ShirleyM
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Hobbies

Hobbies

We know Becky likes potholing, Steve H and many others like walking with their dogs.

In the past, my dogs have taken part in dog showing, agility, working trials, my horses in dressage & show jumping & I was keen on photography competitions a few years ago.

I used to be very competitive in nature, but this has waned as I've grown older.

What do other members of AWeb do for fun & entertainment?

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16th Jul 2011 10:12

Oh come on...........
My ONLY hobby is being on AW, of course. :-)

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16th Jul 2011 10:48

Hobbies

My alter ego was chosen for a reason, my hobbies include: martial arts, motorbikes, sky diving (when I can aford it) running, weight lifting (I have been a competative bodybuilder in the distant past) former TA solider and a host of other macho nonsense. On the other side, I am a very keen cook, make quilts and have exhibited paintings in a few exhibitions around my region of the country.

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16th Jul 2011 11:03

Anorak Alert
Don't tell anyone, but I've been building quite a nice model railway layout in my back office. On a rainy day when I can't get out for a lunchtime walk, I'll pop to the back and make a bit more scenery or just run a few trains around.

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16th Jul 2011 11:23

Anoraks?

My hubbie is into anything to do with models (not the two-legged variety!). He has model steam trains and a layout. He has been known to drag me around the National Railway Museum at York, too.  :(

Steve - wow! - a macho sky-diver who owns up to cooking & quilt making! Good on you :)

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By Top_Cat
16th Jul 2011 11:27

There's a fine line between a hobby, and an obsession.

.

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By Flash Gordon
16th Jul 2011 11:29

Learning something new...

Sounds like this is going to be an interesting thread.....

Well for me its nice solitary pursuits. Or solitary with animals. Up the park with the pooch and on the sofa with my eldest cat using me as a pillow. Or playing peek-a-boo with my youngest cat - yes it sounds a bit daft but he enjoys it and it makes me laugh. Otherwise I love to lose myself in a good book (read one a couple of days that was a romance sort of thing (not particularly my cup of tea) but I think the reason I enjoyed it so much was that the storyline was about financial fraud!) or watch a really bad movie (shark movies where the acting is so bad that its hilarious - I can recommend Sharktopus for that - a shark crossed with an octopus (I kid you not). Jaws it ain't!). Unsurprisingly I'm a big fan of American football, I think wet Sunday afternoons were meant for Columbo re-runs, and I've got into growing my own veg. I'm also trying (not very successfully) to teach myself the piano. I struggle with the concept of using both hands given that I only use a maximum of one finger and thumb for typing usually! I doubt you'll be seeing me in concert in the near future......

 

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16th Jul 2011 11:38

music and chillis

I have been learning to play an acoustic guitar for the past 12 months having wanted to play for years and finally gotten around to it. Currently murdering the hell out of the classics such as Stairway to Heaven and Hallelujah. Not quite up to the level of his royal highness Sir Nick Drake *just* yet but a man can dream dammit. 

I go to lots of music concerts and follow small bands about when they play small venues. When working I either have the cricket on......or a huge selection of music.  Have to turn it down when the clients ring! I only got back into all of this about 3 or 4 years ago after an absence of about 15 years from my teens and early 20's and loving it. Its odd its mainly old farts out at the sort of things I go to. Caitlin Rose is a current big favourite live.

O and about to do some cooking. Got some fresh chillis I have been growing and its Chilli Con for lunchtime and I cook at the weekends.

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16th Jul 2011 12:10

Cars cars cars!

 I have a 20 year old Peugeot 2051.9GTI and a 30 year old Porsche 924 and spend most spare time and cash replacing something that has broken on one or another. I do 6 or 7 car shows a year although I am not an obsessive polisher. I love historic racing with goodwood revival a must each year. Nest year I am going to the classic Le mans. Today (once I have finished here!) I am going to finish filling and laquering a new dashboard for the 924. 

Best bit is that Mrs H is equally obsessive about dancing so we never have a conflict over our respective absenses!

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16th Jul 2011 12:49

mine is

Modelling for a magazine that sells clothes for short, fat and bald men.

Seriously mine is cycling I just love it. Even though it means I risk injury and death from car drivers. If I do not cyle at least twice a week I am not a good person to be with.

I am not that sad - I do not wear the prat cycling gear- full lycra.

Other is radio  I just love listening to non music channels.

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16th Jul 2011 13:14

Busy doing nothing...

I really's mention of guitars has made me want to get my classical one out (?), something about the sound of classical guitar music & heaven, but my teacher put me through the grade 1 exam and I haven't touched it since.

