Monday 12 January 2015

“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.” Here at Hen Corner, we believe that living life to the full is a gift and a privilege, and over recent weeks, we’ve embraced some changes that will hopefully facilitate growth in our projects and see many other people join […]

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The story I’m about to tell may make you think differently about me. It started this past spring. To fill out my coop I ordered six chicks from My Pet Chicken—two Appenzeller Spitzhaubens and four Polish chicks. If you’ve never ordered chicks before, you may be surprised to learn that you can order a wide […]

The post The Story of Little Man or Don’t Push Robin Too Far appeared first on Bumblebee Blog.

Sunday 11 January 2015

Lilac Hen is still inside and on water only - I massaged her crop today and only a very small amount of water came out, far less than she has drunk in the last 18 hours so I am hoping she has absorbed some of the water and is recovering. She is looking brighter, if a little weak and had a wander round the house today to see what I was up to.



Hopefully I can get her to eat some live yogurt and mealworms today.

  … The view from the top of Okeford Hill … This photo opportunity happened completely by accident. It was the dreariest of days and the clouds hung thickly, looking as if they weren’t going to shift even a tiny bit. … Continue reading →

Saturday 10 January 2015


Up early as Compostgirl wanted to go to the stables for the day. Spent rest of morning sorting out art supplies - I have a ludicrous amount of stuff so have had a sort through and some of it will be going to an artist friend. I still have loads of art stuff to play with but have now got my stuff in a large wooden box rather than many boxes :)

Foul weather over night and also first thing - very wild and wet and windy - but later on in the day it was sunny and a bit calmer so I pottered around the garden and polytunnel.

Terrible headache started late morning and developed into full blown shivers and aches after lunch. I feared I was coming down with something nasty so I drank some lemon in hot water and rubbed lavender essential oil on my temples to try to banish headache, eventually I sat down and had a rest for a bit as I felt most unwell.

Felt better later and went into Ledbury (again) to do a bit more shopping and to collect various prints and photos from the framers - he has done a lovely job and I will take some photos tomorrow in daylight to show you.

We were invited to the Wassailing up the lane but none of us feel that great and so we decided not to go. Now about to settle down in front of the fire to watch The Voice on TV, Compostgirl and I quite like to watch the blind auditions, at least.

Lilac hen still poorly - I had to milk her sour crop again this morning so she is now on 24 hours water only, as recommended by the vet. Hopefully tomorrow she will be a bit better and I can start her on natural live yogurt to help kill off the thrush in her crop.

Friday 09 January 2015

Despite a reasonable quantity of sleep last night I woke up this morning at 7 am feeling dreadful so after decaff tea a and doing  normal morning routine  with Ellen to get her off to school I went back to bed         - up again at 10 am still very groggy and with pain in back. Slow to get moving but had a (rare) caf coffee with sm to get me going

Finally made it to Ledbury for shopping and stuff after lunch - and am very glad I did! I had an excellent time, despite the back ache. I managed to get a very short notice slot at my lovely hairdresser and she trimmed my hair and fringe just how I like it :) I also did a load of little jobs which have been on my "to do " list for ages, dropped off some stuff at the Red Cross charity shop, had a browse around it and several more charity shops, had a coffee with a friend, did some food shopping, tried on clothes and shoes, bought some of the clothes ( 5 sizes smaller now!) and generally had a good time. I came home via John our friendly organic farmer and got some veg and two bales of straw for the hens. That is now in the barn along with plenty of  food for the assorted animals.

I have a house hen at the moment - Lilac has sour crop so she is inside in a cat carrier and I am looking after her - unfortunately I had the delightful experience of her being "sick" all over me tonight when I was draining her crop. Yuck.

Thursday 08 January 2015


Feel ridiculously energetic today despite still having a very bad back ache and sciatica. I was going to go to Ledbury this afternoon but we got sad news that Bob, the lovely horse Compostgirl learnt to ride on at the stables just up the lane (and her first love) had to be pts today


He was an absolute sweety; a really kind and gentle horse who has taught so many children in the area to ride. He will be sorely missed :(


RIP Bob

Compostgirl was very upset by this news so I decided to not go out, so as to be here for when she got home from school.


