About us

We are a hard working, family of eight. Swimming in the sea when we aren't busy on our small holding. Daddy dragon has to work away a lot, so this blog is to let him keep up with our adventures at home.

Monday, 30 April 2012

An Enchiladas day

Today is...

a den building,

school work doing,

letter writing,


and more planting,

enchiladas day.

We love enchiladas, so much so, that it was only after the hatchlings had devoured 10 of them, that it occurred to me to take a picture.


3 tbsp olive oil
2 red onions, sliced
2 red peppers, sliced
3 red chillies , 2 deseeded and chopped, 1 sliced
small bunch coriander , stalks finely chopped, leaves roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic , crushed
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp smoked paprika
6 skinless chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
415g can refried beans or pinto beans if you prefer
198g can sweetcorn, drained
700ml bottle passata
1 tsp golden caster sugar
12 tortillas
200g cheddar , grated
  1. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in your largest pan, then fry the onions, peppers, chopped chilli and coriander with half the garlic for 10 mins until soft. Stir in 2 tsp ground coriander and cumin, then fry for 1 min more. Meanwhile, in another frying pan, fry the chicken in the remaining oil, in batches, until browned - add it to the pan of veg as it is done.
  2. Stir the beans, sweetcorn, coriander leaves and 150ml of the passata into the veg and chicken. In a bowl, mix the rest of the passata with the other crushed garlic clove, the remaining spices and the sugar, then set aside.
  3. To assemble, lay the tortillas onto a board and divide the chicken mixture between them, folding over the ends and rolling up to seal. Divide the passata sauce into the dishes you are using, then top with the enchiladas. Sprinkle with grated cheese and scatter with the sliced chilli.
  4. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan, then bake for 30 mins.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Not a cloud in the sky

At four thirty two this morning, I awoke to the cockerel crowing, and looked out into this beautiful cloudless sky.

Perhaps, it is due to the sun's warmth that these animals seem to have grown leaps and bounds overnight.

Check out the ducklings.

And girl puppy. She is growing more and more beautiful.

We manufactured a door for the fence, and then went down to the beach.

To look for mussels.

That little boy has out grown yet another pair of boots! He was very pleased when these arrived in the post.

These two girls are growing bigger and more confident. They went off on their own adventure.

Hatchling no1 is looking over my shoulder. 'What? How did you take a picture? I didn't think you could see us!'
Lol. Yeah, because mamas stop watching their hatchlings when they take off to the land of make believe.

I must source a real recorder.

Because she has been banished outside,

blowing that thing for over 24 hours, certain she is creating music. Beautiful music.

Can you hear it?

I need to get her a proper one. This can not go on.

Talented story teller

This little man here -

He is a talented story teller.

'Really, no way!'

'And then what happened?'

'Oh my goodness, the suspense, '

'I totally didn't see that coming! '

With his soft breathy voice, and his amazing tales, this little guy is an excellent distraction from all things work and productivity.

We are so lucky he shares his stories and ideas so freely.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Sunshine and Happiness

We worked hard this morning; fencing a field, cleaning out the sty and coop, and clearing out the build up of empty boxes.

With the sun shining it seemed like the perfect way to wind down the day, by heading to the beach for a fish and chips picnic.

We cranked the music up and danced.

Work hard, play hard.

Today, we are thankful for sunshine and happiness.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Informed choice is a good thing

When I bought our chickens from the farmer, I did what I expect many people would do, I asked the farmer what he fed his flock. I figured, that with over a thousand birds, he would know what they thrived on best.

I bought my chicken feed from him. I assumed like dogs, chickens would not appreciate an abrupt diet change, and I am keen to do best by them.

So, I continued to feed them this: layers pellets.

Then I started researching, and chatting to other chicken keepers.

This stuff is full of medication, arsenic, preservatives, and doesn't actual have perfect nutrient levels it claims to.

I know it is backwards, doing the research after, but I seriously thought that this time, in this area of life surely I could just choose the norm. Why is the product on the shelf, despite its label telling me it is best for me, so rarely full of what it said on the tin?

Now, I have met a nice man, who mixes poultry feed specific to the breed and lifestyle of the individual flock of chickens. He came out and met my chickens, and has mixed me this.

Doesn't that just look a lot nicer to eat!

