Monday 30 June 2014

Bees and Belongings Have Arrived In Wales

The next part of the plan was Sunday load up all the stuff from the house a couple of fellas from work were driving the lorry on Monday for us. Sunday night we went to seal up the bee hives, the little sods were still up at 10pm, we managed to usher in the first hive and screw a plate over the front of hive, of course the noise then disturbed the other 2 hives and when we wanted to seal them up there were not having any of it, and all started coming out, so we left them bees to calm down, at 11pm we suited up and went back down to the bees, they had all gone back into the hives so we quickly sealed there doors up, strapped all the hive layers and lids on they were secure, loaded them onto the pick up with there stands made sure everything was secure and went to bed, we got up at 4am, drove to Wales with the bees, we stopped for a cuppa half way and when we came out we noticed bees flying around the hives, checked all was secure and set off again, these loose bees must have been on the outside of the hives when we loaded them, as soon as we arrived we drove down the field and sited the bees, we then set about taking the seals off the doors, there was lots of angry buzzing going on inside, so we suited up again, took the seals off and whooooooooooosh they were all streaming out each hive as we opened them, we departed up the field and left them to settle.
 Hives in there new home 

We had an audience of miniature ponies watching what we were up to.

Then we have a few hours to rest up before the lorry turned up with our belongings, we were also waiting for the arrival of the shipping container.
Lunchtime no sign of the shipping container, hubby phoned them to see what time it was coming we had requested an am delivery, The woman at the hire place had forgotten to place the order so we had no shipping container coming, she offered to refund our money, the air was blue, or belongings were due to arrive any moment and there was no were for them to go, the house was not being vacated until Friday, so it was thinking caps on the barn to the side of the house was empty, so with K (who we are buying the house from)  who has been fantastic we loaded up a trailer with pallets and boards, we boarded out part of the barn for our things to be stacked on off the floor, rain runs through the barn like a little river as part of the wall is damaged, lorry turned up and we got it unloaded and all stacked in the barn.We did a quick check on the bees and they all seemed to have settled down.
Then it was time to head home, we got back about 10pm, climbed into our camp beds and we were asleep before we knew it. 
It has been an exhausting couple of days, today the plan is to load up anything we have left in the house that will go on Thursday, I need to pop into the shop to see to a few things, hubby needs to pop into work to put the wages through, tomorrow we take the Alpacas, that is going to be a really long drive up there. Then we only have the chickens and then the final departure.

Saturday 28 June 2014

First Load Arrived in Wales

Friday Night the lorry was loaded up with all the plants and trees I was taking along with garden furniture, we all got soaked, on off heavy downpours, A friend lent me some of those trolleys that the garden centres have there plants delivered on, they have movable shelves, so we could stack plants 3 deep, they were a godsend and we managed to get all the plants in one load, 

MY plants arrived safely in Wales they were left enjoying a bit of welsh sunshine. 
It was a long day yesterday travelling in a lorry with a speed restrictor. 14 hour round trip. 
Today we load up the lorry with all the house stuff, it will be driven up there tomorrow by a couple of friends, we will be leaving at some silly o'clock hour with the bees, we are sealing the hives tonight, we have a shipping container arriving at the Welsh house in the morning and everything will go into that. 
Bees will be sited in there new home. Open there little doors then they can get on with settling in.
So its really happening now, it hasn't sunk in yet but I am sure as this place empties it will.

