Keeping chickens is not always as straightforward as it seems. Most of the time it’s just a matter of opening the henhouse in the morning; feeding them and locking them in again at night.

Rest in Peace Tufty
July 2018

But occasionally one of them falls ill, or in this case, succumbs to something called ‘wry neck’. It’s not really a disease, more like a deficiency or genetic disorder, but it looks really horrible! The hen’s neck becomes crooked, making eating and drinking difficult. Apparently it’s not painful, but it can last for weeks. Of course we are trying to treat ‘Tufty’ the hen (pictured right in healthier times) with vitamins and syringe feed her, but it is now been going on for over a week and let me tell you, it doesn’t look very nice! She has become pretty attached to us, she waits for me to give her, her special bread mix and extra water with vitamins. And at night she waits near the ramp for my husband to lift her up into the henhouse. She is a Silkie breed and they are more prone to wry neck, we found out that the cockerel (possibly the father) had this condition too. I was hoping that it would disappear after time...

... but sadly a short time before finishing this newsletter, she had another really bad fit which lasted for 20 minutes and it was just kinder to end her suffering.

Rest in peace Tufty!

The garden is flourishing with lots of fruit forming and, hopefully, ripening as well. We have started harvesting the honeyberries, which are edible honey suckle berries, they grow really well in Scotland, so if you have space, it might be an idea to get yourself a bush. Just make sure it says edible on the label! My strawberries are also ripening and I’ve harvested my first chard. Despite the storm we had in May, the fruit trees still have most of their fruit and thankfully we didn’t get the massive hail stones either (they fell just 6 miles from us!). I do like my weather, as all of you know, and of course I was once again mesmerized by these extreme showers, silly isn’t it?!

Anyway, for my new studies (I am going to study natural science at the Open University) I get to study some meteorology as well, which is right up my street! I can’t wait to start, but first I need to get my results back from the Access Course I’ve already completed. All the recipes on our recipe website are organised by season, and because everyone liked the chocolate cake we served in the shop to celebrate our 30th Birthday so much (see last month’s newsletter), I’ve put the recipe in this newsletter. It’s actually a seasonal recipe too, because one of the ingredients is courgette!

The next episode of River City is on 3rd July and I think I might be in that one, as a guest at a birthday party - so keep your eyes peeled! Just as I was putting this newsletter ‘to bed’, I had just finished filming again for a BBC series, this time as a politician, which is the second time I’ve been booked as a politician. Do I really look like one?! Talk about type casting... Anyway, being an extra (or ‘Supporting Artist’ I should say) is really strange. Yesterday we were filming on the streets of Edinburgh and passers-by have no idea what’s going on. And for some reason it feels like the outside world is a different world, as if there is an invisible line between ‘the set’ and the ‘normal world’. Once I’m back in the car going home, I become part of the ‘normal world’ again. It might just be me who experiences it like that, but it feels quite weird

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