I came away with a huge haul of reduced items from my shopping trip to the Co Op yesterday .


and so I made good use of them this afternoon! I did lots of cooking, made a huge pan of BNS curry; also BNS curry soup and a huge pan of veg soup.

 And a tray of mashed swede and carrot for the freezer.


We ate BNS curry for dinner tonight , the others had rice and naan with theirs.




and three more large portions are now in the freezer, as well as 20 portions of various soups, two portions of curry sauce, 20 portions of mashed swede and two portions of roasted sweet potato.

Compostman and Compostgirl then went to Archery but as my back hurts I stayed at home and did some mending and tidying and then watched "Avengers Assemble" again :)

Wednesday 07 January 2015


The sciatica was so bad last night I went back to bed this morning and had another couple of hours kip. I suspect working outside yesterday in the cold has made it worse. But I did feel better later on in the morning and so eventually I had a busy day - I did loads of stuff at home and then went over to Malvern and got some more wood chippings for the hen run floor as well as having a nice chat to Sarah who owns Newland Poultry.

Then I went to the Malvern Link shopping park and went on a clothes trying spree - Evans stuff was ALL TOO BIG because I have lost so much weight I had to go into M & S instead

Home to a delish meal cooked by Compostman, a sit by the fire and some TV watching with the family.

I have been writing a review of a Weather Station I was sent before Christmas made by Oregon Scientific - must post it up as it is a very good product.

I was terribly excited about this latest crochet adventure… working with beautifully soft, chunky wool to create something that Mr D-F really wanted for his birthday.  Over the past few months, I would flick through one of my crochet books, … Continue reading →

Tuesday 06 January 2015


Up early as Compostgirl was back at school today. A dull wet cloudy morning gave way to sunshine in the afternoon so I got on with cleaning out the Big Girls' hen house.

I said it was filled with poo!


 That's better!


I also had a look at the compost bins to make sure all was well looking right


and looking left


I am planning on adding a third outside raised bed here when the ground dries off a bit.


I also had a wander around the wood :)

As it is 12th Night we took down the Christmas decorations and moved the tree outside.





I am very impressed with the live tree we had this year, it hardly dropped any needles and still looks very good so we will plant it in the ground and it can become an "outdoor" Christmas Tree :)

I spent the rest of the day sorting out piles of stuff to dispose of - charity shop, freecycle, recycling, composting. Nothing went to landfill!

Later I took Compostgirl up to the Stables to see her favourite horse, Bob, he is poorly and has to have a serious operation this week. We took him a carrot and hope for the best outcome for him.

Monday 05 January 2015


So Monday, the first of the New Year.

I have been sorting out computer woes, then trying to get on with some paying work whilst sorting out my stuff to file my tax return on line. Our rubbish broadband connection does not help with that!

When it had warmed up a little bit outside I had intended to clean out the Big Girls hen house - having been inside for longer due to the long nights they have made SUCH a mess in there - huge piles of droppings under the perches! but my back is hurting so I decided to do it tomorrow morning instead.

I also planned to go into Ledbury to get some veg from Handley Organics as well as visiting a shop to have an old phone unlocked. So that will have to wait as well until tomorrow I hope!

School starts again tomorrow for Compostgirl, it is always a bit difficult here in the holidays but we had as good a time as we could (I think)

I also finished ironing the last two shirts which I missed yesterday ( they were hanging behind a chair, hiding from me!) and made a start on the huge mending pile. I swear things breed if left in piles as I am sure there were not that many clothes waiting before Christmas!

Apart from that have sorted stuff out, mainly into many, smaller piles rather than actually doing something useful with them but it gave me the illusion of progress, at least!

Plan to sit and crochet in front of the fire, later :)

Sunday 04 January 2015


I had a very poor night sleep so needed a caffeine fix as we were  off to Archery this morning - however freezing fog did not lift until 10.30 so we were late getting there and it was still below freezing while shooting! My fingers hurt :(

 After lunch I did a bit of computer work, went and did a bit in the polytunnel and chatted to the Seramas while I worked, but it was too blooming cold to cary on so I retreated inside to scale the ironing mountain in the sitting room. It was lovely and warm in there with the woodburner going!

