Sunday, 11 September 2011

Good Ole Scottish Weather!

As Hurrican Katia Hurtles Closer...

Preparations are still under way for the arrival of tomorrow's storm. Anything that needs to be weighed down has already been weighed down, the plastic patio set has been safely stacked away, the rabbit confined to barracks and the cat well warned that if it dares poop in the new saffron crocus bed one more time, it will be sent off in 'cat' boots, with nothing more than a knapsack for company!

The ducks are loving this wet weather, quite content to sit outside or wander around the orchard making muddy paths under their big, flat feet. Having 11 ducks is definitely a drain on resources while we're getting only one egg per day from Phoebe, but three of the youngsters will soon be re-homed. In true Frugaldom style, I'm hoping to trade them for straw, which will ensure warm, dry bedding for hens, ducks and rabbit throughout the winter.

In the poultry run, the grass and weeds have long since gone, to be replaced by bare land that looks not too far off becoming mud! This has been helped along by the fact that WE HAVE MOLES! I thought we'd seen the last of them when we moved from the previous house, but oh no... here we go again! Worse still, they have the audacity to burrow around the solar-powered mole deterrent! (Note to all - don't waste any money buying one of these so-called wonder devices, they are RUBBISH!)

The array of containers littering the kitchen floor has had to be extended to incorporate the latest leak. There's just enough space to fit a margarine tub on the edge of the unit where the breadmaker sits, so let's hope this is enough to stem the flow of rainwater that's now dripping from three separate spots of our higgledy-piggledy roof. The materials needed for the replacement are being ordered by the joiner this week, but having them in stock makes no difference to the immediate outcome - we need a week of dry weather to remove and replace the entire flat roof. Our Scruffy cat, on the other hand, would probably prefer that we keep the drips, as she likes to drink the resulting puddles of water!

Floppity bunny isn't too happy at being closed in her hutch, so she has launched her own great escape plan. It looks as though this involves her chewing her way through the already reinforced door! Yesterday, she spent most of her time in the cabbage patch, again, nibbling her way around the outer leaves and munching on the nearby turnip leaves. The way I see it, she does some weeding, turns over some soil when digging, spreads a little fresh manure and ends up too full to eat regular rabbit food, so a kilo of mix lasts us quite a while. Carrot tops are one of her favourite foods, but she is apt to steal peas and beans - not the healthiest option for rabbits, according to many books.

On the subject of pruning, Floppity bunny has also trimmed the raspberry canes, strawberries, lettuces, broccoli and an assortment of flowers. She particularly liked the pink campions by the back door!

Being the weekend, not a penny has been spent. A couple of friends have visited - first stop to see the ducklings - and I managed to scoot round the floorboards with the vacuum before anyone ventured in for a cuppa. I've given up fighting the dust, there's simply no point in clearing it up when one's walls are stripped back to bare brick. I should probably remove the spider webs from the corners, though! The leggy beasties are finding their way indoors no problem, but it's probably better them than the little brown lizards!

Nine out of the nine quail chicks still remain in their brooding box, all are fully feathered and, as I've recently discovered, all can fly! They proved this when three of them took off vertically, like Harrier Jump Jets, and ended up running around the living room. For a moment, while chasing the cat out, I thought we were about to lose two of them straight up the chimney, but I managed to catch them when they landed on the logs! I think I'll name one 'Sooty' and the other, 'Sweep'. (The quail, not the logs!)

A strange noise can be heard outside the back door. It's a sort of deep, throaty 'gurp' sound, emanating from the wood pile. Scruffy cat finds it most entertaining and sits for hours staring, in the hope of finding a new playmate. Further investigation revealed a huge toad! Meanwhile, the lizard that lived among the tomato plants in one of the big fish box planters seems to have moved on, so I should be able to move those this week. We need the storage space.

Not sure if the same offers apply all over the country, but September is discounted coal month here. It's our one chance to stock up for the winter months, with £1 off per bag when buying five or more. We haven't made space for it yet, but have ten bags arriving on Wednesday, with the hope that it will see us through to the end of the year. I do hope the plumber hurries up in getting the faulty radiator fixed: it will make such a difference when the open fire can heat the water and the other rooms on the ground floor of our humble abode.

That's it from Frugaldom for now. Tomorrow is another day, with luck that storm will stay away!

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