What came first- the chickens or the blog?

Mrs Gillybirds Celebrates



I have never liked having a birthday at Christmas. It is a busy, busy time of the year and though my parents were very good at arranging parties with friends when I was a child, as an adult I have always felt life is too full of Christmas to get a chance to properly celebrate me. Oh dear, I do sound like quite a madam!
Last year I had the bright and inspired idea to have a proper birthday party, the reason being my birthday fell on 20.12.2012 ( although for our USA readers, this would have been 12.20.2012) my theme was pink and black, and we went to town decorating the house and preparing food. I even bought a lovely pick dres, wore my amazing sparkly silver shoes, and a pink cowboy hat! The Gillyboys and Mr Gillybird entered into the spirit and went girly pink for the night. (No photos permitted) Guests arrived at 20.12 on the dot and the festivities began. It was a great night (despite people thinking I was turning 50, which I am still a little way off)
So how was I going to celebrate this year – a whisker closer to fifty…
Anyway, this year Mr G got special brownie points by whisking me away first class on the train to Dublin for the night! I have never had first class anywhere and it was amazing. The whole experience was absolutely wonderful and I have returned home with batteries recharged and ready for Everything That Christmas Can Throw At Me. That’s a feeling that can only come from having a Christmas Tree in your hotel room (wow) and enjoying some “me time” with the one I love.



Just a little sparkly birthday selfie 🙂

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Business as Usual





<a School holidays are over. Our days of living to no one else's timetable but our own have come to an end. And here at Gillybirds Manor birthday season has passed too.
The Girls have been laying very well, enjoying the wonderfully dry weather, their feathers have grown back, they look great. Very much business as usual.
Just as well as I have had so many birthday cakes to bake over the past couple of months. Summer is birthday season. In our house alone there has been a 20th, an 11th and a 19th, together with Auntie K who turned 40. Each cake takes 4 eggs, from my faithful Nigella recipe. Sometimes I make a simple vanilla sponge, other times I add cocoa.
The decor depends on the recipient. And how classy they want it to be, or how chocolatey. Or how Pokemon-esque.
Also this summer Miss A turned up with 36 bananas urgently needing to be used up, so the freezer is stacked with plenty of banana bread to keep us going for a while.
One of these days my mother will be making noises about getting all the dried fruit organised for Christmas cake. Only 4 months to go! Those Girls better keep on laying.

Colonel Saunders is very glad she isn’t a turkey!

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Keeping our heads above water

It’s the last day of the school year today, so lots of good byes and thank yous before we break up for the summer. Our small damp corner of the globe has been even damper this week, we’ve had serious flooding as a city, including our own garden which was so bad my scamps of sons were actually swimming in it on Wednesday evening. When weather throws a curve ball at you, you’ve got to go with the flow (literally), laugh and take photos. Mind you if it was coming in my front door and flooding the house like some people in the city I would not be laughing at all.
And my poor wee feathered ladies are sitting just above the water line, covered in muck, pecking about in the “glar”. We did have to rescue them on Wednesday evening moving the coop to the highest part of the garden. The dog was going mad, barking and splashing through our new water feature, I suddenly realised that in the rapid moving of the coop the cage had split and a hen had escaped. To my horror she was now beak to nose with the dog, they were eyeball to eyeball. Before either could react I grabbed her up and yelled for help to get the dog inside, and keep the other hens from escaping to certain peril either by drowning or becoming dog’s dinner. It was quite a moment!
This week we passed the fifty egg mark! Someone laid the teensiest little egg which I used to make a most delicious dark chocolate and raspberry brownie cake for our biggest son, who is 19 today. (I did add other eggs as well.) We ate it warm from the oven last night as today is the beginning of summer adventures, the next night we will all be under this roof again is 22nd July. It’s hard to keep track of who will be where and ensuring that appropriate clothes are washed and dried . Biggest boy is off to Spain (sun protection and light clothes), two boys are off camping locally (serious wet weather gear, possibly life jackets if the flooding continues) and Mr Gillybirds big bike hike – the length of England and Scotland starts next Friday (Lycra shorts and muscle rub). Smallest boy and I are mostly staying here at Base Camp, if the grass doesn’t dry out soon I may consider planting a paddy field of rice, or building an ark, or both.






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