Anything to do with birds & wildlife in general, spent a week volunteering on Skomer a couple of years ago, more heaven, and will come back in the next life as a raven or gannet.

BUT, and this is going to sound so so trite (which is probably why I have left it till 57 to try it, cos I don't givva ****), as often as possible I try to "do" less and, on a good day, do nothing.  The idea being, in words nicked, I think, from either Joni Mitchell or Ani DiFranco, "to be in my skin, to do less & be more".  Yep trite!

"Doing" something, anything, usually with greed or fear as the driver, has lead to me missing most of what is actually happening around me. So time to slow up and use the billions of cells that evolution has graced me with to work out what's going on now.

 

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16th Jul 2011 15:05

What a great thread..

Already some really interesting hobbies!

I guess my number 1 "hobby" is acting on murder weekends. I work for Joy Swift who invented the concept 30 years ago and currently act about one weekend a month. Joy's "Original murder weekends" take place all over the country in Principal Hayley hotels, and I meet hundreds of fantistic sleuths during a year. Sometimes I "die" covered in blood, and sometimes I am a vicious murderer, lying to protect myself. Last weekend in an argument with my "brother in law" (who it turned out I had slept with 10 years before) I emptied an entire jug of water over his head. I also quite like playing the DI - and was once assured by a retired Met detective (guest) that I had the role just right - which I was really pleased with. My favourite roles give me the chance to give full rein to my imagination, playing "Swampy" the rather odd lady dressed in army fatigues, or "Lola" the sex consultant, caught giving some one to one tuition to a married man (by his wife, naturally - and around 80 guests!). For laughs, and the chance to do thing unconscienable in normal life, it cannot be beaten.

To relax, I'm found on my beloved narrowboat Stargazer with hubby anywhere on the canal network (almost - ours is 65ft long so there are some bits we can't do). Before being ill I was lock crew - absolutely loving winding the paddles and opening the gates - walking from lock to lock on the Stratford Canal - or on the awe inspiring Caen hill flight near Devizes. Now I'm reduced to mere steerer - right arm not really what it was so I can't get my exercise from the locks until I have learned left handed winding!

I often meet accountants during both of my hobbies - so do say "hello" if you see me - but of course if I am "in character" I'll deny knowing you until Sunday when it is all over!

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By SteveOH
16th Jul 2011 16:57

See you soon then, Rebecca

I have been thinking of going on one of Joy Swift's murder weekends for absolutely ages. I often look at her website and keep meaning to book up but never seem to get around to it.

When I go, you will be able to recognise me. I'll be the one carrying a copy of Tolleys Tax Tables aloft (a bit like Del Boy and his Filofax; if you remember that episode).

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16th Jul 2011 17:16

But Paul .....

 research came out only this morning showing that your body's cells die at an alarming rate if you don't use them. Get out that guitar now you crazy fool!!

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16th Jul 2011 18:01

Use it or lose it

Think I'll leave that topic there but yes Steve, will have to make sure I keep on the move, whilst doing nothing.  Yoga incorporates both but too bloody busy to get to all the classes.

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By Top_Cat
16th Jul 2011 19:50

-

If I don't use it I'll lose it ?   Now there's a new chat up line to try on the new blonde receptionist :) 

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By Flash Gordon
16th Jul 2011 20:55

Yoga

I've never mastered any yoga moves - they all look so complicated and yet are supposed to relax you?! And despite some being named after a cat I've never seen my cats try them either. Now if I could mimic my eldest cat's poses I think I'd be very chilled as he has a delightful one that involves looking very cute and cuddly while being curled up, paw over face and belly upwards. But I guess as I'm relaxed watching him its the same idea.

I once started Tai Chi and that seemed easier - both feet on the ground for starters. This thread has reminded me of that and I might try again so well done Shirley :)

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16th Jul 2011 21:33

DIY Yoga

The great thing about yoga is that anyone can do something, you do what you can, within the confines of your own body, and in my case, stomach!  

The cat stretches mentioned by Flash plus the up & down dogs, carried out so expertly by my Border Terrier several times a day, are simple poses that can do wonders for anyone sitting at a desk all day, relieving back & shoulder problems and, if carried out "with purpose", will take your mind off anything else going on.

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By Top_Cat
16th Jul 2011 22:21

Yoga

 And despite some being named after a cat I've never seen my cats try them either.

 

Posted by Flash Gordon on Sat, 16/07/2011 - 20:55

 

You obviously didnt see these photos ...........................

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By Old Greying Accountant
16th Jul 2011 22:40

So many hobbies, so little time!

