Friday, 26 February 2010

shock horror a nonchicken or garden related post

So last week at the pub (birthday drink with friends) we got on to that old chestnut, all of us children of the eighties reminisce about. Kids TV and cartoons.
Kids tv and cartoons are terrible nowadays, not like in my day.

He man (I was more a she-ra kinda girl)
Gummi bears
Jem and the holograms (I had all the dolls)
Dungeons and dragons.

Ok so I'll stop listing all my favourites, but if you watched kids TV in the 80's I hope you know what I mean.

To me part of it is the animation, beautiful drawn animation, none of this sou less, CGI rubbish (although I do love pixars Bugs life. For this reason as well as many others I adore the gorgeous studio ghibli films.

I started waxing lyrical about a film I loved when I was little, called
the last unicorn, which I had on an old recorded VSH tape (sadly it stopped working years ago). I first saw this when I was about 6. Everything about its beautiful, the animation, the heartbreaking beautiful story, the voices, the soundtrack, by America.

Anyway this morning an amazon parcel came to my door. Yep my lovely mate had got me a copy. When I opened up the box I started crying, hubby just rolled his eyes at me.

So later this evening I shall snuggle up on the sofa and mourn for my lost childhood and believe in unicorns again. I might even fish labyrinth out and watch that to or even Legend

Go on click on the links you know you want to........

jess x

Thursday, 25 February 2010

The lost gardens of jess

Once upon a time this blog was about gardening!.
But I'm ashamed to say my poor little patch of loveliness, turned into a neglected pit over the autumn and winter, but to be fair I was drowning in baby chickens that needed a patch of it to stay in for a while. Then winter kicks in and it looks a right state. As I'm not lucky enough to have a greenhouse, except for the 4 tier plastic jobby, husband got me for valentines day (I am one of those girls who says "no I don't want red roses" and actually means it) Or have window sills that get much daylight on them between September and march, its all to easy to just shut the door on the garden and forget it.

But its march next week and I can pick up a spade again (yippeeeeee)
That's not to say I haven't done anything over winter. I've flicked through many of the books in my gardening library (that sounds so grand, its actually the bookcase behind the chair), I've made lists of all the plants I'd like to have, I've sketched pictures on the back of bank statements, And I have all my seeds in a pretty little box sectioned into months with a list (alphabetically) of what is being sown when.
Oh and last week I chopped back a large climbing rose, that I haven't had the balls to cut back properly in the last 3 years.

What I'm going to do, when I can find the battery charger, is to take a photo of my teeny garden and show you how terrible it looks. Then I will take a photo of it each month.

I think all my verbenas have died in the cold opps

I'm also going to start doing Thursdays favourite plant again (because I liked doing that). If anyone has a plant or tree they would to see then leave me a comment or send me an email and I'll feature it.

Right I can see Sidney waddling across the field wanting his afternoon tea.

jess x

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Its all me, me ,me

Today as its raining again (Grrrrrrrrrr!!!) I thought I'd begin some spring cleaning. Upon which I have discovered a corner of my bedroom wall (outside wall) is damp, the skirting board is black and fuzzy and the carpet is soaking wet. Hmmmmm maybe a beige flat in the city isn't so bad.

I was having a moan to my BFF on the phone, she lives is a very fashionable apartment in central London, spends her days working as a freelance make up artist for fashion shows and glossy high fashion magazines, she has just bought her self a pair of skyhigh strappy Manolo blaniks shoes with her pay cheque from tatler.

We couldn't be live in any more different worlds if we tried. However she is my oldest friend, we grew up together in the same small town. When she's asked about me by people who once knew me, she loves the looks on their faces when she tells them what I'm doing, They're like 'Noooooooooo, seriously?!?.

So how did I get where I am today, living in a tumbledown damp cottage, surrounded by mud and keeping baby chicks in my wardrobe.

