Pancakes aren't just for Shrove Tuesday, they are for any frugal day when you are in a hurry or need to use up surplus eggs. At this time of the year, both factors affect meal times here, especially when preparing the first ever live chat, an impromptu decision to test out the brand new NYK Chat facility online. Pancakes for tea, early to bed for the Frugaldom ducks and then some virtual socialising with frugal friends... that was the theory, anyway!

Duck eggs and ducklings

First of all, we all love ducklings here! I recently popped more eggs into the incubator to see if I could hatch a few more before my old duck gets too old - sadly, none of her eggs were fertile, so I may need to source some from elsewhere. The photo above shows the first three babies we hatched in Frugaldom several years ago. We still have one of them, now age 6.

Ducks by the garden pond

Like I said, eggs are great for whipping up a batch of pancakes or crepes, so I made a couple for myself this evening using up some coconut milk and bantam eggs. i decided that the time had come to try out the new chat room that we've had built in the Frugal Forums, so posted a last minute message saying 8pm start, allowing me time to put the ducks to bed. Hmm... they were not happy at being asked to go to bed for 8pm, so off they went, like stroppy teenagers, out of the pond, waddling and quacking down the garden to the furthest corner!

ducks in the garden

Here they are, looking at me in absolute defiance, point blank refusing to go in the right direction! A bit of bribery was going to be needed - and a trip back indoors to change the online chat to 8.30pm!

Bedtime for ducks

There was a definite show of interest in the extra scoop of corn they were offered by way of incentive to head for bed but they were still in no real hurry to go in the right direction!

Duck going to bed

Finally they decided that they weren't going to win this stand off and I got them to go into their house, but it was definitely not what they wanted. They were so disgusted that they waddled and quacked right past the extra corn and headed for the duck house! It was funny to watch, you could almost hear what they must have been thinking at this rude intrusion into their daylight playtime!

Flowers in the garden

By this time it was closer to 8.30pm and it was still overcast from the earlier rain, but the garden is really beginning to bloom - the comfrey is over 5' high and looks stunning next to the reds, pinks and purples of the nearby flowers. The sage hasn't quite burst into flower yet, but it will very soon.

May evening in the garden

You can see how impressive the comfrey looks - it is attracting loads of bees. There's Cottoneaster right next to it, buzzing all day with wasps - I'm not a fan, so I do tend to steer clear of them and run away whenever necessary!

Back online in virtual Frugaldom, a handful of invited regulars joined me in the new chat room and we whiled away an hour or so discussing shops, public transport, travel costs and even the latest casting call for those interested in taking part in a TV show about extreme cheapskates. Several of us have received the email invites but it remains to be seen if anyone will be brave enough, or extreme enough, to accept. It's certainly not anything I would do, what with my phobia of being in front of a camera and lack of being extreme in my frugal living ways. I'm certainly no cheapskate, that's for sure. :) OK, so I converted a set of wooden blinds into some wall panelling, made my own wall are and decorated my old mirror with shells and driftwood, but that simply demonstrates the well-loved art of recycling. This, of course, was all down to the fact that last weekend's trip to the big city (Glasgow) to visit the Home Renovation show had put too many ideas into my head. So... I gave my bathroom a quick makeover for under £30.

This weekend, rather than make another trip to Glasgow SECC for the Ideal Home Show, I'm staying within the realms of Frugaldom, visiting the village's annual charity car boot sale and catching up with friends over a cuppa and a homemade lemon drizzle cake.

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