We have a car

We bought the classic Morris Traveller two years ago and recently sold it for the same price we bought it for. We have spent money on it in between but all hobbies cost money so I am not going to count that.

We have now bought a practical family car also for the same amount of money so it feels like a switch of an old car for a newer car and we are really pleased with that.

We started looking and found a lovely bright blue ford fiesta. We thought about it and my husband went back to buy it the next morning only to find that it had sold already.

They had another ford fiesta that had just come in and it was slightly newer, bigger engine and less mileage, a bit more money and was white. My husband decided to put a deposit on this time so we wouldn’t miss out again. They are selling fast.

I was disappointed that it was white. After years of us both having white vans I had really fancied a colour. However what we needed was a practical car and this met all our needs. We decided to go for it. It would match the van and at the end of the day it’s a practical car that’s fit for purpose.

I have since got used to the fact that it is white and we were both looking forward to collecting it yesterday. It is eight years old, fairly low mileage and should be low cost to run and repair if needed.

Our car
Our two vehicles on the drive

Sitting inside the car it felt big and we felt high up and yet looking out of the window it looks small. I have decided that it’s a bit like the tardis, it’s bigger on the inside than the outside.

Anyway we are very happy with our, new to us, car.

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Orange in the garden

There is so much colour in the garden at the moment. I thought I would capture a bit of orange.

Nasturtsions climbing the chicken run
Tomatoes ripening

There are other orange splashes in the garden but these caught my eye today. There is the smaller more common version of montbretia, there are orange lilies, the berries on the honeysuckle and the flowers on the runner beans.

The montbretia we planted last year for it’s spiky foliage and it didn’t flower so it’s great to see the flowers this year.

The nasturtsions were from seeds we collected from the allotment last year. T had assured us they climb as well as trail and we have just proved him right. The girls love to eat any leaves that go through the wire.

Tomatoes will be abundant at the allotment but it’s always nice to have a few pots in the garden too. I love to see a pop colour.

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Allotment bounty

Yesterday we harvested from the allotment. We knew that after two days of rain the runner beans would have gone mad.

Today’s allotment harvest

True enough there was a huge amount of runner beans. Our two sharers of the allotment didn’t want any runner beans as they had already picked loads a few days earlier.

We actually have enough runner beans from our garden veg plot to supply all that we can eat without freezing them. However we have been giving allotment runner beans to all our neighbours and our next door neighbour said that her mum would like some too.

With that in mind we picked all the beans that were ready as otherwise they would get too big and then are not as nice. We will give these away and leave our two sharers to take the next ones.

There is plenty of black kale and rainbow chard from the seeds I had for my birthday. The chooks love the chard and as I give them daily greens it is saving me from buying spinach for them.

There are courgettes, cucumber and gherkins. The raspberries have slowed down now but I picked what there was. The carrots were just to thin them out and although tiny they were just what I wanted to add crunch to last night’s salad.

The broad beans were the first to be ready and the potatoes were the first we have dug up to see how they are coming along. There are lots of big tomatoes but none are ripe yet but these tiny yellow tomatoes were falling from the plants.

We took one lettuce but on opening it up it was full of bugs so the chooks will get that too.

Overall we are really pleased with how well everything is doing but we are getting way too many runner beans! We had intended to only plant one row this year, but T couldn’t resist planting a second row, as the beans were free as we harvested them from last year’s plants.

There is also broccoli and cabbages, onions and garlic, carrots and parsnips, beetroot and artichokes and sweetcorn so plenty more to come. T has also planted pumpkins to see if he can grow a giant and we have a wildflower bed and sunflowers. In future years we will also have asparagus when the plants mature.

Plenty of produce for all of us and the neighbours too.

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The garden in the rain

It’s raining today and I can’t get out into the garden. It struck me on the way up to the girls how lush and colourful it is even in the rain.

The garden is lush
And full of colour

Oh well at least it is getting watered.

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Crumbs Car Sales

My husband has joked that we have gone from Crumbs Catering to Crumbs Car Sales.

We have sold two of our vehicles in six days. We have been in forced retirement since three weeks before lock-down happened when all our catering bookings were cancelled and we haven’t worked since.

As we were already slowing down towards eventual retirement it hasn’t been such a bad thing for us. We have, during this period of time, decided that we are finished with corporate catering.

As a few of our companies have e-mailed us recently to see how we are doing we have explained that we are now retired.

If things ever get completely back to normal we could do the vintage afternoon teas and events and parties again. This way we are not committed and can say yes or no to events as we wish.

With this decision made my husband decided that we should sell his van. He did all the further flung catering jobs whereas I did the local ones so his van had done a lot more mileage than mine therefore it made sense to sell his and keep mine.

We were really lucky with selling the van and my husband said that he had never sold a vehicle so quickly in his life. He cleaned it up and put a sale notice inside and parked it on the green verge opposite us last Friday. By Saturday it was sold.

It was a stroke of luck for us that a busy plumber had had his van blow up the day before and had to scrap it. His mate saw our van and let him know and he came round the next day and bought it. He was really happy and so were we.

We had already decided that we were going to sell the vintage car. My husband had had to sand down and varnish the wood twice in the two years we had the car. We realised that it needed a garage and we really didn’t want to deal with the wood again.

My husband had cleaned it up and put on the same grass verge as the van but with a higher price than we paid for it as we had spent quite a bit on it. It attracted people looking at it but no one contacted us.

