May 2009

English-mafia Sarah phoned this morning, after being woken at five by a Light Sussex cock that’s just found his voice. For the second day running. What with a cat who’s just had kittens and a poorly child, things were getting on top of her. So we agreed to take the cock off her hands.

Looks like we won’t be buying any more chickens any time soon.

I didn’t tell you, I’ve got a gig on Saturday. Using Man Maths, the most highly paid gig I’ve ever had: 40 bales of hay.

(Forty bales at five euros a bale from the local agricultural co-op… blimus, that’s 200 euros!)

I could say the last gig I played was first support for Iggy Pop at the Brixton Academy in 1991, which I agreed to do for the princely sum of £20.

But I’d be lying.

I did a couple of gigs in Minneapolis about ten years ago, for free.

Iggy Pop was the one before that.

And I’m still waiting for the £20.

Her Outdoors has been bugging me for a while to build a new chicken house. A chicken house that will have enough room to accommodate the Light Sussex cock and two more layers she was given for her birthday, months ago. A chicken house that will allow the current pallet chicken house to become a pallet guinea fowl house. A chicken house we can actually stand up in.

Finally, I came up with a design…

And started putting it together…

Then we had to order a chicken-shed-load of wood, which won’t be ready until June.

Yesterday, I told you about a bee orchid I found over the road. Well, Her Outdoors went on an orchid walk last night and discovered it’s not a bee orchid at all. I don’t have the name for you now. Just the name it’s not.

I can tell you that this orchid also grows in écovallée:

But I can’t tell you its name, either. Tsk. Some bloggers.

This one came as a surprise to Her Outdoors the other day. “I want to find a new orchid”, she said to herself. Then looked into the woods and saw, not one of the orchids we’ve been waiting for, but our very own Greater Butterly Orchid:

I couldn’t wait for a Bee Orchid to show up. So I nipped across the road at the top of our drive and shot this one. I think it’s quite nice:

(Oh, I never explained the change of format for the photos.)

Last Tuesday afternoon, around 6.30 French time, version 2.0 was introduced to the world.


There were a few bugs to begin with that needed squishing (including an outrageous horizontal overflow nightmare in Internet Explorer) – and there are still a few crawling round – but it’s now in a bloggable condition, which is why I’m subjecting you to these pixels today.

Credit for can, will and is flowing to the following excruciatingly fabulous people (self excluded). For a more cinematic feel, you could turn off the lights, put on some music and tread some ice cream into the carpet.

In order of appearance: version 1.0
design and code
Café del Nightmare version 2.0
Julia Aldington-Hunt version 2.0
words and design
the devolutionary
Her Outdoors
Dave Quinn version 2.0
Jo Burley
the devolutionary
Her Outdoors version 2.0
Dreamweaver operator and uploader
Dave Quinn version 2.0
Cave de Cyrano, Lalinde

Dave tells me that the search engine rating will be improved depending on the number of external links I have to – but I can’t for the life of me work out how this can happen (if you’ve got any ideas, send them to the email address on

Oh. One other thing. Readers of will notice that we’re opening to members of the public in March 2010. This is so we can: make the site as beautiful as it deserves to be; not kill ourselves with impossible deadlines; and see something of our children while they are small.

If you want to come and see us this year anyway, get in touch and we’ll see what we can do.

Been away from the confuser for a while, so these piccies are a little late.

To give you some idea how close to Orchid Central we are, this sign was nailed to our postbox a few weeks ago:

Recent additions to our own collection include the White Helleborine:

And the Pyramid Orchid:

We’re still waiting for two Her Outdoors remembers seeing last year. I’ll keep you posted.