The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Yahoo Pipes and a general update on us all

This is Paris my favourite hen

This is Paris my favourite hen - she lays sweet white eggs

“Gosh I’ve never seen so many windows opened on anyone’s computer before.”

Danny said. It was an air through the teeth moment.

I’m learning how to use Yahoo Pipes. It’s a tight learning curve but I’m enjoying that, as long as the frustration is matched with an occasional triumph. In the olden days (2-3 years ago) people used Yahoo Pipes to increase backlinks to their sites and climb up the Google rankings. I’m not sure whether Yahoo Pipes are relevant to that particular task anymore.

I will do some tests and report back.

Meanwhile I’m trying to build a toy for The Cottage Smallholder website. A facility to enable visitors to search for a recipe using a string of ingredients. Yahoo Pipes enables you to do this with very little programming expertise. It’s free software – all you need is a Yahoo account and if you are a novice like me, an awful lot of patience.

We have been using the recent sunny days to get through a vast pile of washing that has built up. We’re now just down to a couple of jumpers and a cloth that I used when the white sauce leapt from the saucepan to my top with overenthusiastic use of the stick blender.

Dr Quito – the ultimate sun god – has been sunbathing on the little path that goes up the bower. He closes his jet black eyes and just lets the rays wash over him. With The Contessa gone, he’s thrown together much more with or youngest dog, Inca. Quite often they share a basket and snuggle up – this only happened when she was a pup. It’s heartening.

Our chickens have taken a long time this year to get up and going this year. My favourite hen – Paris the white Leghorn – laid her first egg today. I know that the fashion is for brown eggs but let me share a secret. White eggs are much sweeter. We now treasure them at the cottage.

I’m loving ‘going back to college’. I would like a bit more time in the sun as it bleaches my hair from greyish to white. But I’d rather use the spring energy stream to learn more. Hair bleaching can happen later this summer.


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  1. Hi Fiona,
    The recent warm,sunny weather has been so good for the soul, hasn’t it.
    My hens have laid throughout the winter, the first time ever. Now they are going great guns. I collected 12 today. They are Dorkings & a cross between Dorking & White Plymouth Rocks so all the eggs are white or just gently off-white. The crosses are terrific layers & all of them make wonderful broody hens. I keep two males for breeding & killto eat the other boys. I hate doing it but it is better done by me, fast & quietly. They are delicious & they have lived a good, if short, life.
    Have a great summer.

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Hattie

      Good to hear from you!

      I think that D and I need to get into chicken breeding soon. Killto eat is such a practical plan and I must admit that our surplus cockerels that we ate were delicious.

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