We have some new bantams

We went back to the very excellent Orchard Poultry to buy a few more bantams. Not for breeding, just to supplement our ornamental flock. And, after losing our silkie during last winter, we’ve learnt the lesson that the breeds must not be too tender for cold damp conditions.

Here are our five newcomers, getting accustomed to their new quarters before being integrated with the existing birds.

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Venison Prep at the Game Fair

We spent an enjoyable hour watching a “field to table” demonstration at the Ragley Hall Game Fair. The demo was given by Jose Souto, keen stalker and chef, and Mike Robinson, restaurateur and game enthusiast.

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And before going further, if you’re squeamish about butchery, you might want to skip this particular blog entry!
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Airgun Choices

We’d arrived early at the Ragley Hall Game Fair with the intention of looking at air rifles and maybe having a go with a couple that I’d shortlisted. So I was slightly disappointed that none of the airgun manufacturers was there. There was, though, a shooting line at which you could try out a selection of guns for a modest fee. I was particularly keen to try out the FX Wildcat and the Daystate Pulsar. (Notice that airguns, the lowest powered beasts of the shooting world, get the most aggressive names. A big game rifle will be called something much milder like “Safari”.)

Anyway, I had a chance firstly to try the Wildcat. It’s made by FX in Sweden, and has a high reputation. It’s a so-called bullpup configuration, much more compact than a traditional rifle, and allegedly much handier to shoulder and to aim.

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The Game Fair 2016

So this weekend we went to the Game Fair at Ragley Hall. And it was excellent. Nearly but not quite 100%.

The scale of the show is vast. Here we are just inside one of the entrances looking out over just a fraction of the show. The fishing lake is to the left, and the main bulk of the show ahead and to the right.

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The delicious city of Hamburg

Apart from our troubled channel crossings, we had a most lovely weekend in Hamburg. We explored a few places off the beaten track with our expert guide aka our son Philip.

Whilst we waited for him on Friday, we started with a gentle stroll around part of the Alster Lake.

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Father’s Day? Segway!

I was given a fantastic Father’s Day present by my son, whom we were visiting in Hamburg. A Segway tour of the city. I cannot describe how much fun it was, and indeed how easy and natural the Segway is to ride.

We were lucky that the English language version of the tour on Sunday afternoon was undersubscribed, so instead of the usual 8 participants, the three of us had a guide to ourselves.

First faltering steps ...

First faltering steps …


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Sorry, Eurotunnel LeShuttle. I thought it was your fault.

We were booked to travel on the Chunnel from Calais to Folkestone yesterday evening, schedule departure around 8.30pm. We actually arrived 4 hours early, since we’d had good weather and the usual traffic jams around Antwerp hadn’t been as bad as usual. So we were looking forward to getting an early crossing and arriving home at a civilised hour.

The first intimation of a problem came when we passed queues of cars bound for the ferry port but stacked onto the motorway. A lorry had apparently had an accident and blocked the main route, so all traffic was being diverted via the town. We felt glad that we’d chosen the tunnel and not the ferry.
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