Saturday, 28 December 2013

Peacock for Christmas Dinner!

There are many words in the Spanish language that sound similar to others, and these typically ensure that moments of embarrassment are reached. This is especially true when the accent is stronger, or I am tired, or I just cannot be bothered to listen.

Yesterday, we were having a conversation with a Spanish guy, who had an incredibly strong accent, so it took all my listening powers to keep up. He was talking about cheap animals, and where I could get chickens, pigs and what I thought he said was Pavo, which is turkeys.

I commented that we had considered getting these before, but yet again it was now the wrong time of year. He looked puzzled, and asked why it was the wrong time of year. I pointed out that typically they were only eaten at Christmas time, and he looked really shocked.

The guy carried on the conversation looking puzzled, and was really curious as to why we ate these birds. I still had no idea that we were in fact talking about two different birds. He had actually said Pavo Real, which is a peacock. No bloody wonder he thought I was crazy, and roasting peacocks for Christmas dinner.

Eventually it came out that we were in fact speaking about two different birds, he looked relieved, and I felt stupid AGAIN. This was not the first time, and I am damn sure it will not be the last! Note to self, concentrate more when speaking about what we eat to strange men!

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

What day is it?

Everyone that owns animals will know that December the 25th is just like any other day!. I am sure that I read someone that it is a special day where people take the day off, sit around doing nothing, and eat far too much. However, here in Casa Chaos is just another day.

So, with that said we wish you a Merry Christmas, and hope that you get to do all those things that are written about! For us it is a chase some chickens, feed some ducks, clean out some dogs kinda day! Oh and chase a rabbit around the drive it seems...

P.s progress on the new finca is slooooooooooow....and as you all know I have very little patience! However, I was building a wall the other day, so go me...and all those builders that quoted stupid money, and laughed when I said I would build it my son would say "In your face!"

Friday, 20 December 2013

Mid Life Crisis

Most people when they have a mid life crisis buy a sports car or a yacht, travel the world, or get a younger partner. me, well I decide to buy a goat shed in the middle of a field. Follow your dreams they say, it will all be easy they say, yeah right.....they don't appear to know my life!

So, for those of you that do not know, we are relocating to a huge plot of land, with a couple of goat sheds and not a lot else! Since the "leaf" incident things have been tense here. The small minded, local fraggles have gossiped, lied and generally been nasty. I had two choice fight fire with fire, or get the hell out, I choose the later, as I will not bring myself down to their pathetic level.

This has been one of the reasons why there have been fewer blogs of late, as my every move is commented on, and also I have been busy building and shifting. The new place is huge, and will allow us to follow our dreams and help the local animal charity more.

So, with the project in full flow, it has already been a hectic few months, with building chicken fences and transporting chickens. There are no mango trees in the new casa...yes I did breath a huge sigh of relief. I do however, have olive trees this should be interesting!

Monday, 16 December 2013

Raising Chickens is So Easy!

Like many I believed that having chickens was an easy thing to do, after all you simply throw some corn at them and they produce hundreds of eggs...right? Wrong! chickens are in fact time consuming, temperamental creatures that need more attention than every other animal.

The whole point of chickens is to lay eggs and while they are we all love them, however, this period of producing eggs is very small. Regardless of their living conditions, how many hours you spend making sure the are pampered, if they do not want to lay you get NADA!

There comes a point when you have to be realistic and understand that chickens have a short laying life, which means very soon they have to be culled. Older chickens need to go and be replaced with younger laying birds. if you cannot handle this thought, move away from the chicken farming.

Chickens are like vampires, they suck every last ounce of energy and time from your life. The hours you have to apply to your chickens is incredible, and often for very little return. There are no short cuts with chickens, and no days off, which can be a struggle. leaving chickens alone for more than a few hours can lead to a full apocalypse.

If you live in an area where he weather conditions are harsh, you will have even more issues. For example.......eleven inches of foot of snow! doesn't take a genius to work out there are problems. Chickens hate everything, snow, rain, sun, people, animals, tress, leaves, etc etc etc and all of this affects their laying.

So, you need to ask yourself why you have chickens is it to dress them in little knitted jumpers and put photos on FB, or is it to make a profit. If it is the later, you need to remain level headed, and understand how to raise profitable chickens. If you don't then you will go slowly insane as the chickens take over your life!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

The Storm Hit!

We were threatened a storm, like nothing the Canaries had ever seen before, the islands went from calm to panic in seconds. Twitter lit up with claims of schools being closed for months, electricity being turned off for our safety. The islands were put on red alert, the schools closed, and the people looked worried.

The problem is we have heard these warnings at least 42 times this year alone! Where I come from rain is normal, rain is not something that you close schools for, as the kids would simply never go. Why do the Canarians panic, why does the whole infrastructure break down.

So, with the kids at home in the blue skies, and mild weather I pondered where the storm was. If by magic Facebook lit up with status's of rain, and dramatic statements of  OMG the storm is here" still I waited, but followed the panic across FB.

With my daughter giving us second by second tweet updates as they came in, I soon got bored. One minute the schools are going to remain closed, the next they are open, the next the will let everyone know at some point before the first bell was due to ring.

Still nothing, yes Tenerife got hit by a storm, but unless you all haven't noticed I live on a different island. Eventually it begun to rain.......and that was it...oh and a leaf fell of a tree. Its ok, we survived, and everyone lived to tell the tale of the worst storm in 2013!!!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Not the Happy Face!

