Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Nadolig Llawen!

I know, it's been over two months since I posted here, so as a rather pathetic Xmas present to anybody who is still bothering to read this blog, here are some very old photos that have been lurking the camera for some time now.

I didn't make a big Thanksgiving dinner this year but still had to do something so cooked a pheasant that my neighbour gave me and made a pumpkin pie (and of course roasted pumpkin seeds!). In a way, pheasant is really a more appropriate bird for me to be eating at Thanksgiving than turkey as they are what lives semi-wild on my mountain, whereas even the most free-range organic turkey I could buy would still be farmed...

Ages and ages ago, I planted some melon seeds in the greenhouse, and I did actually manage to get two of the world's smallest melons -- quite tasty, but only a very few mouthfuls!

Now that the sheep are all gone, I've let the next farmer up the lane put his sheep on my fields -- it looks very odd to see white sheep at Bwlchyrhyd!

And this is the very small apple harvest -- I know these apples look a bit odd and manky, but they were SO incredibly juicy and delicious!

Off to make some root vegetable soup now. I think there will be some exciting things happening in the new year, and I will write about them here when they do. Also, Bridget has finally got her computer back from the shop, and as soon as I go down there and show her how to blog, you will have news from Banc Olive as well -- and Bridget will be starting lambing before long!

Nos da a blwyddyn newydd dda i chi!

Monday, 20 October 2008


Yes folks, that's right, you saw it here first... After not using the wood burner in the lounge for the last three years because I was advised by a plumber that it was dangerous, a friend came round the other day and had a look at it and said that it looked fine to him -- he has got a nearly identical wood burner to this one. So he helped me get it going, and voilà -- fire! So I will be nice and toasty warm this winter...

Following on from my previous post -- here's a taster of things to come -- my hens and ducks integrating nicely up at Bridget's...

Saturday, 18 October 2008


Sorry, I know I haven't posted in ages...

Not much news now. All the sheep have finally gone, and there are now no animals at Bwlchyrhyd.

To keep you entertained and informed in the interval, Bridget will be posting news of my chickens and ducks here, as well as anything else that she thinks my readers may find of interest, and I will post news when and if I have it.

Regular service to be resumed when I have sorted out my life and reinvented myself yet again... Watch this space.

Sunday, 14 September 2008


Sorry for not having posted in ages. I have actually been away in America for a few weeks, but here are some photos from before I went -- nothing particularly exciting really -- just winding things down in the hopes that a buyer will come along soon...

These are the two baby cockerels and one of them is now in the freezer and the other in our tummies...

These three hens went across the lane to Bart and Mandy, and the rest of the chickens (as well as Del and Dewi) have gone to Jon and Bridget's, so it's a bit quieter around here now... Will try and take some photos of them all in their new homes if I get a chance.

And this is my rather pathetic tomato crop this year which Bart has been tending for me in my absence...

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Er Côf Am Shiva

I will hold you in my arms forever sweetie pie.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008


So I have been making my own bread for several years now, and I've never had a problem with bread going mouldy before. I have always used Allinson Dried Active Yeast except for a few times when I have made sourdough bread. Anyhow, the other day I knew I was out of yeast and I was in the shop and was in a bit of a hurry so I bought some Hovis Fast Action Yeast. The bread is reasonably tasty, although much less "crumbly" and better suited for slicing and sandwiches than my normal bread -- but now, I have just noticed -- it has gone mouldy!

I have had bread that got dry and hard and stale, but I have never had home-made bread go mouldy on me before. Suffice to say, it is stored in the same conditions as usual, etc. So I go to investigate and I notice that the yeast I bought contains "a blend of dried yeast and bread improvers." Methinks the improvers are the cause of the mould. Anybody else have this experience?

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Ac eto...


Sori, sa i wedi teimlo fel ysgrifennu lot yn diweddar...

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Sioe Frenhinol Cymru

Two exciting things happened yesterday at the Royal Welsh -- Bridget & Jon got an 8th and a 9th with their Texels which they are quite pleased with...

...and, more importantly, I got to see the little ram lamb that we sold last autumn! He is all grown up now!

Monday, 7 July 2008

Da a drwg...

The bad news is that the hen has vanished as have most of her eggs. No signs of struggle or feathers, so not sure what got her, but she is definitely gone... :(

The good news is that Shiva is still well enough to be catching little mice -- okay, I suppose it's bad news for the mouse, but it's good news for Shiva, and she's the important one IMO!

