Sorry I haven't posted for over a week, but with bargains thin on the ground I've been waiting to find something worth buying (or, am I just getting too fussy in my old age?) So here goes.
Now, don't ask me why I got this, but this is plastic about 6 feet x 4 feet, plenty large enough to cover the dining table. I'm really not in the habit of using a plastic cloth, but at £1.25 I thought it might come is useful one day and I do like the pattern :o)
I've placed a 'normal' sized (Wedgwood Edme pattern) cup and saucer next to my new cup and saucer to show just how large it really is! Originally from Ikea, it had sat on the shelf in the charity shop for over three weeks and I couldn't pass it over any longer! £1. Where I'm going to put it? I have NO idea.....
This 4 inch diameter wooden, carved shortbread mould was 75p, I just love thistles. It's another to add to my wooden Kitchenalia collection - next post I promise to share it with you.
As you know I'm a sucker for blue and white, so when I saw the 2 inch pig for 20p it just had to come home :o) Finally....
This Stuart Crystal cut ships decanter has also taunted me for a week. I love the shape and the beautiful craftsmanship. It does have the usual milky discolouration in the bottom, which will come out after a good soaking with distilled white vinegar. I'd tried to ignore it as it cost £9.50, much more than I'd pay normally..but I do love it so. The photo doesn't do it justice, it really gleams.
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Now, onto other matters.We have also made the second hog house at the weekend, which I've installed in the garden in the hope of another permanent inhabitant. I went to the market to get the wood, I got 2, 6 foot packs of shiplap for £5 a pack. It's actually slightly thinner timber this time but as it's placed against a drystone wall I'm hoping it'll be sheltered enough under the shrubs. A dear friend gave me a part roll of roofing felt to cover the roof with. Here's the finished (slightly smaller) Hog House mark II.
As you can see it's already got Sid's seal of approval!
with it's built in tunnel - this forms a barrier to stop a cat or dog dragging out the occupant.
I have almost filled it with fresh hay as a nesting material, but forgot to take a photo.
It is now placed against our small dry stone, ivy covered wall facing East which on reflection is maybe not ideal, but over winter I will place a container plant to deflect any direct winds from whistling around the entrance so that if need-be the (new?) hibernating resident hog will be able to leave if it needs to top-up on food or water during a mild spell..
the side view.
The dimensions are 18" x 20" x 16"
On the subject of hibernation, if you have any visiting hogs could I ask you to capture and weigh them? It is imperative that at this time of year they have a minimum weight of 600g - enough fat reserves to see them through the winter. If (like me) you have smaller hogs, or Autumn Juveniles please get in touch with your nearest Hedgehog Rescue Centre.
Over the last couple of nights I have caught and weighed three of my visitors - all of which were underweight. I have at the ready a cat carrier bottom lined in thick newspaper, and shredded paper so that they can hide securely. I also provide the most necessary *water and *food in small heavy based containers. Here is the first one I have delivered to Joan at West Midland Hedgehog Rescue Centre
Meet the young Winifrid Prickles! Weighing in at 316g.
Here she was as I uncovered her in the box on hand-over.
and the second one captured on the following night -
Wilfred Prickles, weighing in at 415g.
As they will fight any non - sibling I had to release the third hedgehog as the carrier was already occupied that night. (I will get it though!) I place the hog/carrier in our laundry as they need to be kept warm, hypothermia will attack hedgehogs quickly. If they do have any fleas, and not all of them do - they will not live on any other animal or human BUT do not treat them for fleas, as normal cat/dog powders and sprays are poisonous to them.
If you do manage to save one of these endearing little creatures and get it to a rescue centre, please realise that they are all run by charities, and only get one payment of £50 per year towards the cost of drugs from the British Hedgehog Society. The cost of one bottle of anti-biotics is approx £30. All other funds are raised by them or their helpers. Donations however small will be appreciated, as will any cat meat in jelly (But NO fish flavoured ones, as the hogs cannot digest fish), dried cat food - again no fish. dried meal worms, sunflower hearts and crushed peanuts. Old towels and pillowcases will be put to very good use too along with shredded paper which is used for nesting/bedding.
Whilst at the rescue centre yesterday I was introduced to these - (warning, your heart will melt!)
four of the eight baby orphaned hogs - just about 2.5 inches long.
Sorry this is blurred, it's the best of the three I took - the little blighter was a right little wriggle!
Can you imagine the dedication to raise them? They started with 2 hourly feeds, and now are lapping and eating kitten food. Kept on a heated mat in the house.
I have to say a huge thank you to Joan Lockley and all the other Hedgehog rescue centres for the sterling work they do.
I'd better get off the soap-box (again) now, and wish you all a happy week.
Woops! I forgot to say that Wilfred and Winifrid will be coming 'home' when they are either at the correct weight - if the weather is mild, or they'll return in the spring :o) Rescue centres always return the underweight juvenilles to the place where they were rescued from if it is safe and has a healthy hog population.