I needed more chickens so I headed onto Segundamando (spanish secondhand site) in search of cheap, laying chickens. Thankfully the Spanish are feeling the pinch, and are selling many animals cheaper than normal. Very quickly I found some chickens close to me, and begun negotiating.

After three days and many frustrating conversations, the lady agreed to get boxes (at one point she thought it would be ok to let them loose in my car! errr not happening) we arranged a meeting place and off we went. Well my frustrations begun from the drive onwards.

Her "finca" was miles away from where she said it was, and it had begun to rain, this never improves my mood. Finally we reached our wet destination, and she grabbed her boxes. Then she lead us down a slope, past some caves, down a slippery slope further, and onto the edge of a mountain, where there were piles and piles of rubbish, metalwork and not a lot else.

As I stood there wondering where her "finca" was she explained we were stood on it, errr nope love this is the side of a mountain!! Then she pointed to one of the piles of rubbish and told us that is where the chickens are. At this point I just wanted to get out of there.

Surely no one can keep animals in these conditions, but oh yes she did, and what made it worse was when she proudly told us that her Dad lived in the cave next door. As we climbed down and through the debris, things didn't get any better, and I had my very pissed of face! Not only were these chickens living in the worse conditions I have ever seen, but it was chucking it down.

With no roof to protect us, some very soggy cardboard boxes, and chickens that were terrified this was no happy place to be. After an hour of the filth, stench and soaking conditions I gave up. We had managed to catch 14 chickens, I could take no more and got out of there incredibly fast.

I am not sure what shocked me more, the fact that she thought these conditions were normal for animals, or the fact that she was proud that her Dad lived in a cave, with no protection from the harsh weather, and filth that surrounded him. I am constantly told, "but the canarians live differently" OH COME ON! this takes it to another level!!! I left with my chickens, soaking wet, pissed off but knowing I had changed the lives of these 14 birds!

Monday, 2 December 2013

Late This Year

We have waited and waited and waited and waited, but no rain has arrived, however, you can guarantee that the moment I need to do stuff the sky opens, and it pours. I need to sort out the huge piles of nothing that are accumulating, and this involves lifting and shifting. Both of these activities, I do not want to do in the rain.

So, I sat and watched the rain, and I waited for it to stop but it didn't, the dogs got muddy, the cats were unimpressed, but it kept coming. We had our Internet technician here to fix a problem, and I chuckled as he had to climb up the mountain in the rain, oh revenge is sweet! (long story, but he deserved it)

It rained all day, and as I melt in the rain, in a very similar way to the witch off Wizard of Oz, I remained indoors. Jobs were put off and I drank coffee, so not an entirely wasted day! The barranco has not yet flooded, but if the rain continues today it is likely to!

Although we need the rain, and it is refreshing to see, I am deep in thought about the huge numbers of people that are currently living in tents and caves around the area. The crisis continues, and people are struggling to meet the demands of their bills. This leading to them losing their homes, and taking cover wherever they can.

So enough rain now, you can stop thanks, and let everything dry up, and allow me to move the stuff I need to thanks!

Friday, 22 November 2013

High Vis Jackets

When you break down here in GC you have to grab your high vis jacket from your car, and stand outside. Presumably this is to ensure that the on coming traffic can see you clearly to hit you. The jackets are not fashionable, or attractive in the slightest, purely functional.

However, I am pleased to announce that in the name of safety or insanity, someone has come up with the idea of high vis jackets for chickens. Maybe people travel with them in their cars, and need the utterly crazy piece of clothing to protect the birds.

All I have to say is why??? why would you want a high vis jacket for your chicken, this has to be crazier than the wooly jumpers and hats. No hang on, it is as equally as crazy! Needless to say I will not be buying these for my chickens, regardless of whether they cross the road at night.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Nothing of Value!

I have a really bad habit of leaving my car unlocked everywhere I go, and before you get excited and plan to break in to it, you have no idea what car I have! also even if you do there is nothing of value in the car, in fact the car itself is worth about 1,50€ and a button!
So, when I was out  with a friend the other day I was amused that she got so stressed about the non locking the car event. As I pointed out if you were stupid enough to want my car, or brave enough to enter it, quite frankly they deserve the car.

When I explained I had nothing of value in the car, she stated I must have something in there. Silly woman didn't realise I have children, therefore, they have taken EVERYTHING of value, including my sanity. There is simply nothing left, and I certainly do not store it in the car.

What you will find in my car is dog leads, and bits of hay, a few broken pens, and some water bottles. There is always shopping bags, and usually a jumper or two, which again if you want to steal go for it! I know one mans junk is another mans treasure, but REALLY!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

That Time of Year!

Every year at this time, i begin to threaten the chickens and suspect the neighbours. Why? because out of so many chickens we are getting on average five eggs a day! Which simply is not good enough, I have people moaning at me, cakes to make, scrambled egg to prepare, all with no eggs.

Now I refuse to buy supermarket eggs, so the few eggs we have become valuable. When I see the kids approaching them, I get really possessive, and tell them to step away slowly. This madness happens every year, but I don't recall it being this bad last year.

Maybe it is time for the chicken man to visit, to get the flock down to a smaller amount. Maybe they have just had enough of laying eggs, and prefer sunbathing and eating every day. Wow, wouldn't that be great if I didn't have to work, if sunbathing, and eating was all I had to do.

Hopefully egg production will pick up, or chicken pie all round in the next few weeks!

