Sunday, 30 May 2010

The new cunning plan....



.....is our specially purchased, rinky-dinky electric fence! I touched it accidentally....it REALLY works. We'll turn it off during the day, so they can still roam. They will still be vulnerable while foxy-loxy has cubs, but I like the idea that they are free range, having been in the battery farms since birth.

Last night all girls + 1 rooster were put to bed and fence turned on. This morning we can report zero deaths. Phew!

....still gittin' me a gun....

Saturday, 29 May 2010

I'm raisin' a posse...pard'ner! Wanna join? (please say in John Wayne accent)




The bloody fox came last night!

I should have known there was something wrong. I could hear rooster when it was still dark, but I couldn't quite fathom it and turned back to my pillow.

We lock the chickens in their coop, at about 9:30pm each night. We really only shut and lock the door: They're sweet, trotting in as the light fades, arranging themselves on the perches. There's usually a bit of a bun-fight as to who sleeps in the three nest boxes, but eventually the pecking order is established. Shut in their home, you can only faintly hear rooster, as he calls out through the night.

Last night was different. The fox came.

He first tried the back door, we could see the teeth marks. The lock held. So instead, he/she completely destroyed the nest box, attached to the side of the coop. He pushed up underneath, dislodging the wood. He must have been able to get his head and front legs, inside the body of the house.

Can you imagine how scary it must have been for my chooks.....like a scene from War of the Worlds, (the new one with Tom Cruise,) they must have wondered which of them was to be taken.

At 6am my brain finally woke up and I realised that rooster was way too loud, to be IN the coop. He was obviously free, roaming the garden. I instantly accused husband, who had locked up chooks.

'You can't count. Rooster's out!'

Having been awoken so early by mad wife, he assured me, in quite strong terms, that he could count, and moreover, that rooster was in the coop when he locked up.

Frustratingly I couldn't find my keys to unlock the front door so, in my haste to see the chooks and still in my pj's, I climbed out a sash window. Only six of the nine ran to me. But when husband joined me, two more girls appeared from the undergrowth - clearly traumatised.

We had eight hens and 1 rooster. We think we've only lost 1 hen, which is really, really lucky. Often the fox goes on a total killing spree and kills them all - without bothering to eat them! My friend recently lost eleven: Murdered bodies strewn everywhere!

Sometimes Rooster annoys me, he's aggressive. In this instance he was clearly defending the girls: Husband pointed out that there are masses of his feathers in the box. Hopefully he gave fox some of his choice pecks.

The 7yo and the 5yo aren't awake yet. I'm very sad to say, that I think their favourite hen has been taken: Laura hen R.I.P. The 7yo will confirm this later, when she wakes. She knows them all personally.




Load up, we're riding out.

Picture, courtesy of http://www.eohc.ca/cas.asp

Friday, 28 May 2010

The Salad Crop.

Apologies to all those wonderful foodie sites I follow....avert thy eyes now! This could hurt.

We've been eating the salad crop for a couple of weeks now, however the children have decided they do not like rocket leaves.....
'My mouth's on fire,' they yell, as they lash around the kitchen feigning death.

It's all a bit melodramatic for me quite frankly.

The hubby is reluctant to eat anything that's green, orange or red. He gets his vitamins from a tin of liquidized apples....That's Strongbow, to you and I. I think his mother may have put it in his bottle....but that's another post entirely...

Anyhoo.....That means I get ALL the rocket to myself...delicious. Three plants, means I can cut-and-come-again, all, summer, long.

Now I don't like to brag, (yeah, sure!....) But I have eaten at some pretty. good. restaurants. in my time: Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck twice, La Becasse Ludlow, The Waterside Inn Bray, The Ivy....to name drop a few...

But. Today.....

Today.....

I ate....

In my kitchen....

The best sandwich in the world:


Tomato, Rocket, (wot I grew myself) Heinz Salad Cream, Salt n Pepper and really crap, shop-bought white bread.

It was orgasmic...



Ahhhh, the joys of growing.......................................fat.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Ten Months...or 40 weeks...or 300 days....approximately


The Archers have been resident at The Larches for exactly 10 months today! It's whizzed by.

Achievements:
1. All four of us are still alive. (Although the 5yo and the 7yo, have made valiant attempts to test this claim...)

2. Also alive, are eight rescued battery hens, one donated rooster and two cats. Kept warm through a pretty chilly winter, I hasten to add.

