Rat attack

Our hen house has recently been under attack from rats.  We think they can sense the food that is kept in there, although our reserves are kept in the lobby in the house, so it is safe from rats there.

At first they gnawed the side of the door to the hen house, so Neil put a piece of thicker wood across the bottom where they had gnawed through. Two days later they had gnawed above that too.

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So Neil had to add some extra wood up the side of the door, over the gnawed bit.

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As the inside frame had been gnawed too, he then added another piece of wood on the inside.

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We are hoping this will keep the rats at bay, together with the rat poison that we have put by the side of the hen house.  We have put it under some plastic boxes so that no other animal will come across it.  Lets hope this does the trick.

The B&B is now closed for 2 months whilst we have some renovations done, but we are accepting bookings from March onwards.www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

 

 

 

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Happy New Year

snoopy

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Christmas walk and Christmas dinner

After breakfast and opening our presents we went for a walk up our favourite woods at Staple Hill.  It was a bit drizzly but as we passed people walking their dogs (some dressed with santa collars for the occasion) we exchanged cheery greetings of Merry Christmas. They’ve thinned out some of the fir trees now and you can just see the light through them.

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We came across a small tree that had been decorated with baubles by some children who had left a note on it.

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We stopped to take a Xmas selfie against the backdrop of the woods.

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It started to clear a bit and we got a good view to the North.

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So we had a go at another selfie.dsc01191

After our walk we popped into the local pub “The Candlelight” for a Christmas drink.  It was heaving with people and we whiled away quite some time chatting to friends before coming home to get the dinner on.  I had cooked the turkey last night and prepared the veggies this morning so there wasn’t much to do except put the potatoes in and then cook the veg.  We served up turkey dinner just before 3pm.

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I’m looking a bit pink from standing over a hot stove, or was it the bubbles going to my head?

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It is traditional to watch the Queen give her speech so after the main course we sat and watched that, then had a little snooze (only 2 glasses of Proscecco will send me to sleep), before Christmas pud and mince pies.

A few phone and Skype calls to family and that rounded off a lovely day.

Hope you enjoyed your Christmas Day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rural craft – making a Christmas Wreath

I do this every year, make a Christmas wreath.  After all we have all the components down the woods.  Neil picked some thin willow whips and bent them round a pail.

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We gathered some greenery:- ivy with flowers on, holly, evergreen mint, fir tree and rosemary.

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I started by winding some ivy round the willow whips and attaching with thin wire.

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Next I added the rosemary to give the wreath a nice scent.

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Then I wound some evergreen mint  and some holly round the wreath to add some more green colour. However the holly didn’t half prickle my fingers!

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To finish it off I add a red bow and bauble, some red berries and wound some elasticated red ribbon all the way round to help keep everything in place. We added a wire loop to hang it up and proudly displayed it on our front door.

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I made another one for an elderly friend but didn’t add the holly and actually I think it is the better one.  Practice makes perfect as they say.

Come and see all our Christmas decorations http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Selling Bric a Brac again

This Saturday just gone was the day of the Buckland St Mary Xmas fete and we were on the Bric a Brac stall again.  We had lots of stuff – some friends were moving house and had cleared out a lot of glass ware and crockery and we had lots of books and other donations too.  This is me behind our stall.

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Neil is a very good salesman and tries to sell mostly inappropriate things to people we know,  just for fun.  However we did really well and took £77.00 in 2 hours.

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Children had the chance to visit Father Christmas (a local man from the village who dressed up the part), and afternoon teas and cake were also on offer.

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There was a tombola stall, a craft stall, a picture stall amongst others together with the usual raffle (I won a Xmas pudding – home made). Altogether £945 was raised for the church youth worker, so a good effort all round, and an early December start to get us in the Christmas mood.

We have vacancies in the B&B for the whole of December. contact us at http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

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Apple pressing in the Blackdown Hills

We have been to two apple pressing events this October, one in Buckland St Mary earlier in the month, and then another one at Stentwood the weekend just gone.  These are community events organised by the Blackdown Hills Transition Group of which we are members.

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Basically we invite anybody to bring their apples along and use the equipment to turn them into apple juice.

Firstly you have to tip apples into the crusher. We used a mixture of both eating apples and cooking apples.

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This breaks the apples down into pulp that can go into the presses.

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The apple pulp is then transferred into a linen bag and put into a press.  Gradually turning the handle round presses down on the pulp and the juice is then collected below.

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The juice turns brown as the apples oxidise.  The next process is to bottle it up.  We use a jug and a funnel to transfer the juice into bottles. If the apple juice is put into plastic bottles it can be frozen to keep it fresh, otherwise it will start to ferment after 3 or 4 days. If the juice is bottled in glass bottles it can be pasteurised for 35 minutes at 75 degrees C and this will keep it to up to a year.

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Bottling up

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Ilfracombe in the rain

Last week we had a couple of days away in North Devon in the resort of Ilfracombe, just 2 hours drive from here.  We booked a pleasant B&B (busman’s holiday for us) but thought a change of scenery would be good.  Unfortunately the weather was against us. The first day it rained constantly all day, but we decided to make the best of it and went for a walk to see the sites.

The tide was out, the coast line very rugged.

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Unperturbed by the weather we ventured forth with our brolly up.

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We walked down to the harbour to see the boats.

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At the end of the quay stands “Verity” a 66 foot high statue of a naked pregnant woman standing on law books and holding the scales of justice behind her back in one hand, and a sword held high in the other.  It is by Damian Hurst and to my opinion quite grotesque.  I think it is something that divides the locals in opinion.

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One side is the outer body and the other side is the internal view!!

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After a nice breakfast is our B&B the next day we set off to the “Tunnels beaches”.

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Tunnels were dug out by Welsh miners in the Victorian era to provide a way through to the beaches, one for women and one for men, and the Victorian bathing pools.  The time of our visit saw the tide up so we couldn’t see the bathing pools but we did go through the tunnels.

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We went down onto the women’s beach and Neil took the opportunity to skim some stones, something he is very good at.

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On the way back we stopped off at the theatre, known locally as “Madonna’s Bra” due to its large conical turrets. It would appear they have a wide and varied programme of events there.

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As the weather continued to be inclement we decided to head for home early and came back to lunch in the local pub “The Candlelight” in Bishopswood and very nice it was too.

visit us at http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

 

 

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