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Six Eggs and a Walnut

I love Halloween, and it is one of my favourite times of year, however, as my children have grown the parties and fun seems to have stopped. Small Children love dressing up, eating far too much candy and putting their hands in goo. The last few years the kids have not even bothered with Halloween, but this year my son announced he was going to a party.

He reassured me with those words of "Don't worry, there isn't beer" Bearing in mind he is 12! I love Halloween but am not so keen on the whole trick or treat element only because I know what a group of kids can do within minutes. So, we agreed to him going to the party as long as NO tricks were performed.

Off he went, covered in food colouring, ripped tshirt, and zombie expression, although that could be considered his daily look. With stern warnings in his ears, about trick or treating, times to be home, and not ending up in a police car! a few hours later he returned, still with the zombie expression clutching a bag.

As he dumped himself on the bed, he looked sad, and I asked what was wrong, to which he replied "this was the WORST Halloween EVER".....I prompted for more information, and he reassured me it was ok, he didn't come home in a police car!

It seems that the local people were all out of candy, as he had been given six eggs and a walnut...alternative Halloween, or a cunning plan to guarantee the kids don'e return next year!

Monday, 28 October 2013

It is a Long Walk

Living where we do we need a car, its not a luxury it is a necessity. When the car breaks down, I always get this sinking feeling of, its a long walk to civilisation. I am not very lucky with cars, in the UK I had the same car for years, so I know it isnt me, maybe its the island!

The other day the car died, really died, and needed to be gruaed to the garage, unfortunately, the car decided to die on the same day as the phone signal. So, stuck in the middle of no where, with no car, no phone signal, and only the Internet to keep me sane.

We worked out there were pockets that allowed you to make a brief call, which would be fine if you didn't have to go through 35 different switch boards to get the right department. Even wandering down the middle of the road, which had worked previously, didn't give us a strong enough signal.

So, we kept trying, kept getting cut off, and eventually we got through and the grua was ordered, or was it. No body was sure, so we waited, and we waited, oh and we waited. The problem was the grua man couldn't call us to confirm, and we knew he would never find us.

After a long time, I decided we had to go and find the grua man, I knew he would be on the road somewhere. So, off we went, knowing that it is a long way back to civilisation, thankfully he was just down the road, sat next to a car similar to mine, on his phone.

As we approached we informed me that he had been trying to call me with no success. Join the queue was my response, finally my car was gruaed and on its way to the garage, where it never returned from RIP car! I have decided that donkey power, and carrier pigeons may be better for where I live!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Crazy Animals

Well they do say that animals are like their owners, and I am beginning to realise that is very true. A few people have called me crazy, now I do not take that as an insult, in fact crazy is good. I love my crazy world, and the people who choose to join me. However, the crazy animals are a step to far, as the ducks are now refusing to eat duck food and swapping for cat biscuits.

We feed a couple of our cats in the garage, as they are outside cats, and prefer to only pop back at meal times. So there is access to the garage for the cats at all times, but the ducks love it in there. They don't go in there because it is cool, dry, or safe, but to raid the cat biscuits.

They don't just take one or two but clear everything, including the odd biscuit that may have spilled onto the floor! Now I am no expert, but I am sure that ducks are not supposed to eat tuna, and salmon flavoured cat biscuits! When you google suitable duck food, number 5 is not cat biscuits.

We have even tried closing the door, this resulted in the ducks lining up outside similar to a school dinner line waiting for the cat biscuits. So, I don't care anymore if they are partial to some cat biscuits, maybe the rabbits would like the duck food!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Even the Experts get it Wrong!

The ducks that we got from the animal market have been growing and improving everyday. Their feathers are returning, and looking far better than the stumps we brought home. However, we have noticed that Mario is far bigger than Luigi and Princess peach, which can only mean one thing she is in fact a drake!

When I went to the "chicken man" for the ducks I had a long discussion about the fact that I wanted female ducks, only female ducks no oooppps drakes going in the box. Now, he assured me that they were all females, and even gave the guarantee that if they werent I could return the drakes for him to eat and he would replace them.

How can I justify returning Mario because he is male, knowing that by the end of the day he would be in someones pancake rolls. So, it seems we have yet another drake to strut around, puffing out his chest and claiming his part of Casa Chaos. Hmmm this is not what I needed, but hey what's another hormonal animal who has no purpose but to eat me out of house and home!

I was telling a friend about the lack of ability to tell the sex of a duck, and she said its simple...."pull their tail" How can pulling a ducks tail help at all I enquired, but it seems that if you pull on a ducks tail, they make different noises. I would have thought they all would have made the same "get off me you crazy person noise" but hey what do I know.

So, the next time I want ducks, I am going to stand there pulling their tails, this will either be successful, or have me sectioned once and for all!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Its Over

That title got everyones attention didn't it, don't worry its only mango season that is over! Yippee, thank god, hallelujah and a hundred other ways that I can celebrate. We have come to the end of another long summer, where the stinky smell of hot ripe mango's fills the air, and I spend hours picking, boxing, delivering.

Thank you everyone that purchased mangos, and helped us to pay the bills for another summer. Without you all I would have a HUGE pile of gone off fruit to deal with. So, onto the winter season which for us is oranges and lemons, now these I enjoy.

The smell of oranges on the tree is amazing, and I could quite easily stand and sniff oranges for hours. Ok, with that last statement I have decided that I am now officially mad. Im off to pick the last of the mangos, box them for the lady that sniffs them, and then on to perform the happy dance!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Illegal Substances!

