Tuesday, 29 November 2011

FEATHERS!

No wonder she has been rubbing the back of her neck - she has feathers coming in! I thought they started on her wings, but these are back and back of the neck. Oh look at them - how cute!

The Duckling is becoming a Duck!

Monday, 28 November 2011

This Gorgeous Girl

Wow - just look at this gorgeous little big girl......
 This is aged 11 days and just look at the growth in that time. She has more than doubled in size. Here she is being held by Steve.





In fact her half brothers/sisters to be arrived today and I couldn't resist taking a photo for comparison.....




You may have to tilt your screen to see this one clearly as the lighting wasn't the best. She is in her WUP and I was trying to get her and the egg in, and take the photo at the same time. But you get the idea.

Another photo of her on my hand......





Isn't she just the most beautiful little thing ever?

She looks to be getting feathers on the back of her head too. It certainly feels rough there. I must Google when this should happen. It will be sad to see the back of her baby down, but exciting to see the lovely feathers.

We collected a cot today to transform into a large brooder. The one Ace is living in is just about enough room for her - imagine another 5 like her in it. Photo's to follow......


Just sneaking this one in

Yes, I know it's a Duck Day today, but I just wanted to sneak this pic in.....

Y'see Steve does not do cats. He has never had a cat as a pet/had close contact with cats/liked cats. He had this preconceived idea that they are haughty, offhand, come in only to be fed and are generally not nice beings.

So when we got Sam and Ella he was distant to say the least. They were here to do a job which was keeping the mouse population under control.

8(?) weeks down the line Mickey and pals are still running riot under the house. So keep has not been earned. BUT.....the man who 'don't do cats' has had to have his opinions changed. They do the stereotypical 'someone doesn't like us so we will try harder' on him. Ella in particular will sit on his lap and gaze adoringly at him, purring her little head off. Sam doesn't work quite as hard as he has somehow worked his way in by other means.



Yeah, right!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

My Turn Today

For a kitty pile that is.

I had just sat on the floor to check my inboxes when I felt a little furry person on my back. Then another one. I couldn't get up without throwing them off. STEVE!!! He is never here when I need him.....

He finally came in from the garden by which time Sam and Ella are settling down for a snooze.

Lights, camera and that is sure to lead to action.......

Please keep still Mum......




Bored with this game now....yeah me too......



Ace, BTW is HUGE. No photo's of her today but take my word for it she is MASSIVE. I will photograph her tomorrow. She had a swim in her WUP bowl today on the kitchen table. Steve and I sat talking to her and she nibbled our fingers and clothes. Later she was shouting about something. Steve said 'bet she's got no water'. Sure enough no food or water. Clever little big girl.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Sam 'n' Ella Update

Yes, they are still here, still growing and still absolutely adorable.

They are now quite adept at going in and out of the cat flap, but are far happier when one of us is in the garden with them. In fact I get the impression they would like to be permanently glued to us.

They are a great source of amusement and the French Canadian (aka hearth rug) seems to be a favourite toy. Usually Sam is the one who hides in it and Ella bats any sticking out bits. They also love a glittery toy that is hanging by elastic on the door handle. Do they know when I laugh at their antics? Does it encourage them?

Favourite place? On Steve's front. There seems to be truth in the adage that they love whoever is coolest towards them....

This photo is just wrong on so many levels.....

Friday, 25 November 2011

A Week Already?

It is so hard to believe that Ace is already a week old! Mind you, looking at her she has easily doubled in size in that time.

We put her washing up bowl into the big bath today. She was happier like that, but still seemed to prefer sitting on her diving boards aka our hands.

I forgot to take the camera in for swimming lessons so had to snap her later in her brooder. Had to have photo's of her today didn't I?!

Oh, and she may be getting brothers and sisters in the next few days - watch this space.........

Birthday Girl                                                                                        



                                                                                   A Week in The Life


Thursday, 24 November 2011

Just to prove it....

....here she is asking Daddy to take her out of the bath. She seems to have an aversion to it and swims straight for Steve's hands each time.

Washing up bowl (her own!) tomorrow I think.


Isn't she a big girl now though?

