Tuesday, 18 October 2016


Thank you for all your lovely comments on my last post, and sorry I have not replied, life is a bit hectic as usual.  I have had a busy but lovely long weekend, it is the Samba Bands 10th Anniversary so to celebrate members old and new gathered for an evening of fun and music.  Starting with playing Samba around a fire pit in the field, watched by a beautiful moon.  Then three members played their guitars and sang in beautiful harmony.  The evening ended with another member of the band on his 'decks' playing some 'funky' music that had us all throwing some shapes on the dance floor. (yes I have all the terminology)  Oh to be so musically talented, I would love to be able to strum a guitar and sing along.  I do love it when other people make a gathering special by sharing their musical abilities.  Unfortunately, the instruments in a Samba band are not really something to play solo and are very very loud.  Unless you have the whole band and somewhere with no neighbours it is not really something I could bring to a party on my own, banging on my little tam tunelessly would soon annoy all the other guests.  However the full Samba band playing together is a thing of joy and has everyone jigging around.  It was a wonderful night full of fun and friends,  my friend came all the way down from Norwich to attend.  She stayed with me (among the boxes I'm afraid) and we had a lovely few days catching up.  Lots of coffee and cake was consumed, we nosed around the charity shops in Falmouth and Truro and I even found a place that sold gluten free veggie pasties whoopee!! It is so lovely to have friends visit and I'll miss her.

I was  also delighted with another visiter, as you can see from the photos above we had a visit from this magnificent Stag.  Isn't he a beauty!  I first spotted him from the bedroom window, went into David Attenborough mode and crept down the field to get closer.  As you can see it didn't take him long to get wind of me as I balanced on a hedge trying not to fall onto the barbed wire.  I then crawled up behind a mound in the field thinking I could fool him, as I peeped over the top there he was staring straight at me, probably thinking what a plonker.  Just look at those antlers, he looks ready to protect his ladies from any interlopers.  Just to be near such a powerful creature was absolutely thrilling.  He didn't stay long after giving me the stare, and ushered his ladies off to safety.  I love living here so much, I wake everyday and think how lucky I am.

My craft room is coming together, I had the floor laid yesterday and I love it,  I can't wait to get everything set up and start a new sewing project. It's all very 'shabby chic' but this is exclusively my 'woman cave' so I can go mad and have whatever I want. This is the first room I hope to finish, It is the smallest and had the least to do, just a few holes to fill in.  I keep forgetting to take 'before' photos, but it had pink walls, a grubby pink carpet and a huge curtain pole and curtains in what is a very tiny box room.  The pole and curtains have come down and as we are not overlooked probably won't be replaced with anything.  I'll share some photos when it is finished, I now have to fit all of my many boxes of craft bits and pieces in here!

I hope life is good to you all

Chickpea xx

Monday, 10 October 2016

Annoying the Country Folk (Controversial post alert)

I knew moving back into the countryside would bring up very different issues than living in the city, one of which is hunting and the whole 'Countryside Alliance'    So when the local hunt sent a card to the  house addressed to the previous owner saying they would be hunting in our fields I rang them and pointed out that we now owned the property and would not be allowing hunting in any shape or form here. Evidently I was not believed and the very next morning someone came to the door asking for the previous owner while refusing to say who they were.  No doubt they will try to find the person who bought the rest of the fields to get permission to hunt all around us.  I found it all rather menacing as he told me on the phone that 'no doubt I would be seeing them sometime'.  Many years ago we rented a winter let on a farm, early one morning the hunt turned up and I had to rush out to rescue my two terrified cats as the hunters laughed making lewd comments about my 'pussies'.  All very unpleasant and not an experience I would want to repeat.   It is a subject that people feel very passionate about on both sides, I have had chickens killed by a fox, I didn't blame the fox who was doing what nature intended, I blamed myself for not keeping them secure.  It is awful when lambs are killed by foxes but I don't believe using dogs to hunt them is the answer.  None of my farming uncles and cousins have ever felt the need to don the scarlet.  It may not make me popular with some local landowners but I will not be welcoming them.

Of course there is the good side of living in the Countryside, someone from the local village knocked on the door asking if we could store his camper van in our barn - it's surprising how popular having a big barn can make you ;)  When he discovered we are new to the area he went out of his way to tell us all the goings on in the village and dropped by this morning with all sorts of info about activities including the W.I.  My only experience of the W.I. was when I worked in Sheltered Housing and the lovely ladies from the local W.I. would come around with all sorts of things for our residents.  My immediate thought was I'm far too young for the W.I., and it's all jam and Jerusalem, but realise that I may be doing them a disservice.  Are any of you members and what are your experiences?  Would they welcome a left wing, gobby atheist?