I needed some bushes/trees to plant near the gates as one of my dogs is like an olympic athlete when it comes to leaping over the wall. We fenced in down the side, but he thinks it is totally reasonable to sprint and clear the 5ft wall. Although this is impressive, it is also annoying, as he typically does it to chase anything that moves.

So, bushy greenery was the way forward, and a trip to the garden center is always a top idea. Nope not the garden center with the animals, but the proper official one with every plant you could ever imagine. There is something about garden centers that always makes me think I am aging rapidly.

As we wandered around, I spotted the idea plants tall, bushy and attractive, as these are of course features of a dog defence bush. We went to pay and hubby begun to snigger, now this could be about anything with him, so I ignored him. This typically causes him to tell me what he is laughing about, and he did.

He claimed that my newly bought plants that I was so proud of looked very much like cannabis leaves. At this point I starred at them, and although they had a slight resemblance, they werent! The plants came home, and were left in their pots before planting for a few days.

Everyone who came, commented on the plants, not because they were left n a stupid place, but because they looked like cannabis plants. In the end I planted them, and dismissed the stupid comments. Now proudly in place, and everytime I walk past I simply think, the garden center cant  be selling cannabis plants...can they?

Monday, 7 October 2013

What do You do With Them?

Everyone loves cute fluffy rabbits, and it is one of the first things that people ask to see when they enter Casa Chaos. Young or old, they head for bunny corner, and if you are lucky you will see baby bunnies. As people stand their with the ooooo's and ahhhhhhhh's, typically the next question out of their mouths is...What do you do with them?

Now, the moment they utter these immortal words I have two choices, lie about the bunnies destination, or tell the truth. The truth is very straightforward, but it still gets gasps of shock. I have considered telling people that I am going to make a coat out of their fur, like Cruella De Vile.

In fact this may cause less shock, however, I tell the truth, which is that we sell them, ok, so this part isn't shocking. Your average person copes with that bit of information well. In typical human nature though, they cannot just be satisfied with that answer, and head back down that rocky path.

Sell them to who? I can hear the words, and think don't go there, you will not like the answer. Anyone that will buy them I answer attempting to diffuse the bomb that is going to go off any moment. Like a thunder bolt it hits them, they suddenly realise that a proportion of the cute fluffy bunnies will end up on someone's dinner plate.

At this point I often get "The Look" the one that brandishes me a bunny killer, and eater of fluffy bunnies. For the record I do not eat rabbit, I have but not my first lunch choice. Needless to say that the conversation often takes a turn for the worse, and the bunnies are not discussed again. So, remember when you enter Casa Chaos, do not ever ask what we do with something, as you may not like the answer!

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Reasons to be Thankful

We had a whole day of rain, which is a fantastic time to sit and reflect, as everything feels fresher, and alive. As I sat, drinking my coffee, watching the rain come down, I considered how much I have to be thankful for in my life. My Dad is a very wise man, and he has always taught me that when I reach a crossroads, and feel uncertain, this is what I need to do.

As I sit I am aware that life is good, and at times I consider whether it is better than I deserve. The world is full of disappointment, suffering, pain and hardship, and yet I have time to be thankful for what I have in life. This in its own small way is a miracle.

I am learning that I am blessed and that I need to be grateful of this, and gratitude is something that we all need to learn. In a world where people continue to die of hunger, and hurt each other for no reason, it all just doesn't make sense. However, as I age I begin to understand that being grateful is a choice that you need to embrace.

I love lists, so writing a gratitude list seemed like the easy thing to do, however, it took time and effort to write the list correctly. It becomes a discipline to remind yourself all of the reasons why you need to be thankful. If you open your eyes, regardless of your circumstances, you will see there are many things to be thankful of in your life.

My reasons, on that rainy day were:

  1. I am thankful for my husband, who is my closest friend, my support, comfort and who has never let me down.
  2. I am thankful for my health, as although I cannot run marathons, or climb mountains, but I wake up every day.
  3. I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to do a job that I enjoy, always rewarding, incredibly frustrating, and at moments extremely hard. 
  4. I am thankful that my children are growing into well educated, polite young adults, who every day make us proud. 
  5. I am thankful for my friends, their creative minds, and full support at every twist and turn.
  6. I am thankful for books, as these help to inspire me, and allow me to travel into another world. 
  7. I am thankful for where I live, and having the opportunity to see it grow and flourish.
All in all as I watch the rain fall, the trees being watered, the chickens running for shelter, I am extremely thankful! 

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Sun, Sea and Sour Faces

What is it with people that are on holiday that they appear to be miserable, rude and unaware of everyone else around them. There is an international level of manners that everyone can aspire to achieve, however, in resort here this is soon forgotten.

I found myself in resort the other day, now this doesnt happen very often, and the moment I enter I remember why I do not make that journey. No one seems to be happy, they walk around with long faces, and cannot even manage a thank you, please or excuse me.

As I attempted to get round the local shop, bread in hand, I watched the tourists shuffling around, heads down, miserable, giving the feeling they would rather not be here. This then poses the question, why are you here, as no one forced you to get on the plane.

I stood browsing the wine aisle, (I needed a drink it had been a long day) as a man approached and without a word pushed me to get to the cartons of paint stripper, oh I mean cheap wine. How was this easier than saying "excuse me" "Perdon" or even "Entschuldigen"

He didn't seem to think that his actions or rudeness mattered, and continued on with his shopping. This makes me furious as there is no excuse for bad manners, regardless of how shite your holiday has been. Maybe we should enforce punishments for rudeness! 