3. I am loving writing here at The Larches, and have almost finished editing my book for 9+ girls. It's called Greystone School - First Freedom and when I'm completely happy, I'll let you know more!

4. We have almost killed one very persistent 80yo wisteria ....wisteria lovers beware of thy foundations!!

5. We have met lovely horse people, who use our facilities and fields. We have also forced ourselves on the neighbours/villagers, (I think they think we're ok, mad but ok!)

6. We have purchased an ancient and stinky 4x4, which has proved invaluable

7. We have reclaimed the gardens and house, from the grips of Mother Nature ....including ridding the attic of rats, ughhh!

8. The new veg patch, plus the chickens' eggs, should help supplement our food from here on, till September. Plus, we still have the apples, stoned fruit and hedgerow fare, like blackberries, to reap and store. Husband is also learning to shoot. Thus we are beginning to see our smallholding take shape ...I'll let you know as we progress.

9. We have resisted children's pleas, to purchase a horse. (Willy the Shetland doesn't count, as he just lives here f.o.c. and for that, the babies get the occasional riding lesson from the owner)

10. WE ARE BIG-TIME HAPPY.



Failures:
1. My bottom is not as nice as Felicity Kendal's,although luckily my husband, who wears v. strong glasses, thinks it is.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

OMG! Snaaaaaake!

If you've been following blog.... (er-hem! What d'ya mean you've been busy!!!?) ... then you'll know we have a grass snake in the pond, 'bout 30cms long. (That's 12 girl inches.)

WELL STOP PRESS......
I've just seen a whopper, no camera this time sorry! In any case, I shot off, in case it ate me. It slithered into the pond. I think we're living at Hogwarts!!!! I'm sure it's an anoconda, and I've seen how that film ends! It was at least 100cms and green....urghhhhh!

On an upside, d'ya think Chis Packham might be interested?

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Springwatch back on 31st.......



Obviously, I only watch it for the nature stuff........cough, cough.

Picture courtesy of http://www.wildlifeextra.com. Where Mr Packham talks about invasive species...sigh....

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Nature.....in pictures



Press play on the video clip, to see who has been eating the tadpoles!!! I think he's a grass snake.......
video

The wild life we lead.......


Cor blimey! Yesterday was very unplanned. I got up at 5:30am because the day looked so beautiful. It was already 19°. I sat in the garden at a picnic bench sipping tea, reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (v good so far.) The woodpecker was a bit enthusiastic, I ignored him. But then the weirdest noise started. It was an industrial blowing noise, something you don't expect to hear where we live. Across Home field came a huge hot air balloon, really low to the ground. Eventually they hissed off and I was left, quiet till 8am, when my brood appeared. It was bliss.

Me: I like a bit of planning! It's satisfying, having a list and ticking off the jobs done. Yesterday I wrote all the jobs on a whiteboard and set to.

All was going as planned, until husband discovered one of the field water troughs had gone mad, and we were creating the Nile II. We have a water meter, so he was big-time cross. It's at times like these, that we realise how little we know our property: We couldn't find the mains water stop. However, with the help of our neighbours it was finally located; down the bridlepath about 300 metres, out onto a road. Five metres from the telegraph pole! The little metal man hole, no bigger than my paperback, was buried under grass in the verge!!!....... Obvious really!!! After a trip to a builders merchant,and a new ballcock purchased, we were fixed. (-1 hour of jobs)

We waved goodbye to the kind neighbours, and were just about to revisit the jobs list, when we noticed that two horses had escaped the field with the repaired water trough. They were gorging their faces in our meadow. I am not a horsey gal....but, needs must..... At first I couldn't make out how to put the head collar on the huge eventer, but the 7yo explained it to me (frightening to find she's a natural horsewoman.) Finally we sussed it and I slipped it over his head. Willy, the Shetland, was fairly demur and both were bribed with apples, back to their 'not-so-lush' paddock! (-2 hours of jobs!!)

The heat had now reached 25° with no wind. Glorious.

After the horses fiasco, Daddy kindly pumped up and filled a paddling pool for the babies. They jumped from the double stacked truck tyres into it's freezing waters. I was sorely tempted too, but carried on my planting instead.

Next Daddy mowed a golf hole and a footy pitch, and we were almost recovered on the jobs front.

