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!