Day of Productivity

Today I have done 4 loads of washing, cleaned the hob, including removing the knobs to clean behind them, and pulled the cooker out to clean under and behind it (which was horrific, I think the first time it’s been done in 15+ years), ordered woodchip for the garden to complete the killing of the lawn, been shopping, picked up some more tiles so I can think more about tiles for the kitchen, am partially through defrosting the freezer so I may get to two drawers of food which have frozen shut, and cleaned and polished the suite.

After all that adulting I decided to do a crafting project I’ve been meaning to do for a while – decoupaging (is that a word?) the polystyrene heads that old my fancy dress wigs. I had bought some posh wrapping paper, had PVA glue which I watered down, and a brush which I eventually abandoned for hands.

As this is the first time I’ve ever done this and as I couldn’t be bothered to actually research how to do it, I started with the one that only has two papers on it; a black and white bird design similar to adult colouring books, and a coloured bird print that’s more psychedelic.

Gathering the materials

Assistance, whether I wanted it or not

In progress, eventually abandoned brush for hands so no further WIP photos!

Finished article, drying on a jam jar

I think I may need to coat it in PVA afterwards once dry to make it shiny and resilient, but will see what it looks like.

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Quails, Mistresses of Time (…ing)

So, as I sit in the lounge typing my previous post, lamenting the fact that I had eaten my eggs and so couldn’t show you the comparison between the egg types I was getting, my two girl quails (who’s cage I cleaned out 4 hours ago, so these are brand new) have each laid an egg.

Eggy comparison (just washed)

Speckle was nesting them, but with quails that means nothing I believe. Mine are a little unusual in that they even bother to sit vaguely near their eggs on occasion; Japanese Coturnix are known to be appalling mothers. These are typical of the eggs I’m getting at the moment. One quail is laying beautifully smooth, strong, marbled eggs that are slow to go off and look smashing when wet, and which have included two double-yolkers so far. The other is laying faintly blue-green eggs with lumpy brown bits on (which was the norm for both quails up until recently), often larger than the other quail’s eggs but so fragile they are often broken before I collect them.

So – when quails on layers pellets from PetsAtHome – all eggs were blue-green with brown lumps. I assumed two were laying as more than one a day collected… but perhaps I wasn’t collecting them as often as I thought I was?
When quails switched to unbranded pellets from PetsCorner – 1/2 eggs blue/brown lumpy, 1/2 Eggs of Beauty.
5th Feb – The Great Mealworm Dispenser tries to get them to eat egg shell. Results pending.

They ate the mealworms and left the shell. I added the shell to their food (before they commenced the National Shell Powder Throwing Championships of 2017) , much to their dismay.

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Hello, my name is Mealworm Dispenser. 

Hello! I still exist! So an update. I have a new job that allegedly gives me a better work-life balance though tbh I have yet to balance the sleep-life balance. Much sleeping when not working. It’s a work in progress.

I lost one of the quails ūüôĀ Not the one that tried to decapitate herself on a feeder – she’s doing fine, didn’t even lose an eye, though she did damage the ligament between ociput and spine. However the brown one (“Brownie”) was found deceased suddenly. She was never right, had her feathers in a bit of disarray since I had her.

As a result the other three moved back indoors over winter, as although they are obviously hard working livestock, and not pets, they are also prone to killing themselves by walking 30 inches, so having them indoors means I keep a closer eye on them. They spent 4-5 months in the utility room quite happily trying to see who could throw poo up the wall highest (3 foot was the record), and have now moved into the kitchen in a larger cage that has high plastic walls to reduce their poo throwing success rate. I was worried that either this would prompt the cats into a frenzy, or cause the quails to have a heart attack about the cats. Reality? Absolutely no reaction from either party. All my animals fail – the carnivores don’t recognise food when it moves into their home, and the prey animals have no survival skills.

It’s working out though. Boy still thinks I am a giant terrifying beast he needs to protect his girls from (when he’s not busy abusing and neglecting them – he’s such a cock) but Heart and Speckle have realised that when I approach the cage, mealworms often fall from the sky.

Anyway, I am now a mad cat lady with house quails. Witness my breakfast today. Poached quail eggs and salmon, on Ryvita crackerbreads, which is the closest thing to bread in my house. With mayo instead of hollandaise. It was very filling (this was I think 14 eggs worth, and the picture is after I’ve already eaten a third of the plate…)

Breakfast – mock Eggs Royale, 1/3 eaten

Now, of my two remaining girls, one is laying the most BEAUTIFUL marbled eggs. Smooth, strong and perfect, she’s a winner. The other however is laying the original blue and lumpy brown eggs that break if a quail walks over them (which they regularly do). I can’t show you a comparison as I have sadly eaten them all, so that will follow. Anyway, solution? Grind up the good egg shells and feed them to both girls (since I have no idea who lays what).

Grinding good eggs for bad.

I knew the spice mill bit on my food processor would come in handy one day.

An alternative form of powdered egg.

I put dried mealworms on top to encourage them to eat it.

Mealworms?! NOM!

We shall see if shell quality improves. Or if they just bathe in the egg dust. Note Boy on the back right, looking at me with suspicion… >.>

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Livestock = Problems

So, One Of The Twins (specifically twin with heart shaped spots rather than speckley twin) today was found minus one right eyeball. Quail are second only to sheep regarding unfortunate accidents. Said twin (who we shall call Heart for future ease) has a badly damaged right eye, suspected to be caused not by cannibalistic tendencies (entirely possible, see chickens re: seeing red), but by misadventure regarding a wire feeding ball. Heart is on pain relief and antibiotics, so finger and talons crossed.

