Showing posts from July, 2014

A visit from El Zorro

We lost three hens yesterday afternoon.  Both the brown girls and one white disappeared around 5pm.  Broad daylight and one of them was only about 10 metres from the house.  Who or What took them? Our guess is a fox, or more likely a couple of foxes. We were in the house watching a Saturday afternoon film.  Yes we heard the cockerel sounding the alarm call... but he does that a lot anyway... mostly for no apparent reason, he went on for quite a while before we decided to go and investigate.  We didn't notice anything wrong at first.  We didn't count the hens until nearer bedtime when we realised that three were missing. We searched but all we found was a pile of feathers.  And then another pile of feathers.  It was starting to get dark so we abandoned our search until this morning when I put my best tracker head on and headed off to find out how the fox was getting on to the finca. We have a stone wall around the property topped with a chainlink fence.  Its over

The Figs are Coming!

Taken us a bit by surprise this year.  Not sure why that should be, when I looked back they were ripening at this time last year. The purple ones were later to ripen last year and here they are, some of them already ready for eating. I don't think there are as many figs this year and there are certainly more birds around and the fig canons from our neighbours not so frequent or so loud.  I made some coconut milk and fig ice lollies this morning, if they turn out well (fingers are crossed) I shall post the recipe on the food from the finca page. We are starting to eat fresh figs on a daily basis, some with breakfast... some at lunch with cheese and ham but we don't seem to have the same enthusiasm for them as last year.  At any rate it will be a relief not to have so many fresh figs hanging around.  Steve is planning to make some fig wine with fresh figs even though all the recipes he has calls for dried ones.  I plan to dry a few for my own use - figgy pudding c

Well now I'm Flummoxed!

We marvelled at how fast our water melons were growing... only two.... one much larger than the other. How to tell when its ripe?  I consulted the oracle that is Google and it said that if you tap it, it will sound hollow.  I duly tapped it... boom boom... a hollow sound bounced back and to make sure I tapped the smaller one and it definitely did not sound hollow.  Hurrah!  It must be ripe. We took it into the kitchen and weighed it.  11lbs weight in old money... whooo hooo!  I was salivating at this point when Steve took a very large knife and cut into it... It cut so easily... and then.... Boo.  It's not ripe. It was wasted, sadly.  We thought it might ripen in the sun but it just went mouldy.  The other one is now as big as the first one was when we harvested it... it also sounds hollow but we dare not cut it!  Can anyone tell me when I should harvest my melon?

Haberdashery Heaven

My first big summer project nears completion. Courtesy of The Great British Sewing Bee which has inspired me enormously I decided to do some more serious sewing projects.  Instead of the frivolous (and quick) bags and purses that I enjoy doing so much I thought I would tackle some really good clothes, taking a lot of care and attention over the details.  So when my brother asked me what I wanted from Singapore for Christmas (he was working over there at the time) I instantly pronounced 'silk! 3 metres  of silk please so I can make a dress or maybe a blouse... oh and some more silk so I can make Steve a shirt for fiesta'. When I opened my Christmas presents there were four lots of silk (all three metres or close to it) and another four lots of Batik cotton (2 metres each).  I was in heaven. For a short while anyway.... I'd never sewn pure silk before and I could tell by the feel of it that it wasn't going to be easy.  Simply cutting out the pattern was a bit

Against All Odds

Well would you believe it!  The morning after the storm and the makeshift cardboard box hotel for the baby bee-eaters... we discovered the geese trying to dismantle the cardboard box nest.  So we spent several anxious hours keeping the geese away and keeping an eye on the chicks. The parents finally turned up but they didn't seem to want to feed the chicks... they just sat on the fence and called to them and then swooped and swirled around the area calling loudly. The chicks moved to the entrance of the box and just sat there.  At least they had survived the night.  We watched for most of the day, seeing mummy bee-eater feed them only once.  She didn't go into the box but handed the insects over at the entrance.  Finally we realised what she was doing.  She was trying to encourage the chicks to fly.  Then....  off they flew.  First one, then the other. We jumped around with excitement for a while and then dismantled the box and took it away.  Huge hats off to the micro

Torrential Storm - Bee-eaters Victims of Floods!

Well that just about sums it up actually.  The rain clouds gathered and the temperature dropped and we were very excited about the rain. The ground is parched and the veggie patch desperate for a really good soaking. The thunder roared around the valley and reverberated from the hills behind us.  The water deposito that takes the run off the roof could barely cope with the speed of the water running in... it was backing up and overflowing from the guttering.  Some tweaking needed done there. All we could think of was how much water we were wasting.  The circuit breakers in the house tripped several times - every time the lighting struck somewhere down the valley.  Finally Steve ventured up to the camping area to re-set the circuit breakers up there and on the way he checked on the bee eater nest. The rain had obviously washed into the nest and two little bee eater chicks were flopping about helplessly on the ground nearby.  One could fly a little but the other was un