Archive for December, 2013

All ready for Christmas

Well in one week we have done all the Christmas preparations and we are now ready for Christmas.  Last Friday we put up the tree.  We like to buy a real one, a non drop one, preferably a growing one in a pot, but the only pots they had were really small trees so we bought this one and decorated it with gold and red.

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We put up two really large baubles from the beam in the lounge.

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I also hang smaller baubles above the windows.                            DSC06142

Note the Reindeer antlers on the globe lamps, they are for wearing a bit nearer the time for a bit of silliness!!

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I love to get a poinsettia at the this time of year.  They are so full of colour and you must surround yourself with red at Xmas.

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This chappie always comes out at Xmas time too.  He was given to me by a friend I used to share a flat with many  years ago, but he is my favourite Father Christmas.

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The presents are already wrapped and under the tree.

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I love having our Christmas cards displayed on the dresser and the bookcase.

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I have bought the turkey, and done all the food shopping, so now we really are ready for Christmas.

I  hope you are too.

Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in 2014.

www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk


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Funeral, Flowers and Fog

I’ve not blogged much recently because we have been a bit pre-occupied.  My father died at the end of November and on Dec 11th we went back to Upminster in Essex for the funeral.  My Father was 91 years old and had been suffering with cancer.  It was horrid to see him go downhill so his passing was a blessing in the end.  We had been regularly visiting him and saw him a week before his death.

The funeral was well attended as he had been very involved in the local community before he became ill.  It was a funeral mass.  Just my brother and his family and us two sent flowers.  This is the last photo I had taken with him back in July when he first moved into the care home.

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After the funeral the local ladies laid on sandwiches and tea in the church hall and we were able to go round and talk to all who had attended.  It was also really good to see all the family together as I hadn’t seen my niece or nephew for 4 years.

We left for the journey home in sunshine but on the M25 were met with a blanket of fog. As we travelled over the Queen Elizabeth bridge the fog was hanging over the docks.

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We were glad to be back home after the 4 hour drive.  It’s funny to think we have no reason now to go back to Upminster.  It was my childhood home, but now the house is sold and both my parents are dead, I can’t think we will ever go back there.

So a difficult week, but now we can start thinking about Christmas.

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Goodbye to the Cockerels

Back in August we purchased nine 6 week old chicks from Manor Farm in Ilminster.  The guy there said he could sex them and that he could sell us just pullets, but if any turned out to be cockerels he would swap them for us.  So we looked after them, fed and watered them, and watched as 2 of them turned out to be beautiful cockerels.

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The above chappie is a French Copper Maran.

The other cockerel was a hybrid between a Buff Sussex and a Speckled Sussex.  He was a really handsome chap.

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So yesterday afternoon we took them back and swapped them for 2 Rhode Island Red pullets, which seem to have joined the flock OK.  Here they all are having a feed this afternoon.

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As you can see we have a real mix of hens, from Warrens, Welsummer/Black Rock cross, Buff Sussex, Speckled Sussex, French Copper Marans to name but a few.  We also have a large hen we call “Boots” as she has feathered legs.  We hope she is a hen and not another cockerel.  This was one we hatched from an egg, so we are not quite sure yet, but she is fabulous.

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We think “Boots” is a Brahma which is why she is so big, but the guy at Manor Farm said if they had blue colouring in their feathers they were more likely to be cockerels.  And she has, so we will have to wait and see if she starts doing “Cock a doodle do” or jumping on the other hens.  We also have raised from chicks a cute little Apenzeller cockerel (below) who we call “Ted” as he looks like a Teddy Boy, and 2 really handsome Buff Sussex cockerels – any takers?  We do need to say goodbye to another couple of cockerels.

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It’s all fun in the hen run here determining who is who.  The problem with raising chicks from eggs is that 60% turn out to be cockerels and then you have to find homes for them.  Our cockerels raised from eggs are all pure breeds, so it would be a pity not to find good homes for them.

As regards the egg-laying birds, they are not happy with the shorter day light hours and the cold weather.  We are getting 4 or 5 eggs a day, but out of a total of 26 chickens that’s not really a good average. The people on my egg round are complaining that I’m not selling enough eggs at the moment. I’m hoping that when the days get longer and warmer next year and the chicks come of age we will get a lot more eggs than that.

We still have some vacancies in the B&B for December and all of January.

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Buckland St Mary Xmas Bazaar 2013

Saturday afternoon was the Buckland St Mary Xmas Bazaar.  This is where Father Christmas puts in his first appearance of the season.  Funny how he looked different to Father Christmas last year!!  Think he had done something different with his beard!!

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Neil and I were manning the Bric-a-Brac stall again.  It’s not easy selling other people’s junk!  Especially when you can only charge 50p or £1.00 per item generally.  The most we took on a single item was £3.00.  We made just £38.60, still it’s more than we would have made if we hadn’t turned out!!

Neil delighted in trying to sell inappropriate items to our friends.

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He even managed to sell a game called Saints and Sinners to the local parish priest.

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There was a good turnout of people and quite a few stalls.  The teas and cakes always does well as does the produce stall and the cakes and pastries stall.  There were 2 raffles, a tombola, guess the name of the giraffe, greetings cards, jewellery and quite a few other stalls too.

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All in all a bit of fun.  We then had to pack up all the left over stuff and now we need to take it to a local charity shop and hope they can sell the stuff we couldn’t sell!!

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