters house, it will give me a relaxing journey to work that day!
I get very tense during Cup Matches and with the Team being in two finals already, my Heart is probably on overtime.
Not only that, I get quite emotional with a big win. In 3 weeks time after the Lord's final, I'll be totally shot away.
But at least I have the England v South Africa Test Match to do.......
The Ladies Teams !!! That'll sort me out.

Someone gave me a Sat Nav and I'm finding great enjoyment finding my way home from Work. The fact I do the same journey about 200 times a year hasn't a thing to do with it.
After all, it could take me on a more scenic route via The Lake District couldn't it.
I like the voice which tells you what to do. It's so accurate, it asked me if I'd remembered to clean my teeth the other day.

Whilst at Southampton I'm looking after the Grandkids for three days. I've had all the preventive jabs and medicines as I've heard the germs are pretty loaded up down there at present.
They seem to prefer staying at Home when I'm there. If it was something to do with the 80mph dash we did through Netley Village Centre or the Car parked outside their School Gates I don't know.

I don't think so, but everytime they see a friend whilst we're driving along I look in the Mirror and see their heads slowly disappearing beneath the windows.

The good news is I received my Application for my Winter Fuel Allowance. Because I forage most of our heating, that will amply see me through to next Spring.

One of the few benefits of getting on a bit


Going back to look at the future