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There's good news and bad news...


Hi everyone!

It feels as though I’ve been away for ages! It’s been a busy summer…not necessarily in the garden. OH has been home, we’ve been to Spain for a little break, and had two lots of visitors…and that’s only so far!

Oh! And I’ve done another cours de cuisine at the hotel. Two amazing recipes to follow after I catch my breath! lol!

So, the good news is that OH has now gone back to work…not to Nigeria…but to Azerbaijan instead…

(and I’ve gone back to the garden…but more about that at a later date!)

The bad news is that a fox or a stone marten got into my chicken coop and wiped out all my girlies. Didn’t even eat them…just bit off their heads. It was devasting…

The good news is that the Duckworths somehow survived…although, the bad news is I’ve had to rename them Jack and Terry, since they’re both drakes! Not the best combination for egg-laying, lol! We were thinking about eating them but, we hadn’t the heart to despatch them after they survived the massacre…

So, I’ve been having to re-stock and make everything vermin-proof.

Let me introduce you to the new girls…

First the ducklings. Both girls, or so I’m told… I haven’t given them names – still hedging my bets….

But, hopefully they’ll make Jack and Terry happy boys one day!

I didn’t realise that they were going to be so small when I ordered them…so I had to quickly make a cage on the porch, for them to live in until they’re big enough to hold their own with the others.

The bad news is, one of them nearly didn’t make it to the cage…they had to spend a few hours in a cardboard box on the worktop in the kitchen. And in that short time I learned that they can jump really high!! Out she popped, onto the floor below and into the jaws of two surprised dogs!

The good news is that she escaped unharmed…and I think that Sadie might actually be guarding them…although, I really didn’t like the way Satchmo was licking his lips…

This is them exploring their new home yesterday afternoon…

This is their paddling pool…a paint roller tray…note how manky the water is already…the bad news is, they are messy little creatures!

And this is them snuggling down in their plant pot bed…

Okay, I know it’s all a bit “Heath Robinson”…

…but not as much as the new extended chicken house! A Charentaise Longère…made from an aviary we found in the barn, a fence panel and some chicken-wire (obligatoire!). It may not be bonny, but it will keep them safe and happy!

And here are the new girlies…along with Jack and Terry…

No wait…a white Sussex and a little red hen…

…where’s the marvellous Maran??

Oh, there she is…she’s a little shy, still…but she’s the one who will lay the wonderful double-yolkers!

Let’s hope it’s all good news from now on in the chicken-coop…and, hopefully, lots and lots of eggs!!!

It has been such a long while since I’ve been here, that I’m not going to even try to catch up with all your news…just jump back in from here. I hope that you are all well and have had a more relaxing summer than I’ve had!!! Looking forward to seeing and reading all your latest stuff, folks! :)))

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Those damn foxes! Sorry to hear about that. The ducks are gorgeous. Your new chucks seem to have settled in well. Great blog.

8 Aug, 2012


Oh how utterly gorgeous! Fluffy babies!
Lovely photos and sorry to hear about your 'girlies' it's so sad when it happens :(

8 Aug, 2012


Welcome back Karen. Sorry to hear your news but love the new babies.
I have just got some chooks & had my first egg today!

I think I will invest in a shot Gun if the foxy comes near mine :-)

8 Aug, 2012


I'm SO pleased to see you back. Beautiful mademoiselles les canetons!

8 Aug, 2012


Thanks Lijem, I'm not sure if it was a fox or a stone marten...but either was just carnage for no reason. Very upsetting.
But, I can't imagine life without girlies now...they're comical and productive (hopefully!) :)

Hi Lulu! Who can resist fluffy babies like these? (including wild things - the cage is everything-proof, I hope, fingers crossed).
How are you and your menagerie? x

Thanks Willi! It's nice to be back!
Isn't having chooks great? And didn't that egg just taste fantastic? :)
Mine like spaghetti...I also like giving them spaghetti...several minutes of fun and games! lol!
What sort of girlies have you got?
The strange thing is...nobody (including the two demented dogs) heard a thing that bet is on the marten...

Hi Gatti! I'm SO pleased to be back! I've missed you! Com est ai, Gianna, cara? (unforgivable spelling, I know...but you know what I mean!) x

8 Aug, 2012


Glad to see you back Karen. Sorry you had to come home to that awful scene. I have not kept chooks since I was a child but have never forgotten how great it was, as each had a personality and the fresh taste of their eggs. Love ducks, they look so cuddly.

8 Aug, 2012


I've got a light sussex, Black rock & 2 red blacktails.
I just luv em!

8 Aug, 2012


Hi D! Glad to see you too! :)

You are so right! I can remember every single chicken I've had over the last nine years. Each has her own way...they are all kind of like Victorian Ladies to me. I know that probably sounds a bit mad...but they're in crinolines and bloomers...and, sometimes, they behave badly! lol!!!
...and you don't realise about the eggs...until you've had them... :))

8 Aug, 2012


Nice to see you again Karen, lovely ducklings i had one when i was younger, sorry to hear about your girls, they are devils those foxes,,,

8 Aug, 2012


Ooh, Willi! Once you've got them, your hooked! :)))
I don't know anything about black rocks or red blacktails...only came to keep chooks in France and not available here...but, I'm going to "google"!

I've got a Sussex now...and I used to have two Orpingtons. One of them was the tamest bird you could imagine. I miss her loads...even though she turned out to be "him" in the end... :))
(Seems to be the story of my life! lol!! :D)

8 Aug, 2012


Hi W! Nice to see you again too! :))

It's nature...not always nice, is it? But, it is nature :(

I just hope Mr. Reynard and Mme Fouine are thwarted in their efforts now!

