Thursday, 27 July 2017

New blog

I have now added a blog section to my website. If you click on more you will see it! If you have any problems finding it please let me know.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

New Website Link!

Here it is:



A slight change.....

For some time I have been unhappy with the format of my blog! I can no longer post pictures which are important to demonstrate what I am doing. Makes it boring for those reading too.
I have started building a website to which I plan to add a forum. It will grow slowly as I have never done anything like this before. A lot of googling has gone on!
The website is   'The little green smallholder ' which I hope you will easily find. The blog will continue on there .
I write on several different websites/forums and the plan is to keep it all in one place. I hope this will improve the quality of my writing to have it all in one place.
It is not my plan to earn anything from this as this would not fit with my principles. It is likely to cost me a small amount each year to run but that is ok.
I do not know if this will succeed but hope it does.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

More about home made stuff! πŸ‘—

Many years ago when I married I made my going away outfit! It was a pink and white floral skirt and a hand knitted pink cardigan. I bought a plain white T shirt to complete the outfit. My shoes were the white platform wedges I wore for my wedding! The shoes were necessary as I am 5' 3" and Him indoors is 6'2". He has never stopped saying 'you are very short'.
Throughout the early years of marriage and as the children arrived I continued to make clothes for myself and the children. Fabric and wool was much cheaper than a shop bought item and I enjoyed making things. My mother in law was an accomplished seamstress! She made some beautiful smocked dresses for my first daughter and turned the into romper suits for my son. Then back to dresses for my second daughter. I still have them. In the hem on the inside can be seen little hand sewn button holes from when they were worn by my son! I find it sad this sort of thing never happens now.
The day came when the children no longer wanted handknitted jumpers and cardigans for school. They did not want to be different. For a while I continued making things for me but it soon fell by the wayside as work and a busy family life took over. Clothes were now much cheaper that the fabric too!
Over the years I have made the odd thing but my old treadle sewing machine I loved took up too much space and went. I regret that so much. A few years ago I bought a new electric machine and started sewing again.
Today I have gone back to wanting to make my own clothes again. I find it hard to buy ready made clothes I like. Apart from basic jeans and T shirts.
A couple of days ago I dug out some knitting needles and found in my stash enough navy double knit to knit a cardigan pattern I found. I am now half way up the back. This will go with a white linen skirt I have had for years. I kept my navy Mary Jane shoes too. And the red, pink and black!
I have some pink gingham that I will make into a skirt and enough bubble gum pink wool to make the cardigan! This is what made me think of the outfit I made so long ago.
I am pleased to discover there is still a bit of Doris Day lurking and I like a co ordinated outfit! The only thing now missing is a red bag but I have an idea to make one! My wardrobe will be created around my shoes! When we go out for a drink with friends or to eat I will do my Doris Day bit! It will surprise people who have been used to me always in jeans!
I might live on a farm and have very little money but I will really enjoy making my own clothes once more! Who needs high fashion?

Sunday, 25 June 2017

More bee talk🐝

So, with my new found lack of fear of bees......heard a buzzing outside the bedroom window. After a couple of days I investigated. In the top of the dormer window in the space of the cheek were some bees. I watched them moving in the furniture, lots of activity. They are mostly black with a white rump and look like bumble bees. I was able to google them and discovered they are tree bumble bees. Not aggressive unless challenged.
Him indoors was worried about having bumble bees sharing our space but once he realised they will mostly be outside he was ok. They will only be there for the summer as once we go into Autumn the queen will emerge and bury herself in the earth to stay warm and safe over winter. The rest of the colony will die off. She will emerge next Spring and start a new colony. I find this rather sad as they are such beautiful creatures. They have a pale ginger saddle that can only be seen close up and are fluffy in that bumble bee way!
It is a measure of how far I have come that I feel hugely privileged to have these bumble bees living so close. One was on the lounge floor yesterday looking in a bad way. I put it outside on the water butt and gave it sugar syrup. This it ate and after a while flew back to the nest! It had run out of fuel!
I say good morning and good night to them each day.
I do the same with my honey bees as they like to know what is going on?
The world outside seems very agitated just now but here in the first and last house in Normandy all is peaceful.
It turns out I have just one broody hen and she has around ten eggs. She is now separated in a protected house and run ready for when the eggs hatch. This also stops other hens laying their eggs in the house which would confuse the hatch times! I do so love seeing the chicks hatch and watching them grow. I know it means increasing the cockerels but that is ok.
Work on the second Gite is going well. So close to finishing it!
Our bookings on Le Tertre Rouge have gone well this year. 15 weeks! It seems people prefer to book last minute now so we must remember this next January when we begin to worry! Flexible booking is also preferred. People do not want to arrive just on Saturdays! It creates more work keeping calendars up to date but is the way things are now!
Still busy making crochet blankets,  a new one is in progress! I have a couple more waiting in the wings that are granny squares, something I have not tried before. I am excited to try this having found how much I enjoy learning new things.
I never know what is around the next corner which is good really!

