After a bit of a break…

have finally got round to blogging.  My concentration has been elsewhere as I’ve been on a bit of a roll with family tree stuff.

In March I picked up from my step mum a bundle of my late dad’s photos and negatives.  He was a photographer by profession so there were a fair few.  I’ve made it my task to photograph every single negative and then Photoshop it to produce a decent positive.  I’ve been really pleased with the result but I must have around 600 – only 400 to go.  Many of them are obviously practice photos taken when he started photography as a hobby so there are tons of scenes and still life pictures.  But… also many photos of friends and places during the early 1950’s.  Identifying people has been fun – have quizzed mum and am now tracking any of the people who are still alive to pass on the photos as they will be useful if anyone is doing family tree research.

Here’s a couple

My grandmother and grandfather, Clara and Norman Robins - wedding day

Dad (John Robins - left) at work - probably Euston

Guess who?

On the chicken front – all is fine – had a moment where I thought Gwen had gone broody as they both laid big eggs one morning and then Gwen decided to stay on the nest which was quite unusual.  They are usually raring to get out.  So I shut her out of the house all day – next morning all was as usual so not sure what happened.

I have a cunning way of exercising them – just run round the outside of the netting enclosure and they follow you all the way – its quite funny.

We have had a couple of sessions of free ranging in the garden which they love – only happens if someone is with them.  I have realised what cautious birds they are – anything new takes a while for them to get confident with.  They ranged further afield from their run but stayed within the confines of the grass edges but on the last session they discovered the delights of a flower bed around an apple tree.  They must have spent at least half an hour just delightedly doing their chicken scratch dance and munching on any grubs.  When they found a slug there was a mad tussle over it and it disappeared in double quick time.

Both Milo and Ianto the cat have got a bit cocky with them.  Milo has rushed them if I am giving them treats so he now has to sit patiently and he gets a reward as long as he doesn’t go at them.  Ianto has also pounced but very ineffectually – he loves to sit and watch them and stalk but his run towards them turns into a quick about turn as soon as he gets near.   He still delights in sitting on top of the run but I think they are getting used to it now.

Free range Chickens

Jessica demonstrating her herding technique

Amelia (Mimi)

We’ve been continuing to handle them as much as we can without stressing them.  Mimi is certainly much more amenable to being picked up.  Gwen will squat just out of reach and then scarper so she tends to get her ‘corporal’ cuddle when she has gone to bed.

Not pleased with Notcutts Garden centre which charged way over the odds for Verm X herbal wormer – all round they seemed expensive – so will be giving them a miss for chicken supplies.

Mum has just handed me a pot of Sourdough starter for a ‘Herman’ German Friendship cake  – its brewing as we speak – another six days before I get to bake the cake.  Just need to find some willing people to hand the next starter mixture to.  Haven’t baked one of these since the 80’s when I was working.

Typing this through the biggest storm we have had in a few years.  Was having a coffee in Haslemere Garden Centre when it kicked off and 2 and a half hours later it is still rumbling around.  The start was a real humdinger – torrential rain, hail, thunder and lightening and me sitting under a plastic roof.  A horrendous noise, and just a little bit unnerving.  I was worried about Milo at home and the chickens.  Chickens were fine but Milo was obviously scared – he has stuck to me like glue since I got home and more than once has tried to climb into my lap.  In the four years we have had him he has never experienced thunder like it so I’m not surprised.

And finally for all Marmite lovers everywhere – here’s another devotee (it was a finished pot by the way!)

Ianto - 'Loves it'

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