The chicken's ASBO finally kicked in, and we moved the coop out of the walled garden, (far from where my hallowed vegetable patch resides! I could take the carnage no longer.) They are now located under the pink and white rhodedendroms. Lovely. The chooks we're less than pleased. It's their 3rd move in 8 months. Later that evening they wouldn't go in by themselves and kept running back to the walled garden, confused. We were due out, so we had a wonderful game of catch, which the kids loved.

We rounded off the day with a great barbeque at the neighbours. All in all a spiffing day really, if a little unscheduled!

Friday, 21 May 2010

Donations!!!

I got rid of loads this week. My car was bulging. I drew up outside a (nameless for fear of recrimination) charity shop and started unloading. It wasn't rubbish I hasten to add, it was all serviceable, clean, washed....possibly not ironed, as I'm not that charitable!

An 80yo Nazi met me at the door. Perfumed, with an inordinate amount of slap on her face. She may have been off to an evening performance of Priscilla Queen of the Desert later. Her pink shoes and dark brown support stockings were v. Mrs Bucket!. I was duly interrogated...

'Are there electricals in there,' she pointed a bejewelled finger at the bin bags..

'Err, no, I,I,I,...don't think so.' I racked my brains but couldn't remember stuffing the toaster in the bags...

Passing this test, I tried to enter the shop. No chance.

'We're not taking underwear now.'

'None in these bags,' I lied. I really don't think Ben Ten pants count!

I tried again, wondering if my car on the double yellow lines was being towed away......

'Any collectables; Jewellery, rare signed books, china?' She demanded.

'Don't you take those?' I asked, incredulous.

'No, we want those sorts of items.'

I don't think saying 'Yes, I think so,' was so wrong in this instance, one little lie and I was off, bin bag free. D'ya know, she didn't even say thank you!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

A Simple Pleasure...



For seven years, a soft toy has been my daughter's loving companion. A Carter's pink rabbit called 'Bed-Bear' is her most treasured item. He isn't a bear and he certainly doesn't stay in bed, but that's his name! She loves him and it relaxes her to rub her fingers along his silky label.

Since 2002, I have had to undertake major surgery on BB at least eight times,....organ replacement really,.... My daughter brings him to me with frayed or scratchy label and I repair him with love. I'm very grateful to him, you see, for all the comfort he gives her.

When she chose Bed-Bear long ago, hubby had the foresight to purchase three more replica 'BBs.' They arrived in little brown boxes. Boxes of sleep inducing rabbits. Over the years we regularly swapped clean for dirty when she slept, popping the dirty one into the washing machine and dryer overnight.

We've had plenty of scares: One Bed-Bear rode the tourist bus round and round Oxford, seeing all the sights, until a kindly bus driver dropped him back to us at the depot. Another time, on one late winter evening, we rushed out to get medicine for our new baby boy. In the haste, Bed-Bear was left behind at the store. He had been secreted behind the washing powders! Much later that night he was discovered, in his hiding place, by the store manager. We drove straight back to collect him.

I wouldn't ever try to part my baby from her friend, even though dentists have warned of buck teeth. I can't.... because, occasionally, I suck my thumb too, rubbing a silken cloth between my fingers and thumb.......and I'm not seven!



Is it really so bad? I don't smoke or partake of other more illegal substances....I do drink (I'm not perfect!) But when I'm tired, just like my daughter, I choose the comfort of my thumb.....you should try it....it's really great.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Gardening with chickens......(is quite annoying!)


In the 'master-plan,' the gardens were to be au natural: A little bit wild, they would comprise specimen plants, pretty weeds as well as fruit and vegetables. In this idyllic setting, insects and creatures would thrive, chickens would scritch and scratch, helpfully eating all the slugs and snails.

Clearly some of us 'round here are pulling our weight, (hubby and I actually.) The chickens, however, haven't read the pamphlet on; biodiversity and mutually beneficial partnerships! I put the seedlings in, they dig'em up!

It's driving me potty. They're going the right way about getting smacked botties and being reintroduced to incarceration....I'm drawing up plans for a chicken run, as-we-speak/read/type!

I love the chooks roaming the garden, but think I may have to introduce a curfew of 'roaming in the gloaming' during early spring each year, just until the veg and flower seedlings are firmly established.

