In mid-September we bought some chooks. to live in our chook house and hopefully produce some eggs for us to eat. They were too young to lay back then - they were around 15 weeks old. The man who sold them to us said they should start laying around 20-21 weeks which would have made it a race to see whether Miranda or the chooks laid first. Others have since told us that 25 weeks is more normal. Otto is six weeks old this week so Miranda won hands down.

The chooks' behaviour started to change over the last week or so and we thought it must be nearly time. So we'd been checking the chook house but also in their favourite places around the yard as we'd heard lots of stories of people thinking the egg count was down then finding a stash of a dozen eggs under the mulberry tree. A few days ago there were some not very well formed eggs in the chook house - they may have been the first attempt. Yesterday I went for an expedition under the camellias and through the red currants but without any luck. Then Miranda checked in the prickly berries at the back of their run where she'd seen the brown chook hanging out a few times. We were very excited to find that there were two eggs there. They look just like real eggs!

 The chooks are so clever they even managed to put dates on them ;)

The two eggs together weighed 100g so they're a bit smaller than your standard supermarket egg.  But they are mainly made from our kitchen scraps and any seeds/fruit/bugs that the chooks can find in our garden (plus some pellets). The eggs are now in our fridge waiting to be consumed.

You may also have noticed that we bought three chooks but there are only two in recent posts. Don't know exactly what happened to the poor chook - it was sick one day, then looked a bit better that afternoon but the next day was no longer with us when I got home from work. I buried her - the roses next to the damson plum are now looking particularly lush.



I have a new phone so have been taking some more spontaneous snaps around the place (my old phone didn't take very good photos anymore). I also joined Instagram - you can find us here.

Now all I need to do is build up the collection so I can order some of these.



It's a beautiful time of year in the garden. This is the same time as we first looked at the house last year and the agent certainly chose the time when the yard is at its best to advertise the house.

Everything is so lush and green.  The fruit is on the trees but its still a few weeks until the first fruit kicks off (and six months til it finishes). The red currants are starting to get a red tinge. We also found a berry today that was ripe and in a few weeks the berries will be in full swing.

It was a beautiful day today so we decided to have a picnic under the plum tree. The chickens kept trying to steal our food when we weren't looking and they also drank our water. It was a bit glary which is why we're all squinting a bit.

After we'd finished eating we went on an expedition and found some peas in the vegie patch which we then ate raw - they are so sweet. Needless to say, Sofia loves them.

There was a fairy wren around while we were having lunch. It's such a treat having these beautiful birds in our yard.




Thursday this week was a bit of milestone - on that day Sofia was 21 months and Otto was 21 days.

The convention (old wives tale?) is that if you measure a girl toddler's height at 21 months and then double it, you will have an estimate of their full adult height. So I had a hunt around for the growth chart that Aunty Lynn had given Sofia when she was just a wee thing and taped it up on the one smooth piece of sunroom wall available.

 Sofia didn't really want to stand up straight next to the chart...

I have to say that my approximate chart placement, spongey carpet and Sofia's lack of co-operation mean that the measurement I took can only be rough guide, but the 84cm recorded means that her estimated full height is just shy of my height.

And here is a gratuitous shot of Otto sleeping...


Otto comes home

Otto and Miranda came home from hospital last Tuesday. He got all dressed up for the occasion and did his exercises.

Going into the outside world for the first time is a very exciting occasion.

And here he is getting out of the car in the much greener and more pleasant environment at home.

Welcome home bro! Sofia is fascinated by her little brother and also adores him. She learned to say Otto after her first visit and would start saying Otto repeatedly as we got near the hospital.

Our first afternoon in the garden.

Adding a new family member is a bit of an adjustment for everyone (especially Sofia) and we are very lucky that Oma and Opa and then Granjan have been around to help smooth the transition.