My main love is my spaniel, we go training in deepest Sussex once a week and then try and get out every day to practice, and in the season we get out beating as much as we can, bugger is the season is busiest December and January - sods law, had my fingers crossed when they talked about moving the deadline to November, then they bottled it - b*****ds! We did our first working test this year, dog was good, handler needs some work before the next on 31st July, which is going to be a challenge as dog hurt her leg last weekend and has been confined to barracks all week so will only have one more session with my trainer before then, assuming check up at vet OK tomorrow.

I too strum the guitar a bit. I'm running out of fingers to count the chords I know - lol, I keep a half size one in the office to bash a couple of songs out when waiting for the damned PC to re-boot.

Really getting back in to music these days, there are so many great talented musicians around these days and thanks to the glorious internet we do not have to survive on the diet that Mr Cowell and his ilk deign to feed us. That is an idea for an ongoing thread, I know we have had all time favourites, best of the decade etc, how about record of the week so we can all share new bands/ musicians (whether brand new, or new to you) so we can broaden our musical tastes. I'll offer these two as starters

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQYpF2pCkLI&feature=relmfu

I think you may relate to this one Paul, and love the Michael Douglas pastiche!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PkcfQtibmU

Having found MP3 players great to take the boredom out of weeding, like Paul, I am getting in to my garden these days, so much I was hoping it was me Tuesday so I could chuck it all in and buy a small holding in East Sussex to see out my days. My rhubarb has gone mad this year, spuds and beans looking OK and courgette is Triffid like and first one nearly ready. All a bit behind this year as we had some hard landscaping done and that over-ran because of the weather so was late getting everything planted out.

I like to unwind with a good book, although I have a particular taste and find it hard to find books I like. I am developin a late love of poetry and as mentioned elsewhere on AW have started writing my own poems over the last couple of years which are for both personal pleasure and cathartic reasons. Am toying with the idea of joining a poetry group, but as mine are so personal and such a good way to deal with emotions I am wary of so doing; in case they get savaged and that puts me off writing for good! 

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By Old Greying Accountant
16th Jul 2011 22:52

Here's cool move ...

... Oh, sorry, yoga moves, my mistake - lol

 

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17th Jul 2011 07:58

Ring out those bells

I ring church bells. Yesterday I spent the day tramping across the Kent countryside to ring at five different places. I can't say the weather was ideal for that sort of a stroll, especially since it made a lot of the paths seriously muddy, not to mention flooded in places.

It's a very UK pastime (there are ringable towers in other countries, but few and far between). You go anywhere in the UK and you can usually find somewhere nearby to do it. Ringers generally know the best pubs as well. :-D

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By Top_Cat
17th Jul 2011 10:13

The bells, the bells .......................

So now we know - Quasimodo was an accountant.

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By Luke
17th Jul 2011 10:49

Ice skating

I've just taken up ice skating at the tender age of 38! 

Had 4 lessons so far but having to give it a miss over the summer holidays, plan to start again in September. 

My aim is simple: to be able to look after myself well enough to be able to take the kids and look after them too, not to do anything too fancy!

 

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By Flash Gordon
17th Jul 2011 12:49

Ice skating

Now that's brave - on the couple of times I've been I've had to hang onto the side the whole time. It's quite embarrassing when you see little kids gliding around while you're like a baby elephant, legs flailing everywhere.

And on a completely different note (no pun intended) I've always loved the sound of church bells - there's something about it that always makes me think of a summer evening when I was a kid (you know, in the good old days when we had 4 seasons, Christmas started & ended in December, back to school sales didn't start until you were on holiday and hot cross buns were available for Easter and not year round). Very peaceful and worth stopping to listen.

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17th Jul 2011 13:00

Me, too

I love the sound of real church bells instead of the 'canned' bells used so frequently these days.

Hearing a real pipe organ is also a real treat. I am not a church goer, but I have many cd's of organ music and love Bach, Widor, etc.

I have dabbled with the piano and the electric organ and once had a go on a pipe organ, but was totally thrown by the slight delay between hitting the keys and the sound arriving. If I could be granted a wish for one special talent, it would be to play the pipe organ with skill.

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17th Jul 2011 13:42

Genealogy (hope ive spelt that right)
On the rare occassion I'm not working or being run ragged by the sprogs, I've been researching my family tree. So far I've taken itback to the early 19th century and I've uncovered a mysterious death in thr work house at shepton mallet, a bigamist, and a little old lady who had lost her sense of smell went to light het cigerette on the has cooker not realising she had left the gas on and blew herself up. All good fun, and mostly my ancestors are peasants (no change in this generation sadly).

I think if I hadnt become an accountant I would have liked to be a historian of some sort.

