Wow, what a summer. August absolutely whizzed by and we did so much that I can't even remember half of it! So I'm going to work backwards and begin with Invasion Colchester.
And what is that? Well...
'Invasion Colchester is an annual fundraising event (held on Sept 2nd in 2017), supporting local charities. It involves Stormtroopers, Jedi and the like...'
It's now been running for seven years, getting bigger every time. We've been to the last three, but this time I'd decided we should go in cosplay, and the monsters agreed. This was the perfect opportunity to test out the outfits I'd made them for Nor-Con this coming October (though 12yo's Witch-king wasn't fully completed). Hubs declined, settling for a geek tee as his only concession.
I was pleased with the recognition the outfits got and the photo requests - mostly for 12yo in his Witch-king, although there was some muttering when he got miscalled as Sauron, and even Skeletor (?!). The odd Nazgul or Ringwraith were allowed to pass. :P I wasn't too happy about the photos taken without request (grrr) but this isn't an enclosed convention, so normal con rules of etiquette apparently don't apply. Hubs trailed behind listening for comments (I thought he was pretending not to be with us, lol) and overheard someone refer to me as a 'crazy Jedi mum' (hence the post title). I'll take that one. :P
We now know what problems need fixing with the outfits as they stand - a new balaclava is on order for 12yo as he had major trouble seeing through the one we'd bought because it kept creeping over his eyes. The mask held up well (thanks to hubs who took over the construction while I worked on the fabric side) but the trailing, tattered ends of his cloak definitely needed a little taking up. My Tauriel had problems with her quiver detaching itself but the ear tips stayed put amazingly well! And sadly it seems my youngest has had a growth spurt and barely fit into his Luigi, so I'm going to have to remake that in the next month along with corrections and final touches to the Witch-king. Just as well I'd already given up on my planned cosplay and have settled for my existing Anakin one. Sigh. Next year...
|via Invasion Colchester|
|The Witch-king gets schooled by Professor Trelawney (Harry Potter)|
|My Luigi met up with a Mario!|
All in all, a fun and totally worthwhile event if you ever happen to be in the area. But I know what you really stopped by for - the chooks and chicks!
Despite the sad and unexplained loss of our only female - Flick - the boys have been thriving and are now ready for new homes. Sadly we won't be able to keep them due to the noise, though they aren't crowing as yet.
However, we put six new hatching eggs under another broody, this time our mottled black, Pitch. After the perfect score of six out of six on our last hatch, this batch gave us more of a test. Firstly they arrived filthy and one with a crack clearly NOT from postal damage (this was a different seller), plus we had no laid date so could only guess at a hatching date (28th of August). I was going to bin the cracked egg but after visiting my favourite chicken forum, I took the advice of putting nail varnish over the crack.
Candled at seven days, one was immediately clear as infertile but the cracked egg looked good. At fifteen days, a second egg was discarded as unviable. Sadly at sixteen days the cracked egg shattered and we lost that chick. :(
But we still had three eggs going. As with our previous hatch, there was no signs of the chicks emerging on their due date, but I could hear some movement. Two days late we had tapping, cheeping, and by the evening one egg had pipped! I had high hopes of waking to at least one hatched chick.
Then disaster. When checking the eggs the following morning, I found the pipped egg stone cold with no signs of life. I could just see the beak through a split in the membrane. Either it had got too cold overnight or run out of energy to break free. I was gutted. Since it already seemed all was lost I started breaking open the shell to check if the chick might have been damaged in some way...and it moved! With nothing to lose, I broke the chick out completely (you're not advised to do this but with the chick so close to gone I didn't see how I could make things worse) and dashed indoors yelling for hubs to do a hot water bottle to warm chickie up.
Amazingly, our little Lazarus pulled through. An hour after warming it up it was moving and cheeping. Three hours later we had a lively, noisy little fluffball. We've now named it Marvel.
Which just goes to show, there's always hope. With a second egg pipped I was waiting on that hatching so that I could sneak Marvel back under mum, since I'm not set up to hand raise chicks. I thought Pitch might reject the first chick if it just suddenly appeared rather than hatch. Egg two hatched without issue later in the day so I returned Marvel. Pitch didn't seem to take to the chicks all that well, pecking them until I got them both snuggled under her wings. Maybe I was going to have to raise them after all...
But 48 hours later, Pitch was calling them to eat, showing them how to drink, and fiercely defensive of them when I tried to interfere. They're now five days old, eating and drinking, and have already ventured out of the nest box to explore the corner of our summer house where they've taken up temporary residence.
Oh, and chickie number two is now called Firefly.
|Just so you can see the difference in size!|
Egg number three is currently under another broody - my chocolate frizzle Fizzgig - because Pitch has lost interest in it with two chicks to care for, but the egg is still making noises. Will it ever hatch? Stay tuned...