Showing posts from May, 2016

Fergus update

Just a brief post to let you all know that Fergus is fine.  The operation went well and all stones removed.

A little whimpering his first day home and a lot of feeling sorry for himself but otherwise all well. Normal behaviour of being the spoiled big baby has pretty much resumed now.  But when collecting Fergus from the vets we were given an unexpected surprise gift... more news about that next time.

Fergus goes to hospital

This morning I noticed that Fergus had blood in his urine. It seemed like quite a lot. Since we were already in town we just went straight to the vets.

Fergus has bladder stones.

He needs an operation to remove them. It's arranged for Friday morning.

In the meantime he has antibiotics and anti inflammatory medicine to take.

Having a sick pet is always worrying and usually the thought of how much it is going to cost just adds to the anxiety. Here in Spain veterinary fees are fairly reasonable, even more so in our region.

This morning he had two x-rays and an ultra sound, plus an hour at least of two vets time, as well as an antibiotic injection and oral tablets to last until Friday. Total for this 30 euros. The ultrasound was discounted because it didn't show anything more than the x-ray.  The estimate for the surgery is 220 euros plus 35 euros for the blood analysis. I am not complaining.  The cost is not important when it comes to the health and well-being of a member of our …

Chickens and Life and Death

Before coming to Spain I didn't know if I would be able to rear and eat my own hens.  I had already kept hens, some of them had names, I cried when the fox got one.  Here in Spain I named only the cockerels.  I hadn't planned on eating the head guy.  But things don't always turn out according to plan.

The current aim was to move little Miss White and her clutch of eggs into the broody coop so that she could have some peace and quiet to incubate and hatch the eggs.  But fox proof space is at a premium here and we decided to cull the non productive hens (2) and the old cockerel (Raul).

Our first mistake was setting the day of the cull nearly a whole week away from the decision to kill them.  It was a week full of worry and sleepless nights while I wrestled with my conscience.  Every day going over the reasons why the cull was unavoidable and worrying over whether I could eat them or not. We have culled young cockerels before, but we had not had them long and someone else did…

Drying Up

It's been nearly a week of dry weather and the torrential rain we had is only evident in the explosion of weeds in the veggie patch.  With temperatures rising and sunshine forecast for the next few days I decided to give the new drying cabinet a try out.

Apricots were on the market at a reasonable price so that's what I bought.

I sliced them thinly and then put them onto the shelves.

This might not work.

The mesh is fine but fruit flies would still get in.

In high summer these would dry in a day but it's not that warm yet.

We shall see. Oh, and if you are wondering why I am wearing a mask it's not toxic fruit, it's the olive pollen and this is me, living like Darth Veda for about a month!

I shall let you know how the drying goes.

Historical (Hysterical) Baking

Normally I would bump my cooking stuff over onto the Food from the Finca Blog but as I have been doing quite a bit of baking of late I thought it should go on here as a record of what has been happening on the finca this week.

Firstly, we have a broody hen.

The white one.  She has forced the issue with the older cockerel and non laying hens and we are going to cull them next weekend to make room for the new chicks.  We are going to eat the cockerel and the old hens.  After acknowledging that they HAVE to go (they are not pets and they are no longer productive) we have decided to bite the bullet and make proper use of our only livestock (the chickens) which means eating them.  When I thought about it I didn't feel right about killing them to just discard them... No one in their right mind likes killing animals but we do like happy meat and ours couldn't have been happier.  It's not a pleasant job but must be done.

During our recent holiday in Andalucia where we went to cele…


Well it was hardly worth the spring cleaning since no sooner had I finished than the heavens opened and it rained for more than a week solid.  Making all my gorgeously clean windows grubby again!

I wouldn't mind but we had relatives staying and its always nicer to show off the finca in the sunshine.  Especially since they came from the UK where the temperatures were higher than ours.  Oh well.  What can you do about the weather?

The upside of the rain is that the newly sown carrot seeds have sprouted.

Of the peanuts there is no sign and I think perhaps they won't do anything at all.  Sad.  Especially since I don't know what the issue was.  perhaps too cold.

The strawberries are filthy from dirt chucked up by the force of the rain, but very tasty once washed.

The lettuce have been more than abundant and the courgettes are growing nicely.  Should be able to harvest the first small ones in a few days.  Now I just need a little sunshine.  Here's a puzzle though.  I bought…

Spring Cleaning!

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the temperatures are on the up and what do I want to do?  yup, you got it, spring clean!  Believe me I hate house work as much as the next person, in fact one of the conditions I set when I got married 30 years ago was that if the housework wasn't done and it bothered him, he would have to do it himself!  I don't like to think I keep a slovenly household but I do like to think there is more to life than cleaning and cooking.  It's all about balance.

So what is this overwhelming urge to spruce up the house?  These days most of us fit housework in between other more interesting pursuits and modern labour and time saving inventions like the vacuum cleaner and the washing machine have all but liberated us from the drudgery of housework.

Most of the work on the finca is seasonal, caring for the olives and figs, planting the veggie plot and then of course harvest time... we dont have much choice about the timing of those things.  In tim…