BIG Girl in the BIG Bath

SO on Tuesday we decided to put Ace into the BIG bath. She was very uncertain as it was new, strange and very, very BIG. But we persevered.....

Yesterday (Wednesday) she was happier.

AND

She actually swam to Steve's hand and jumped onto it. Then sat there preening. This was a huge breakthrough - it shows she trusts him.


Suddenly she looked very tiny again....

Monday, 21 November 2011

Like a Duck to Water

I am beginning to understand some of these duck-related sayings......like a duck to water for instance.

When we plopped Ace into the washing up bowl (must get her one of her own) today she immediately dived underneath and swam underwater. She was clearly loving it, splashing around, getting me soaked.

Once she was back in her brooder another one sprang to mind - like water off a duck's back. Wet as she looks it is only surface wet and she dries in no time.

A bit of a shock with her today. She is not an Aylesbury after all. We rather naively trusted the seller, but we got to wondering this morning how this beautiful bronze fluff turns into white feathers. Then realised it doesn't.

We googled Aylesbury ducklings and every one of them was yellow.

Ace is actually a Khaki Campbell.

Which in itself is not a problem - we love her for who she is not what she is. But as far as Puddleducks goes, she cannot do our advertising work - Puddleducks are Aylesburys. No ifs, no buts, Aylesburys.

So we have to source some hatched ducklings of a very simliar age so that they are young enough to tame. Otherwise we are losing a whole month waiting for more to hatch.

Let's look on the bright side here....IF Ace is female, then she will be a very prolific egg-layer - up to 350 a year which is pretty damned good.

And even is she does turn out to be a bloke - well just look at this gorgeous thing - who could fail to love it?




Our water baby - 3rd swim.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Second Swim

So we tried again today. And will do tomorrow. And the next day. And the day after that.

BECAUSE

She is getting the hang of it!

Today we used the washing up bowl (made sure there was no Fairy left in it) as it is deeper - no cheating with feetsis on the floor!

She initially did the same as yesterday and tried to get out. But with perpendicular sides there was no escape. So she swam - I could see her little feet paddling under the water - so cute! And then she did what ducks do....she put her head under the water! Not only once but twice. SO she really is a duck!





We took her out shortly after as we are still aware of the temperature difference.

Can you see how much she has grown? I think I will do a composite picture of her next to an egg just to show the tremendous growth rate.

Speaking of the other eggs......Still nothing. Their stay of execution ends tomorrow.

I cannot just dump them in the bin - they were real living creatures and deserve some dignity. So the eggs will be put into a pond - which I think is quite fitting for ducks. "Burial at Sea" says Steve.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

The First Swim

So it didn't happen on Friday as planned - I was concerned about putting her *** to bed wet and cold.

So she has had her first encounter with water today - Saturday. We have fired up the Rayburn to make sure she is warm enough. The kitchen feels marvellous.

I part-filled a roller paint tray with tepid (NOT cold) water and put her on the sloping bit for her to walk down into the water. She wasn't at all sure about this.....

She flapped around and tried to escape.

So we tried again.

And again.

And added more water so that she couldn't put her feet on the bottom.

She splashed around a bit and really did not seem over-impressed with the idea at all.

So we put her back in the brooder, where she proceeded to preen herself.

Result then!

That is what the water is all about.

*** We tried to vent-sex her, and as nothing popped out Steve determined that she is a girl. Of course we could have got it totally wrong, time will tell.

 I suppose it is better thinking of her as female as it would be bit of a shock if our 'fella' laid an egg!




And she is too pretty to be a bloke!



Friday, 18 November 2011

The Naming Ceremony

Alright so no ceremony, just the naming....

Our ducky has been named.......

ACE.

This came about whilst we were playing cards last night. It seems appropriate as he (it's easier to refer to it as 'he' all the time) is the first (of many hopefully) and being an androgynous name we won't have to change/vary it if we find out otherwise.

So Ace it is.

Good job we hadn't just played a Joker!

Sad news re the other 4. It is looking as if they may all be Dead in Shell as we have heard and seen nothing since shortly after Ace hatched.

He will be having his first swimming lesson this evening - watch this space for photo's.......

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Number One Update

He/she has been moved to the brooder. After 8 hours he/she was nicely fluffed up, but bumping into brothers and sisters (still in shells). So we moved him/her.