Tuesday 24 June 2014

You Just Have to Do It Again

I have lost a box, it is somewhere in the stacks of boxes, it was an important box and I will curse when I find it. In the box are the samples for the up and coming workshops and folders of the print offs.
I know I didn't take it to the shop I am sure when we were moving boxes from upstairs to down stairs it got moved with them and is in the bottom of the stack right at the back. 
One of the samples was for the Stashbuster club, after searching through boxes I gave up and made another sample. Its a Neck Pillow.
I actually prefer this one to the original, this one is made of felt so is lot more comfy and cosy, the original was made with cotton, it is filled with polystyrene pellets, lucky the print offs are all on my laptop.
Now I just have to make a dozen applique patch butterflies for another shop session, so that is today's plan set the sewing machine up while I get on with other stuff. 
i spent most of the day at work yesterday sorting out the new security cameras, I got a super set of cameras and I can tune in and view what is happening in the shop when I am away, the original set of cameras I am taking with me and they will set up at the homestead. 
I also went and had my hair cut off yesterday, it was really starting to annoy me, my hair was long half way down my back, it hadn't been cut for three years apart from a fringe, so I went into the hairdresser and instructed her to cut it all off, I now have a little pixie cut its a style I always go for when I get cut, really short short, I love it so easy to look after, the hairdressers was really nervous about cutting it off but she agreed after it was finished that it looks good, so a complete re-style and it only cost £18.
Off to turn the sewing machine on now and feed the Alpacas.

Monday 23 June 2014

A Little Modesty Curtain

The bathroom and downstairs toilet in the new house has plain glass in the windows, why I don't know they don't even have any blinds or curtains at the windows, you just sit there in full view. 
Not there would be many passers by, but I don't want to be on view when the post man calls. 
I set about make a set of lace panels on my sewing machine the other week with silver thread and I added a blue variegated  fish and shells to each of the panels, the panels have now been joined together and I have added some glass dagger beads to the bottom of the little curtain, this little curtain is go on the window of the downstairs toilet.
I sellotaped it to the window to take a photo. I am pleased how all the lace work has come out, not a scrap of fabric used just thread. for the bathroom window I have bought a sheer cotton panel as it is a fairly big window, I plan to stitch a design onto the panel perhaps blue sea shells and then I will do towels to match. 
Until such time we get round to replacing the glass with frosted the curtains will suffice. 
I had a friend come over for a visit today, we sat in the garden with some cream cakes she brought with her having a good old natter, I helped her picked a bag of gooseberries to take home and a bag of blackcurrants, goodbyes were said and I do hope she will come and visit in Wales.
We had a massive storm this afternoon it really threw it down and of course we ended up with a power cut, I had just finished cooking dinner, every time we have bad weather in the village we lose power Internet and phones, it got me thinking about being so rural will we lose power with bad weather, hubby did  suggest we should perhaps look at a generator. We will see.
That about sums my day up now to have a look and see what every one else has been up to. 

Sunday 22 June 2014

Shrews and Mint Sauce

When I went over to the Alpacas this morning I spotted this little fella spinning around on the path, really don't know what his problem was

I did eventually manage to get him into the long grass were he happily scuttled off before becoming breakfast for some-one.

I was having a tidy up down the bottom of the garden today, cutting back some of the herbs that are staying, looking at the mint I decided to make mint sauce, found a recipe on the Internet for a thick mint sauce.
So thought I get some done, of course after doing it I realised I don't have any jars they are all packed so managed to find an empty bottle, have you ever tried to squeeze mint sauce through the narrow neck of a bottle, Don't even go there 
Got it in there in the end it looks like it is floating but it is really very thick. we shall see in time what its like.
that about sums my day up now going to relax with a mint tea.

Saturday 21 June 2014

The Garden is Ready To Move

We have spent the day grouping all plants in pots together ready for them to be loaded next Friday evening into to the lorry for there journey to Wales next Saturday

There is a few other groups to add to this collection, the sheds have now been emptied apart from chook food and few tools I still have a few things to dig up, we suffered one casualty my Acer  was in a lovely big terracotta pot that shattered so he has been re-planted into a trug until we get there, and I tripped and fell onto one of the bags of potatoes breaking some of the plants, all I hope now is that all the garden furniture plants and shed stuff all fit in on one load. The greenhouse benches are coming with us as well as the water barrels and hubby has been stacking up paving slabs that we use in the tunnel and paving bricks that I sit pots on. A lot of garden ornaments went into storage last year so they will come up on another trip.
I did manage to fit a quick check on the bee hives today and noticed that the bait hive that is set up is attracting some attention from scout bees, well they better decide quick if they plan to move in as next Monday the bees are being moved to Wales, that will be an interesting trip.

