Monday, 30 June 2008


I was going to write over the weekend, but i had the wonderful surprise of my husband appearing on Saturday afternoon. He works away and wasn't due back until next Friday! So, i've had a busy weekend making him coffee and food, he is Greek after all! He's eaten all the eggs and had his washing done, and now's he gone again. Flying visit but rather pleasant!

Anyway i was going to talk about toilet training my bengals I mean, how cool is that? Both my boys have very different habits when it comes to this sort of thing. H likes to go in the litter tray, he will come in from an excursion to God knows where, and go straight to it. Why? You've just been out in the biggest litter tray there is! He doesn't even mind if it's a bit dirty, unlike his brother. C doesn't much like using the tray, he prefers to do it out. If the box has been used and he can't get out, he will either sit there and yowl a demand that is cleaned or go off and find a nice duvet or leather jacket to do it on!! So wouldn't it be fantastic to train them to use the toilet? No more misplaced doo doos, no more cleaning out the stinky litter tray. I'm not sure that H would be impressed, and knowing him he will probably fall in. But C seems to be working round to the idea. Saturday morning i got up and visited the loo, as one does. C strolls into the bathroom, up into the bath, and squats perfectly over the plug hole! I wonder how many times he's done that? Eeww, reminder to self, wash thoroughly before running a bath!!

On a chickeny note, i tried introducing the ex-batts to the teenagers today. I opened the door to the house so the babies could come out. Only two braved it - chickens. Most of the time they didn't take much notice of eachother, but when one of the youngsters came face to face with Bella, she thought she'd have a go, (being tough and having survived a cat attack and all). It didn't go down so well though, Bella grabbed her by the throat and pinned her to the floor!! I had to put a gentle foot between them to get them apart! Lordy! I guess little 'un won't try that again in hurry! Will try again in a couple of days, if the bloody weather sorts itself out!

Friday, 27 June 2008

Rabbit D.I.Y.

Ok, so while the boys are trashing my lounge, i take a deep breath and head outside to face the weather and my chores. It's ok, i like looking after my animals, there's a great satisfaction to watching them grow and live happy contented lives. It's just nicer when the sun is shining and i have time to sit and watch them. Chickens fed and watered i start on the rabbits.

When i get to Tiger's hutch i realise all his bedding is wet. Wtf? Did he really drink so much? No clever rabbit, knowing it was June and that the lovely friendly Bengals don't eat rabbits (?) he has built himself a sun roof!! Yep, he has chewed a substantial hole in the roof of his hutch!

That's handy, i was looking for a new job to take on.

Who? Me?

Please bring back the sun

Typical! The weather has been appalling, of course, it's June! My Bengals are hating it. You open the door for them, they rush to it, take one look, then turn to me and go 'WTF? You expect me to go out in that?' Ok, so they don't want to go out, they go back to bed. Fine, lucky buggers. The trouble is they are still young, they'll be one next month, and after a certain amount of sleeping the youthful energy builds up. It's usually when the kids go to bed, and i get screams down the stairs, ' Mum, Clay is attacking my feet!' and 'Mum Harley's just pounced on my head!' I then have to go up, catch them (which is a quite a feat), bring them downstairs and shut them in a room with their toys and scratching post, and listen to them trash the room.

Last night was different, the energy build up came later. It wasn't till i went to bed. As i was finishing up downstairs i could hear crashing noises coming from upstairs. Is that the kids or the cats? Even for the cats it sounded a bit much. I went up to investigate (with my whip and chair). Now i'm not really bothered by creepy crawlies, i mean if a huge spider leapt on my face, i may lose my cool just for a second, but if they leave me alone then that's fine with me. But i have never seen such a HUGE daddy long legs in my life! And there, throwing themselves around after it with a great deal of enjoyment and excitement, are my boys, bless them! Onto my bedroom window sill, knocking a few photos off as they pass, onto the bed, falling off the bed in a suicidal attempt at flying, out of the room, into the bathroom, into the bath, out of the bath, into the wall, half way down the stairs, back up the stairs, back into my bedroom. This went on for a while, like a crazy assault course circuit, with me unable to catch cat or crane fly. Luckily they stayed out of the kids' rooms and didn't wake them either, which is a miracle in itself, and eventually i managed to guide it out of a window without the boys sailing out after it.

