Friday, 21 December 2012

Friday Round Up

mulled cider anyone? - two new additions - aftersun. most ridicupus free gift ever from liz earle
soap & glory bath foam on 3 for 2 - present for my nephew - homemade mincemeat
unfortunate calendar picture this month - mince pies - festive nails

Well I hope you guys have all had a better week than I have. It's been a bit rough. For the last week and a half I've been feeling a bit ... bleugh. A bit down I suppose. And you know sometimes when you feel like this you find yourself on a bit of a downward spiral? I've been struggling to sleep despite being really tired and when I do sleep, I seem to be sleeping really deeply, so that when I wake up I'm not sure where I am or what day it is. And every day I've woken up and thought 'please, please let today be better'

The lowlight of this week was pulling onto the drive on Tuesday night and seeing a small, dark shape on the grass. 'oh no', I thought, 'please don't let that be a chicken'. But of course it was. A small, wet, defeated black Pekin bantam, lying in a pile of feathers with her eyes tightly shut. It broke my heart and I immediately ran to the shed with a torch to check the others. The shed usually holds three Buff Orpingtons and our tiny black Pekin Frizzle but only two Buffs huddled together in the corner. I checked the small coop next to it, which usually houses three black and two lavender Pekins - just one black and one lavender remained, huddled together, pale-faced and wide-eyed with fear. I couldn't help it, I burst into tears at the thought that we'd lost five of our pets to a no doubt extremely nasty end - probably either a fox or a stray dog. I took my torch and scoured the boundary hedges to see if I could find any more bodies and spotted a heap of pale Buff feathers under the hedge near the bird table. My heart sank. Less than hopeful, I prodded the hen and almost imperceptibly, the feathers tightened. I shone my torch at her face and unbelievably, her eyes were open. She was so tightly tucked in between the hedging and the fence that I couldn't get at her. I rang Matt and summoned him and his decent torch home and between us we managed to extract the Buff from the hedge. She was frozen with fear but had no visible signs of damage. We spent the next hour with the torch, peering under the hedges and managed to find two more Pekins - a black and a lavender, terrified but unharmed

I think the poor dead chicken was the little Frizzle and one black Pekin is missing. Both special in their own ways - the black Pekin was one of our first chickens and was the first one to lay an egg. She wandered off last New Year's Day and was missing for a fortnight until Matt spotted her in our neighbour's coop, badly beaten up by his much larger hens. And the little Frizzle, such an odd looking little thing, the smallest hen we had and the loner of the group. She liked to hang around by the bins, scratching around in the gravel and spent every night tucked under all three Buffs in the shed, keeping toasty warm in her own living feather duvet

All in all, a sad week for us. We also heard that one of my friends gundogs died during a field trial this week. He was lovely, an oversized yellow labrador called Mead, a really soft dog with huge brown eyes who liked to be the centre of attention and would sit on your feet and gaze at you. He was in perfect health and only about six years old, it was completely out of the blue. He brought back a bird, she took it from him and he just keeled over and died. My poor friend is distraught as you can imagine

On a slightly cheerier note, I had my hair coloured earlier this week, back to a deep auburn colour. It's completely washed me out but I feel so much better for it - the colour may not be as flattering but I feel more like me again. Unbelievably, Matt didn't even notice. Which is crazy considering that on the first day it was actually a very, very dark brown. Men eh??

On Wednesday night I got home from work at 9pm and sat in my car on the drive waiting for Matt to get home so if we'd had another chicken massacre I wouldn't be the one to discover it. (what a wimp) I then proceeded to have a nosebleed like you've never seen before, filling a whole pocket pack of Kleenex so at least I had a good excuse to be hiding in the car when he got home! When I got in I watched the whole three episodes of 'Inside Claridge's' on the iPlayer - if you haven't see it I strongly recommend you look it up, it was absolutely fascinating and right up my street. The attention to detail that the staff give is what a picky devil like me wants to see in every hotel and If I ever win the lottery I will become a regular for sure!

Hopefully my mood will improve today as I head off with Liz on our annual pilgrimage to Chester for shopping, good food and drink and car-chat. This weekend I'll be finishing off the final preparations, wrapping presents, ordering our Christmas Waitrose shop, baking, all that kind of stuff. And hopefully I'll cheer up a bit, hopefully the cloud will lift and by Monday evening I'll be ensconced in that warm, fuzzy Christmas glow that comes when you know you've prepared everything you can and you've consumed enough mulled wine that the rest of it just doesn't matter anyway!

Have a great weekend everyone


  1. I'm so sorry about your pets :( I'm glad the ones you found were OK though xxx

  2. OH no i'm so sorry about your chickens! :( My boyfriend used to have a chicken who was so tame she would sit in the car with you, one day she just disappeared and we think a hawk got her because there has been no trace of her since, she was bad ass and used to fight away dogs and cats that would try and get her. Poor little mites!
    I hope your week looks up hun!

  3. Aww hun! So sorry you had such a horrid week, glad you found some of your hens though...hope it all improves soon in time for xmas xxx

  4. wonderful photos. <3 i love the christmas time so much. the bath foam of soap & glory is really awesome..*-*

  5. Sorry to hear about your chickens. This weekend brings Christmas though so I'm sure it'll cheer you up :) xx

  6. Thats really upsetting about your chickens :( i hope you have had a better day today! xx

  7. Oh sweets that sounds like such a rough few days. Finding those chickens must have been awful, it's so sad when something you care about and try and protect comes to harm. Can you get electric fences or anything? Tom's parents lost a chicken recently to a fox and it was so sad; nature at its most brutal. I'm glad you managed to find the others and nurse them back to health, I hope that they're okay. Also so sad about your friend's dog, will they find out why he died so they can get some closure? I'm so sorry for them, so hard just before Christmas too. I hope things look up for you over the next few days and you can find some Christmas spirit and relax and enjoy it. I know what it's like to be on a downward spiral, I hope you can immerse yourself with friends and family and good food and find a way to climb out of it <3 xo

  8. That sounds like a really poo week Rachael, I'd be feeling really down as well. Sending you a virtual hug and I hope Christmas weeks finds you in much finer fettle x

  9. Aw, I hope your weekend is better than your week has been! Really sorry about the chickens x

  10. Oh no Racheal I'm sorry to hear about your pets, I hope this week's got better for you and you're having a lovely Christmas xxx


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