For some reason we are both saying 'he' which may be easier. Will have to think of an androgynous name - Puddle? In honour of being the first Puddleduck?

But doesn't he look handsome?














NUMBER ONE IS HERE!!!!!

This has to be the most exciting thing that has ever happened to anyone ever in the whole history of the universe.......WE HAVE GROWN A DUCK!!!!

Number One put in an appearance at early o'clock this morning. At 4 am nothing more had happened since last night, but by 7.15 he/she was 3/4 out. I watched him/her emerge and wobble around the incubator. Totally mesmerised.

There is no sign of life from numbers 2,3,4 or 5 yet, but today is the day. Watch this space.....













 

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Nearly the Day

Oh wow, this is just getting so exciting now!

The hatch is due in the next 2 days, and there is definite action in there. We can clearly hear peeps and taps so we know that we have at least one success.

We have a monitor watching them so that we don't miss anything. And the camera is sitting ready.

To me this is more of an achievment than a 'real' baby - look at the people who have them every day after all. To have these little creatures grow and hatch is a sign that we have done it all right. We have nurtured and cared for them, we have given them the right amount of heat/humidity. We have turned them the correct amount. I am so proud right now.

The next 48 hours are the ones that really matter......

Sunday, 13 November 2011

All Change.

Cars that is.

Derek went today. The Jeep will be going during the week. And we are going to collect our new one tomorrow. What?! Yes, we did it all over the weekend.

There is a little tale behind the one we have bought actually.....(isn't there always?)

We (as in Steve really) had been watching several on eBay. There was one in particular that had no bids on it. And it was a very reasonable starting price. South Brent. Oh, London - not a million miles. So we bid. And won.

It wasn't until the guy got in touch that we discovered it wasn't the South Brent in London. It was the one in Devon. Didn't even know there was one in Devon. Hey ho - Devon here we come....

Devon is the county of my childhood. I lived there for 2 years (5-7 years old) and most of my childhood holidays were taken there. In Exmouth which is where my Mum was born. I have many wonderful memories of Exmouth. So when Steve said we could come home via Exmouth I cried. Oh boy - Exmouth again after all these years....

So I started googling.

And became disillusioned.

I couldn't recognise most of it. It has changed so much.

So whilst it would be brilliant to see the place again, I wouldn't be seeing the place I remember. So I have decided it wouldn't be the best plan. We will go to Torquay instead.

My Mum must be turning in her grave to see the way they have pulled her beloved Exmouth around. But as Steve pointed out it's progress. Nothing stays the same. Sad.

Exmouth will remain in my dreams the way it always was. And there is no progress there.


Thursday, 10 November 2011

Another Big Date on The Calender

10th November is my Mum and Dad's Wedding Anniversary. They have been married for 66 years today.

I could have said 'would have been married' as neither of them are still with us. Mum died 10 years ago, Dad just over a year ago.

BUT

I believe that they are together again.

So Have a Wonderful Day Mum and Dad.

With All My Love.

xxxxxxx

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

The Aftermath

Wednesday 9th Ocotber.

We both slept like logs after the day we had yesterday and awoke to the reality of getting our car home.

Steve wrote to the guy we had bought it from while I phoned Nissan dealers to ask whereabouts the spare wheel is on this particular model. I got answers from 'if you would like to pop it in I am sure we can find it' (um, I had said it was stranded 30 miles away); to 'I have never heard of that model'. My confidence in dealers was diminishing fast....

Steve had a bit more luck with the seller. While he did not accept any responsiblity for the condition he had sold us the vehicle in, he did enlighten us as to where to find the spare wheel. In the engine bay of course. D'errr why hadn't we thought of that?

So we drove back to Basingstoke and told the tyre centre guys where the spare was. Did they feel stupid? Until I told them about the Nissan Dealers.

So they swapped tyres for us and wouldn't accept any cash. Even after all they had done for us yesterday. More 'good' people and more carpet cleans promised. There was a sign in the centre with the area manager's name and phone number on. Steve made a note of this and later phoned and told the guy's answering machine how proud he should be of these workers.