The mix contains

2 parts whole corn 
3 parts soft white wheat
3 parts hard red winter wheat
1 part hulled barley
1 part oat groats
1 part sunflower seeds (in winter this is increased to 2 parts)
1 part millet
1 part kamut
1 part amaranth seeds
1 part split peas
1 part lentils
1 part quinoa
1 part sesame seeds
1/2 part flax seeds
1/2 part dried kelp 
1/8 part oyster shell

And now our egg yolks have gone from pale to brilliant almost orange, our chickens seem thrilled with their new meal, and I actually feel like I have a better grasp on their overall care.

(Not least to say, it is going to cost about half what I was spending too.)

No soya, no medications, and food that actually looks like food. 

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Fish and chips

'I want fish and chips for dinner.'

'Sorry sweetie, I don't have any fish tonight.'

'Oh no!..... Don't worry mama, me and baby catch them.'

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Banana muffins and play dough

When we go in to the shop, the hatchlings cheep, 'Can we buy bananas, pleeeease?', and who can blame them. Bright yellow fruity smiles.

We bring yet another large bunch, or three or four bunches, because each hatchling felt they had chosen the best bunch, home, and there they sit.

'Anyone want a banana?'


To remedy this, we eat a lot of banana muffins.

All hatchlings love muffins. It is known.

Not to mention how awesome it is to come in out of the wind to coffee and a fresh muffin.

Banana muffin recipe

1 3/4 cups plain flour
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp baking soda (bicarb of soda)
2 tsp baking powder
3 - 4 bananas, mashed
1 cup chocolate chips

1. Mix wet ingredients until smooth.

2. Add dry ingredients and beat together.

3. Spoon into muffin cases and bake at 180/ 350 for 15'ish minutes. 
(Depending on your oven's temperament and personality.)

It is a fairly windy and chilly sort of day out there today, so we are preparing for a day indoors.

Time to make up some play dough. 

Anyone need a recipe for this stuff?

I wouldn't bother buying it, as it costs pennies to make.


1 cup flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water
1tbs oil
1tbs cream of tartar
food colouring

Mix all ingredients over medium heat for about 2 minutes after it starts to simmer. When it clumps together, it is done. 

The hatchlings are hard at work,

making duck biscuits,


building caterpillars,

and the best part is, it all cleans up in hot water. 

No more ruined carpets!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Ducklings take on the world!

Happy ducklings are outside in their pen.

Early morning oatmeal,

gets them ready to take over the world!

First a spot of gossip over the water cooler.

Dandelion free garden,


Sunday, 22 April 2012

A positive start to the day

The view from my bedroom window at 6am.

Girl problems?

The trials of having three older sisters.

They say, 'Come play with us.'

And before you can ask, 'What game are you playing?'

They've given you a make over.

Hatchling is on the case

'Don't worry Mama, I got him!'

Little escape artist never stood a chance.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Stolen Moments

Oh my little one sitting on my lap
Everytime I look at you
It's me that's looking back
From the summer of your childhood
To the autum of your years
The times we take for granted
All too soon will disappear

Stolen moments are all we have
To get us through this lifetime
All the good and bad
Someday you will be grown
With kids of your own
And you will learn to treasure everyday
Stolen moments, before they steal away

If I could, I'd stop the hands of time
A hundred years from here and now
You would still be mine
But the world keeps on turning
And soon you'll turn from me
And instead of holding you,
I will hold your memory.

(lyrics by Jim Witter)

While the hatchlings play

Today, was a day to slog through the unbelievably horrid headache I am carrying, and just get stuff done.

The girls had turned their bedroom upside down. So, we began by sorting through clothes, books, toys, and treasures. After everything had been returned to its home, we started on the long list of little tedious items.

While I hung the hatchlings a new coat rack,

They played dog training.

While I hung the bathroom mirror,

They practiced their drum solos... all at once. (Did I mention I have a headache?)

While I re - organized the garage, cleaned out the sty, and turned over a patch of ground for our seed potatoes,

(there is no photo of this, it is far too mundane. lol)

The puppy slept,

the hatchlings rode their bikes,

and somehow out of nowhere lunch crept up on us.

So while I made us egg and potato bakes, yum....

the hatchlings played.

Happy headachy Saturday. 

Today, I am thankful for children who play so well together.