Quail. Tiny tiny sheep.


That said, I’m doing well in regards to intermittent portions (given that about eight quail eggs are needed for one portion) of scrambled egg on toast.

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Having a quail of a time!

It’s taken a few years but finally one of my life aims has come true! I own livestock!

Quails – living it up in their hutch

Quails! I have 3 girls and 1 boy. They’ve been here about 2 weeks now, and moved outside on Friday. They are settling in famously, and today marked an important event…

First Meal!

First full quail egg dish! Took 9 eggs but no chicken eggs required to have enough for breakfast!

Egg quality is improving – someone is laying nice orange yolkers and I haven’t had an error egg for about a week now they are on layers pellets instead of chick crumb.

No yolking… these shells had egg inside.


No names yet, though the brown one gets called Brownie, the boy is The Boy, and the other two get called the Twins.

Quails – poor Brownie, often on the outskirts

The boy is in the far corner.

And I clipped their wings! Thank heavens for YouTube. They aren’t big flyers but the hutch isn’t ideal in that the main access is through the hinged roof, and I don’t fancy chasing flying quails around the garden on cleaning day. I had to buy the hutch in a bit of a rush as they were in the house in a guinea pig cage but they attracted flies. They will be upgraded at some point.

Also – with 3 girls and a boy I can breed them… O.O

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Adulting fail

Today I tried to adult and failed.¬† AnM and I have started snowboarding lessons, so today, on day off, I decided to go and get boots. I went to 3 shops in my town, and they were either closed or rubbish. So I drove 45 minutes to AnM’s town, and her shop was open (yay) but the guy was waiting for someone else to come in (boo) so I failed to achieve boots. I was so proud of actually leaving the house as well, let alone going to another town. Usually I just sleep on my day off. To cheer myself up at this adulting fail, I went shopping for a feather duster so that I might start cleaning my bombsite of a house. I specifically wanted a real feather duster so I can dust without disturbing things and get good haptic feedback. *nods convincingly*

I bought:
– the wrong feather duster (I wanted a small handheld one, got a 4 foot long overpriced one but that was all they had, eh) Alf thinks it’s a giant cat toy, Spock thinks it’s a demon. Kiz has no opinion.
– an expensive mattress topper (my bad back means I sleep on the sofa at the moment, I need to solve this, lady in shop spoke convincingly and made me coffee which cheered me up after adulting fail)
– some white wicker shabby chic baskets (to put things in)
– a mop (I gave in – I hate them, dirty things that they are, but they are perhaps necessary. I draw the line at owning an iron though. That’s what hair straighteners are for.)
– wooden spoons (can you ever have enough?)
– some jars to put tea and coffee in (I did not need these)
– and some scotch (…)

Put topper on the bed, dusted the ceilings (I get a point for that) but then drank the scotch, watched two episodes of Buffy and played Kingdom until 1am. It is now 1.30am.

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Something fishy…

So today I am experimenting. I am curing fish. I have never done this before, so we’ll see how it goes! I have taken a lot of salt and some sugar… bog standard, nothing special…

Salt and sugarI had some fish on the turn (brought cheap from the reduced aisle mostly, other than the trout that was from the fish counter). The fishmonger man said “It’s boney…” o.O I felt like answering “Yes. It’s fish.”

I have cured rainbow trout with Talisker…

Trout and Talisker

Sea bass with a random cucumber and dill oil I had and garlic…

Sea bass, dill and garlic (and cucumber...)And my favourite idea, fish and chips, hold the chips! Plaice with malt vinegar and lemon…

Fish and chips - Plaice with malt vinegar and lemon

They are now sitting in the fridge for a couple of days. I’ll let you know how I get on!

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Masquerade – A Harry Potter Fanfic

Dated October 2001 this fanfic was my first and only attempt at a fanfic. I submitted it to the¬†Sugar Quill¬†and there is an element of Mary Sue about it, however what stopped me continuing it was that the beta replied with “oo another Snape angst fic!” or something along those lines. Whilst this may be viewed positively, my mind focused on the word ‘another’, read it as ‘yet another’ and ignored the enthusiasm; filled with the sense that what I was doing had been done before, I abandoned it.

I think I write fairly well for a 20 year old undiagnosed dyslexic. All tipping errors are left intact for posterity:

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Turn of the Year

God Jul!

It is the turning of the year, and like Janus I am looking both backwards and forwards. Beware – today is a day of multiple posts.

As is traditional at this time of year my online friends have posted our yearly Resolutions thread. I notice I did not complete one last year, perhaps due to failing to complete most previous years’ resolutions. Let’s review previous years:

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We had a ha-ha

Although according toTerry Pratchett it was more of a ho-ho…

A ha-ha is a one sided ditch that prevents cattle wandering across your lawn, whilst still allowing you to enjoy the view  unenumbered by fences, inbetween the odd game of crochet. Or if you listen to Pterry, it was to stop inconvienient peasants maring the view. Given the cattle that often wandered along the A123, and the boys that loitered  at the end of the school field, our ha-ha could fit the definition either way.

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