Monday, 29 August 2016

Back in Laying Mode.


The broody hen has finally desisted from her hormonal enduced behaviour. The clucking has stopped as has the fluffing of feathers and the requirement to sit on the eggs laid by her seven coop mates. I don't know what finally prompted her stepping back from her unrequited maternal duties but she has finally recognised that it was all a waste of effort. Her comb had turned from deep red to a pale pink but it has darkened appreciably over the past week. Today was marked by her laying her first egg in over four weeks. We are now back in full egg production albeit that I know it won't be too long before my minature flock decides that it is tine to go into moult and take on the dishabille, look.



Friday, 19 August 2016

Progressive Building Society - Reducing Savings Rates to increase profits?

The Progressive Building Society, Northern Ireland's last remaining local building society, has announced that it will be reducing its savings rates with effect from 1st September. It cites the recent reduction in the Bank of England's base rate from 0.50% to 0.25% as the catalyst for this move. I suppose a reduction was inevitable but a reduction in excess of 0.25% smacks of unfairness to those members who are savers. It appears that the directors of the Progressive Building Society may have decided to increase the Society's margins. I see that their 7 day notice postal account has suffered a reduction of 0.35%. A similar reduction will apply to many ISA account owners.

The Government seems to believe that a reduction in base rate will cause people to spend money rather than save it and that as a consequence the economy will be given a fillip. I wonder if they remember that they are also exhorting people to save more for their retirement! I can't imagine that I am the only person who has spotted this contradiction.

What happens to, "the Progressive," if savers remove their money enmasse? It won't happen of course. Apathy rules more's the pity but it would be nice to see a bit of saver power.


Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Almost Free Food.

There is a sense of satisfaction, perhaps even smugness in growing your own fruit and vegetables. There are no air miles, the produce is fresh and if you forget about the expense of time you are ending up with very cheap food.

Even better is food that literally pops up of its own accord and all you have to do is kneel down and pick it. I am fortunate that my garden throws up a wide variety of edible fungi every year. Most I consume fresh but when an over abundance occurs I then resort to drying them in the lower reaches of the trusty aga.

Mushrooms haven't been the only free food from the garden this August. I have four or five wild cherry trees growing along one of the marches and I was able to pick just over four pounds of fruit from their lower branches. Unfortunately cherries do force you to work a bit. It takes a long time to pick four pounds of the small wild fruit and then there is the effort of pitting.