Sunday, 30 November 2008

Well its a bit of a tradition.

Every year we seem to have problems with the septic tank, every year Paul has spent time on his birthday doing something to the system, our first year here was the worst, (we have two tanks, one is for the toilet and the other is for "grey" water ) in 2005 our toilet Fosse was blocked, many hours spent with a plunger or plumbers rods trying to clear the toilet out, we hadn't got a clue about septic tanks, our neighbour told us it must be there somewhere and to search for it, our garden looked like we had a plague of moles, then we hit on a clever idea, why not dig along the pipe coming out of the house, within a half an hour we had found it, and did it stink, obviously we being law abiding upstanding citizens we did not get the local farmer out to empty it for us, and after he didn't empty it, Paul did not go to see if he could see a blockage, and the farmer who wasn't there did not blast everything back in to see if he could clear the problem; Paul was not covered from head to foot in the contents and the house did not stink for days after. Fortunately what didnt happen worked. Since then the problem has been the "grey" water tank, either getting greased up or when the surrounding land gets to wet, has no where to drain into, so today Paul has been digging a trench, the plan is to fit a pipe to the drain hole, Paul thinks it should have one anyway, then send the pipe onto what we call the other field into a gravel and sand filter bed.

To be continued further on.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Lots of mice, or the same one coming back?




Daniel decided he had enough of Veronique (and the dog) standing on the coffee table screaming (Veronique, not the dog), and bought a humane mouse trap, so far he has caught eleven, so now he's marking the tails with nail varnish, he's so thoughtful though, and releases the mice outside an English holiday home in the early hours of the morning, at least if they get in they are safe till the summer, I reckon he only had one, but when that mouse told the others where the free cheese was they all wanted some.

Free to good home


Not for eating, I can do that myself, we breed our own chickens at Half Acre Farm as well as buy them, the problem with breeding your own is you get cockerals, they usually go into the pot as soon as they start fighting with number one Coq, Norman. This one (back of picture) is such a magnificent creature that if anyone want a Coq to keep their girls in order he can be had for free. The only conditions are, his not for eating and he must free range.

Down on the farm



Poor George, he's not been well, every morning he and his twin brother Charlie are waiting outside the door for there breakfast, Thursday Charlie was alone, I went down to the goat field and poor George was in his house looking very sorry for himself, I thought he was ill so telephoned Val the Woolly Shepard http://smallholdinginsomerset.blogspot.com/2007/12/our-ouessant-sheep-or-rather-moutons.html I explained what was happening and told her that his parents were ignoring him and that I had seen George and Charlie rearing and butting each other, I assumed it was there normal playing, but Val thinks at there age they are now trying to get dominance over the other, more expense now, off to the vets for castration.
The chicken in this picture is now in the fridge and is Sunday lunch, we bought her at La Gacilly market and in just 5 months had grown very large, she's the only chicken we had that couldn't get out of this run, when the chicken van returns next year we will buy a few more of these but will breed some of our own from them.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Pigs


I've been offered a pig house for €30, so even though I haven't got the electric fence or even the pigs, we will buy it. I think our first pigs are going to be standard white pigs, giving the type of pork you buy in the super markets, cheap to buy and I can give a couple of pigs a better life than they would get normally, once I have a little more experience I will buy one of the English breeds either the the Tamworth or the Gloucestershire. There's a few set ups here in Brittany dealing in rare English breeds, I've joined this, http://www.labpif.com/ The l'association was having a bad time, but now has a new commitee so hopefully will start to go places, from here I will be able to source my weaners and get advice on pig keeping.
The pig in this photo is called Squeaky, he had a very narrow escape read his story here http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-474684/Squeaky-piglet-makes-miracle-escape-lorry-way-slaughterhouse.html you will need to copy and paste the address into your browser.

Some pics






Sixt sur Aff farmers Fete, as usual the busiest place was one of the bars dotted around.











Christmas is coming.




We've put our tree up, a bit early I know, but the trees were on promo so I bought one, then couldn't resist putting it up. Tree and all the baubles €30, bargain.

22 November 2008















Been a couple of weeks since I've posted, so what's new? Look below, Violaine's had another scan, we had hoped to see if it was boy or girl, but no, the next scan is in January we hope we can find out then.
Two of the Geese are now in the freezer, Paul and Mike did the deed, but I had to pick up the ones that were for the chop and hand them to them, I have my favourites. Paul and Mike would have killed the first one they caught, the Geese don't like Mike (wonder why). Franck our neighbour came to choose his Goose, they attacked him, but he now has his in his freezer, the Dutch people next door are given the feathers Olaf and Joker are making pillows, even though Paul and Mike tried to put all the feathers in a black bag it still looked like it had been snowing when they had finished.

New baby scans

We've no idea yet if its a boy or girl.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

More Family Photos
























































Round the table from left to right, Violaine, Michael, Enric, Nadette, Franck, Paul, Dan, Me and Veronique.












Saturday, 1 November 2008

The day the vet visited, poor Justin, not for the squeamish

While asleep, wash, nail trim, and cut.



































































































Vet wanted to know if I wanted to eat these, I said, no thanks, but if he wanted them he was welcome. Then I had to grab them as the chickens decided they looked tasty, they were still warm, yack.

More Photos and video


The long and not so windy road

















Our guard dogs, only 4 left now.

















The neighbours

















Larry, miss him.















Our first home produced chucks

















Noisey Video. Ugly Bettys first egg.

video