I am also really pleased that I am back on track with the weight loss - my normal Sunday morning weigh in today had me the lightest I have been for 10 years

I wavered a bit over Christmas - after 5 and a half months of being very positive and pretty well 100% THD I went a bit off piste the last two weeks of Dec ( mainly wine and a few mixed meals - all real food and nothing processed) and put on 5 lbs. This is the first time I have gained since 28 th June so was not pleased with myself. But I learnt the lesson - I am not yet ready to eat carbs or drink wine as I start to crave sugar again.

So I am joining in with the Harcombe Jan Blitz and have been 100% P1 since 1st Jan and boy does it work!

Anyone else watching what they eat or drink, at the moment?

So before anything else, a big Happy New Year to you! I hope you managed to have a rest in between seeing family, wrapping presents, watching favourite films and drinking hot chocolate with little marshmallows floating on the top. January … Continue reading →

Saturday 03 January 2015


We woke to no power and driving rain and a temp of 3 C outside so doing the hens etc was chilly this morning!

We were meant to be shooting at Mordiford but driving rain and low cloud cancelled that plan. As we still had no power by 9 am we decided we would go to Hereford earlier than planned and have tea and a hot breakfast -then do the shopping. So we did.

Compostgirl has finished at Guides but is going to be a Young Leader with her old Brownie pack so needs a different uniform top but unfortunately the Girlguiding shop was closed. We still had a wander around and looking in shops and tried on a few things - mainly boots :)

Very cold and wet and dreary weather here - we were glad to find the power was back on when we got home as we were not looking forward to getting out the Generator and going into that routine - it is a lot of work and everything takes far longer to do. We really are lucky in the UK to have electrickery on demand - many people all over the world do not and I am very grateful I can see to read and type this to you all by electricity :)

Steak tonight for me and fizzy water :) Day 3 of not drinking :) Will see how long I can keep it, just for the fun of it  :)

Night all, early start tomorrow as have lots to do outside here :)

Friday 02 January 2015

Today Compostgirl and I had a lovely day out with friends Maria and her two children.  Compostman stayed at home and did ...stuff ( I don't know what he did, but he says he enjoyed himself)

We went out to lunch at a local pub ( The Bunch of Carrots) which I have mentioned before and which does an amazing carvery. I had roasted meats and loads of veg (cabbage/cauli/green beans) and roast parsnips. When I went to order and started to ask about gluten free options the waiter immediately offered me "naked" cauli (the cauli on offer was in a cheese sauce with wheat in) and the offer of gf gravy and a gf Yorkshire pud! I declined the Yorkshire pud but it was so nice to be asked rather than having to quiz the staff about it :) .

Compostgirl and the other two children were intrigued by the concept of a Dessert Trolley and had pudding while M and I had excellent coffee.

After that we went into Hereford and had a bit of a shopping trip - the children went off together to mooch around the new Old Market shopping complex while M and I looked in M & S and various other shops.

We ended up with a short trip to Sainsburys where I stocked up with stuff we had run out of.

Got home at 7 pm after a very enjoyable day. Compostman had very kindly had put the hens to bed and made a fresh pot of tea :)

I have spent the rest of the evening crocheting and sewing and am off to bed now. We need to be up early tomorrow for Archery !

Thursday 01 January 2015


Hello to all my lovely blog friends.

A quiet day here today, we watched the Queen concert and the fireworks last night and saw in the New Year so today we  got up a bit later than usual. We did the various chores outside then I settled down to a lot of mending and ironing and sorting stuff out; Compostman did various setting up of our respective bows and Compostgirl spent the day doing stuff with her laptop and mp3 player in her room.

Later on in the evening we had a fun shoot at our archery club indoor venue in Hereford; we used dart board target faces rather than the usual FITA design and had games of "darts" firing arrows rather than darts. Much hilarity ensued and it was all good fun!