****************************

On a completely different subject, I've finished reading Salley Vickers' Miss Garnet's Angel. (j.i.t. really, because it's book club on Wednesday!) It's a lovely lilting read, with several stories interwoven through one another. I really enjoyed the writing and it's pace reminded me of The Shipping News, which is one of my all time favourites. However, it did end a little abruptly for me. But still, overall I give it an 8/10 mainly because Miss Garnet is such a wonderful character.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Eau de Mouse...


L to R: Tabby and Benny.

The title of this blog is courtesy of Marie (at school.) It can either be said with a heavy, sexy french accent...or in a very suburban accent (London or New York, you choose,) 'Euuuwwww de Mouse!!'

Because.....

We have two cats, one is suave, sophisticated, James Bond-like. That's Ben. He's fit and trim. He saunters up to you and assesses you with sultry eyes. But don't be fooled, he's a killer. The other cat is big, handsome, thick! I'd liken him more to ...... erm... ermmmm .....(d'y'know what? Because I was struggling to think of a personification of Tabby, I typed Big, Handsome, Thick into google. Sooooooo wish I hadn't done THAT! I feel a bit queasy now!) Anyhoo, Tabby's a bit more like Peter Andre: He's nice'ish, not overly bright, but bad things keep happening to him!

Over breakfast yesterday, the children and I heard a squealing noise. Tabby had brought in a mouse through the cat flap. He then accidentally dropped said mouse! You could see it was an accident: If he could have spoken, he'd have said 'Sh*T!' Luckily, as it headed towards the range, he caught it. Phew-eee! we three said in unison ...... then he bloody dropped it again!

Like a scene from a really good football match, in which Beckham takes the ball and avoids all contact, then scores... little mouse weaved in and out of our legs, pursued by Tabby-the-incompetent. Finally it disappeared into the boiler cabinet! It has not been seen since! Grrrrr.

So you see, at first it was 'euuwwww a mouse!' and now, no doubt, as the creature has probably died from a heart attack, wedged in behind the lovely warm boiler,....soon it will be Eau De Mouse!

Note to Cats Protection League - this cat is on his LAST warning...

James Bond is on top....of course!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Gardening (in pictures)

Once upon a time, a family of four moved into Sleeping Beauty's Palace. In order to live there, they had to fight fierce bambles and evil stinging nettles. Every.Single.Day.

The Gate to the main garden proved difficult to find.....



The tiny walled garden was slowly reclaimed from the wild grass tribes.....




And the family lived happily (with the help of a Radox bath or two) ever after....with lots of fruit and veg hopefully....





Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Banished.....Grounded....Big Trouble


The sproglets went too far. I was cross but Daddy was crosser. [yes, it is probably another new word!]

The field shelter, c.1970, is a bit rickety but I thought it would make an excellent den for the 7yo and the 5yo. I duly bought and filled it with straw bales for the babies to rearrange. I felt content that I was facilitating creative play and empowering them. [See you don't really lose business-speak, the nonsense is still in there.]

My creative children felt that their den was their own; a naturalistic life-space, which they filled with carefully chosen artifacts. The open-front to the field shelter was a huge window on a rural world, a vantage point to watch goshawk, horses and the lambs. But it was missing something.........what could it be?.....oh yes, a side window!

On Saturday they decided to lever the planks off the sides of the antique structure, before then breaking them into itty-bitty shards. The Ice Queen would have been proud.

It took hubby and I a very long time to repair said den, although it was tres quiet, with the vandals incarcerated in their rooms.

Later that night, the 5yo delivered a hand-written treaty: 'The Field Shelter Treaty.' (We were gob-smacked by the writing and the excellent concept/spelling.) This treaty has now been ratified and although there are several sanctions imposed on the perpetrators, we expect normal cordial relations to resume this Friday!

The Slag Heap....


OK, there's no denying it, lately I've lapsed into downright slovenly. In fact, I've just moved my arm like a windscreen wiper across my desk, in an effort to reach the keyboard. Good news though, found a toffee. Lately, in trying to finish editing my book, write a resplendent synopsis and entertain buckets of guests, I have ignored the house. It's now un-ignorable (I can TOO make up words if I want to!)

