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1st - 15th. September 2006
At last I managed to get down to Southampton to see the family, first visit since the end of May.
It's always hard for me to come home after visiting 'the flock' and it was made worse by seeing the results of 5 days of heavy rain here. I cut the grass last Sunday and it's longer than before I did it. Plus the weeds are rampant again and I haven't any time off for 12 days or so now.
However, the cabbages are looking reasonable and the runner beans, which were very slow to start, are now sprouting everywhere. The sweet corn tastes as if they have four spoonfuls of sugar on them - amazing, but maybe a tad too sweet.
The chickens have gone silly again with their egg laying and I can't keep up with them !
What that does go to show is how many you would have to have to make a pretty good 'extra business'! Plus the extra work of cleaning out a couple of hundred - the mind boggles.
But, for us and your good selves, it's not the money, but the enjoyment of having pets which give you such nice food and plenty of entertainment.
It's somehat of a mystery that I haven't seen a Rat since Spring. The Farmer harvested the fields around us a couple of weeks back and this is usually the sign they are returning - but they haven't.
Whilst in Southampton I had a conversation with Cyril about Mobile Phones. I am due an up-grade and phoned the Phone Company to find out if I could have a new handset. They said I could either have a new phone or £100 of credit !! No surprises as to which of the two options I chose. This means that, short of dire emergencies, I shouldn't have to pay for any calls til about the end of February !
So, the winter preparation is well under way. The savings by running the moped rather than the car, plus the phone bills, I reckon I'm saving about £75 - £80 per month !
By the way, there's a couple of interesting threads in the Forum at present, especially in the Chicken Keeping and Frugal sections. Please take a peep and join in if you have any questions or have an input which would be helpful.
So, I start my final stint at Cricket tomorrow. Although it's a sad time in many ways, you can see by the surrounding foilage and the grass that it's time to lock away the outdoor practice stuff and store away the Hoover in the cupboard and let winter take it's course.
But winter gives me the chance of seeing the family more and further my experience of doing things I've not done before - The future really is a true mystery !
20th. August - 1st. September
Well, as you can see left, I'm mechanised in my transport again. 50 power packed cc's are getting me round at full running in speed of 25kph !
Naturally I intend to use it to obtain extra money and I have a cunning plan - may even take it to TV's 'Dragons Den'.
I can't afford a proper alarm for it yet, but have rigged one up (can't say how, should a local Chinese Moped Thief be reading this).
In the continuing story of my physical degeneration, I had an Abscess come up the other day and it got so bad I went to Hospital with it. I have therefore decided to run into the Ashford Post Office Glass Door and have all my teeth extracted and sorted out for nothing. It's either that or asking one of the Cricketers to give them a bit of assistance fielding me at silly mid on when they're practicing six hitting.
In the garden everything seems to be winding itself up OK. The seetcorn are now ready and the tomatoes are outgrowing our ability to make things from them with. I've sold a few outside the front and that's paid for the seeds for the next 4/5 years ! I always think the very worse time of all is when you've eaten your last home grown one and taste the first one from the Supermarket - urggh !
Sadly I lost another chicken this week, that's two in 3 months. There were no signs of anything wrong, she just seemed to say 'that's it'. I would guess at some of them being 5 years old or more. At least they didn't just have the one year in a cage - so it makes it a bit easier when you have to sort things out so to speak.
I spent 4 hours last Sunday strimming the nettles away in there. At least by letting them grow quite wild it has given the chickens more areas to lose themselves in and they had a whale of a time scraping around the newly found ground.
September is going to be another busy month. Next week 6 days at cricket, then 4 days in Southampton, three days off and another 9 days or so at Cricket for the final match and clearing up.
Leo has been helping me with some gardening work over the last fortnight and between us we've successfully demolished three trees and tied a load of climbing roses which were hanging and not climbing !
You will see that I've spent the last two weeks getting quite a lot of work done to 'Down the Lane' with two new sections and a few new pages as well - plus the Book revamp.
I hope all your harvesting is coming along fine and you're eating the benefits.