February 16, 2010

I cannot read the word ‘Blog’ without excoriatingl feelings of guilt. I am just not a diarist. But I always feel frustrated when other people say they can’t change as this is patently untrue. So here goes.
I’ve been told I should write about my lifestyle so that ought to be easy enough, hm! I live in a seventeenth century manor house in Northamptonshire. The date stones say 1633 and 1665 and the reason I like it so much is that it has no later additions. No huge Victorian wings built for servants. It has never been a grand house lived in by rich people and this is a great part of its charm. It’s manageable, just about, by two people. The garden is 1.7 acres, also manageable by us. We have no gardener. I’ve started the garden from scratch sweeping away what was here before and creating a seventeenth century one, more or less, with yew,holly and box topiary. Nothing too ambitious so far but I have plans. Not to make this post too long, I’ll describe what I’ve done in more detail later (?) My latest excitement is an eglu-cube which I bought the other day in a fit of wild extravagance, having wanted one ever since they were introduced a few years ago. A fox comes into our garden every night so I need something sturdy and proof against those digging paws. The green eglu-cube has just been delivered and looks fabulous in the orchard, quite a small area containing apple, pear, damson, mulberry and quince trees. The cube is truly an ingenious design, easy to clean (I hope) and a nice place for the hens to be. See the Omlet website. Only the shattering cost could possibly deter the aspiring hen-keeper. On Saturday I go to fetch five hens from the Ex-Battery Hen Welfare Trust. I’ve chosen to have these partly because I hate intensive farming and partly because I think I shall feel less guilty about them having to be in a run most of the time and not free-ranging. The thing is that these hens are considered spent and would be slaughtered if I didn’t take them and being on grass in the cool, so their combs can grow properly red, and being able to grow feathers and so on and having room to move about has to be better than their lives before. And when I’m spending all day in the garden they can be let out to roam. I’ve seen the fox, or different ones, in our garden during the day so absolute vigilance is essential. I’m so excited at the thought of keeping hens again after a break of eleven years. More when I’ve got them. And can I just say a huge thankyou to those readers who’ve left messages on my blog to be rudely ignored by me in my guilty, head-in-the-sand mode and I’m going to answer them next time. But I really am grateful, believe me!

4 Responses to “eglu-cube”

  1. Leone Raffaele said

    How wonderful to read your new blog…I really know how you feel about writing blogs,I always seem to become tongue tied when writing anything about myself.Your garden sounds wonderful, just like your books.I am immediatly transformed into your garden with your descriptive prose.I hope the weather is less ruggered than it has been.My God,At the moment I am in Galveston Texas.A sudden trip,for which I was totally unprepared,and have gone from a blazing Australian summer to freezing temperatures,with no central heating..I am getting to old for this.The bonus ,of course is my wonderful grandchildren, and my beautiful daughter.So wonderful to read your blog…kindest regards Leone Raffeale…..p.s. So glad you are saving those poor dear old chooks!!

  2. Leone Raffaele said

    I have just visited the eglu-cube web site and I must say that your hens are going to be delighted with their new home!! Leone

  3. Caroline said

    Hmm, yes. I have also desired chooks for a very long time, but living in a 653 sq m. block, replete with house and five neighbours, I have a bit of an excuse. Of course the fact that I have brought a worm farm into my family, and am struggling to meet the needs of these deserving, but undemanding creatures, tells me that this is yet another area where it would be good to live vicariously. I’m really delighted to see that you have surfaced. It can only be a good thing.

  4. Victoria, I just want to thank you so much for your gorgeous books. I discovered my first Victoria Clayton book about 7 years ago in our town library. I literally judged a book by its cover, picking up the hardback copy of “Clouds Among The Stars” because I loved the cover. I never read blurbs, so went into it knowing nothing about what was to come. What an absolute joy it was! I have now read all your books and have recruited a great friend of mine as a fellow lover of your books (and continue to recommend them to anyone who’ll listen). In Australia they don’t seem to get the prominence in book shops that some other authors do, which is a huge shame. I just re-read “Clouds” and loved it just as much second time round (I rarely ever read a book again, so that shows how much I love your books!).

    As I have a neglected blog myself, I can certainly sympathise with your spasmodic blog entries. I’ve enjoyed discovering your past posts though, and look forward to a few more over time. I imagine writing such hefty books makes you less inclined to want to write anything else. I see you have a new book coming out, so I’ll be looking out for that one.

    I hope your chooks have thrived in the last year, protected from the foxes in their eglu-cube. I’ve always thought of getting a few chooks in the backyard, but saw what foxes did to a friend’s hens and have put it off up till now. It would be lovely to have the fresh eggs though, and my 7 year old daughter would certainly love them. Now you’ve got me thinking …

    Thank you again for the joy you have brought me through your novels. May there be many more over the years.

    Keep smiling


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