Monday, 23 January 2012

Getting in touch with her essential dog

Jodie the neurotic kelpie gets better daily.  There is less panicking when not within one metre of a reinventor, preferably both, less manic reactions to storms and much more eating of all of her dinner.

We decided it was time to try to deal with a big one - swimming.

The first couple of times we took her to the river, she watched her ball/frisbee go into the water, went in to her ankles and cried.  Embarrassing indeed.  And not a little heart-breaking.

Goodness knows what happened in her puppyhood to disabuse such an Aussie dog of the joys of water.

Perth is sweltering through a heatwave, a perfect time to try to teach her to swim.  We took her to Riverside Gardens in Bayswater where there's lots of parking, the water is calm and there are nice, sandy beaches.

She was seriously worried when we went into the water, but at least she didn't cry.  We tried carrying her into the water a couple of times, whereupon she barely touched the water in her haste to get to the bank.  Then we coaxed her in with the frisbee and lots of encouragement.

Eventually she managed a couple of frisbee retrievals from several metres out, and at that point we decided to leave it.  We'll go back and reinforce what she's learnt one or two nights this week.

After all, it's slated to be 40deg until the middle of next week.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

The Marmalade Cottage CWA

Alice, Nancy and Marion have been supplying us with an egg a day since they arrived in November.  But with all the space in their enclosure the reinventors decided to increase the CWA's membership.

The reinventors are delighted to welcome Joan and Joyce.  They're Hylines rescued from the local cage egg producer and they're in a bad way.

The Creative Reinventor managed to thoroughly piss off the lady at the egg farm by announcing he'd like to rescue two hens, rather than buy them.  We guess she didn't appreciate the implication of poor treatment.  Although how you'd deny it is beyond us.

As well as having had their beaks clipped, they're low on feathers and just don't know how to be chooks.

They don't cope well with the sun - which may not be a bad thing, as we don't want them getting sunburnt before their feathers grow back - and they've never scratched around in the dirt or had a dust bath.

Alice, the boss chook, has been busy reasserting her dominance.  But there are promising signs.  Joan, being slightly more adventurous than Joyce, has ventured out into the sun and had an experimental scratch.

Neither of them has worked out that the green stuff, about which the others are so enthusiastic, is food, so they're sticking to the laying pellets.

Bless them, they're both laying us an egg every couple of days.  And even if they didn't, they'll help take care of scraps and produce us fabulous manure for growing vegies. 

If  you'd like to rescue some deserving chooks and you're in Perth, drop us a line and we'll give you the details.

The view of the loo

Way back in the beginning, this was the sole, erm, convenience Marmalade Cottage boasted.

All its seals were gone - we thought just in the three years the house had been empty, but according to the neighbours, it'd been leaking for 20 years.  We had it fitted with a new, dual-flush cistern, and it's been the loo with a view and party loo.  But it wasn't very pretty.
The creative reinventor, having finally taken a decent stretch of holidays, has been pottering.

And then he ran out of reach.  It looks like we'll need scaffolding to finish the job.

Monday, 9 January 2012


For a while there, before we put together the compost bays, and before that arrival of the Marmalade Cottage CWA (also known as the chooks), all the vegie scraps were thrown into this garden. 

The pumpkin seeds, you can see, took advantage of the situation.

One of them is a Jap, the other might be a butternut.  So far there are only male flowers, which makes the reinventors a little worried there may be no pumpkins. 

Fingers crossed that nature will have its way.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Delayed gratification

The Practical Reinventor has long wanted to grow water chestnuts. And now she is.

 It's a good use for the old bathtub, non?
Apparently, they'll take a good few months, and they'll need to be be kept in about 10cm of water.
The first two plants came from a specialist supplier at the Kalamunda Sunday Farmers Markets, the last, the practical one is ashamed to admit came from the green and orange temple to lost weekends.  It was in the pond plants section, rather than the vegetables.