Thursday 19 June 2014

Alpaca Shearing Day

We thought this day would never come, the boys were so hot in thick coats, they were drinking about 6 gallons of water a day and spending there time in the shade of the shelter, we had arrange to take the boys over to a friends who has a couple of Alpacas and get them sheared there along with hers, there was no chance of getting them mixed up my 2 boys are white her 2 boys are black.
The shearing was booked for 5-30pm, so when I went over to feed them in the morning I shut them into there small enclosure coming off there shelter, with plenty of water and hay, this makes it easier to harness them later.
Hubby came home from work early with the livestock trailer, we got them loaded up and drove them the 12 miles, Marie had a bucket of water ready for them with some chopped carrots, there were two very hot boys.
First we had Marie's boys sheared then it was the turn of our two.
There teeth are checked, this is Nik Nack he needed a fighting tooth removed, it a very sharp long tooth and its used to bite the testicles off other males, so it was best to have it taken away before any damage is caused to Odd Job. There also had there nails trimmed. You can see Marie's 2 black boys in background.
You can see how they restrain them for shearing, soft ropes are put around there ankles then they are stretched out with pulleys, its looks worse than it is, it keeps them safe and they don't resist at all, they just lay there motionless.
Then the shearing starts, I sure that is a look on contentment on his face.
The fleece just rolls off, the barrel that is from around the middle comes off in one bit.
10 minuets later and he is all done
Then it was the turn of Odd Job
 His fleece was even thicker 
Again his fleece just rolled off in one bit
Back home afterwards there were rejoicing in there new looks.
The shearers were very professional and friendly, they gave the Alpacas a full check up and looked them all over for any injuries, they found a tick on Odd Job and dealt with that too. 
The total cost was £50 for the pair excellent service. 
I am looking forward to spinning there fleece but that will have to wait until after we are settled.
So now the boys are all ready for there move to Wales. 

Wednesday 18 June 2014

Kiwis, Dog Fouling and Other Stuff

Firstly the Kiwi's the cuttings I took the other week most seem to be doing fine, some just rotted and died the others I checked on this morning and found this 
I have roots yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee 
well not me personally but the kiwi cuttings have roots.
The grapes sadly didn't make it, so I am going to try some more. 

Now dog fouling, the path I walk along on the edge of the fields in the morning when I am going to see to the Alpacas is covered in dog mess, there is a bin at each end of the path for dog waste, sometimes I even see tied up bags of dog waste hanging in the hedge, WHY WHY WHY. 
There is a woman I see most mornings walking her 3 dogs, I have had a confrontation with her before as she has no control over the dogs and they always come bounding up barking and I have even had them jump up at me, I have suspected her of not clearing up her dogs mess, this morning I caught her red handed YES, I followed her to see were she lived in the village and confronted her about the dog fouling, of course she denied it, I then showed her some photos I took of her with her dogs fouling and her walking away, she then accused me of being a pervert and a weirdo for being in the field at 7-30 in the morning and not even having a dog with me, I did respond with my reasons for being there, I have now forwarded on the photos and her details to the council who I know take this very seriously and she stands to be prosecuted, I have also forwarded them to our village newsletter who are happy to name and shame offenders. 

Other stuff, we have officially exchanged on this house yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee now we are just waiting on the exchange on Wales should be in the next few days. 

The Alpacas are going to be sheared today yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee another job done, so I have kept then shut in there little enclosure ready for us to take them this afternoon
There not too happy being closed in so I gave them a load of hay to sweeten them up, they will enjoy the benefits later when they are rid of there thick fleeces, they will also be getting there teeth checked and having a full manicure, I plan to take lots of pics and video them at the beauticians this afternoon.

Tuesday 17 June 2014

Buying In Bulk Is It Cheaper?