After selling the van my husband changed the price to the price that we had paid for it and put it back on the grass verge. It immediately started attracting interest.

We had one couple look at it and they loved it but wanted to drive it to their holiday home in Malta and decided that that wasn’t practical. We had another guy look at it with his father in mind. He took photos and his father came to look at it the next day.

Last Thursday he agreed to buy it and gave us a deposit. Yesterday he paid the rest into our bank and arranged to collect it at lunchtime today when his wife was finished work and could drive their car back.

He is retired and has a Morris himself and has just had a double garage built. He wanted the Morris Traveller for his wife and both their classic cars will be garaged. We felt really happy to know that it was going to someone who would enjoy it and it would live in a garage as we didn’t want to see it sit on our drive and deteriorate.

We just couldn’t believe that we had sold both vehicles in six days. We are feeling quite relieved and we intend to spend the money on a modern car that will be good for visiting further flung family and taking grandchildren out in. We feel really lucky to have sold both vehicles quickly without any hassle.

This morning I took a last couple of photos of the car on our drive before she went.

A last look at the Morris Traveller
Just before she was collected

We feel that we have had our fun with her and now it was the right time for her to go to a new home.

My remaining van has the drive to itself for now

I didn’t take a photo of the other van before it went as they are both the same apart from the number plate.

It is great having plenty of room on the drive for now. It was a pain with three vehicles because one needed moving to get another one out. Two vehicles on the drive will be better and the good thing is we can take our time finding the right car as there is no hurry.

For now we will share my van but I will always think of it as my van and when my husband finds the right car it will be his car although we will both be insured for both and drive both sometimes.

My husband will be looking for something that is economical and reasonable to repair. Something small and reliable and cost effective.

It is the end of a bit of an era but we are happy with this outcome. We are feeling good about it and are ready to move on.

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Flame lays an egg

Despite having no tail I have had the feeling that Flame was about to start laying again. For the last few days she has been looking in the nest box.

This morning Ebony was in the nest box. When I next checked Flame was settled in beside Ebony. They looked so sweet together that I went indoors to fetch my camera.

By the time I returned Flame was standing up in the egg laying position. I positioned my camera through the nest box door and saw that she had just laid her egg.

Ebony and Flame share a nest box
Flame has just laid her egg

It is three weeks since Flame laid her last egg. I am surprised she is back in lay already when she has been moulting and has just lost her tail feathers. Having said that the feathers have stopped dropping now and when I looked back at last year she has followed the same pattern.

Flame moulted in July last year after being broody and started laying again after three and a half weeks. It is good to have Flame laying again as Ebony has been our only egg layer for the past week.

We had our last four eggs for Sunday breakfast and I had thought that I would need to buy some soon. These two girls may just keep us going for the weekend breakfast eggs. Well done girls.

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The next day

I swear Speckles tail is growing before my eyes. It seems slightly longer than yesterday.

Flame’s tail seems shorter but that’s because what I thought was a short new tail feather was actually a last tail feather waiting to fall and now it’s gone.

I thought it would be fun to get a photo of the two tail-less girls together. Not easy! I just set up a good shot when Salmon photo bombed it!

Two tail-less girls together showing Flame’s shorter tail
Speckles tail is already getting longer
Salmon photo bombs the shot

I thought it was fun so kept it in. Salmon’s tail looks very long in comparison to these two bigger girls.

It won’t be long before there are normal tails all round!

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The moult is speeding on

I am now picking up a full punnet ( which is what I use for poop picking ) of feathers from both the run during the day and the chicken shed in the morning.

I photographed Speckles and Flame again yesterday, just the next day, from the photos taken for the previous post and more tail feathers had fallen out.

Speckles has one remaining tail feather
Flame has no tail feathers

I don’t suppose it will be long before Speckles last tail feather falls out. I always think the girls look very odd without their tails. Tail feathers do seem to grow back quickly though unlike head feathers.

The new tail feathers will already be there underneath and will soon grow to their usual length. These girls will soon be back to normal.

And the next day:

Speckles now has no tail

As I had expected it wasn’t long before Speckles had no tail. She does look quite cute though.

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It’s moulting time again

It’s funny but every year I am surprised by how early the moult starts. First Speckles was dropping loads of feathers and now Flame.

I checked back to July last year and I had taken some photos of Flame with no tail and I had titled my post “The moult has started early this year”.

I have also been looking back through the history of the flock and we collected Speckles in July and she promptly dropped all her tail feathers. I had to wait for her tail to come back in to get a good photo of her for my history.

So it is odd that every July I think that the moult has started early when in fact it actually starts at this time every year. I am going to try to remember that in future.

I also wondered if eggs would cease so I looked back at last year’s egg record. Flame started laying again after her moult and stopped after the first week in September so hopefully she will start laying again later this year.

Under Flame’s roost spot this morning
Flame this morning
Speckles this morning
Flame has two remaining tail feathers
Speckles has three remaining tail feathers

Flame’s moult is faster than Speckles. They both look okay though and the most obvious thing is their tail.

It’s actually far better to moult in summer than winter so it’s probably not a bad thing. I am sure they will both be back to looking their best soon.

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The garden has gone mad

With the recent mixture of sun and rain everything in the garden has gone mad this year and got really big.

The lavender is the biggest it has been yet
The Himalayan honeysuckle is enormous
The anemones get bigger every year
The chicken run is disappearing behind the growth

It all looks amazing but we will have to have a big chop back at the end of the year.

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