SD

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17th Jul 2011 14:25

I too

can ring church bells, although I am not 'in' to it and never stray from our local Parish Church.  I just do Sundays when I am around and the odd wedding.  If anyone lives near Banbury, though, go and have a pint in the Whately Hall hotel opposite the Parish Church on a wednesday evening and hear them ring.  I think I counted TEN bells and they ring really well.  I was lucky enough to be on a course there a couple of weeks ago.

Generally I am a boring old fart.  I am registered bone idle although I do quite a bit of DIY, living in an Edwardian house including, in the past, hard landscaping the entirety of our small garden so no gardening!  I like to turn the telly off when my wife is out and just listen to the radio (2 or Classic FM).  I am a bit of a Francophile but my wife won't go so I go on a billy-no-mates trip now and again.

Anything involving the premature wear and tear of parts of my body, most of which is knackered anyway, is OUT!

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17th Jul 2011 14:31

Music & animals

www.youtube.com/watch

A perfect combination :)

For anyone interested ... the above video is of one of the finest dressage horses to ever grace the sport.

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By Luke
17th Jul 2011 15:45

Flash

I was that person holding onto the side at the ice rink until about a couple of weeks ago!  In fact I hated it so much I didn't ever go (for about 25 years), I am quite a control freak in real life so being out of control on ice was not my idea of fun.  Still not fully sure it's my idea of fun but definitely making progress, don't think I could do it without 1:1 lessons though.

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By Flash Gordon
17th Jul 2011 17:53

Luke

Maybe there's hope for me then! Like you I'm a bit of a control freak - I like to be the one in control, or to be more accurate in control of myself. And that has never been the case on ice or on roller-skates (traumatic experience as a child). So maybe signing up for lessons..... Have always wanted to try wall-climbing too though a bit worried that my arms wouldn't be able to cope with the strain of dragging my body!

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By Flash Gordon
17th Jul 2011 18:00

Shirley

What a gorgeous horse! (And a nice bit of music too) Shame you can't transport the horse and music to an outdoor location with no people around. A beach for instance - wind, waves, it would be even more magnificent. Mankind may be able to build some pretty impressive stuff but you can't beat nature in all its forms (and I'm including animals in that)

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17th Jul 2011 18:54

What is the point of dressage ?

 

It's just an excercise in making a horse move in a way that isn't natural to it, which seems to me to make the rider nothing more than a control freak.

 

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17th Jul 2011 19:26

Thanks Flash

Dressage is all based on movements natural to the horse. Example: the piaffe where they 'trot on the spot' comes naturally and my TB mare would demonstrate it at every level crossing that was down and we had to wait for the train. She was a bit of a speed merchant and hated standing still, so she would trot on the spot until the gates were raised. I used to let her do it just for the thrill of it, and it made the car drivers keep their distance  ;)

The passage (an elevated trot) also came naturally to her. She also had a natural talent for lateral work (the forwards sideways movements) and once did a superb canter pirouette when a dog grabbed her tail.

It is an amazing feeling to teach them to do it on command, rather than just when they feel like it, and I swear she used to glow with pride when she learned something new. She was a difficult horse when we first bought her, almost unrideable, but she had amazing presence and I thought she was worth the risk. She turned into a gem and we became real soul mates. She was almost 30 years old when we lost her, which is a decent age for a thoroughbred. I still miss her.

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17th Jul 2011 21:59

Creative
My outlets are creative. I write - short stories mainly but I've now written the first chapter in my book! I've just won myself a week at Swanwick Writers' Summer School with one short story. So, unusually for me, I'll be away for two weeks in the summer - but I'll have my laptop and phone so I can still work, of course!

I also perform with m local musical society - we've just done Half A Sixpence at Harrogate Theatre where I had the great pleasure of playing Mrs Walsingham - snobby prospective mother-in-law to Kipps. I got to be frightfully horrible and shout a lot on stage - my ex said I was a natural and it was the best performance he's seen me give! I'm not sure whether I should be pleased or not.

Also love cooking. even if it's just for me.

In fact, I love anything creative - psychological tests have always put accounting and finance in the category of jobs I shouldn't touch with a bargepole!

Cathy

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18th Jul 2011 07:25

You are quite correct, sir

If anyone lives near Banbury, though, go and have a pint in the Whately Hall hotel opposite the Parish Church on a wednesday evening and hear them ring.  I think I counted TEN bells and they ring really well. 

 

Posted by Richard Willis on Sun, 17/07/2011 - 14:25

Banbury are a 10 tuned in E

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18th Jul 2011 09:24

The ones I actively participate in

Full bore target rifle shooting. Mind you I went off it a bit this weekend as I lay in a puddle at 1,000 yards with the rain absolutely hosing it down.

