You can run…

But you can’t hide. On the way to pick up the honey frames that the bees had cleaned. So I could pop them in the freezer for 24 hours to kill any bugs, then wrap them and store them for the winter. I saw this.  Devastation.  On the lower portion of the vines. The Vidal Blanc. The Ice Wine grapes. The Wine Grapes!!

And I know exactly who the culprits are.  I have seen them wafting up and down the rows. Looking innocent.  You can run .. 

But you can’t hide.  Everyone warned me that peacocks would make so much noise, which they don’t in comparison to a flock of guineas. I did not think about them eating my grapes.

However all is not lost as the majority of the grapes are grown on high trellises. So from now on I will train the vines above the reach of the average peacock.. or pea hen as the case may be. I am just waiting for magnificent iron arches to wash up onto the beach of the farmy then we will plant more grapes.  Until they decide to fly up there the crop is safe.

Good morning. Yesterday was a fantastic day in the Comments Lounge. Aren’t they always though. The Gingerbread House Project is officially launched. I made lists from your suggestions and incorporated many of your ideas into our concept straight away. Being from New Zealand it is looking more and more like a perfect little bach at the beach. Sid and I started work on the 3D model and immediately I was forced to see many issues and he had to grapple with the concept of the 2 story cathedral ceiling with lids on the two rooms (the bathroom and bedroom area)  forming the floor for the mini loft.

We have decided to drop the structure to the ground to allow for in-floor heating and step free access straight to and from the garden paths. This is the first major decision.  Which creates the first major problem, wheelchair access from the main house to the mini house through the glass corridor. With four good sized steps in the way.  John does not want to lose the option of wheelchair access.  And I have never come to a problem I cannot solve or adjust to. I love a good problem. I look forward to seeing what you all come up with.

I told Sid that in this house the people can be seen as resources too. If he has a homework question that can quickly be answered or explained by the older people around him he should ask. Sometimes there is no need for google or long winded research. We have all stuffed piles of knowledge into our brains over the years.  It is there to share.  I know this is an old fashioned idea. But I do believe that our elders and peers are a legitimate resource and kids should be encouraged to ask and listen.

Thank you so much for all the great sites you have sent and also I am grateful for the books and magazines you have recommended.  We are all big readers including The Matriarch, so books to pore over are a given and it was a joy to me to be reminded that the Kitchens Garden readers are also big readers of good books. We are developing a pool of literate and bright minds in the Comments Lounge.  And you don’t have to be literate to be bright thank goodness. This project is like a recipe with only a few ingredients and each ingredient must carefully chosen and of a perfect quality.

Oh to put you all under the big tree for a fantastic brainstorming session. And a glass of wine, and a slice of fresh cheese with a sunflower cracker!

My email address is for those of you who would like to chime in but are not registered commenters.  There is Facebook too, which you can join by clicking Like in the column to your right.  I am putting a big pinboard on my study wall for a collection of ideas and torn out pictures and  I have begun to add images to one of my Pinterest boards. As a virtual pinboard this is a very cool resource and one we can all share including The Matriarch and potential guests.   If you come across an image that will work with the developing concept let me know and I shall add it.

Now I had better pull on my  farm pants and go out and milk my cow and feed the animals who are all standing quietly at the gates watching for movement in the house. I swear they can hear the swoop of my desk chair as I push back from the desk after publishing!

Have a lovely day.


36 Comments on “You can run…

  1. Hmm I think I have a good recipe for stewed pheasant with wine and tomatoes 🙂 …. alternatively slip fruit baggies over the bunches allowing fruit to ripen but excludes bugs and marauders – they come in a variety of sizes. Looking forward to 3D model! Laura

    • They are pretty fat hens! I am bringing out the bird net today, that should deter them a wee bit! I would love to do fruit baggies but it might take me a few days and a couple of hundred baggies, we have a good crop this year.. Bird net will have to do.. c

  2. There’s always someone waing to steal the fruits of our labours! When it’s grapes for wine-making, well, that’s a SERIOUS offence! Totally unrelated to house-building or grape thieves, a book which I’m sure you would enjoy, should you be able to get your hands on it, is ‘The Whole Hog’ by Lyall Watson, exploring the extraordinary potential of pigs.

