Twigs in my hair

Starting with a partridge, it had to be plucked, gutted and generally made cookable. After spatchcocking Percy the Partridge and cooking him over the fire for about 20 mins per side he was delicious!

Breaking through the skin to get the guts out was one of the most “gag-worthy breakfast about to make a re-appearance” moments I’ve had in a long time. Funnily enough Pippin the Pigeon whom I tore apart with my latex gloved hands the next day barely made me wince at all. What a difference a day makes!

3 days of torture

If you want to spend three days of your life agonising over why piece x is not square with piece y and then taking apart and rebuilding something over and over again then you too should buy a TP Toys Sherwood tower and then try building it on uneven ground.

An electric screwdriver is definitely recommended to drive in the 55 thousand screws that form the tower.

Still – Amelia loves it and I’m sure as Oliver gets older he will too.



After an awful lot of arsing about and blog posts and stuff, I’ve finally made it to number 1 in the google search results. We had a bit of a false alarm many months ago when I hit number 1 in the rankings..but here it is!

As an added bonus I also get number 3 slot for this neglected blog!

He, or she, had it coming

The little furry terrorist above has been wreaking havoc around my house for months now.  Huge great molehills appearing in my garden, greenhouse and from between the cracks in the driveway.  I also blame this wee beastie for the stones falling through on my drive causing lots of work and expense for me!

The final straw came when the furry fucker uprooted all my newly buried tulip bulbs.  He/She just had to go. 

1 B&Q mole trap
1 Trowel

Move the earth from a fresh mole hill.
Poke around with a stick until you find the tunnel shaft
Dig down with the trowel until you expose the underground tunnel 10-15 cm below
Using gloves to keep the human smell away insert the trap and wait a while.
When the trap springs pull the dead mole out, take a picture, write a blog and celebrate.

Simkiss is a jammy bastard

This is the moment when I had to hand over 100 pounds to Paul "I’m a jammy bastard" Simkiss following our bet made a year previously.

The bet was :

Hey Paul,

Hope you didn’t forget our £100 bet.  On Nov 9th 2008 if the dollar is
less than $1.80 v £ then you win – but if your pound buys more than
$1.80 then I’m ze goose stepping winner marching across red square.

Okely dokely?

So we have virtually an entire year with the pound riding high and then crash bang wallop.  Global recession.  Banks collapsing, governments subsiding bailouts, car manufacturers going under and for some bizarre reason…even though the Americans were massively hit by these factors also…the pound plummets.

Very very annoying.  The fingers behind Paul’s head belong to Megan.  She picks on me 🙁

Having said that, on the plus side we did manage to spend the 100 quid on curry and beer on our night out in Rishworth, so that was good.

Flippin cockerel, again!

Emma and I are not having much luck with this chicken rearing business.  The two Buff Orpington chicks we bought turned out to be cockerels.  We managed to swap them with the breeder so it’s kind of ok, but we’ve still been feeding them for the past five months for no eggs in return 🙁

Something’s not quite right

This is my first attempt at stringing onions.  Em reckons it looks a bit rude but I have no idea what she means, looks nothing like a pair of breasts to me.

I’ve just been reading about alternative stringing methods so watch out for the second attempt…coming to a blog near you soon

A disappointing year – ish

I’ve just been out harvesting my onion crop.  Out of the 40 or 50 seeds I planted I only got a yield of 15 onions which was a little disappointing, but the onions I did get are fantastic.  The onion top-right in the picture is flipping enormous!!  To prevent such disappointments next year I have just ordered 300 sets from marshalls so next years onion haul will be needing a wide-angled lens.  Along with the onions I also ordered a pear tree, garlic, some Amelia strawberries [ well I had to really ] and various vegetable seeds.

A few weeks ago I transplanted a load of strawberry runners from my outdoor plants into used Chinese take-away tubs.  I’ve got about 25 new plants above but I think a few of them wont take.  Still, between the strawberry plants pictured above and the 12 Amelia variety I just bought I think the family Steele will be having a bumper harvest of strawberries next year.  Which is fortunate since Amelia is pretty much addicted to them.

The pepper seedlings which my Dad gave me in March have matured well but I think they would have benefited from being in bigger pots, having the greenhouse at a higher temperature and not being grown in my home made compost.  My home made compost was lacking a little and in future will be added to the raised beds along with my leaf mulch.  I’ll stick to shop bought compost for seedlings until I get better at home composting…or get a wormery thingy 🙂

The one and only beef tomato that made it from the donations off Joan next door is ripening well.  It will be a treasured part of a salad and the seeds will be saved for next years attempt when I’ll consider feeding the flipping things 🙁

So the conclusion to the 2008 growing season is definitely could do better.  Still, it’s been a pretty shitty year for growing stuff but I have high hopes for 2009 now that I have taken out a subscription to "Grow Your Own".

P.S. Pictures of my homegrown sweetcorn still to come.

End of the lane


At the end of my lane is a little duck pond, needless to say it’s the one pictured above.  I went down with Amelia recently to feed the ducks and I’ve never seen it so still.  There was a beautiful blue sky and the reflections were amazing.  I’m just pissed off that I only had my iphone with me to take a picture rather than my proper camera.  Ho hum!