Our local town recently elected a Mock Mayor after throwing the real Mayor into prison.  He processed through the town, in and out of the shops while people threw sprouts at him.   I have no explanation......but I love weird goings on.

In the evening the history of Penryn was illuminated onto the towns buildings.  Luckily my friend who is a born and bred 'Rinner'  did a running commentary for me which included the fact that the towns people hid a very infamous lady pirate.

Life has been extremely busy but came to a halt of the weekend when I came down with a horrible cold and spent most of it sleeping.  I hope you are all keeping well, there seems to be a lot of things going around at the moment.

Chickpea xx

Thursday, 29 September 2016

All Change?

We have our sons dogs staying at the moment, I had forgotten how much they influence your life, we have been walking several times a day rain or shine, no slouching around indoors when it is chucking it down, they are keen to be out in all weathers unlike our much missed Cavalier who hated the rain.  I really feel getting our own dog will be a positive change which will be good for my mental as well as physical health.  The wet weather blues will have to take a back seat with a dog to walk.

 Growing up I was passionate about saving whales and seal cubs across the world but I took for granted the local wildlife, they never seemed so interesting.   Over the last few years, talented bloggers out there have opened up a whole new world of little creatures to me.   I now find myself creeping up on butterflies and I am absolutely blown away by their beauty.  I rescue bees and and sit watching my bird feeders hoping to attract many different varieties. I never thought I would take such an interest in tiny little creatures.  They are equally as impressive as the whales, you just have to look harder to see them.  This new found interest has spurred on our move back out into the country, and changed our lives in a huge way.  Who would of thought such tiny little things would bring about such a change.

We have a new home which although it already feels like home needs a lot of work.  It is exciting as well as daunting deciding on colours and styles, I don't really want to recreate our old home with my choices but it is scary branching out, trying something new. I know for sure the pink walls everywhere and dreadful tiles will have to go but what do I replace them with?  What if I hate the colour/style of the new decor.  Think of all the money wasted! Do I take the opportunity to try something completely new or play safe.  Decisions decisions..........   Do you always stay with the same style or have you made huge changes in your home?

Our grandchildren came to stay at the weekend, what joy they bring, not only to us but our sons who love being uncles.  These little people have completely changed our lives and the whole family dynamics.  Apart from having our children, grandchildren have made the biggest difference to our lives.  I feel even more passionate about fighting for a world that has beauty and peace for them to grow up in.

Life never stands still, there are always changes big and small, good and bad.  What has brought about changes in your lives, big and small?  I would love to hear.

Chickpea xx

Friday, 16 September 2016

Wild Life

Moving back out into the countryside from the city has been a lot easier than I imagined.  I thought I would miss the street light, local shops, takeaways and being able to walk to the local bars and restaurants......well I can't say I really miss any of it, perhaps I'm getting old :)  It is strange to actually have dark nights, to need to grab a torch to go outside (of course most of the outside lights don't work) and to listen to the strange noises of the night, not the usual drunk people coming home at silly o'clock in the morning, but foxes, a sound we used to hear in the fields next to us before 200 houses were built there. A cockerel crows on one of the nearby farms at random times and the tractors are pretty busy at this time of year early in the morning to late at night.  I find myself inspecting poo I find in the field trying to guess what animal left it,  yes our 'wild' life gets that exciting.  We have settled into our quiet life amazingly well after urban living for 16 years, though we have yet to experience a winter here. Even this time of year has been very different from our previous location, I have used my fog lights more than ever before, it seems to have a unique climate of it's own up here,  as I drive to work I discover that everywhere else is clear of fog and the sun is shining.  It's like those old horror movies where the fog drifts across the moors.......

During the huge storms we had recently, our son and I sat in the conservatory watching the sky light up every few seconds, it was like being outside without getting wet.  I don't know why I had such a downer on conservatories before, we practically live in it now, watching the moths, stars and distant lights in the evenings.  The rain caused flooding in towns across Cornwall and when I noticed the dog bowls moving across the floor I realised that the kennels where my sons dogs are staying were flooding.  The drain was blocked (oh what a surprise) but after clearing it out and putting dry bedding in their sleeping area they were happy and didn't seem bothered by the storm.  They are loving their stay in the country with runs around the field several times a day and their luxury kennels with separate sleeping and outside areas.  Our cat is loving it even more that she hasn't had to hide the whole time they are here.  She looks out at them smugly.