Popped along to Costco today to stock up on supplies, when I got home I decided to do a price comparison to see if it was actually cheaper to buy in bulk.

Quilted Velvet Toilet Tissue Costco 27p  Asda 44p per roll 
Princess Orange Juice Costco 65p Tesco £1.59 per Lt
PG Tips Costco £1.10 Tesco £2.29 per 100
Walkers Crisps Costco 12p Tesco 15p bag 
Lurpak Spreadable Costco £4.89 Tesco £6.20 1kg
Fairy Washing Liquid Costco £1.38 Tesco £1.50 900ml
Saxa Salt Costco 32p Tesco 40p 70g
Dettol Multi Surface Cleaner Costco £1.57 Tesco £2.00 500ml
Dettol Anti Bacterial Spray Costco £1.19 Tesco £1.30 500ml
Ariel 3in1 25p Tesco 32p per wash 
Sugar Costco 59p Tesco 79p kg 

I used a price comparison site to compare the prices to what I paid
In total I spent £95.30 in Costco the same would have cost me £141.74 
Saving of £46.44 
 For this shop it was defiantly cheaper, you really have to know your prices before you go along and not be tempted by the things you would not usually buy. 

Monday 16 June 2014

Dinner for 2 for less than £1

Crayfish Stir Fry 
Mange Tout FREE from the garden
Courgettes FREE from the garden
Broccoli FREE from the garden
Garlic FREE from the Garden
Crayfish FREE from the tank
Instant Noodles 8p
Mushrooms 50p
little bit of Olive Oil
1tsp of Chinese Five Spice

Now Being followed by 
 Strawberries and Cream

Strawberries FREE from the garden
Cream reduced 30p Tescos

The veggies were all grown from left over seeds from last year and the Crayfish we have had in the Aquaponics tank, they needed to be consumed as it would be to difficult to move them. 

Very nice dinner all for less than a £1

Sunday 15 June 2014

Going Going Gone

Its been a weekend of things going, 
It started with the dismantling of the tunnel

Its very strange not having it there in the garden
Next it was the cane furniture from the conservatory

we decided to sell it on e-bay as we wont have a use for it when we move.
So now the conservatory is empty I plan to start moving down boxes from upstairs then we dismantle the spare beds and stack them in one room, I emptied the wardrobes today as well. 
I have also had my sewing machine running in the background, I decided to make a lace panel curtain for the smallest room it should be finished tomorrow so I can show you then.

Thursday 12 June 2014

Share Your Strawberries With A Friend

After picking a nice bowl of strawberries this morning, I had a cup of tea and shared some with my old friend Flash, he does love a juicy strawberry, he gets it all round his chops. Flash is 18 years old and has been with me for 12 years and every summer we will sit together and share some summer fruit.
Any damaged ones get thrown to the chooks so they get there share as well.
Who do you share yours with ?

Wednesday 11 June 2014

A Couple of Free Plants

These two Cucamelon plants arrived today from Sutton's seeds, it was an offer they were running in the Home Farmer magazine, with it also came a £2 gift voucher so I will have to do a bit of shopping to use it up. I will get the plants potted on tomorrow, as I have not long come in from work and I am shattered, so they are standing in a saucer of water at the moment.
I have not grown these before and I do like the challenge of growing something new. 
I came across an American seed club last week through Two Men and a Little Farm blog, I thought it would be interesting to give it a go, its all heirloom seeds and they are GMO free, I signed up for a year, In your first month they send you 8 packets of seeds and there after you get 4 packets of seeds a month suitable for growing in your area zone, they do ship international as well, my first package arrived yesterday
It will be good to get a few different variety's to what we normally get over here.
Full details of the seed club here Monthly Seed Club they have some interesting info on there site as well and some downloads.