Quite worn out from their exploits but a little disappointed that their prey had escaped, the boys curled up on the end of my bed and promptly went to sleep. I put my room back together and curled up myself hoping the sun would appear in the morning. That's hopeful, it's June in Britain for God's sake!

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Silly Cyprus

My husband being of Cypriot descent, we have visited a few times. It is a beautiful country and everything is 'Super'. I found a collection of funny signs, mostly spelling mistakes. I thought you may enjoy a chuckle.

Hmmm, only in Cyprus would you get away with this nice polite 'PC' sign!

Um, which way's Larnaca again?

Lol, typical Cyprus always got to be better than the next guy!

Must make sure i go to this restaurant next time i'm in Cyprus, the food sounds delicious!

This photo was taken in Northen Cyprus, which i don't approve of, but it is bloody hilarious!

Windscreen wipers, poems and addiction.

What is it, that when you get to a certain age and level of domesticity, the simplest, benign things excite you? Please don't tell me i'm alone! Like when you get a new washing machine, is it really only me that gets a little bit excited? My windscreen wipers were getting a bit wobbly, so when i put them on they cleared most of the windscreen, just not the bit exactly where i needed to see. So being typically me i kept forgetting to do anything, you know, when the sun is shining, you aren't thinking about windscreen wipers are you? So everytime it rained i had to adopt an unusual driving position to get anywhere, dangerous, i know. So yesterday, being all organised, i bought some new ones. Today when the skies opened i was like a kid, marvelling at the beautiful clear windscreen, that i could actually see through. Is my life really that uninteresting? Really?

I've decided to publish the poem i wrote for my husband's anniversary card. It made us both laugh, and he thought i got it from the net anyway, so maybe it will entertain you! It went something like this;

You make me smile, you make me laugh,
And you look good in the bath.
Even though you're sometimes grumpy,
Your pants are often hard and lumpy.
You wind me up, you drive me mad,
But when you're gone, it makes me sad.
Even though you snore and fart,
I love you with all my heart.

Oh, and addiction. Well, i'm addicted to smoking, The Sims 2 on PC, Facebook...... and now this!! I keep thinking of things i want to say. Please let me know if I bore you, i would hate that to happen.


C didn't lay yesterday and the day before we had a very odd egg. The fat end was normal, but the pointy end was a very obscure shape and paper thin. I'm guessing it was just a blip as we have two beautiful eggs today. I have given them cat food, someone said it was good protein to help them regrow their feathers and it should help with the eggs too. Trouble is because they are battery hens they have never seen anything but mash their whole lives, they have no idea what to do with anything else!

I saw a blog post the other day where someone was claiming that they would only ever eat battery eggs. Why? Because of a particular egg, which had a feather stuck to it! OMG a feather, how disgusting! Grow up for God's sake, no one says you have to eat the feather. Would people really rather eat eggs from hens who suffer horrendously than a beautiful egg (with a feather on it) from happy chickens that free range.

Schools, shops and miles

There are definite downsides to living where we do. The small irritating one is having to literally drive the rubbish down to the road on a Wednesday morning. It's not particularly fun when it's peeing down with ran and the cats have ripped open the bags! Grrr. But, of course, the biggest problem at the moment is the petrol prices, everything is so far away!! We moved from a town where the pub and shop were a minutes walk away, and the centre of town was ten. It takes a bit of getting used to. We now live about a mile and a half from the pub and tiny shop which has pretty short opening hours. The nearest small town is about three miles away and the next biggest town is about nine.