Sunday, 18 June 2017

When worlds collide 🌻🌾🏎

this was a special weekend for me!
Most of my days are spent quietly making things and growing things, tending to my animals and learning to be self sufficient. Just occasionally my other self comes to the fore.
This weekend was the 24hour race at Le Mans. On Friday we went to the classic British welcome at a town near Le Mans. Hundreds of amazing cars arrive and park around the leisure area. Each year a different car is featured and has pride of place in the exhibition centre. This year it was Marcos, quite a rare car. Loads of Ferrari, Porsche, Corvette, and other sports cars. There are English, French, German, Dutch and American. Many people come to view the cars.
Later that day we drove down to the circuit in Le Mans to meet up with a friend who is part of the Corvette pit crew. He gave us a pit tour which was fantastic. We then had a lovely drive home through the French countryside.

On Saturday we drove back down to Le Mans to see the start of the race. Home again for the night and back down again today to see the finish.

I absolutely love this weekend! It does not fit at all with my green side but the atmosphere, the noise of the cars, the car fanatics and the friends we meet up with each year is amazing.
Each evening I have come home and picked the ripe raspberries for that day, watered the veg and pottered about! It has been lovely to come home to the peace. I do know how fortunate I am.
Lost another chicken this week. I have left them locked in whilst I have been out. It makes me sad to lose birds. This year I have lost four chickens and four ducks to the fox. I know it is part of nature but I cannot accept it. It is my choice to free range them and I know it is a risk!

Tomorrow life returns to normal

Monday, 12 June 2017

C'est la vie

Last week I lost a much loved cockerel. Yes I am very attached to all my birds! I am sure it was a fox. He was out in the field with some hens and I know he would have died protecting the girls. The girls came home ok. He was a very big chicken so I am surprised he was caught. It must have been a big fox!

Today I was sitting quietly at home doing some crochet when I heard the other boys alarm call. I rushed into the garden and realizing they were in the field below I headed for the bank in time to see a fox run from the higher field down to where my chickens were grabbing a girl en route! I slid down the bank under the barbed wire shouting and clapping ( foxes think it is gunshot). The fox dropped my chicken and ran into the woods. I rounded everyone up and did a headcount. All were there but the chicken who was caught has awful wounds on her back. She has been eating ok and moving around but I am concerned I will lose her.

On a positive note I have two broody hens. They have six eggs between them! I have put them in the omlet house on top of the puppy cage. I have put wire around the house and tiles across the door. This enables me to check them and give them food and water. I will turf them out once each day. The issue is to stop other girls going in to lay eggs. I need them to hatch at the same time. Hopefully in three weeks I will see some fluffy chicks! There is something really lovely about seeing them hatch and watching them grow! I currently have three boys but could gain more when these hatch! I will keep them all as I cannot bear to think they could be killed and eaten!

Yesterday I met an English lady who shares my passion for ditching chemicals and all things green. She has a B&B in the next village. I feel we will become friends! Most people who know me just smile at my principles! This does not bother me but it will be good to compare notes with someone who understands what I am trying to achieve!

Tomorrow my brother in law and his wife arrive and will stay just over a week. This is always difficult as they are materialistic, the complete opposite from us. This will be the first year though that I do not feel stressed about my building site. I have made it look as good as I can and that will have to do!

The honey extractor arrived today so at some point this week I hope to collect the first of this years honey.