Tuesday 10 June 2014

Harvesting is Getting Under Way

There is not a vast amount planted out this year due to moving plans, so what has been grown I have been bringing it on in containers, today I harvested the first couple of Courgettes, some Pak Choi and some more of the Broad Beans
All thrown into a stir fry along with some mushrooms onions garlic and some pork left over from last nights dinner, very nice it was too.
I love it when we can start picking courgettes, we only have one plant this year so there wont be too many, we are also harvesting new potatoes, those I love just boiled and served with butter, Strawberries, I picked the first of the broccoli yesterday we had last night for dinner.
As the new people are going to flatten the garden I intend to use as much as possible of what veg is in the ground, even if i have to use it as young baby veg. 
The Asparagus is finished now, the Runner Beans are just starting to flower, the Cos lettuce is hearting up nicely, and the baby tomatoes are starting to swell, so summer time has defiantly arrived in the garden.
Are you starting to harvest from the plot ?

Monday 9 June 2014

Yesterday's Trip To Wales

We had a day trip to Wales yesterday to sort of a few details with the sellers, always easier face to face than trying to do things through solicitors or over the phone.
We had lovely sunshine all the way and once we got off the motorway the twisty turny roads are starting to become familiar now we have made several trips there, pulling up in front of the house we noticed changes that have taken place, there is now a shale parking turning place were we asked for it at the side of the drive, the old mobile home that was sitting at the side of the house has now gone and the fencing is up in the field. 
I didn't take photos sorry. 
We have decided to have the greenhouse, it needs glazing but its a good size bigger than what I have now, it is about the size of both of mine together, its aluminium framed.
We have been offered a couple of weaners of mixed breed for when we get there in a few weeks, I plan to use them for clearing the ground that will become the vegetable garden. 
They also offered us half a dozen chickens so they will become part of our flock. 
The sellers breed miniature ponies and they introduced us to there new foals, so cute just 2 feet tall my head ruled on that one and we are not having miniature ponies I don't care how well they keep the grass down
It looks like everything is coming along fine and on target for the move.
We headed down to Camarthen for a late lunch, settled on the Boars Head Hotel and decided on a sandwich and cup of tea, the place was empty but it was late afternoon, after waiting half an hour we reminded them we were still there waiting for tea and sandwiches, about half an hour later it finally appeared, so an hour wait, for luke warm tea and soggy sandwiches I wont be recommending it or returning again.
The journey home was rain all the way at times torrential, I settled in the car with some knitting, I picked up the new Lets Knit magazine because  there was a lovely lacy scarf kit included, I enjoy lace knitting with very fine yarn

Knitting lace in the car is not something I would recommend as it requires some concentration so there times of unpicking, 3 pattern repeats on I am happy with its progress.

Friday 6 June 2014

Meeting Myself Coming

Its been such a busy week, my feet haven't touched the ground, I keep thinking that I will meet myself coming if I don't sit down for a moment and breath. 
Last Friday it was suppose to be my final day in the shop as I wanted a few weeks to see how the shop would run without me there while I am still about for a few weeks, so any potential problems or anything I have overlooked I would be on hand to sort out. Great idea I thought, until last Friday my business partner of 4 years left just like that, deciding she didn't after all want the responsibility of the shop, talk about bad timing and leaving things to the last minuet.
The week has been spent sorting out staff rotas training new staff, training staff who are stepping up to the responsibility of the day to day running of the shop, last Friday I felt like my world had collapsed and was thinking I would have to close the shop up, now one week on customers have rallied round staff have rallied round and the shop continues, its all very positive. 
Early mornings has been a time for reflection and a time to think things through, going over to the Alpacas and letting out the chooks has kept me with some normality to my day and given me a bit of time to forget about all the problems that I cant really do anything about.
Watching the young birds on the feeders has been a source of pleasure this week

Youngsters being taught by parents how to use the feeders.

We have always had a good variety of birds come through the garden, from the small Wrens with big voices to the big Herons who look prehistoric, Many of the birds have set up home and raised the family's when we were taking down nest boxes after they have all fledged this year we came across a robin nest, all these years the box has been up for the robins and they have never used it until this year

We are off to Wales this Sunday to sort out a few things before the move, we are now 3 weeks and counting.