8 Aug, 2012


Hi Karen, lovely to see you back and also to see your new babies. must ask, as can't possibly guess. What does your OH do, that keeps him travelling like that? Jx

8 Aug, 2012


Hi Karen,
How awful to find your poor girlies like that. I get mad when the foxes dig up my lawn or pee on it. Your new babies are gorgeous!

8 Aug, 2012


Welcome back K :)))))))))))
Fantastic pics! Love the wee duckies..and Jack and Terry lol. Hope you arent going to stuff them and put them on the wall like Hilda! heheh
SOrry bout the girls :(((((((((

8 Aug, 2012


Oh,Goody,Karen..funtime again,I nice to hear from you..thought you had got stuck in Jane's Jacuzzi..and she was keeping it quiet Lol.
Sorry to hear about your girlies..that is so sad..but your new ones look gorgeous..hope they live a long and happy life..great to have you back :o) x

8 Aug, 2012


Welcome back Karen - sorry about the horrid news of the animal that got in - such cute pictures :-)))))

8 Aug, 2012


Welcome back. Sorry to hear about your poor girls. I like the new ones especially those fluffy delights. You seem to have been away an awfully long time so I hope you had fun with all your visitors.

8 Aug, 2012


What a dreadful thing to happen to your 'girlies'; it must have been devastating. Your new ducklings are gorgeous. Good luck with them and welcome back too.

8 Aug, 2012


Nice to see you again! No wonder you've not been around - you're up to your eyes in feathers! So sorry to hear of the devastation and hope everything is Reynard-proof now? :o)

9 Aug, 2012


Hi Jane! Lovely to see you too! OH is an oily...with itchy feet! He was home for over 6 weeks - it's the longest time we've spent together ever...I'm exhausted! lol! ;) x

Hi Linda! I've heard that foxes are diggers. Luckily, the pen is on old foundations so they can't get under, no matter how hard they try. Do they keep coming back? If so, I think I'll get a gun! :) x

Hi Pixi! Thanks hen! How are you??? :)))))))
They're too cute for wall decorations! lol!
Mind you...if they all turn out to be might be another story! ;))) x

Hi Bloomer! How are you??? :)))))))
It's lovely to be back! I don't know where the time has gone this summer! But, I could do with a wee break at a spa now...
Hmm...maybe I could do something with the duckpond (old sink)! :) x

Hi Paul! And thanks! I'm hoping that keeping the cuties on the porch will also make them very tame :)))) x

Hi Sg and thank you! It feels as though I've been away for ages...I don't think I've ever had such a busy summer. And it's not over yet, as my daughter and grandson arrive next week - for almost a month...and I think I'm exhausted now! lol! :) x

Hi TB and thank you too! I can't describe how it feels to find such devastion... I'm glad that my OH was there at the time and dealt with it all. I'm being very careful to shut them in at night now. Unfortunately, with it being so warm, they don't want to go must be quite amusing to watch me "herding" them around the pen with a big stick every evening... :))

Hi Nariz! Nice to see you too! I've done my best...short of netting the whole pen...which I might do next...
...or, relocate to Spain! We had a taste of your lovely life in the mountains around Pamplona...not the same mountains, I know, but so beautiful. And such lovely people. I'm very envious! Mind you, I'd have to deal with bears as well!:)) x

9 Aug, 2012


Hi Karen - nice to see you back. You have had a busy time!! Love the ducklings - so beautiful. So sorry about your hens, though. It must have been a horrible thing to find. The hen house is tres chic!

9 Aug, 2012



9 Aug, 2012


....... and wolves! And wild boar! Not to mention the village dogs who live only to tear every car tyre to shreds!

9 Aug, 2012


Hi Mel! Thank you, so much. It's now day three with the ducklings on the porch...very cute...but hoping they grow fast and can move into Maison Poules quite soon. The heat is intensifying the unmistakeable odour of "eau de duck"...they poop constantly! lol! :)))

Oh,'re shattering my illusions! Still, I suppose there's always a! :)))

9 Aug, 2012


There has to be one somewhere .... Um? ........ Oh! ...... no, not that ........ eeerrrrrrr? .......... Ah! There's ....... no, not really ......... um ............ No! Can't think of anything! ;o)

9 Aug, 2012


LOL, Nariz! See!!
A few bears, wild boar (we've got them too...but they're like buses...), village dogs...

...minor problems! lol!

The dream is still alive! Yay!! ;)))

9 Aug, 2012


Yay indeed!!!!!! :o)))))))

10 Aug, 2012


Me and the menagerie, they are following me around like lost kittens and also, they didn't help me dig my new pond!

12 Aug, 2012


Lovely new girlies and duckies Karen. I was always anti-hunt, but when the fox got my two girls I'd have donned hunting pink on the dot you say ...devastating. Mind you, if the fox had looked at me with its little face, I'd have been helpless. As you say, it's nature, but so terrible. I hope your new shy girlie settles in soon, with telle une belle maison neuve how could she not:-)

13 Aug, 2012


What do you mean, they didn't help dig, Lulu?!
Mine dig...everywhere!! They also help to make sure that anything I plant is shredded in the maybe that was a good thing...? :/ too, Ba...about donning the pink and the fox's eyes...but, the giant dormouse challenged all of that...and, I'm thinking about getting a gun...
...not that I'd know how to use it (actually that's not quite true)...but, I'd never be awake when the trouble arises...

The ducklings are still on the porch...they're still cute, yellow and fluffy...

...and quite tame! Not sure whether that's good or bad...they smell of duck!!!

13 Aug, 2012



13 Aug, 2012


So glad to see you back Karen! :D xx

22 Aug, 2012


Pleased to see you back Karen, it seems you have been having a busy old time of late, sorry to hear of your troubles, the new ones are delightful, hoping your new measures are successful in keeping all of them safe...

22 Aug, 2012

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