Reminded once again why I live where I do, and why it may be annoying that a trip to the local shop takes double the time as they want to gossip, sorry catch up on everything. I am grateful that the locals smile, acknowledge each other and generally look happy to see other people. 


Sunday, 29 September 2013

Gofio- Love it or Hate it?

Some of my neighbours are lovely, and will turn up with the strangest of gifts, which we except with huge smiles. However, when the old lady turned up with Gofio, I just prayed with every ounce of my body that she did not want me to taste it there and then.

There are two distinct delicacies here in GC that every visitor needs to experience at least once. These are potatoes and Gofio, and in the case of Gofio, once is quite enough! Strangely Gofio is similar to Marmite, you either love or hate it, and never have mixed feelings.

Gofio is something that you can use in both sweet and savoury dishes, you can add it to coffee, stew, and make deserts that allow the spoon to stand upright. The Canarians eat Gofio with everything, they spoon it into their childrens milk, and use it as a bread substitute.

However, regardless of what you do with Gofio the end result is always the same, a disgusting thick sludge that sticks to the roof of your mouth, producing a foul after taste. This milled grain is versatile, and every Canarian has been force fed it from a young age.

This is why they do not understand why foreigners cannot stand the sight, smell or taste of Gofio. I have friends that have stated they would rather eat deep fried cockroaches than experience Gofio for a second time. However, the Canarians are so proud of Gofio that in 1990 they founded the Canary Island Gofio Products Association and have fiestas in the grains honor.

There are some Canarians that can see past the traditions, and will admit that Gofio is just wrong on so many levels. Once you place the thick sludge in your mouth, you can only remove the taste by desperate tongue movements. I personally think that Gofio has the consistency and taste of wallpaper paste!

So, if you see your neighbour, regardless of how lovely they are heading towards you with Gofio, run and lock the doors. This dish is best avoided by everyone, unless you love the taste of day old coagulated, salted, wallpaper paste with a strange after taste of condensed milk.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013


I have a strange sense of humor, and attempt to surround myself with people that have the same mentality, or at least get that I am slightly insane. My husband thankfully has the same sense of humor, which is how so many crazy things happen. This includes the chair up the pole, which if you have visited you would have seen.

There is no mystical reason why there is a chair up the pole, I simply told him to put it over in that direction, so he did. Unfortunately, he put it 10ft up the pole, why, because he could. The chair is always something that people ask about, which is amusing, as they expect some complicated reply and reason.

Now boys being boys you can never leave them alone for five minutes without them getting up so something. I popped out the other day leaving hubby and Mr C the builder alone. When I returned they were standing, beer in hand laughing, which unnerved me immediately.

As I got out of the car, I pondered what on earth the could have done, then saw it.....they had decided to put a chair up the tree. This was causing them such amusement, that as I walked past I casually said "Nice chair" and kept walking. They stopped laughing as they presumed I hadn't found it so funny, when the reality was I was fuming I hadn't thought of it first!

Monday, 23 September 2013

Duck Noises

People often think that duck's do not make noises as they tend to be far quieter than chickens. However, you will be surprised how noisy a duck can be, and if you are unsure of why, it can be daunting. As we have discovered different ducks will make different sounds, some of them amusing.

Now ducks and drakes make different noises, and some are a display of how clever they are, some noises are to show they are grateful and others are due to a strange situation. There is also the drake ego dance, which is similar to the Haka, which rugby players perform.

Drakes tend to be quieter and make a long drawn out "Quaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaag, Quaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaag, Quaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaag". They make this noise if something threatens them like a speck of dust, or a leaf that may have moved. Drakes will also make this noise if they want some female attention, so mine tend to make it all day every day!

The ego boosting dance will begin with a huge amount of head bobbing, a bit like one of those car desk head bobbers. They also shuffle their feet like a penguin, and head towards the female ducks, strutting their stuff. Another sound we hear a lot is the "Qww-wee-wee" sound which is the ducks enjoying themselves, usually digging up something they shouldn't be!

The other day I was out, and hubby messaged sounding stressed which is unusual, it went like this:

Him: Are you going to be long?
Me: Nope why what have you killed?
Him: Nothing, but the ducks are making  a racket and I don't know why!
Me: They are probably laughing
Him: At what?...and ducks don't laugh!
Me:You, probably as you are standing there like an idiot watching the ducks make a noise!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Franco Update....

Every day I have an update on Franco which is very sweet, I had many photos of the building of the bunny apartment which I must say is luxury! Franco is the only bunny I know that has pictures drawn on his apartment wall, and his very own bunny light.

Yes, I did say bunny seems that Franco needs his own special night light, and what better style than in the shape of a bunny. Now I questioned this fact when I was told, however, the photos soon followed, and yes the light is in fact a bunny.

This is why I have crazy friends, as they are not only amazing, but they brighten my day...and Franco's so it seems! 

Before, you ask, yes that is a hand drawn poster of Peppa Pig in the back ground, ok, you may not ask or care, but I did! I am so glad that Franco is so spoilt and happy, as happy bunnies make happy children, which make happy mums!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Crazy Friends

Along this journey that we call life I have met some amazing people, and I am blessed to be able to call them my friends. I do not have that many friends and although I  could host a party for hundreds of people very few would be my friends. The thing that makes every single one of them unique, is the level of crazy.

I think if you are crazy , you attract crazy people, and I do not see this as a bad thing. It means that your friends truly understand you, and want to be around you for the right reasons. They do not question you when you want to do something mad, and are there to support you at every stage.

