Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Don't ask.....

            I take it that the majority of you, my learned readers, have indeed at some point in your existence have had occasion and reason to grind upon your molars and lay curses upon the saying “the best laid plans of mice and men…” taken from the Burns’ poem ‘To a mouse..’. Well for this little Welsh Hobbit the week gone by has indeed dampened his enthusiasm for the making of plans, no matter how trivial seeming, for a goodly while to come me thinks.

            Today is the start of six, yes six, whole days of freedom from ‘the grind’, I even booked half a shift off last night’s shift to enjoy the six days without feeling like some bleedin’ sore headed ogre for the first couple of days off (the after effects of me cider is bad enough!). The prospect of a couple of long meandering walks exploring uncharted ground with that scruff of a Warthog alongside of me, well ok disappearing into the distance, consumed my thoughts and I eagerly waited for the time ahead. Now I know that wishing your life away is such a waste but the laborious ticking of the clock could not trundle along fast enough to the start of this week until that is….

            Oh now don’t you lot start with the sympathetic crooning for her, she’s still a bloody nuisance injured or not. So here’s the tale; last Wednesday evening after an absolute stinker in work (oh curse bless my shift leaders and their managers with their communication skills of a block of concrete), myself and the Warthog headed for a jaunt to what has become a regular location for us of late, Nercwys Forest. But being regular does not mean boring though for we try a different route each time and as you all know there is always something different and even intoxicating about being surrounded by Mother Nature and all her achievements, sometimes the jaw drop caused by a spectacular sunset …

Or the fascinations of a small find which I had no knowledge of before; indeed after returning home I had to look up the creatures’ pictured below and it turns out that they are ‘Common Sexton’ beetles or more, ahem, romantically ‘Grave digger’ beetles and were in the process of excavating a hollow in which to bury poor Moley who would then act a food reserve for the beetles eggs/larva once deposited on him, gruesome but quite enthralling don’t you think?

So the walk itself was a blast, what with grand vistas and the joy of the small drama unfurled before us. Little was I to know of the drama that would be awaiting Clare and myself once the wanders returned home. Once through the front door (no it is not round nor is it green, mores the pity), Willow headed for the water bowl and then carried on with her customary after walk collapse upon the sofa whilst I headed for the shower to wash away the grime and aches of the day, it does seem to me that as the years catch up on me the aches don’t seem to get any less nor does the amount of crap from the grind, whether it be machine lubrication or managers bullshit. Anyway back to the plot, refreshed from the shower I contemplated opening up another home produced cider, risky I know but oh the rewards far out weigh the next day’s frayed around the edges and slightly out of focus feeling. Clare – “before you settle just take a look at Willow’s rear left, she seems mighty interested in it” (alright Clare didn’t exactly say ‘mighty’ but come on guys poetic licence?). “Probably a scratch or a thorn stuck in her Velcro like fur” thought I. Oh foolish mortal that I am, I was not expecting what came to light as I held her leg to examine it; for there under her fur was a hole in her skin that stretched right across her legs’ width and tendons and bone could clearly be seen. Immediately I was full of concern and guilt, concern for the health of the little mite and guilt that I had no idea that she was so severely injured. In my defence there had not been the slightest drop of blood nor had the tough little bugger given any sign whilst on the trial, neither yelp nor limp had occurred, although she now made a meal of it holding her leg high as she limped along on the other three with the most reproachful look at me that she could muster!

We phoned the vet’s immediately explaining the situation to a very sleepy sounding Mr. Evans. Half an hour later we’re holding Willow, Clare on the leg, myself soothing and holding her head (Willow’s you fools) whilst we gratefully watched Mr. Evans carry out his examination. He was surprised at the lack of bleeding for the size of the wound but also concerned about the chances of infection being as both tendon and bone had been scraped. The wound he washed out fully and applied with some anti bacterial cream or similar type potion. It was only when he commenced the first of four stitches (with a bent needle that could have landed Moby Dick I felt!) that the blood appeared, oh boy like a larva flow from a fresh Icelandic eruption. It’s here that I have to admit to a slight failing within my character, I’m not good with blood. Yes you may titter at this supposedly gruff out doors type but blood can sometimes have a weird affect upon me and my constitution. Clare glanced over at me as I stared to sway, “go and sit down, your grey”, not feeling particularly macho at this point I meekly obeyed and gratefully thudded down in a waiting room chair, only to here the sniggering and tittering from Mr. Evans and Clare at my expense – bugger.

It’s been four full days since these events and Willow is healing nicely, she’s putting full weight upon her leg now (enough to snatch a biscuit from beside my cup of tea the little….), the prospect of infection now seems thankfully very slim and she’s doing our heads in being as we cannot walk her yet and she’s like a coiled spring not knowing what to annoy us with next. So we’re on baby sitting duties until the stitches are removed and the threat of infection has gone completely, should be a peaceful week then……

Ah just one more thing speaking of sitting duties, remember me sort of mentioning a broody hen recently? Well I spoke to my chicken guru John, and the upshot was we had three choices; chicken dinner (only joking, well…), trying to break her out of the broody stage by keeping her off the nest all day in separate accommodation, or giving her some fertilised eggs to mother, guess which way we went?

John kindly provided six fertilised eggs at my favourite price but the thing is we have no idea what to expect if any of them hatch, two were definitely from another Bantam (Silky me thinks), but as for the other four? Well I have no idea what may emerge, We'll just be glad though if any hatch and that they are healthy hens especially since Cruella seems to have gone on egg strike as a mark of solidarity while Penelope sits on her precious, as they say, “watch this space”.

