Saturday, 18 April 2009

Bad (techy) stuff and good (animal) stuff

Knitwits Yarns

Frustrating is the only way to put it. Yesterday evening (just before bed) FB got on the computer (bad time of day to do this - I cannot stress strongly enough how this is very definitely not to be recommended). We hadn't had any orders on the Cornish Organic Wool website for a couple of days - odd, he thought. So he did a "test" order and a message came up which, basically, said that the site was unsafe and it was recommended that customers don't proceed any further. So - that'll explain why no orders then! I think it's now been fixed but I'm confused - where do these messages come from? Are they automatically raised or does some computer nerdy type (aka "a man") manually put them on and, if so, why doesn't the site owner/operator - "us" - get told? Who decides one day, out of the blue, that this particular site is unsafe when - clearly - if anyone had the courtesy to ask us (the owners) we would know it isn't. What's the score here then? Anyone have any insight?

Then - I come into the shop. If you go onto Knit Wits site - go to "Brand" and select any wool and then click on one of the patterns down the left hand side you get this message:

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected ')' in /home/knitwits/public_html/this_pattern.php on line 269

What on earth is this all about? Why does a site trundle along happily for several weeks/months and then this happens? It's as frustrating as getting half way through a knitting pattern and knitting a few rows and, all of a sudden, the pattern doesn't work. Why? What happens to the web-site mechanics that they suddently go bananas. Sometimes I could weep - honesty. Anyhoo, if you're trying to find a pattern you can still find them by searching through "Patterns" and using the filters on the left hand side to narrow your search - fortunately, this system is still working.

So, that's the bad (techy) stuff.

Let's move on to the good (animal) stuff. We are lucky enough to have a fairly big garden and, at the bottom, we have a hen house and run with 5 girls and a boy. We got them as small chicks and, needless to say, they were supposed to be 6 girls but, presumably, small chicks are quite hard to sex so one of them turned into this:

By anyone's standards, that is a fine looking chap so he stayed! He's called Bernard and, clearly, as he grew up and realised he was the only chap with 5 girlies to himself he realised that he'd been born in heaven.

Here he is with some of his girls:

The alert amongst (and, rememer, your country needs lerts) you will notice that there are only 4 girls there and I mentioned that we have 5. We have - and number 5 has gone all "clucky" and is sitting on a clutch of eggs. So - we now have a problem - hen houses have 2 nesting boxes for a very good reason - when one girl goes "clucky" they sit in one and the other girls can still lay in the other. Some time ago we had a rat infestation (goes with chickens, I'm afraid) and they ate through the second nesting box to such an extent that, despite the best efforts of the men in my household, the box was close to collapse and had to be closed off and shored up. So, now we have Number 5 sitting and no-where for the others to lay.

FB & G spent this morning re-cycling an old rabbit hutch and turning it into a nesting box for Number 5. She was, eventually, moved (much pecking, apparently) and is now happily sitting in her rabbit hutch - another crisis averted. The next question is this - if all the eggs are boys ..... ?? ...... coq au vin (if you get my gist).

On the subject of animals - Deidre:
is doing incredibly well. (For those of you who missed an earlier entry - Deidre is nearly 2 and had a stroke about 2 months ago). His head is permanently at that angle since the stroke and you can just see that his right eye is a bit "iffy" but, other than that, he's extraordinary. Oh, yes - in case you missed that - Deidre is a boy - the opposite of Bernard who was supposed to be a girl. Deidre came to us at 5 weeks old when he was abandoned by his mother in the farmyard - you could, literally, fit him in a pint pot. He was, also, difficult to sex and - being so beautiful - we assumed he was a girl - ha, ha!! By the time we discovered our error (when he went in to be neutered!) he knew his name so Deidre stuck - it causes some confusion at the vet's I can tell you. Mind you, when we took him in after his stroke he met a Phoebe who was in for castration so he's in good company!

Whilst out with the camera, FB got a bit carried away - here is Cottontail:
and, yes, for those of you (Beatrix Potter fans) wondering - we have owned Flopsy and Mopsy in the past (they are buried in the rose bed along with "Flubber" - who, interestingly, was a short-lived albino guinea pig and, for reasons that escape missed out on the BP theme) -

and - here are Peter and Benjamin (back to BP) - by now it will surprise none of you to learn that one of them is, in fact, a girl
because one day we came down to a tank full of eggs which
they then ate (gross): and now, despite the fact that I think that's really quite a good photograph, we should perhaps take the camera off FB and return him to his padded cell.

On the knitting front (I guess we need to discuss knitting at some point) teddy has ears (not yet attached) and all other limbs are now attached - hoorah. I made a very Gok Wan adornment out of some kits we have in the shop - photos to follow - and the bolero featured on the front of Let's Knit has been returned to us. I've taken off the ribbon and added a button and will be photographed in it later for our pattern - will be on the site next week. FB has also been dyeing new stuff - watch this space!

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