Years ago, I bought a hilarious book for my sister entitled The Slag's Almanack by Serena Gray. I may need to borrow it back.....Serena maintains that, [as opposed to The Slob]....
...The slag, on the other hand, blends into the crowd. You have to look to spot a slag; you have to know the signs. Under normal circumstances, the slag looks just like you or me (indeed, the slag probably is you or me). The slag is not without manners, good sense, or personal esteem. The slag is a person who understands that the putting on of any garment in a light colour – especially if it is new or fresh from the laundry – is asking for trouble. He, or she, knows the minute you don anything lighter than charcoal (especially if it wasn’t cheap), dirt and stains are attracted to it like those determined old moths to that steady old flame. The slag, discovering a coffee stain on her new blouse, will put a jacket or a jumper over it and go to work.

...jolly good idea if you ask me. I'd like to testify, I'm a slag and I want to repent.

Generally husband does the laundry here, (no, you cannot borrow him!) so I'm lucky, as are my friends, to be kept in fresh pants..... No he doesn't do theirs too, they're just lucky because I smell fresh as a daisy. I've read my contract with hubby; he washes and I'm supposed to iron and put away. What I actually do, is store it carefully in those huge blue Ikea bags. So neat, so portable, so not ironed. I iron when he gently reminds me that he is a businessman who goes to meetings and pays for the house, food, school, outings....Fair enough....

It's got so bad I'm not even phased when the chickens come in, although even they don't stay long, preferring their own tidy house.

Yesterday I sent my synopsis off into the ether all-by-itself. It's never left home before and so I'll wait to hear if it hits the spot or if I get a 'see me' from the recipient. So now, on this lovely fresh day, I'm having a swift blog, a check if we have a bloody PM yet and a BIG clean of the house.

On the PM bit, isn't it all a bit like Lost or 24? You start off with good intentions, keen to watch each episode, but as the drama gets more complicated and drawn out, you retreat to your book for book-club: I'm reading Miss Garnet's Angel by Salley Vickers at the mo. Loving it.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Can't we all just vote again please?

Look, we're clearly rubbish at it. Let's just do it again next week...check your diary...

Just heard some 'expert' on Radio 4 saying that David Cameron will have to cosy up to Nick Clegg and 'stress his mandate.' That sounds disgusting!

And Lembit Opik has lost his seat in Montgomeryshire, long after he lost his dignity, ahhhh bless.

Chris Evans had it right when he came clean with who he wanted to run the country; David Dimbleby!

It's ok...I've finished blogging about the 'non'-election. Normal service will resume shortly!!!

Lembit Opik
David Dimbleby!

When the world goes mad, Lou goes baking


Cupcakes for tea I think!

...Addendum to last night's post....

....whoops!...Thank God I didn't stay up!

Last one out of the country, switches out the lights!

Lou....

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Tonight's the night baby!!!

So excited.

I've voted. I want my vote to change the world, husband assures me it won't!

Our constituency is Conservative (not sure if that's a big C or little c!) with LibDem gnashing at their loafers.....Conservatives won back their long-term seat after an inconceivable blimp last time caused by the LibDems.

I asked someone at school, who I suspect strongly to be a C. (I'm just abbreviating, it wasn't meant as a slur!) anyhow I asked who he thought would win here in the Ludlow territory. He smiled in that way, you know, the sort of 'I'm sorry for you' way,....so I presume that means the C's will get in.

I'm not wildly optimistic. No, not about the vote, just about whether I'll be able to stay awake. I'm off to make coffee immediately....

See you tomorrow....in a brand new world!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Lou-Lou's Fashion-Free Zone.........



Firstly, may I apologise in advance to my lovely guests this weekend, in case I offend....(there, that just about lets me off the hook for an-y-thing I wanna say... I hope!)

I don't get out much nowadays, and I certainly don't do girl-shopping anymore. Just to clarify, that doesn't mean I EVER shopped for girls! It just means I don't wander around shops anymore, desperate to buy something pretty. Consequently I'm in a bit of a quandary with my wardrobe: I'm either Hill-Billy Garden Woman (grrrrr) or Tailored Ungaro-Jacket Woman, curvy in Spanx, phone to ear: 'buy, sell, buy, sell!'................. As an aside, and this is in no-way meant to sexually titillate, may I congratulate the person who invented the Spanx stuff for having the foresight to make them crotchless. This design feature must have drastically reduced needless NHS hip operations and eradicated countless woopsie accidents......

