Archive for September, 2011


Planning Petition

Apparently if you’re a “traveller” who instead of travelling merely buys a piece of land and starts building, you can get away without planning permission for years.  But for the rest of us, there are currently all kinds of planning restrictions.  The government is set to review these rules, mainly in an effort to address the so-called housing shortage – and there is concern from some quarters that this will open the floodgates for irresponsible building, and will certainly impact on our “green and pleasant land”.

See http://www.38degrees.org.uk/page/s/save-our-countryside for an on-line petition requesting a government re-think.

Mooching about in the big antique shop in Church Stretton today, we spotted a sign for www.antiquesaregreen.org.  Having had a quick look on their website, I thought it definitely deserved a mention on the blog.  I’m not interested in owning an item specifically because it’s worth a lot of money (just as well really since I couldn’t afford it anyway! 😉 ) – but I am interested in owning an item that was made many years ago by a skilled craftsman, without the use of modern power tools and equipment; an item which has withstood the test of time, and is still as useful today as it was when it was made – and in fact has gained more charm in that time by the very fact of its use and age.  (And I’m even more interested in aged items which need restoration to bring them back into full use.)

I like the ethos behind “antiques are green” because it attaches value to these items not just in monetary terms, but also in terms of the materials, skill, creativity and time which has been invested in them.  And time is surely one resource that everyone can appreciate is precious.

Free range again!

Ah, it’s the autumn, the vulnerable crops are over in the veg garden, so it’s time for the girls to come out of their run and stretch their legs.  Oh, it was lovely to see them pottering around the garden – especially because for some of them, that’ll be the first time they’ve been properly “outside” after life in the intensive farm. 

And, the taste of freedom didn’t go to their heads – they ran up to me every time I went out to check on them, and they were happy to go back to the gypsy caravan at dusk to snuggle up for the night.  Bless them.

Hope they enjoy their autumn/winter freedom!  😉

Had Simon Mayo on in the car this pm, and heard a silly snippet about Ikea’s Billy Bookcase – much incredulity and hilarity in the studio from those who were unfamiliar with Ikea about the fact the company gives items of furniture names – but although trivial and amusing, the story is quite sad too.  Apparently Ikea are changing the design – making it deeper because people now tend to use bookcases to display ornaments or store larger items…. 

So, it would seem as a nation we no longer use bookcases to store…um….books.  Oooh, am I the only person who finds that really disturbing?!

Or maybe I’m just not moving with the times and people are still reading – just on Kindle

Maybe? 

Huh?  😦

When we started keeping hens, it didn’t occur to me that they would be so entertaining, but they really are as amusing as they are useful.  They are incredibly food focused (and I thought the ponies were greedy) – you only have to appear in the garden for them to be running up and down the edge of their run, eagerly awaiting whatever you might bring.  And their reactions when you throw something in for them are razor sharp and hilarious.  Like a very poor amateur football team chasing the ball around the pitch, they all run for the first morsel, then all turn and run again for the next piece you throw.  Most humorous of all is the hen who gets the prize – and runs with whatever it is in her beak, being chased by all the other hens so she can’t actually enjoy her feast anyway. 

But they are obviously thriving on their current diet of layers mash, pellets and corn, plus those extra kitchen scraps because they are laying better than ever at the moment.  We often get queries from other hen-keepers in the village about the productivity of our hens, and we always have to say yes, they are still laying.  Perhaps they’re just at the optimum age right now, or perhaps they’re just very happy hens.