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The Birds and the Bees

So, as some of you will be aware by now we've had chickens for 18 months. We presently have 6 birds, 1 Black Maran, 1 Speckledy, 1 Whitestar Leghorn, 1 Cambridge Blue and two Light Sussex bantams. They all lay, some of the time. The leghorn used to be daily but recently she is moulting (bad time of year for it if you ask me).

And now for the news, I said Birds & Bees; I’m going to start having Bees. I’ve joined our local Bee club and I’ve bought a couple of hives, one ‘commercial’ (style of hive) from ebay and one ‘deep national’ from a very nice chap on a beekeeping forum. Now I just need tools and protective clothes.

I’ve got 2 mentors of a sort, both ex-BBC, who have very different ideas on Bees, and a whole host of people locally from the Bee club I can talk to for advice, so I’m REALLY not going to go short there. Only problem is where to keep them, allotment people want a certificate of competence, which I won’t be seeing for 2 years or so, and one of the neighbours is a bit notorious at not liking anything we do; They called out the environmental health last Christmas because of the chickens, they arrived and said there was no problem whatsoever and we were doing everything we should have been doing.

So I am going to start in the garden and see how things go, unless I can find another location.

So either way I thought I’d use the body of this post to keep lots of useful info I’ve been discussing with people so I don’t loose it

greenhouse building

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So, after many months trying to find one second hand I gave up and bought one at B&Q the other week. An 8'x6' one, that's all that would fit in the space we had (well could have had 10x6, but they didn't have one), and that only just managed.

Greenhouse Building

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So, after many months trying to find one second hand I gave up and bought one at B&Q the other week. An 8'x6' one, that's all that would fit in the space we had (well could have had 10x6, but they didn't have one), and that only just managed.

So my Dad and I started out early Saturday morning. Deciding to start by levelling off the soil and lowering it to it would line up next to the summerhouse. All was fine and then we hit a distraction. Potatoes, and dozens of them. Many of them where starting to grow again, many fell to the slice of the azada or the shovel, but there were still a fair haul left. Then we continued, levelling, trenching, laying slabs for the base of the greenhouse. Finally we had all the slabs in place, and put the base of the greenhouse down, which was a 5" half box section piece of aluminium. It didn't look like it would take the weight of a greenhouse...

So we started assembling the pieces of the greenhouse, first wrong (argh), then a different wrong (ARGH). After a little while longer we got a side bit right and finished. Sadly rain and poor light conditions stopped play at the point.

Next morning we were at it again early, assembling the other side, the ends (wrong, wrong, right, I blame the instructions, none too clear) and the roof. I have to mention at this point it was raining, windy and bloody cold, my fingers had the feeling of sausages unless I stopped to warn them every 20 minutes. Then we carried the whole lot over and put in on the base (after a short fight with the neighbours bush), finding out only that we hadn't got one end right, and had to do a quick turnaround of the baseplate. That done, I tied the base to the upper part, then we made the door and the frame for the window in the roof.

Then we started putting the glass in. You know that part where they tell you to wear gloves when handling glass, well its best to listen to advice like that. I got a fair few shallow cuts, mostly from the evil clips, then managed to take a nice slice out the end of my right little finger. So bandaged up with some shiny children's plasters, we carried on until we had the roof glazed, all except the last bit of glass. Wouldn't you know it, it didn't fit !! I'll be having words with B&Q tomorrow, every piece of glass 610mm wide, except this one! So close of play again, having worked through the rain, coming down at 45%, and the cold, we were defeated by the loss of light to work by again, and shoddy materials.

Gardening tips and cooking

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Its a site for gardening, then cooking what you grow (or drink :->), then composting it and starting all over again, its aimed at women, but feh ! who cares : You Grow Girl: Gardening for the People

New Toy

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18V of grunt DIY power, the Black and Decker HP188F2K Hammer Drill, Grrr !!

I had to get a new one after my last one, that wasn't very old, was just crap and broke.

...and all who sail in her.

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The house that Nick built. Finally done, and about time. Finally found all the pictures I was after. From delivery, to knocking down the shed to make room to breaking up the path for hard core (and to get rid of it), to making a concrete base, and finally to putting the thing together.

So, what's next? Party, then finish off the lawn and so on in front.

The House that Nick built

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Well I finished building the summerhouse yesterday, a marathon task, but I need to find all the pictures before opening the gallery. I've got the build ones, but need to get the concrete base and previous shed destruction ones before the full story can be told. But here are a few sneek preview shots:

What it's supposed to end up looking like
End Result??

All the parts for the build
All the parts for the buildAll the parts for the build - part 2

Checking out the inside of the finished product
Checking out the inside of the finished productChecking out the inside of the finished product part 2


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Just bought a summerhouse for the garden.
Waltons Retreat Log Cabin
After procrastinating for 6-8 months finally got round to it and bought it. So it should arrive in a couple of weeks, not sure what colour it is going to be yet, but we think a (mildy) reddy mid to dark brown. Should be good, if the instructions I've read are correct then it fits together with interlocking panels one at a time, just like the 'Fort Dallas' I had as a kid growning up :-)
So, we'll put it up and then we can have a BBQ and summer-house warming party, yay !!

Finished the Loft (again)

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So, last time, I'd done most of the loft then. Shortly afterwards I went to B&Q and lakeside, some timber cut to sizes, bought some hinges and a latch, then I went home and built a new hatch for the loft to hang down. Fear me, for I am DIY- MAN (but it's ok, I've got my own fist aid kit ;-p ).

Done the Loft

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So I finally got round to finishing flooring the loft... well more or less, and enough to start using it for storage. And then I went on to doing the bit by the hatch and fitting the loft ladder, yay !! Now I only have to sort out the hatch to drop down and it'l be easy to get up there. Then its scaletrix time :-)))


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