Both my grandfathers were countrymen, My grandmothers were land girls during the war. My mother was a stick thin fashion model in the 60s and early 70s, living between Paris, Monaco and London, she had a string of millionaire playboy boyfriends, rockstars, racing drivers and polo players (sadly none of which were my father otherwise I could afford to sort out the damp in the cottage) she retired from being a jet setter and moved back down to the small village were she was born in Devon and married my father and had me. She raised me on my own (father disappeared soon after I was born) in a tiny cottage with roses growing around the door and open fields and woodlands all around. Now I think I had a pretty idyllic rural childhood (very darling buds of may) and I was pony mad, By the time I was 10 I had 3 ponies (my old Shetland, a Dartmoor and a fancy show pony I'd ride at the pony club) Yes I was a sweet rosy-checked little village girl.

That all changed when I reached 14/15. I discovered boys!!!!!!
Suddenly the horse's and ponies were forgotten and I hated, really passionately hated the countryside (£8.00 for a taxi home from town). I was a horrible teenager and couldn't wait to leave the village and run away to London. I had 4 part time/after school jobs, to help fund my get away/nights out/ unsuitable clothing buying. I was a beater for the local shoot on winter Sundays, a dog walker, a groom/rider on the racing yard and My least favourite, my god I hated this job, was an egg collector on the farm.
Every Saturday morning I would drag my self up to the farm at about 8.00 (I was always late) to walk up and down the barns collecting eggs from the nest boxes, checking the chickens in the fields for any that had laid outside then taking bucket after bucket of eggs back to the egg shed to sort into (supermarket) saleable and rejects (village shop/farm gate) saleable. I could spot a double yolker at 20 feet away. Now I hated this job, I got paid £5 for half a days work, But most of all I hated the stupid chickens ( I can hear you gasping), they smelt funny, they pecked me, I hated having to open up a nest box and put my hand under one and fish out a egg. Hated it, hated it, hated it.

I did run away to London for a spell, I got into the London collage of fashion, where I started training as a designer, went to fashionable parties, wore gorgeous clothes and shyhigh heels, dated DJs and members of boy bands. I loved it, but it always felt something was missing.
My life was very shallow, a lot of my so-called friends were even shallower. I used to go on secret trips to Hyde park and sit and look at the green grass, the trees and listen to birds.
Yep you can take the girl out of the country but you can't take the country out of the girl.
So I jacked my course in, dumped my boy band/DJ boyfriend and came back to the village, hell bent on becoming a farmers wife.

I dated a string of eligible YF's, tractor drivers, tree surgeons, gamekeepers, and landowners sons.
I ended up marring a townie boy who didn't believe that ducks were capable of flying and milk was poisonous to humans when it had been freshly milked (thankfully he doesn't believe that nonsense now lol).

So all though I'm sooooooooooo fed up of the cold and mud and wellies blocking the front door, put me back in nice beige flat with central heating and views of concrete I would go insane (If I go into someones house with Central heating I start sneezing, my eyes water, throat hurts and I get a rash on my neck).

Anyway it has to stop raining soon and then it will be spring (hooray).

Just hurry up with it ok.

jess x

P.S I like to take this opportunity to apologise to the 400 little brown hens I used to swear at and call stupid and ugly every Saturday in 1994 and 1995.

Monday, 22 February 2010

A winge

Now I don't normally like to be a grumpy pants but today I'm fed up, in fact the last 3 days I've been fed up.
I'm fed up with the cold. I'm fed up with the rain. I'm fed up with mud, really fed up with mud. My boots get stuck in it, my jeans are plastered in it and my poor chickens are squelching about in it looking thoroughly fed up. I'm fed up of muddy paw prints all over the house (and on my bed). I'm fed up of falling over boxes and bags of poultry feed that are sitting in the hall waiting to go over to the shed. I'm fed up of having my hands stained with purple spray (why is it you always end up with more on you than the bird your spraying). I'm fed up wearing the same old clothes everyday. I'm fed up with the drizzle making my wavy locks go all frizzy. I'm fed up of my chickens runs and houses being bodged together with bits of old wire, feed sacks and baler twine. I'm fed up with waiting for my hubby to get some wood so I can build a raised bed. I'm fed up with grey skies.

On Saturday night I was thinking about moving back to the city. Living in a nice tidy beige flat, with views onto a street maybe over a pub. Of having central heating and hot water taps the actually contain hot water. Of having soft hands and manicured nails. Of spending my money on high heeled boots, designer dresses and expensive cocktails. Of getting my eggs clean and in a nice box on a super market shelf.