So that was the first day of 2015. A good day :)

Also,  I have started back on The Harcombe Diet seriously after a couple of weeks being less rigorous in avoiding carbs. As you may know I have lost a lot of weight in the last 6 months following this way of eating :)  I have actually been keeping a blog about my weight loss journey and The Harcombe Diet so, if you would like to follow this private blog please email me to be added to the list of people who can read it. I can be contacted at compostwoman@the-compostbin.com

Tuesday 30 December 2014


Life as been busy for us at home - I've been working longish hours and have had long journeys to work. Our young people continue to keep us busy- having four children very close together has often meant lots of attention needed all at the same time and I had in my foolishness thought that the times when they were young were going to be the hardest!! I had no idea what was in store for us.

Start of the 2014 preparations- onion and garlic bedLast year despite my best efforts, my trips down to the allotment were few and far between.
You've guessed right - one of the plans for this year is to spend more time down there. I really find it very therapeutic to be there - away from home, work and back to the simple things in life. Children, work, life will just have to wait - I need my 'Me ' time and the allotment so fills this need.
Over the Christmas holidays, hubby and I had planned to get to grips with the allotment and make it ours again as opposed to the wild wilderness it has become.
I'm rather ashamed at how bad it was!
 So over the last couple of days we have both been down digging sometimes together and sometimes separately and how lovely it was too. One of children asked recently what were we going to do when they had all left home- ' as you don't have a lot in common!'. Well how wrong they are - and we are trying hard to spend more time together - and the allotment is a great place to start! Just as long as we don't get like other allotment couples - some of which can be heard bickering away very loudly at times! 

This is my neighbours plot - we think he works overnight on it - it always looks good!We divide our work Mr H is in charge of structures layout and buildings and general up keep .We agree on what we are growing and I am responsible for sowing  and planting. It seems to work well for us !
 So lots of digging being done - the soil is lovely now after years of  applying manure and lots of digging. Even after all the rain we have had, it's an absolute delight - its dark, crumbly  and lovely .
When we first started it was full of stones, rocks and flints! It's just the weeds we need to keep on top off and that's an on going battle. Even after a couple of days digging things have improved so much. 

It was a very cold and frosty start yesterday!It was soo cold after yesterdays digging I was inspired to make some "new" wellie socks from old woollen jumpers destined for the charity shop ( sorry charity shop- I have sent you other things !!!) . There are lots of sites giving instructions and I had to look at them all for inspiration. Beware some sites offer instructions for leg warmers instead of socks! It was my toes that were cold not my legs!!
Tubular socks made from woollen jumper sleevesEventually I went for the tubular ski sock idea, using the sleeves and the ribbed cuff as the sock top. I tried the sleeve on inside out and pinned the garment so that it fitted around the leg, ankle, around the foot and toe area. I have made two pairs a shorter pair and a longer pair and  I am so hoping I don't have cold feet next time I go digging. I was on a roll and I had  previously thought about upcycling mittens  so whilst the jumper was there and the machine primed I also made these:

Mittens made from up-cycled woollen jumper sleevesSo hopefully no cold hands either!
 I am already starting to plan what I will grow and watching Nigel Slater on his new years day cooking programme ( I do enjoy watching his programmes ) he has further inspired me to get planning. So onto the Internet I go! I love looking for new seed packets  and  deciding what I will grow so that's what I'm up to  for the next few days ! I'm so glad to be back and have missed talking to you  and catching up with old friends! Looking forward to seeing what 2014 brings !!

Welcome back to Hen Corner! As featured in Country Living Magazine We hope that you’ve had a great Christmas and are now looking forward to the exciting journey that 2014 will bring. Readers who follow us on Twitter and Facebook will have seen some of the things we’ve been up to throughout the year but […]

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Sadly I did not win the final of the Plant Me Now Battle of the Baskets, but I made the final and hopefully people will have read my blog post about why I designed the basket the way I did.

Thank you all who voted for me - I love you for helping and supporting me xxx

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas, Winterval, Hannukah etc or what I personally celebrate  - a Festive Yule!

Looking forward to the Return of the Light in 2015 :)

Love you all :)

Compostwoman xxx

A big, massive, enormous Happy Christmas to you! I hope it is filled with lots of laughter, tummies filled to the brim and lots of silly paper hats! (Everyone looks suave in a paper hat)! Thank you for all of the support over … Continue reading →

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