So, this is just a quick blog to say thank you to the crazies that are in my life, for being you and making me smile! Every one of you is unique, and special in your own way. Whether you put bunny lights in with your rabbit for company, send me pictures of you with frozen veg on your head every time you have a headache. Write PIMPLE instead of PMSL in text messages or sniff mangos for pleasure I love the fact that you are all in my life.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Child's Logic!

Alongside my mechanic I also love my builder/handyman/friend/ Mr C who loves to come to Casa Chaos to drink my beer, mend numerous things, and generally wind me up! Now, Mr C has an amazing wife Mrs V and three fab children, Master C, Master JL and little Miss S. 

I don't typically like children running around, but these three are funny, when they aren't filling my fountains up with mud, or throwing cat biscuits in water bowls...So, when Little master C was starring lovingly at the baby bunnies one day, I of course offered them one. 

The white, fluffy bundle of bunny was chosen, and every time they came to visit, Master C would run over to admire his new pet. The day finally arrived for them to take their new family member home, and Master C came bounding up the drive in excitement of taking bunny home. 

When he reached the cage, I asked what he was going to call his new bunny, and proudly he declared Franco! This of course made me chuckle, and I checked that he did mean Franco....and yes Master C was adamant, Franco was his new bunny. 

Now in any other country this may not have been so amusing, however, naming a baby bunny after a ruthless Spanish Prime Minister, proved that either Master C was highly intelligent, and had an amazing knowledge of Spanish history or he in fact meant to call it Blanco.....hmmmmmm

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

No, I Cannot Just Find Some More Fruit

I do worry about people on this island, and haw uneducated they are as yet again stupidity reigns! One of my avocado trees was ready last week with monster avocados, which meant I could sell them. So, I posted that we had them, response was brilliant, orders came in, I was delighted.

Off we went to pick them, and although I had a bounty of avocados, not enough to fulfill al the orders. Therefore, some people missed out, but when the next tress are ready, I will of course ensure that they are top of the list. This seemed fair, some people were fine about it. However, you always get one or two that do not understand I am not the Spar!

I messaged a lady explaining, only one tree was ready, and that she would need to wait. Her answer was..."Well thats not good enough, can you not go and find some more?" I did enquire where she would like me to "just find some more" and explained that I have trees, they have fruit, when it is there, I have fruit, when it is not I don't.

Even my kids get this concept, but no not this fraggle, she was insistent that I had more, therefore, she wanted them. After a short heated conversation, I advised that she may be better shopping in the local Spar from now on, where they can restock the shelves the minute, they are empty. I however, have to wait for nature to decide when she wants to replenish stocks!

Monday, 9 September 2013

I Never Claimed to be Any Good!

I was told the other day that I am in fact rather crap at his farming life, which made me chuckle. I never claimed to be any good, which is always a fantastic starting point. However, it seems that if you live where I do, you must be the worlds greatest farmer.

It often surprises people that I grow so many fruits, yet eat so few of them, but I didn't move to Casa Chaos for the fruit. I moved here for a million other reasons, including the challenge. I think this is where many people just do not get what I am doing, and why I am here.

Did I ever want to own a Mango farm, hell no, but it came with the house, and I make the best I can with what I was given. Apparently, that is the wrong attitude to have, and I should embrace the sickly smell of mango's and fight with other people for the business.

Unlike many other farmers in the area, I do not rely on the income from the fruit, and as long as it makes me a bit, I can give some fruit to the food project, and the chickens have a summer of delicious treats I am happy. But it seems this is considered wrong, and that I am crap at being a farmer! So, there you go, I am rubbish, do I care nope!

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Home Inspection!

I often get calls and messages asking to take random animals, which is fine I have the choice to say No, unfortunately, the brain says no and the mouth heads straight for a yes! The other day whilst driving home, a friend messaged and asked " Want a duck?" thankfully I did read it right, as the immediate response was " go on then"

So, it seems that a friend of a friend had decided to buy a duckling, cute, fluffy little duckling, that was now a monster duck living in her shower, and s**ting everywhere! I agreed to take the duck, and was given the duck ladies number to call and discuss duck arrangements.

After a long conversation where I had to explain where we lived that they live outside, yes we have a pond, no we don't eat the ducks blah blah blah, by the end I felt like saying to her, "For god's sake, anything would be better than your shower your crazy lady" but I didn't (how good am I)

The final sentence was the nail in the coffin for taking the duck, when she stated that she would need to carry out  an inspection. Not even popping by for a chat, dropping off the duck, giving all the excuses why she had the duck. But a full inspection of land, pond, duck house and other ducks, to see if we were suitable to rehome her duck.

As you can imagine I told her to duck off, and go and find someone else to rehome her duck, what is up with these people!

Thursday, 5 September 2013


Today like every other day I will be mostly picking Mangos, swearing a lot and wishing for winter to repeat after me...pick the mangos, box the mangos, deliver the mangos...and repeat!

Normal blog service will be resumed when the mango hell is over!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

My Melons are a Hit!

I often read with envy all the time, effort and money that is spent by other chicken farmers on treats for their chickens. I wonder if they do this because a) they have far less chickens than me b) they have far more money than me or c) they have far more time on their hands than me!

I do try and give the chickens lettuce as often as I can mainly for my own entertainment. However, I have begun to give them melon, which they do love, and at the moment it is inexpensive. So, yesterday armed with the melon, a board, knife, and bucket, I begun to chop the melon into bite sized pieces.

As usual I can NEVER be left alone to do anything on my own, and Midget decided to watch

And then taste.....