  3. I have read through all of yesterdays comments and the response you received was truly remarkable and I’m sure there’ll be plenty more as your plans develop.You’ve assembled quite the community here. There was a time when I had to consider wheel chair access for here and, even now, I’ve no idea how it would have been done. You’re wise to consider it now, in the planning stage.
    There’s a storm-a-comin’, Celi! I hope the farmy gets a good drink.

  4. You have an amazing and wonderful support group Celi. The gingerbread house is going to be a dream of a house – of course problems will be encountered and solved. It’s all part of the process.Have a super Sunday. Virginia

  5. another thought for idea mining is beach huts, some great ideas for minimal living.

  6. Cannot wait to see how the house progresses and all the ideas that manifest themselves into it. Not my forte, but fun to watch! So sorry about your grapes…a sad day indeed. Naughty pea hens, they’d better hide before you change your mind and put them in a pot!

  7. If you’re thinking wheelchair access, don’t forget to make the doorways wide enough, specially the bathroom, and enough room to turn the wheelchair. Sorry about your grapes. I hope they didn’t upset the peacock’s/hens’ tums.

    Please why am I not in your community photos? I always visit your blog before anything else as soon as it appears!

    • i think the community images rotate as that is not all the people who visit , i have no idea how to change or add to them, they just kind of appear.. we should give you a special widget!! c

  8. Naughty grape-eating birds!
    About the Cottage: Wheelchair accessible doorways – 32″ opening minimum.
    Unobstructed turn-around space in Bathrooms, kitchen, halls, and bedroom – 5’x5′.
    In-floor heating can be installed on top of subfloor, right underneath finished wood flooring (better than carpets for wheelchairs). Then you can keep it all on one level with the main house, which is priority in my humble opinion.
    A ramp with railing can be installed at the exterior door with a 5’x5′ landing at the top and bottom…
    Just some of my thoughts.
    Hope you have a lovely day Celi!

    • Good thoughts too.. I am looking forward to talking to the contractors and builders and those types. I am making a list! c

  9. Oh, those naughty birds. (And, you’re exactly right: hard to say whether guineas or peacocks make more annoying sounds!)

  10. The gingerbread house project is awesome. You are just like a little energizer bunny. If I could have just 1/10th of your energy today I would be blessed. Take care, BAM

  11. Oh, those wicked peacocks! And as far as steps go – my dad had a ramp built over the steps when it came time to wheel my mother in a wheelchair. Ramp made of wood, it’s done all the time. A bach in your backyard. All you need is a beach now.

  12. What an interesting conundrum: peacock tagine or the highest vines in the county? You have had so much proper professional advice already: a ramp obviously first comes to mind, unless you want to go to the expense of a wide step which rises to new level at press of convenient button? ‘Hi’ from across the Pond!!

  13. Aha, Celi, good thing one can make wine with more than grapes. Take that you sneaky little peacocks and hens! Watch out or Celi may make Pea Wine!

  14. I’ve been away for a few days so missed the real-time launch of “The Gingerbread House Project”. Go Team Farmy! Looking at the response to “The Gingerbread House Project”, the thekitchensgarden et al could do a great job at running the world. I think there are respresentaives in most nations 😉

  15. It was the $#&%& deer that got my grapes. At least the deer are silent. No juice for either of us this fall.

  16. It’s a good job you don’t have wild boor near you – they love grapes 😉
    Don’t let the pigs try them!

  17. Those naughty little peacocks. 😉 I can’t blame them though…vidal blanc is pretty darn good. Glad you still have the majority of them.

  18. I can’t run but I always hide. My parents had a big fancy book by Conran full of interiors (albeit 70s interiors) and I loved it always so much to look through the pictures. Potential is a great thing and imagination knows no budgets. If you have four steps, can you fit a ramp? I know some visitor attractions have stairclimbers and wee platform lift devices but they’re probably all expensive and complicated but it would do some ideas. Just remember that wheelchairs (and their pushers!) do not appreciate steep or shiny or with a nasty step at especially the bottom (swivelling wheels hate lips). 🙂

    • For all those reasons i think I might talk to a man who makes lifts for wheelchairs into cars and vans. I shall get all the necessary bits in order and then should we need wheelchair access we can get it working .. of course at the moment steps are fine! c

      • Ooh yes, you could probably adapt a car lift for sure (we never had to have one of those fortunately so I never even thought of it). I bet your new friend the mechanic would install it too! 😉

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