We drove home on the dinky little spare and dropped in at a local breakers' yard on the off chance they had a wheel to fit. Not only did they have a suitable wheel and tyre, they fitted them for us for £35. Result.

As soon as we got home I relisted the car on eBay.

Although we had a pretty shitty day yesterday we truly believe it was all meant to happen for a reason. Perhaps if we had continued our journey we would have been involved in an accident? Perhaps we are supposed to sell the car before something major happens? Or are we just looking in the wrong direction for our perfect vehicle? Only time will tell.

As we sit here in front of a blazing fire it is easy to put yesterday's traumas in the 'been there, done that' category. But it does us good to remember that somewhere in the world someone is going through far worse than we did. It's all relative.

That was the Day That Was

Tuesday 8th November we were due in court to claim our deposit back from our ex-landlord.

We won, but seeing the poor little girl sat there all alone made me want to cry for her. You see she was also a victim - of an unscrupulous lettings agent. He made the rules up to suit himself and convinced her that his word was law.

Well clearly it wasn't and after doing and re-doing our homework we felt confident enough to challenge him. And guess what? He didn't have the nerve to turn up at the court, not even as morale support. He left this naive little girl to fend for herself.

I had to put her straight and advised her to sort the agent out. But I don't think she wanted to speak to me at that moment.

So after just 15 minutes in court we set off homewards. 30 miles, no problem. We were in the vehicle we had bought just 24 hours previously and life was looking good.

We were driving along the M3 discussing the case when a tyre blew. And we had no spare. Well with recent motorway accidents very much on our minds we didn't want to sit there on a dull drizzly day. So we limped back into Basingstoke.

The tyre was decimated and the rim was wearing away. We found a tyre depot who, although they don't do wheels bent over absolutely backwards to try to help us out. They phoned every scrappy and every dealer they could think of, but the only one that might have fitted didn't. And cost us £22.

Another customer overheard us (alright then me in tears) worrying how we were going to get home. Remember we are 30 miles away, it is getting dark and it is raining. He very kindly drove us to the railway station and said had his wife not been going out he would have brought us all the way home. We took his business card and promised a free carpet clean once we had sorted our transport. What a nice thing to do.

So we got the train to Salisbury, then another one to Dean which is 2 1/2 miles away from our home. Along dark country lanes.

There was a lady sitting in her car clearly waiting for another train's arrival. I asked her which direction she would be going in. And bless her heart she picked her husband up and drove us in the opposite direction to their home to our friends house. We felt we couldn't ask her to take us all the way home as it is way off the beaten track. A second Angel of Mercy in one day

Our friend was the third when she took us to our door.

So after 9 hours we were home. We had the problem of retrieving the car somehow, but we were safe. And at the end of the day that was all that really mattered.

And our faith in human nature had soared.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Bonfire Night - Happy Birthday Mum

On this day 96 years ago my Beautiful Mum was born. She had 4 older brothers who made her dread her birthday each year by telling her that she had arrived on a rocket and would leave on one too.

But as she aged and had children and grandchildren she saw the joy of such a momentous birth date. Each year the family would gather for fireworks and bonfire food. Gifts were wrapped with firework-bright tinsel, and the Birthday Girl had a wonderful time.

Ten years ago this lovely lady died.

Bonfire Night has since held bitter-sweet feelings for me. The fireworks remind me of my loss, but also the happiness she brought into so many peoples' lives. There is not a day goes by without me saying a 'Dulcie-ism' as her words of wisdom are known in our house. Many a time I will say something bizarre and Steve will say 'That's Dulcie'.

                                             Dulcie (meaning soft and gentle) Florence Peach
                                                                      1915 - 2001
                                                               
                                                   

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Puddleducks is becoming a Reality

The first batch of eggs are nearly half way through their incubation period. I will candle them again on Thursday (day after tomorrow) and try to remember to take a photo this time. Each time I see them I get excited - this first batch are to be my babies.
Isn't it gorgeous? See the ducks above the door? It's like it was made for Puddleducks but it didn't know it Link to Puddleducks' Blog..................

http://puddleducks4pets.blogspot.com/2011/10/in-beginning.html

PS - Couldn't get a decent snap because of lighting, but this is how they should look.......