Sometimes the good life is BAD but anyone who lives it knows that!!!!

So this afternoon after having a bad nights sleep thanks to Holly the silkie cockerel and his old english game mate crowing all night in the cardboard box in the bathroom, Then spending my morning in the pouring rain and mud trying to repair their broken run and house in a different part of the field and checking and re-spraying the other valiantly brave cockerels who got in their way when holly and his mate went on the rampage after the run collapsed. I settled down with a pot of tea a few wee drops of single malt and half a chocolate cake and sought solice in my Darling Buds Of May dvd

Oh why can't my life be like that????
I know I know the darling buds of may is such an unrealistic slice of country life and I know that it was never that romantic in real life, but to me its like a rose tinted blueprint of how I want to live.
And when ever I've got the grumps I snuggle up on the sofa and pull out the dvd and it makes me happy.

Now I need to head back over to the muddy pit of a chicken paddock and take back the girls who I evacuated and bathed (wet chicken smells worse than wet dog) to their newly positioned less muddy run, play hunt the eggs, take the pups for a walk in the muddy field feed all the ducks that aren't mine, make dinner and wash my filthy jeans.
After that I'll be having a hot bath, straightening my hair, painting my toe nails pink and having an audrey hepburn dvd marathon.

Tomorrow is another day (so said scarlett) and it might stop raining.

As for the beige flat and central heating.............
Well where would be the fun in that. As my mother always says "its character building".
I must have one hell of a character.

jess x

Friday, 12 February 2010

Shamelessly self indulgent moi

Its my birthday today (hooray) I can no longer refer to myself as 20something (boo) so to celebrate I'm off later to my favourite place to buy plants Hill house nursery Where I intend to buy some beautiful hellebores to fill my disgraceful looking wildness of a garden.

That's so rock and roll.

jess x

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

I am so naughty

So yesterday morning I went to a poultry auction, with absolutely definitely totally no intention of buying anything. There were a few birds I quite liked but nothing I wanted to bid for except possibly some quail. There was a box with silkie chicks 4 weeks old written on it. Stupidly I lifted the lid.
I hung about while the auctioneer did his thing seeing lots of birds (mainly lone cockerels) not selling, waiting on the quail (which went for more than I could buy from a very good local breeder. As he went down along the cages he drew near to the box he started the bid at £5, £4, £1 how about 50p for the pair, he looked around at no interest and was about to deem them a no sale, when like a automatic reflex action up shoots my hand.

One of my many new year resolutions was to NOT buy (unsexed) random chicks at auctions and another was to not buy silkies unless they are point of lay.

So there's 2 broken, but seriously how could I resist. So to add to my already crazy brood I now have 2 adorable little babies (who knowing my luck are baby boys) who cost me less than a diet coke.

I had planned on trying to steer my posts this week to the subject of gardening but hey ho.

jess x

P.S I counted Sid, his lady, 7 mallards and a moor hen this morning. Hoping for some flamingos tomorrow.

Monday, 8 February 2010

More duck tales

I took this terrible photo last night

Please excuse the dodgy light levels and fuzzy focus
but count them, count them ducks!!!!!!

7 (theres a mallards tail just poking out behind sidney)

jess x

Friday, 5 February 2010

Duck tales

Well Sidney is still here living in the field opposite the cottage spending his nights somewhere down river, but always appearing for breakfast and supper.

But whats this??????

It would appear Sidney has invited a friend along to tea.

So if Sidneys appearance over a month ago wasn't curious enough, now the I have mystery of 'where has his girlfriend come from?' (I'm assuming she's a lady, not having the curly feathers in her tail)

Whats Sidney up to? Is he swimming up and down the river inviting stray ducks to dine at jess's sucker for lost creatures cafe?

I have this horrible feeling of waking up one morning opening the curtains and finding the field full off all manner of waterfowl waiting for breakfast to be served.

Right must dash its almost chicken bedtime.

jess x

P.S does anyone have any idea of what breed she (or he) is?

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