Motorcycling - the great bit is that I can combine that with work.

Cycling (though not very much this year).

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18th Jul 2011 09:35

I think I win the award for dullest hobby ever

Quite an accolade on an accounting website I think!

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By Flash Gordon
18th Jul 2011 09:49

Sir Digby

I disagree! I'd love to discover something interesting about my ancestors - always enjoyed listening to my gran talk about her brothers & wish I'd written some of it down.

The great thing about this thread is that it gives you ideas - now all I need is the time and motivation!

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18th Jul 2011 09:52

What a wonderful way to keep yourselves entertained over the wee

I used to ring church bells, I was also in the choir, but I gave up both when I went to secondary school.  

I'm still loving my caving, and I'm keen to get back into off-roading but I don't have access to a vehicle these days which is a real shame.

My parnter and I are keen to do the ranges by bike - 30 mile round trip around the Salisbury Plain, but I'd want the weather to pick up a bit before we do that, it's been right miserable round these parts all weekend!

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By Monsoon
18th Jul 2011 10:06

Oooh off roading!

Becky, I don't live too far from Salisbury plain and we go off roading fairly regularly. Great fun! Spent most of the weekend stuck in a muddy hole, which was less fun, but it beats being in the office! I have a shed of a landrover that I'm trying to sell if you're interested (haha, I wouldn't).

As well as off roading, I also like cycling (to work, on my tax efficient CTW bike, of course), walking my dogs, reading (mostly fantasy fiction). Previous hobbies currently dormant included 'painting' (oil pastels), music and creative writing. I'd like to get back into these but time and motivation is somewhat lacking.

I'm a bit of a workaholic at the moment so I do spend a lot of time working too :)

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By mwngiol
18th Jul 2011 13:36

Lazy bum

Wow everyone seems so much more active than me!

My only real hobby is online gaming while listening to music. Occasionally if we can get enough people interested then some mates and I will hire the local 5 a side pitch for an enthusiastic but very poor quality game of football. But this hasn't happened since last year :(

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18th Jul 2011 14:53

Allotmenteering

Spend a goodly amount of time trying to wrangle nature and grow fruit and veg, sounds straightforward but thanks to our wonderful weather, no two years results are ever the same.....I find it relaxing and knackering at the same time! Really good way to switch off

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18th Jul 2011 14:56

@ Two sheds

I've always fancied growing my own, but have never been sure how to start. How did you start? Any recommends for books, websites etc...

Regards

Steve

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18th Jul 2011 15:26

We grow veg but also make about 20 gallons of wine each year too

 That sounds a lot when written down! Actually I suppose it equals out to about 2.5 bottles per week + extra at Christmas etc. Living in the countryside means all the fruit is free and must save £500 a year as we are self-sufficient. Veg wise we do all the usual and just have a few raised beds and an 8x6' greenhouse. Really not difficult and you can plant already established 'plugs' if you don't want to sow and propergate although the latter is just a tray on a sunny window sill for us.

Keep thinking about a few rescue battery hens but the dogs would eat them I fear!

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18th Jul 2011 15:45

Cockerel

Get a mature cockerel, your dog's wont go near a second time. I've seen dogs terrorised by a cockerel.

 

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18th Jul 2011 15:59

Yeh ... but we kind of wanted eggs!!

 Not sure that battery house have cockerels either!

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18th Jul 2011 16:16

@ Steve McQueen

There is a magazine "Kitchen Garden" which is pure veg porn lol and you find on an allotment site everyone is usually keen to share knowledge....there is an internet forum Allotments4all which is really good, also most of its straightforward really,  can't manage Steve wine exploits but we are currently enjoying rhubarb schnapps (theres only so much crumble you can take..

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18th Jul 2011 16:24

Thank you

thanks for the info :)

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By Monsoon
18th Jul 2011 16:25

Dogs and chickens

One of my dogs killed one of my chickens once. She's never seen me so cross and has never paid them any attention since! I then had to fence them off as a local dog kept breaking into the garden; I think the cockerel comment is possibly a red herring as the only bird that dog killed was the cockerel! Also depends on the type of dog. Chickens are really lovely creatures though and the eggs taste amazing.

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18th Jul 2011 16:53

Get hens and cockerel

My sister's hens were saved by the fact she also has a cockerel - Mr Fox came a-calling, and the cockerel made such a commotion it woke my sister up and she was able to investigate and scare the fox away.  She lost one hen, but without the cock it might been the entire brood that was lost!

Her dogs don't mind them either, in fact the Rottie is rather a wettie when it comes to being in the garden when the chickens are out!

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