Then invite Cleo along to help.....

Finally the chickens got their melon...

Monday, 2 September 2013

Mango Chutney

There seems to be far more mango's this year, or I am just not keeping on top of the picking, boxing, delivering process, either way everyone is sick of them, including the chickens. They have this look of please no more sickly, smelly mangos...oh no that is me!

Mango's are brilliant for making different things, including a mess, however, they are the core ingredient for mango chutney. I attempt to have the time to make this delicious chutney, and when it is finished it is eaten with enthusiasm. However, like everything here in Casa Chaos it is having the time.

As the lemons are now fast approaching ripeness, the reality that if I do not get the chutneys made, lemon curd season will be upon me, and that is whole new nightmare. So, new jars bought, mangos ripe, I am off to spend the next two days making chutneys!

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

The other day the school bus stopped for ages outside the house, which was strange but here it could be due to numerous reasons. However, it seemed that one of our chickens decided that standing in front of the bus, in some form of Mexican stand off was intelligent.

Thankfully it must have been a nice bus driver that day as the chicken didn't become road kill. I thought no more of that day until I drove home  yesterday to find a chicken stood in the road. It wasn't going forward, or back to where it came, but simply stood looking up and down the road.

Now our road is dangerous, and at this moment I just imagined a squashed chicken. However, it calmly crossed the road, stopped all the traffic without a care in the world. I found myself sat in the car, chuckling and wondering......"why did the chicken cross the road?"

This it seems is one of life's mysteries!

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Ducks to water

There is something very satisfying when you see an animal that you know has been caged all its life being released back into natural habitat. When the ducks were brought home from the market, they appeared in shock. This could have been down to the journey in a box down the GC1, but I would guess it was the fact that they had never seen grass, trees or water.

As the ducks ventured towards the pond for the first time, there is something magical about watching them jump in and have fun. As the three new ducks zoomed around, I remembered why I do what I do. Through all the hard times, struggles and chaos, moments like those are priceless.

The first day they had an encounter with a dog (hoping not to reinact) managed to get into the barranco, again do not want to reinact as we all spent 20 minutes searching for Mario. However, these things were soon forgotten when you see the three small ducks, with no wings due to never being able to stretch them enjoying freedom, fresh air and water.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Animal Market

I love going to the animal market, however, it always brings mixed feelings, as I know that the animals are in poor condition, kept in tiny cages and are there to be bought for lunch. The positive side is that I know, I can save a few, and I always leave with something.

My goal was to find a giraffe....not really, we were going for ducks, and I knew that the "chicken man" would have some. Amongst the rabbits, ferrets, pigeons, rats, kittens, puppies, and hundreds of other animals, there were three little ducks. They were in the smallest of cage, with no room to expand their wings, and I knew I had to give them a better life.

So, after much negotiation, the three ducks were placed in a box, taped up and handed to hubby to carry. I had done my small bit for the day, and although I cannot save everything, I have given these three a chance of normality. Who am I kidding, they are heading for Casa Chaos, normal is not even a word.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Ballerina Chicks

I love strange things, but dressing up animals is something that I think is a step too far. I do have a Christmas costume for my dog, but that is as far as it goes. I sometimes chuckle at these people that have outfits for their chickens, and shake my head in despair at what some people will do to their poor animals for a laugh.

There are always numerous photos of animals in different costumes to get a reaction out of people. Most I just skip over, but I was sent one the other day and it made me laugh. I am not sure if I laughed because it was funny, or laughed at the time spent to think of the idea.

The picture was of some chicks in bun cases that looked like tutu's

Now my first thought was that is rather funny, however, I then moved on to why? and how did that idea come about! Did they pick up the chick one day and think hey I know what this chick would look so much better in a bun case tutu. Or were they eating a cupcake, and thought this case would look good on a chick.

I have decided that people have far too much time on their hands, and that I should be lucky that I do not have the the time to think up silly ideas for chicks costumes.....yes ok I am jealous, and want ballerina chicks!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Finally it Came

It has been incredibly hot here, with sand storms, hot winds, and a few fires, which is all typical for summer. Again yesterday it was really hot, too the point of unbearable. However, this is summer, and this is what we get every year, so roll on winter.

Then out of no where came reports of rain, FB lit up with friends all over the island claiming it was raining. I ran from the office in glee, to discover no rain, not even a drop! More excited status updates, and still no rain, oh come on I need rain more than you guys, but nada!

Then my phone begun to beep with updates of rain, the quantity, the freshness, the coldness, but still nothing! I was not happy, I got bored of posting on FB rude messages to friends informing them that there was in fact still NO rain here.

Had I upset god, was the rain being diverted and missing me completely, regardless of why, I still had no rain. Feeling unloved, and completely dry I went to bed to sulk, to be woken by a small noise. That noise begun to get louder, and finally the moment I had been waiting for RAIN!!!

Now rain in august is unusual, but god it was good, it dropped the temperature, made everything appear alive, and was a pleasant change. I went back to bed happy, and safe in the knowledge that I was not the odd one out, I also had rain. hmmm should I log in and post on FB, nope this was my rain and no one else was allowed to play!

Sunday, 18 August 2013

My New Signs

A while ago I found a sign on the Internet that was perfect for Casa Chaos, so i asked a guy I know to make the sign. He agreed the sign was ideal, and asked how big I wanted it, unfortunately, being a woman no actual measurements were given. However, the statement as big as you can was mentioned which is exactly what he did.