School is in the next village which is also where my sister lives. School was a big factor when we moved and i decided not to send them to the one in our village. The kids came from a school of 340 pupils, the little village school has only 40! They would have been in the same class which wouldn't have gone down well, their characters are far too different. My eldest is also very bright and i needed a school that will challenege her. So i drive them four and a half miles to school. That's fine, i would have had to drive them to school anyway, and actually it doesn't take as long as it did to their old school which was a hell of a lot nearer. There are no queues, no traffic lights, just a quiet road, straight through as long as the train isn't late!

But this morning, just as we get to school, youngest states she's forgotten her homework, and the eldest has forgotten her P.E. kit. So having driven 9 miles already this morning I have to go and do it again. Ok so 18 miles isn't THAT far, but my PETROL Frontera that i bought for 'country living' seems to be very thirsty at the moment.

We really must get this country living figured out, i've already borrowed tinned tomatos and cat food from my neighbour, becasue popping to the shop at 6 when you realise you haven't got something has taken on a whole new meaning, and is now a full scale expedition rather than a 2 minute chore. God help us when we get snowed in! At least we have eggs.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Today's rant!

Today i have had nothing but random and irrelavant phone calls. Either for people i've never heard of or from obscure debt management companies claiming to know I have debt against my name. Well clever you, 90% of all people who own a house have bloody debt, wasn't a difficult conclusion was it? Do they really think that phoning someone and telling them they have debt will make them listen? My response is a quick return of phone to base. Honestly the phone hasn't stopped all day and it is beginning to seriously wind me up. The next person to call me better have something good to say!

Compulsary Vaccinations

Yesterday i received and email from my sister , who suffers from Chronic Fatique and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. I myself suffer from Fibro Myalgia, but luckily, fingers crossed, have been fairly well for some time. This email outlines the government's plans to make vaccinations for children compulsary. Even stating that they would not be alllowed into school without them, and parents not being able to claim Child Benefit. For sufferers of M.E. and it's related illnesses this could have far reaching consequences. With the huge ongoing debate about the links of these vaccinations and Autism and other problems how can this be allowed to happen? This would definately be removing the freedom of choice.

Please follow this link and sign the Downing Street petition:

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Weekend away

We celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversay last Wednesday. I wrote him a poem, which he thought i got from the net and asked my wonderful husband if he was going to take me away for a romantic weekend, he said yes of course. He said he was taking me to Taunton in Somerset! ' Why would I want to go there?' I asked, after all we had lived not far from Taunton just a few months back. He explained that that weekend fell on the same day as our friends were getting married! Well i guess it is pretty romantic to celebrate your wedding anniversay at someone else's wedding.

So of we went, the neighbours kindly agreeing to look after the growing menagerie of animals. The girls went to stay with their dad for the weekend and we went to the wedding. It was lovely, i wore a dress for the first time since we got married and the whole day was a massive reunion for us. All our friends that used to live near to us, all in one place. It was fantastic. Even though we go back to Somerset about once a month or so, we don't often get to see everyone.

The weather was a bit 'British' but apart from that the day went like a dream. So raise a glass and wish Rab and Sharon all the best for the future.

The Move!!

I guess i ought to say something about the move and settling in! We moved up her on the 3rd of November last year. My brother and his friend driving the lorry and my husband and I and the girls in the car, along with three rabbits! It's quite a trek from Somerset and takes around 3 hours. My daughter has been slowly developing travel sickness and unfortunately didn't make it the whole way! After cleaning up her, the car and the rabbits, we made to our new home. I had phoned ahead and asked my brother to start a bath and my daughter was thrown straight in it.

I had thought the kids might find the move hard, they were leaving a good school and lots of friends. Where we lived was an estate with lots of their friends and their dad living nearby. But they have settled so well, their school has abought 250 less kids in it! The atmosphere at school is great, everyone knows everyone else and the whole school is really friendly. The girls have made new friends, and although they all live quite far away, in comparison, they often go for tea or have friends over.