I have been out photographing what wildlife I can find and hope to encourage more to our home by creating a wildlife pond. (still to be negotiated with the bearded one) and leaving the edges of the field uncut (also to be negotiated)   In the mean time I have put out feeders which so far has only been visited by a brave blue tit  There is also a scruffy little Robin who follows me around the veg patch, I think it must be moulting as it is a sorry sight.

The underside of the Red Admiral is just as beautiful

I didn't think I would be seeing the Speckled Wood here in the field

Plenty of rabbits

Most of the House Martins seem to have left for the winter

Garden Cross spider creating beautiful webs in the garden

I have also managed to make some blackberry and grape jam, and stored the rest in the freezer for when I have more time for jam making.  It would be lovely to have more time at home to get things done, but I love the weekends here!!!

Thank you for all your well wishes to our son, he is still staying with us as his recovery is not going as well as hoped.  On a purely selfish level I am loving having him here and his friends who come to visit, it makes a change from just me and the old man :)  We are also getting out in the field several times a day walking his dogs which is lovely.  I'm still looking to get our own dog but can't decide on a breed.  All the rescue dogs I have seen have said not suitable with very young children or cats so not really an option.  Retired greyhounds would chase the cat and anything else that moves so again not suitable.  The dog for us is out there somewhere.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend,

Chickpea xx

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

The Good, the Bad and the downright rude

Life on Chickpeas farm continues to be busy, exhausting and wonderful.  We have been here a whole month, I can't believe it!  We still have bedrooms full of boxes that haven't been touched, the third bedroom where the grandchildren will sleep and the box room which will be my craft room.  Our son is having an operation on Friday so will be coming over to stay for a few days while he recovers. We are not exactly ready for guests, the room he will be staying in has peeling paint and a channel dug out of the wall, (not sure the purpose of it) but is reasonably clear of boxes. The main bathroom had a cracked cistern which leaked all over the grotty carpet on the floor and through the ceiling downstairs, and a cracked seat (as did the downstairs loo).  The first thing I did was change all the loo seats, I'm a bit fussy like that :)

I bet you're so glad I shared this with you

The whole bathroom will be ripped out and replaced in the future but other jobs take priority now so we have tracked down a replacement cistern which should have turned up today but hasn't.  So he may have to stay in our room with the working toilet but shower cubicle with the door hanging off.  I did say we had taken on 'a project' didn't I?

The gas boiler should have been serviced today but he didn't turn up, not even a phone call and after ringing several tree surgeons none have got back to me.  I have had to chase the council about our recycling twice now as they don't bother to come out here.  We are still waiting to hear back from several other 'services' as well......are you starting to get the picture?  What is wrong with people, they could at least ring to say they can't make it or are too busy to take on more work.  Even the doctor in the surgery was downright rude, we were discussing my blood pressure and I said that I knew I needed to lose weight, she said well it's not difficult just eat less.  No shit Sherlock as the youngsters say, I would never have guessed that.  True, but not very helpful.

The good things this week have been getting my books out of boxes, thank goodness for cheap and cheerful Billy Bookcases.  Yes I should have waited until I painted the lounge but I missed having my books around me, is it just me or do other people love looking at their books on the shelves.  I really enjoyed getting them out and arranging them on the shelves.....yes I am sad like that.

I rang Home Farmer magazine to update my address and Paul the editor answered the phone and was absolutely lovely. Wishing me well in our new home and discussing the magazine.  Now that's what I call good service.

I also went to see an exhibition in a container called The Aftermath Dislocation Principle which has been touring the country.  I loved it, brilliant idea and very cleverly done.  Passersby were wondering what the hell was going on as they saw people peering into a graffiti covered shipping container.  It's Art darlings :)

Post riot landscape

I also shook my booty to an amazing band called the Broken Brass Ensemble who had the whole audience at one stage crouched on the floor ready to leap into the air (yes I did have a momentary panic thinking I'll never get up again)  I really really needed a night out to let my hair down!

Anyway, more news soon on all things jam and grapes, I'll leave you with a little clip of Saturdays shenanigans.


Chickpea xx