Till next time, take good care of you and yours,

Your friend,


Bloody hell stop the presses, just nipped down stairs for a brew and to check upon the Warthog, last seen blissfully sleeping in the morning sun upon our bed: Yep Willow still on the bed sound asleep, but wait why's there a battery on the floor? and what's that sharp plastic embedded in me foot? and oh shit that's the remains of the bedside clock! why the little.... bollocks I'm in for it now when Clare gets home ah well such be life, now where's me big mug - might be me last brew.....

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tried n survived.....

Afternoon all,

Tis I the amazing Murphyfish fresh from another glorification of stupid mangers and base stupidity that be 'the grind'.But tis not this that the title of survival refers to, oh most certainly not good reader. tis indeed survival of an entirely different and more pleasurable matter.

Cast your minds back many, many moons ago to this dim and distant post. tis not the painful memories that it brings about over my beloved bog monster that I refer too either, although it's always nice to have them prod me now and then., indeed not but it's the account of my first effort of producing one of my very own 'five a day' fruit supplements that our government seem so keen on - yep Cider (me thinks that's not exactly what they had in mind).

So yesterday brother in-law Wayne pops around for his weekly, see what he can scrounge, visit and unable to prise anything of value fro my clammy fingers resorts into persuadable dialogue hoping to force me into opening one of the bottles from last years efforts. It wasn't difficult to be honest, work has been more than the usual grind lately so a little fortification seemed a good idea. 

Thing is up until now I haven't had the courage to try one of me own brews.... I mean it could taste foul, it may be the best bowel emptier known to science, folk may well snigger, nay titter at my pathetic efforts.... but with Wayne's mithering and my bullhead squarely in place a bottle was brought forth from the inner sanctum known to ye mortals as the garage and....

Well bloody hell fire what a revelation, from popping, yes and I do mean popping with an audibly loud pop, the ceramic top to the first tentative gulp to the last draining of the remaining drips I can most definitely say that my own home brewed cider is absolutely spot on. Unbelievably I know but honestly true, tis as dry as hell but with no chemical taste what so ever just a suitably applely cider taste that tickles the taste buds and demands it to be savoured. Yep I can with all honesty say that it's not a bad brew at all and it has a grand kick with both our faces colouring up nicely, trouble is now me thinks that my small amount produced last year will not last the week - bugger. 

One thing then I'm going to ramp up production this Autumn with a target of at least 10 demi jons to be filled with this amber nectar so if any one has any of the 'grolsch' type bottles with the wired ceramic tops going spare I'm sure that we could come to some sort of arrangement - I'm in need of loads of the buggers so let me know if would be so kind.

Right off to try and sort out a seriously broody bantam and then a glass or three of cider me thinks...

Till the next time take care my friends,


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I'm still here......honest

            A thousand grovelling apologies dear readers (must be at least 5 of you by now!) for my totally inadequacy in providing regular posts upon this here sad excuse for a blog. Truth be told that I’ve been a tad busy over the last couple weeks, well to be absolutely honest I haven’t been a tad busy at all, oh no, no, thrice no. To tell the real truth I’ve been that busy I’ve had neither the time to draw breath or fart for that matter. In-between the wonderful 12 hour shifts at the holiday camp that is work (that’ll be me being sarcastic for those who don’t read my blog regularly), trying to sort of project manage the Roy Rogers of all builders defacing, ahem, redesigning our front garden walls, myself adding an extension to Poultry Towers ready for imminent new arrivals (oh yes more chucks are heading this way thanks to Mr. Gray), trying to plan the redesigned front garden from grass desert into an oasis of flowers using traditional old cottage garden breeds, wild flowers, herbs and a water feature (haven’t mentioned that bit to Clare yet, oops), general maintenance on the car and house, and still walking the trails with the Warthog life has been a tad hectic. Oh and not forgetting more home brewing, garage work and general thumb up me arse activities which all seem to take hours more than first thought. Oh and another thing that has taken some time is me trying to formulate a plan in which I can…. Erm…. how can I put this with out coming across as some deluded psycho?.... Erm basically shoot a neighbour of mine and get away with it (yep I think that came across OK). I really do need to be cloned or invest in a time machine lately, although it’s debatable whether the world could handle another Welsh Hobbit like me.
I've still to e-mail several folk all of which or long overdue a word from me, so sorrys go to Casey, Damn, Laurie, Leigh and a host of others but I will get there, honest (might be in a week or so but it will happen).

            So that’s about it, a blathering list of half cocked excuses as to the reason for my neglect of my friends in blog land. Hopefully normal service will soon be resumed and I’ll also have time to catch up with my favourite reads out there. Oh and being as I always try to put in one photograph to accompany my tangential ramblings here be one of the newly extended Poultry Towers, not 100% complete be nearly done and it gives the chucks another 12 square feet in which to spread and includes a dust bath and perching branch, hey all mod cons or what?

So until the next time (sooner and with the usual blathering) take good care my friends.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Test run

Mmmmm hopes this worksies hobbits....

Seems as though the Elder Flower wine has kicked off OK, happy days me thinks. Although being a 'Tom the cabin boy' at this I'm not sure 'bout that colour! Comments, advice most welcome...

More on the process at a later date, till then take care me hearties...