The house is a farm workers cottage set in the grounds of a private estate, we have one set of neighbours who are fantastic and have helped me out heaps when my husband has been working away. The village is about two miles away, which takes a bit of getting used to and school is about 4 miles! We are surrounded by hills and fields and it really is nice to wake up to the sound of the birds, including woodpeckers which come to feed on the peanuts, and of course sheep!
The local area is stunning, and we are very close to the river Severn or Hafren.

Battery hens

While we are waiting for the youngsters to come into lay and knowing that we have only two girls, i decided to rescue a couple of battery hens. It's amazing, my local branch of the Battery Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT) rescued over a thousand birds recently and all found new homes, and i only had two.
Me and the girls picked them up one Saturday. I have to admit they were tatty but not as bad as I had expected. Their combs were floppy and pale, and they had an awful lot of feathers missing. We named them Bella and Cinnamon and settled them into the shed. They seemed very happy and one of them even layed us an egg within an hour of getting them home.
We had to adapt a chicken run kindly given to us by the neighbours to house them in until we introduce them to the rest of the crew. The youngsters are a bit smaller so we didn't want any problems. The run was a long corridor with corrugated plastic roof and a door at one end. I put cat boxes full of hay in there so they could have somewhere nice to go to bed and to lay.
Unfortunately Cinnamon decided after the first day that Bella needed to be picked on, and begin to relentlessly attack her. Pecking her and going for her with her claws everytime she tried to eat or drink. So, we had to adapt the run again. This time putting a wire partition in the middle and a new door at one end. This meant that they each had their own half of the run but could still see eachother through the mesh.
When the cats are in bed the hens come out free in the garden for a bit, which they LOVE. You can imagine they have only ever seen the inside of a battery cage. They strut about, scratching and making adorable happy chicken noises. There run is next to the youngters so they can start to get used to them now. When they are out they seem to get on okay, so hopefully they will all be together soon.
They are laying well and my eldest daughter makes cakes with the eggs before they have even had chance to cool! Soon we will be over flowing with eggs but i'm sure my sister and my parents will gratefully receive them!


I had better tell you about the chickens, seeing as they feature in my title. It's something I have always wanted, fresh eggs from the garden, and considering the price of eggs in the supermarket now, quite a good investment!! We started out with some chicks from my cousin's farm at Easter, a nice surprise for the kids. Cats love fluffballs, especially Bengal cats! So for their own protection the four little fluffballs had to live in a cupboard under a heat lamp.

They ate and grew like there was no tomorrow, until they started to suffer from sour crop, which is a fungal infection. On the advice of some amazingly knowlegable people on this website's forum,, I gave them live yoghurt. This did seem to help but they only really started to get better when i moved them into the garden shed.
Luckily they no longer needed the heat lamp by now, and went out in the rabbit run in the sun during the day and snuggled up in the shed at night.

During this time my wonderful husband was busy building his first chicken coop. He did a could job and built a house on stilts with a run underneath and extending out into the garden. As soon as it was ready, out they went.

It needed a bit of updating at one point when Harley found a design flaw and decided he had to demonstrate it. I found him in the run with the chicks!! I had to rip half the mesh off (along with a finger nail) to rescue my poor birds. Luckily he didn't do too much damage and with a bit of nursing and some Savlon spray, the girls have recovered well. Once repaired and cat proofed the chickens returned to their home.
They are about three months old now, and we think we have two boys and two girls. My daughters are against eating the boys, which was the original plan, so they may have to disappear during school hours, as there is no way we can keep them. The girls should come into lay over the next month. They are at a very funny stage at the moment, experimenting with adult chicken noises! Up until now they have still been making chick peeping noises which doesn't suit their size, but the interesting attempts at proper chicken noises do certainly still need some work. They are fascinating to watch, especially when they are chasing flies, as quite often you can't see them yourself and all you see is a demented chicken running around the run. It's a bit like having a fish tank and I like to sit and watch them on a sunny day.

