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Dry Roots - Friday 25/03/11

Helped out Jude yesterday. The idea was to construct a bender to use as duck housing. For me, a bender is no where near secure enough and when it turned out she had trees that needed planting (some bare root) there was no contest. This late in the year, them trees need planting! It didn't even matter where, as long as those roots were in the soil. when you live next to a tree surgeon-come-gardener, you learn about these things.
I have been very lethargic indeed. A combination of illness and the hot weather. Managed to watch Nick finish off a polybender, and partly aid spreading a canvas over his homemade geo-dome. In my experience and through researching these structures, the only ones that 'work' are those of the Bedouin style. Examples where people try to board them up and seal them seem to suffer many issues and problems.

She used to be so pretty...

After a few dry days and two of hot sun, the ground is already cracking.
M Jones

The Chuckling Prankster - Wednesday 23/03/11

04:00 Tuesday morning. Slipped out with the Ultra and blended into the moon lit fog. Concealed by a cloak of mist, I finally neutralised the superior eyesight advantage of the Canada Goose. Taking my time, I approached the bank of the millpond and knelt motionless. The frogs and toads were concealed all around chirping merrily. The moon was exceptionally bright (not surprising as I believe it might have been a 'super' moon) and despite the clouded conditions, illuminated the scene with an eery white glow.
It was difficult to discern where exactly my targets were located, but my patience was rewarded when a 'loch ness' type neck loomed out of the mist. With the head in my sights, I followed the targets slow, lazy path and when I was satisfied of a clean shot, I fired. CRACK! Due to the water surface, the report from the muzzle was amplified massively. The head and neck disappeared from sight and my ears were relied upon to compute the situation. Slap, slap, slap, a slow, almost rowing motion could be heard. Then a honk. Had I mortally wounded but not killed the goose? Had I killed it with one shot, but was hearing the nervous death twitch and the grief of its mate?
I think they were winding me up, and the honk was a prankster who couldn't hold in his chuckle. For when the sun rose later that morning and the mist had cleared, there were no dead geese, no wounded birds. Still my nemesis eludes me...

Later in the day, very much later as it was gone 17:00 in fact. Emma and Frances returned from their week in Stroud. Whilst nice to see they have both brought coughs and colds and I am already feeling the first symptoms of having contracted it. Thanks Guys.

Today, in glorious sunshine, I laid another row of bricks whilst talking on the phone to my best buddy Luke who has just got back from Australia. Wants to live out there and I don't blame him. I would if I could afford the flights and were in his position. As it is, there are too many lethal critters for my liking for me to comfortably carry on living the way I am. I'm sure it could be done, but I'd rather go to a country where people still predominantly live off the land and Western culture hasn't yet killed off the traditional skills.

Have finally realised our cats full name; Eira Pookilicious Lovecrust. Eira Poocrust for short. Gunna get Fran to draw up her birth certificate on the morrow and make it official. Does the cat have a say in this? NO WAY! How many of us did?

Nigels BSA Ultra Multishot .22 vs My Hatsan Mod55s .177

My row on the outermost wall.

M Jones

Estora - Monday 21/03/11

Estora - The return of the Goddess from the underworld, bringing new life with her.
Spring has definitely sprung but yesterday the weather turned wet and grey, dampening not only my pile of freshly cut logs, but my spirits also. Whilst a lot of what I do, I do on my own, I very much miss having Emma and Fran here to share it with. Only one more day of solitude left.

Lunch - MkIII Loaf
Whiled away a fair few hours continuing to dream about the many different air rifles I wish to buy immediately with all my plentiful dream money. They are;

The Hatsan AT44-10:
Hatsan AT44-10

Aside from the side lever cocking action, the 10 shot magazine and the fact its very competitively priced, I love the tactical thumbhole stock. Oh, and the brass magazine retaining bolt, and the gold plated trigger.
As wells as the detachable air bottle....

The Air Arms TX200 HC (Hunter Carbine).
Air Arms TX 200

Admittedly its Daddy is a rip off of the mighty Weihrauch HW77 of the 80's, and its a toss up between this and a HW97k,
Weihrauch HW97K

but the Air Arms fixed barrel underlever rifle, wins on price.

The HW100FSB?
The HW100T?
The HW100K/KT/S/KS?

One of them anyway. Brand new these puppies are around £600-£800. Justifiably so too. The bets pre-charged pneumatic rifle money can buy with a 14 shot magazine (x2) and silencer included, its the dogs dangly bits. I would settle for second hand therefore fate will decide which variant I get I imagine.

I am aware my list is PCP heavy with only one springer (two if you count my rapidly ageing Hatsan MOD55S) I guess a Weihrauch HW90 is an option, Employing the Theoben Gas Ram system,
Weihrauch HW90
but then why not buy a Theoben? Too expensive? Well Hatsan do a gas ram version of the MOD 60s (my rifle but in .22 calibre) for approx £225 peanuts compared to a Weihrauch or Theoben, but probably for good reason.

If I had written this list earlier in the month, the dependable Air Arms S200 would definitely have been top,
Air Arms S200

but the Webley Raider 10 wins on price as well as possibly on pedigree.
Webley Raider 10.
Many would disagree in practice, but the theory is the S200 is a lightweight target rifle whereas the Raider is a solid hunter, hence my decision to buy a Raider. That's with scope, silencer (despite the already fully shrouded barrel) and gun slip for £310 inc p&p! (Lets hope the old adage "buy cheap, buy twice" does NOT ring true).

One cheeky little number I am also thinking about is the BSA Ultra Tactical Multishot,
The BSA Ultra Carbine
although its single shot brother is £150 cheaper. A fantastic weapon I have on loan in walnut stock flavour from Nigel next door.
Was out with it this evening, saw bugger all until in the fading light a duck flew very close on the other side of the hedge bank where I knew there to be a small pond. I spent forever sidling round to get a shot but it took off just in time. Being that the Ultra is pretty quiet and comes with a silencer as standard, a spot of goose poaching might become a damn sight easier.