As our pals were arriving late on Saturday, I thought I'd be safe sticking with Hill-Billy woman attire, until the last moment when I would shower and change into faux City Slicker. The weather had finally turned tail on spring, retreating to winter again so, with a few extra layers including a home-knit that I should donate to the cats, I got out into my veg patch (poo patch more like.) I cleaned the chickens, I turned the compost and cleared out an old pond which had a fusty bog smell to it.......There was still tons of time.....

By now my work clothes were stained with substances that even I didn't recognise. My jeans could've walked to the wash basket all-by-themselves, my perfume was courtesy of Mother Nature .....on a really off day. AND THEN THEY ARRIVED!

C was a vision; coiffured hair, floaty top...MAKE-UP!....earings, and the sexiest pair of take me now black patent leather, five inch pumps, you-have-EVER-seen. J, all six-foot-two of him, sauntered over smelling great, designer jeans, cool boots, casual shirt and a smile.

I felt like a right minger (ming-ar British slang.) Husband had already sneaked off for a shower and looked cool. What must they have thought of me?! Feral, came to mind.

Immune to the alcohol we plied them with, and resisting the pair of rose-tinted specs I offered, they were soon freezing. Husband and I dressed them in matching fleeces and wellies.[Just to clarify, we are not one of those couples who dress in matching Christmas sweaters! We just happen to have been given a job lot of green fleeces, with J&B whisky logos on them]

It was cute, our pals were beginning to look more and more like us.......... consequently they left soon after breakfast! Maybe they thought it was all going to turn out a bit like the film Misery.

To be fair they had to go home to see their tiny, cute dog who'd just had an operation................. but secretly I'm sure they were also relieved to get back to civilization.....alive and well, dressed in their own clothes.

Hope they're brave and come back one day......

Monday, 3 May 2010

The Cousins and the Competition

So artistic, so creative, so inspiring.....the first prize goes to....

It's a difficult situation choosing a winner, numero uno, 'specially where sproglets are concerned. One doesn't need the participants to break down and weep, having enjoyed the process. Aged 8,7 and 5 they need to be congratulated on their results. For that reason I'm pleased to announce (and for a myriad of artistic merit...) that.....wait for it.....tense music....Simon Cowell looking smug......Ryan Seac....Oh for goodness sake, get on with it!!!

ALL THE COUSINS ARE WINNERS for their beautiful shirt designs and for the amazing fact that they were oh-so-quiet for well over an hour!!! Here's the prize money, £1.50 each. Invest it wisely....possibly with Nick Clegg who's doing awfully well...bless...

If you'd like to create this activity, she said in her best British BBC Blue Peter voice.... then:

1. Take 4 loud children
2. Make them plan their design on a piece of paper (this focuses their minds and stretches the activity out)
3. Give them old white school shirts
4. Trust them with scissors (or get involved BUT NOT AS CREATIVE DIRECTOR. OK!?)
5. Give them fabric pens - after you've covered up grandma's table that is.
6. Judge the results

Tra-laaaaa......

Saturday, 1 May 2010

My Book and Truck Tyres...

Oh I've been busy as a nailer this week.

I spent two days away from the nest (childless) to progress my children's book with a famous author....I would tell you who it is, but if I did that I'd probably have to kill you, so entrenched in espionage is his wonderful writing......He's been so generous with his time; questioning my characters' relationships and challenging my mind to create an authentic story. Thank you, thank you G.

I returned home, elated and tired. I was back on duty at 6am, waking the babies for school. The 5yo looked at me, bleary-eyed and asked;
'Is your girl book finished yet? Can you write Star Wars now?'
Would that I could sweetie, but think that Mr Lucas might get a bit cross. Mind you, if I got away with it I'd be able to afford the school fees AND get the house painted!!....and murder that bloody ensuite...

Yesterday I passed a huge tyre depot, tucked away at the back of Ludlow. I was in Dizzy Disco so I pulled in and asked if I could have some free truck tyres for the kids to play on. The man looked a bit dazed, but got it when I explained I was too mean to buy toys. He loaded me up with two enormous tyres and promised me more...tyres I mean!

This weekend heralds the arrival of yet more guests, what a social spot The Larches is. Roast chicken this evening with roasted veg and home made chicken stock and for pud; bbq bananas with chocolate and cream...peasant fare this weekend. Love it....(unless Natural Selection would like to pop over and do paella...oh well gotta dream...)

The Archers at The Larches

Lou - Chicken whisperer....

Lou - Chicken whisperer....

Snowy and Moon

Snowy and Moon