The Cats

I had read stuff about Bengals like "the hooligans of the cat world" but undeterred i decided that's what i had to have. My husband isn't a dog person, so when my Border Terrier sadly died last October we decided to have cats instead. So not long after we moved i found a breeder not far from us. My eldest daughter is allergic to cats so I took her to the breeders to see what would happen. No streaming, itching eyes! It must be their close, short haired coats! It didn't matter how much they rubbed around her face she had no reaction to them. That was the deciding factor and while the kids were at school my husband and I went back to the breeder and bought two little brothers. They were about three and a half months when we got them and their hooliganistic characters soon developed!

This is Clay, this one was meant to be my cat, but he seems to have developed a bond with my youngest daughter who is eight. He is quite a reserved cat who likes his personal space. He comes for love when HE wants it, but when he does he goes completely over the top, dribbling and making huge puddings. My daughter can do anything to him, she picks him up, turning him upside down like a baby, she pushes him over and he just lies there being fussed. He tends to sleep on her bed most nights. He is a quiet thoughtful cat, and likes his sleep, until of course it's the kids bedtime, then he turns into a wildcat!

This is Harley, he was meant to be my husband's cat (named, of course, after a motorbike!) He's a funny cat, very mischevious and rather mean towards the neighbour's cats, but a real mummy's boy. He's scared of the neighbours (just not there cats) and if anyone comes round he hides! He loves nothing more than a cuddle and sits on my lap at every opportunity, rubbing his face on mine. He is much brasher than his brother and is always up to something. If he is a wild mood it's best to just stay away!
The list of things they have broken since they moved in is huge! Their favourite passtime is catching birds (when they are not sleeping) and just this morning i saved the only surviving baby nuthatch from the Clay jaws of death. One or the other of them had the other one about a week ago, leaving it's remains on my sofa! Nice. They constantly stalk my chickens and the rabbits too, but i wouldn't be without them. I am lucky that we live surrounded by fields and woods so they can go off and do their thing.


My dad grew up in Wales and i've always felt a touch of home about the place. As a child we were brought up here whenever possible, and when i passed my driving test i used to drive up here on weekends. Spur of the moment, i'd finish work on Friday and jump in the car. I always felt a touch of excitement as i crossed the bridge. I used to visit family, my dad was one of nine so there are plenty of family to visit, and go out with my friends. And i was always reluctant to head home, and i have to admit 'my car broke down' a couple of times, when i should have been back at work!

My mum is from Kent, so growing up we never had anyone apart from immediate family around. It may seem weird to some, but i love it now when i bump into my aunt and uncle in Morrisons or my cousin in New Look! Such simple things. I have to work harder on the visiting thing though, i thought i'd see everyone so much more, but i guess you fall into your own routines and daily business and don't seem to make the time.

My sister is living up here too, just a couple of miles away, and mum and dad are looking for their retirement home somewhere close too. My brother has stayed in Somerset luckily for us, he bought our house! Dad had always wanted to come back to Wales, but hadn't wanted to leave my kids behind, they are the only grandchildren. So now he has no excuse! Fingers crossed it won't be too long now, they have had an offer on the house, they just need to find somewhere suitable.

The start?

I'm not sure where the start is! But it probably should have been about 8 months ago (or earlier) when we made the move from an industrial town in Somerset to a little village in Wales. Hoping to give the children a better life, we upped sticks and headed for the hills. We now live in a beautiful cottage in the middle of nowhere which we never could have afforded back in Somerset. Okay so my husband works really hard so we can afford it now, but it's beautiful and we all love it. We have two amazing cats, a couple of rabbits and the new venture, what i've always wanted, chickens in the back garden. So there will be a lot to say over the next couple of days, because i have a lot to say!