The cats had the right idea. They refrained from a long ass walk and probably had more hunting opportunities than I did.
The Professionals. Greeted my return with disdain.

M Jones

Eggbert Gets Smashed - Saturday 19/03/11

06:06. Has been lonely without my family. As a consequence, I've done a fair few things. Took a bath, then reused the water to wash the dirty clothes I'd changed out of (particularly proud of that thinking), made briquette logs from cardboard using our press (they have since been drying on the wood burner), caught upon the blog, had a bash at some bread, then a soup... Ok, those last two were rather upsetting. Bread mk1 failed to rise. Possibly due to me misreading the recipe and adding two table not teaspoons of salt. Might help kill the geese... or could just dunk them in boiled eggs to save salting.
Boy! The eggs loved my second loaf. As soon as the two I'd boiled felt it, they shouted to their mates in the fridge. Overheard the ringleader 'hatching' a plan - when I next make a coffee, they're going to jump into the caf├ętiere in the hope they'll be boiled and i'll eat them with these sexy, silky smooth yet fluffy soldiers of mine. Eggbert Junior got so excited he rolled out of the fridge and tried to tell the chickens next door.
So I boiled him up and smashed his head in...

Began soup around 18:00 last night and it was still cooking and 'softening' at 21:45. This failure could be attributed to the amount of ingredients.
3 x leeks,
1 x red pepper,
1/2 tin corned beef,
3 x carrots,
3 x potatoes,
1 x sweet potato,
2 x onions.
Quite alot for one man. Albeit by the time I surrendered and sadly slipped beneath the sheets, I was one hungry man...
Have had a deluge of new reading material lately added to the arrival of the library van, from which I borrowed 'Victorian Farm', 'Matthew Reilly's Scarecrow' and 'Good Old-Fashioned Teatime Treats' (a hint to Emma that I'd like more puddings)
Nick has lent me David Icke's 'Human Race Get Off Your Knees: The Lion Sleeps No More'
Have only managed a quarter of 'Victorian Farm' so will have to report back on the others.
An interesting, and I think, important observation in ''Victorian Farm', is that the Victorians prolific resourcefulness and ingenious methods of recycling, stemmed from the simple fact that for the most part, they were very poor. As are many other cultures who are adept at wasting little. So there is the answer. The Big Wigs are listening. We have said we want more recycling in the UK and they're acting by making us poor. Cheers all you bankers as well as the equally guilty and greedy politicians. Nice one.

Rising from the warm, gassy depths.

The accident.

The chosen one.

M Jones

Unfathomable Truth - Tuesday 15/03/10

Was asked to do some paid work work on Friday. Those 6.5 hours knocked 2 weeks off the wait for my £300 Webley Raider 10 Air Rifle. The wait now stands at 2.9 weeks. Handy, as its commonly said, the nicotine cravings pass after this time.

Thankfully the three non laying hens were despatched on a far more leisurely timetable than first thought. Using the method described in my Basic Butchering of Livestock and Game book proved to be efficient and effective, but a very different experience. Shooting provides physical and emotional distance, affording the marksman the luxury of not staring death in the face. Or holding it in his hands.
When using a knife to stick the birds brain, then opening the jugular, there is no escaping the effects of your actions, brought about by your desire. I literally held and extinguished life in my hands. It is not easy. In fact I would invite all those who hunt with firearms to sample killing their usual quarry with a knife and their bare hands.
I for one never have, and certainly never will, kill for sport. It shall always and only be for the table. Mine. I still find it more unfathomable than ironic, that here I am in an intentional community, set up and run by people who wish to live off the land, and I am seemingly the only one prepared to hunt and kill my food.

Tomorrow Emma and Fran are heading to Stroud to visit family for a week, I wonder what it'll be like here home alone...

Its a dogs life...

...and a cats.

But not a chickens.

The Avian Executioner - Thursday 10/03/11

Yippee! I'm still a non-smoker! The little nicotine monster is doing his best but he is definitely starving to death. Allen Carr's book is obviously a simple reverse brainwashing exercise judging by the amount of repetition, but I will say that thus far it has prepared me for all the hurdles and made this transition or rather remission, very easy indeed.

My avian execution and butchery skills have obviously been noted and recommended. My services have been requested on another plot to despatch and prepare 3 non layers. With a deadline of Saturday evening, that means one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one the next day. That's killing, plucking and preparing the damn things... hard work but at least we get one in payment.

Over the past few days I've been quietly getting on with planting rows of willow. As easy and therapeutic as this has been, I am glad to say it is nearly finished. Over half an acre planted in 2/3 days. Hope they do well and I haven't fluffed it.
Am going to sleep well tonight

M Jones

Non-Smoking - Tuesday 08/03/11

The final shackle has been picked and I am free! After reading Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking, I'm the Non Smoker I used to be. I could give you my opinion etc and tell every nicotine addict its a must read before stopping. But it would only benefit smokers who have realised its a mugs game and truly want to break out of the cycle.
For a while I was a bit confused what to do with my tobacco. I didn't want to keep it and hide it somewhere. If I gave it to someone, that meant I could recall it as a debt. So I spread it on the grass. Ashes to ashes. Dirty filthy weed.
Despite only having stopped for 6 hours so far, I have noticed a marked difference in my breathing and performance. The iron bands I had once kept clamping on my chest are breaking away.
Yippee! I'm a Non-Smoker!

Not your average butchers shop...

Ying and Yang

Poisoning the orchard with the dreaded weed.

All gone.

Time to fight them English landowners.

M Jones