I received a call to say that the signs were ready, and like a kid at Christmas, I rushed off to collect my new sign. However, I didn't expect to see the HUGE sign that was in front of me. Yes it was brilliant but it was massive, and I didn't think I could put it in the intended place, as it might cause accidents on the road.

Now everything in Casa Chaos is intended to be light hearted fun, which is exactly what this sign is, and I must say that I love it so thank you Mr S, but next time I might just go and fetch a tape measure and bother to give you measurements.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Lenny the Lizard

We have lizards everywhere, often they are brought into the house by the cats, some survive, and some become dinner. I have had a lizard on my office way of months, he is a small, unoffensive thing that runs around the walls. Lenny as he has been christened is in desperate need of sunlight, as he is now more of an albino lizard, but he is still happy.

Unfortunately, Lenny ventured into my sons room, and some how ended up on his head. This was not the brightest move, as my son freaked out and wanted Lenny evicted from the house. I ignored the pleas for some time, however, the other night dressed in full combat gear, and a helmet operation remove Lenny began.

Now my son may have wanted Lenny out, but he had no intention of doing it himself, he pleaded with me, however, I was enjoying a rare 10 minutes with my nose in a book. Therefore, I wasn't moving for anything, so off he went in search of his sister.

He found her just about to get in the shower, so she appeared in a towel, asking what I wanted. This is the typical way for either child to get the other to move, by claiming I want/need them. I explained I didn't want her, but her brother wanted her to remove Lenny.

This then led to 30 minutes of arguing and chasing Lenny around the room, finally he was caught and released into the wild. A happy ending I hear you cry, my son was happy, Lenny was outside, the cats had new lunch to chase, well until the next night when Lenny was back on the office wall!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Mangos Mangos

Did I mention that we are in the middle of mango season? oh and the heat has soared over the weekend, making the whole process of picking mangos hell?

Mangos, those lovely juicy fruit that are enjoyed by millions, have incredible health benefits, oh and stink when left on the orchard floor in 50c heat! The orchards smell like one giant sugar pot, sickly, and overwhelming.

But hey why am I complaining, mangos make money, and help to pay the bills, people seem to love the mangos, so wouldn't want to upset my adoring fans! So, the blog is short today, why you ask....because I have to pick mangos of course...roll on September when the temperature drops, mangos stop and the kids go back to school, ooo September has just become my favourite month!

Saturday, 10 August 2013

I didn't Lose any Children

I must be mellowing with age or I got caught in a weak moment the other day, but I agreed to a group of children visiting Casa Chaos. As I object to adults visiting, this decision surprised friends, but it was for a good reason. A friend has a nursery and she needed places to take the children that were free, entertaining, and would hopefully teach the children something.

So, in her wisdom she choose Casa Chaos as one of the field trips. At first I was really nervous to think there was going to be six little people running around, however, they were very well behaved. We fed and stroked bunnies, chucked corn at chickens, oooooeeeddddd and arrrreeeddddd at chicks, collected eggs and picked mangos.

All in all a successful few hours, I love the innocence of small children, the fact that they see the magic in picking fruit from the trees, and want to explore everything. Although they were very good, we are not having a petting zoo EVER!

Thursday, 8 August 2013


After yesterdays Blog I expected some comments, some support, even some questions, however, the gossiping really got to me. Why do some people love stirring things up, they seem to thrive on the pain and emotions of other people. I often wonder if it is because they have nothing in their own sad lives, or whether they are just old, twisted women.

Apparently, as I choose to Blog, this entitles people to make hurtful comments and basically take the piss. I Blog because I enjoy it, and I believe that other people do to. However, there are days like yesterday when I wonder why I allow these nasty people into my world.

To some they were just goats, but to us they were part of Casa Chaos, I have gone through so many emotions over being forced for them to leave. However, for the gossipy lady that loved telling people I "brought it on myself" lets hope you are never forced to have to make tough decisions over your animals.

Hopefully this will stop you gossiping about me, making jokes, and generally thinking the whole thing is so funny. Next time I will name you on here, as this island is so small and you need to remember that the people you are gossiping to repeat everything you say!


Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Tough Decisions

I never thought I would have to make a decision whether to keep my goats and risk them being shot, or get rid of them to save their lives! When I choose to live in the campo, I understood that village life was different, and that we needed to fit in with the locals. However, they have proved this week that we will always be outsiders.

My goats on occasion have escaped, typically they head up the mountain and return some hours later. Unfortunately, last week they got out and choose to munch on a neighbours tree. This neighbour appeared, ranted, told me to keep my goats in or else. I wandered off mumbling "or else what" he proved on Monday morning what the "or else" meant.

Mondays are chaos here, even more chaotic than usual, and last Monday we were rushing around when we heard gun shots. We then realised that the goats were out, and the stampeded of them coming back to the house indicated that someone was shooting at my goats.

Thankfully the angry guy was  a bad shot, but he did manage to hit a few trees and skim the house, even when the goats were back on my land he continued to shoot at them. This then led to a 30 minute screaming match in bad Spanglish and many rude words!

Basically we were to get rid of the goats, the local people were in agreement, and unless I wanted the angry mobs returning with pitchforks and torches to shoot and kill the goats they were to go! Apparently the people in this valley do not keep goats "we" grow fruit.

Now, I am one to dig my heels in about anything, but I learnt a long time ago on this island as a foreigner, I could be in the right, have all the facts and still I would be in the wrong. So with a heavy heart the goats have gone to live on a goat farm on the island, which has left me bitter and plotting revenge.