Thursday, March 21, 2013

Creativity Between Showers

A rainbow landing on the dome! It must be a good sign.

  During a couple of dry days we managed to make a hessian-cement roof for the dome. Very interesting medium to work with. It appeals to the dressmaker in me.

First we painted both sides of the hessian with a cement mix and then we draped it over the dome. Rob had made a wooden frame to hold it out at the sides to try and stop the water from running down the sides of the dome.

 When it was all covered we painted on another coat of the mix, then the next day we painted on a mixture of cement, PVA glue and pigment, to make it waterproof and more the colour of the earth. Anyway, it works and the dome is now dry inside. Hooray!

 The chickens like to roost in the olive tree near the house for their after lunch nap. They are now being rather difficult about going to bed at night, and I have to tempt them into their pen then sling them into their house. It's not an easy job. You put one in, then when you open the door to put in another, the first one sneaks out. Grrr. Hopefully they will get used to it again, and feel safe. The cockeral now crows, usually just outside the front door in the morning. Time to get up!!!

And I suddenly got the urge to get on with my mud bender. I have been using bottles to make the mud go further. It builds up quickly, but mixing it with my hands was really sore, so I found a pair of huge, thick rubber gloves, which made it much kinder, but not as easy to make. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sorry, sorry sorry

I left the hen house door open last night....
Now there is one gone, the big fat mama hen, and the others are traumatised
and I feel so bad. and sad. and sorry


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Stormy Days and Nights

Sun and rain.

Dawn's rosy glow on our wee house. Note the solar hot water collector on the roof.

We took Isabella for a stroll on the beach for her birthday.

Here's a picture of how I make bread without an oven. On the (horrible, Chinese) woodburner . Worked a treat!

The chickens are behaving differently... they're growing up! The cockeral is making some very strange noises - his voice is breaking, and the hens are begining to cluck. Exciting. Rob said he saw a saco rabo (mongoose) crossing the land the other day, so I am a bit concerned, especially since two of the chickens decided to sleep out for a couple of nights. This morning when the cockeral caught the two naughty birds he really gave them a concerned poke and peck. The other day we saw them all perching in the olive tree in front of the house!

It's been a bit of a miserable week for chickens and humans. Wet and windy, with the odd day of balmy spring stuff.  But it is a lot warmer. Soon the garden will go balistic (she hopes).

Today, we took off to the Algarve, just because we felt a bit of cabin fever creeping in. We went to look at an electric bike and have a go. Quite an amazing sensation to be powered up-hill on a push bike! If I get one it will save a lot on petrol consumption, but I'm a bit scared of the speed they can go at!

The dome has been leaking so we have covered it in a tarp and Rob is designing a roof for it made from hessian and cement. I'm very excited about that. I've read about such roofs and seen a photo and it looked very pretty, draped concrete :).

All the cabbage seedlings have germinated quickly and soon I will have an abundance of young plants , brussel sprouts, red cabbage, green cabbage, brocolli, etc.

I also put some seeds of madder in pots and they too have come up. I am hoping to have a dyer's garden down near the hammock.

It has been a good week for spinning and dyeing. I spun a load of brown Alentejo sheep wool, and have dyed some shetland using lichen off the olive prunings. Made a nice yellow colour.

So, all in all a good if somewhat stormy week.