Sunday, 31 January 2016

First 'proper' weekend

Although we were moved in last weekend, it was a non stop work weekend.  So this one is our first "proper" weekend in that we would do normal things that we would do most weekends and enjoy our new home.
The front of the farmhouse, with a cheeky little girl sneaking in after their daily hack out.
The only difference to a normal weekend being that we made it to Durham Hens at Tow Law which I highly recommend.  The guy there was so helpful and the views on the way were simply stunning.  We bought 4 new hens (Rosemary, Laura, Felicity and Lilly) that are around 26 weeks old and are all supposed to be laying well, so much so our first egg of the day was a double yoker! 

We also bought 18 fertilised pure breed eggs.  6 Buff Orpington's, 4 Cream Legbars, 2 Welsummers, 1 Derbyshire redcap, 2 Lakenvelders, 3 Columbian Blacktails.  The 4 layers are hybrids and should lay pretty much all year round.  The pure breeds, if we get any and when they reach point of lay, will generally stop during the winter, according to our experience of our own and what the guy said, but time will tell.

Each one is numbered and the number represents the breed.
We've taken a family guess at how many chicks we think we will get and the guesses are 4, 10, 12 and 18.  If only 1 hatches we will be happy!! We have an automatic turning incubator that I bought online, so fingers and toes crossed for a healthy lot of chicks in 21 days time.

My Nanna came to visit today.  It's the first time she's been since we moved in and she loved the place.  She's in her 90's and is doing amazingly.   I made her some home made bread buns with slow cooked ham, a bought quiche (eventually I plan to have a few homemade ones in the freezer in case I don't have time to make fresh ones) and a nice pot of tea.  She had a lovely time and really enjoyed it.
Proving (as I now know it to be called).

Freshly baked

I have finally got round to making a cake for the farmer who helped us no end when we moved in.  His eyes lit up at the thought of the cake my DH kindly offered on my behalf ;) and so I made a chocolate cake per Mary Berry's instructions.  It was the same as I made for my friend last week, however this time I made a dip in the middle of the cakes before baking so they came out a lot flatter rather than domed (opposed to doomed, which I nearly just typed!).

Back to the grind of work tomorrow.  Menu plan to follow, however tomorrow night will be a one pot, something simple to scoop in to a bowl with home made bread after a first day back in the office. I will keep the memories of this weekend with me to see me through each working day!
I managed to squish in unnoticed.

View en route to Tow Law for the chickens

He wouldn't let me in...

My gorgeous girl. 
Question/s of the week.  What's the purpose of a cold frame?  Do you think we will benefit from one in addition to the greenhouse?  Are they not similar in use?


  1. A cold frame is used to harden off plants from the greenhouse, they stay there for a while before planting out. You can also pop tender plants in over the winter months, sheltering them from frost

    1. Great, thank you. I need to see how I can incorporate it as there's nothing to use on the top of it that I have to hand....

  2. Now that really is living the dream :) Cold frames don't get as hot as greenhouses and are glazed boxes on the ground rather than something you can walk into. When we had our double-glazing replaced a couple of years ago, Mick made me one from two of the removed windows!

    1. That's a really good idea and I'm sure we could pick something up for free from somewhere. Hope the weather isn't too wild up there tonight!

  3. The others ahead of me have already answered about the cold frame. If I had one, I would use it for sure! Glad you had a good weekend! xx

    1. Thanks hun. I'm going to pop over and find everyone's blogs who have kindly followed me over here. Will "see" you soon. x

  4. Just catching up with your blog posts....a coldframe is a wonderful thing to have. When you have grown plants in your heated greenhouse you can then put them in your coldframe to start off the 'hardening off' process. Over a period of a couple of weeks you open the coldframe up a little bit at a time until eventually it's open all day and then you can take your plants out to put them in the soil. Also if a light frost is due you can shut the coldframe up again at night and they will be protected.

    Definately keep the just need glass to go on top but your husband / father will do this easily for you

    1. Brilliant info, thank you. I will ask him to keep his eyes open for something suitable as I need to make sure it's child safe/proof in case someone falls on it.