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Ar Werth

We have decided to sell Bwlchyrhyd. If you're interested in buying it, please contact our estate agent.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008


I just spotted the little bantam off the eggs so went over and had a look -- she is sitting on 11 eggs!

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Yr Iâr

I know this looks like a photo of a bunch of reeds, but if you look closely, you will see the little bantam hen in the middle of it. She vanished on Wednesday night, but was back Thursday morning for food -- and then vanished again. Yesterday I spotted her outside and went out and followed her -- I can only assume she is sitting on eggs as she hasn't moved from this spot since. Fingers crossed that the fox doesn't get her...

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Gwlân a nyddu

I have been saying for some time that I am going to spin the wool from the sheep, but, to be honest, I haven't got the time. There's now 6 fleeces from last year plus 8 from this year, and they take up a lot of space.

Spinning is going to have to wait for another day. The wool is getting sent off the the mill to be spun and to come back as yarn for knitting in 3-6 months...

Monday, 16 June 2008


The big exciting news today is that I finally managed to get glass cut for the windows for the shed:

In other news, Denzil, who used to live here, came by with some things from his greenhouse -- so I think I will be spending tomorrow transplanting and repotting things!

The peacock came to visit AGAIN (but I am not complaining because he is so beautiful!):

And, this one is a bit sad -- there have been some blackbirds nesting in the clematis on the front of the house, and we've been watching them fly back and forth and feel their little chicks -- and this afternoon, Shiva killed the daddy blackbird... Bad Shiva... AND, she has shown no remorse...

Sunday, 15 June 2008


Yes, it's that time of year again... Unfortunately, it's a bit harder to take photos that show what's going on with black sheep than it is with white sheep, but here I am, in action...

And the sheep, now all fully shorn, and looking like goats again. Check out Rhodri on the left (with the horns) -- he looks so much more elegant now!

Diolch yn fawr iawn i Bridget a Jon am helpu!

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Scrabble (yn Gymraeg)

From the New York Times to S4C (fast-forward to 4:20)...

(I was hoping to actually put the video here, but unfortunately technology defeated me, so you will have to click the S4C link above, and download it yourself -- but if you are using the new version of RealPlayer, you will have the option to save it to your computer -- because it will only be up on the S4C site until next Wednesday! If anybody out there knows how to convert a *.ivr file to something useful, please get in touch...)

Thursday, 29 May 2008


Bart's peacock has spent nearly all day here -- not quite sure who or what he's trying to attract -- surely it can't be me!

And now for something slightly less spectacular -- I have made a window for the shed (yes, I know it's missing the glass). Bonus points to anybody who can correctly identify which of these two windows I made and which one Dave the builder made... :)

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Y Tywydd

The weather here was pretty hideous over the weekend -- extremely windy -- but luckily we only lost part of a tree:

It's now a very small bonfire and an equally small quantity of firewood...

In other news, here's the white sheep of the family...

And Bridget thinks that we have two boy chicks, two girl chicks, and one undecided chick...

Also, Bart's peacock came for another visit today -- I tried to take a photo when he had his tail open, but he kept closing it by the time I got the camera out!

Wednesday, 21 May 2008


The outdoor strawberries are covered in flowers -- so if I can succeed in keeping the birds and the slugs off them, we might have a big crop!

We put up the internal wall in the shed -- so as you can see, it's not one big shed like it looks like from the outside, but a pair of semi-detached sheds... :)

Here's another picture of the lettuces because the last photo was so crap. I pick myself a bowlful of leaves every day and they just keep growing back!

This is a melon plant -- I've got 5 of them, so perhaps I will get lucky and have melons???

Almost time for the rose to get transplanted back onto the shed...

We've also finished the fascia boarding stuff on the shed, and put up one of the doors -- so it is starting to look a bit more finished finally...

And these are the strawberries in the greenhouse, which I think are just about ready to eat!

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Pwy yw'r rhain?

The exciting news of the week is that we have some new sheep... A friend of ours is retiring from farming and although he has sold most of his sheep at mart, he wanted the last few to go to a good home (not quite sure if we qualify!) so here they are:

It will be an interesting experience having some sheep that are not Balwens...

In other news, Tony came to visit, and as you can see, he very much enjoyed feeding Sausage!