Sunday, 11 April 2021

Builds Builds and More Builds


We are starting the building work on the house this week, the accommodation for our builder was collected yesterday, Martin’s brother is going to be the resident builder and arrives end of the week. 

A friend and myself are going to do this with the caravan , to make it more appealing to look at, and I am going to over time re fit out the inside.
First part of the build will be building a temporary laundry and storage area in the barn, then the leaky cold utility room can come down footings dug water and drainage re routed.
Then the big stuff, extending out the kitchen, a big walk in pantry, boot room and wet room.
This is the utility room to the left that’s coming down and the kitchen will be extended out 8 ft beyond the end of the house and filling this space.
This shows were the walk in pantry will be, the pot marks how far out the extension is coming 

Happy days, so much chaos and destruction can’t wait until it’s all done, I don’t cope well with disruption and workmen around. 

Also we have to get up the new big 50ft polytunnel

It’s going here the black poles are marking the area.

My stair case has been built for to get up to the storage area  above the log store

Underneath the stairs will be for kindling, upstairs will be all the stuff I have to move for the build in plastic containers, the sheets of ply are going to used for the ceiling.

When the kitchen is all complete next is a purpose built cattle shed at the bottom of the field incorporating, hay a straw storage, and a storage area for all the machinery and implements., we are keeping everything crossed this will all be done before winter sets in again.

Sunday, 4 April 2021

It Is Not A Good Year So Far

 We have had some rough times this year, it can only get better I keep telling myself.

Thelma kidded a lovely set of triplets, Elvis our Billy has proven to be a great dad, 

Then a few days later Bunty produced a smashing pair of twins

That just left Connie who seemed to be growing bigger by the minute 

Eventually two weeks later she produced a lovely set of triplets, 
All our kidding was finished for the year, seven lovely little kids, 4 girls 3 boys, all feeding fine.

Then disaster struck

48 hours after Connie delivered, we went to do the morning feeds and sadly found Connie curled up in the corner she had passed away.

We don’t know why, there had been no signs of anything wrong, everything seemed normal after the delivery.

Leaving behind three little screaming orphan kids.

We brought the kids up to the house to warm up and get some milk into them, getting them to take a bottle was a challenge but lots of small offerings throughout the day we had some success, the little boy kid was reluctant to feed and seemed sleepy, I popped him down to vet who checked him over, got some electrolytes into him etc and he perked up.

Sadly we lost the little boy over night.leaving behind the two little girls.while this was going on we had another loss, Mr Stanley the stag Turkey he was being over amarous with Mrs Stanley and keeled over with a heart attack.

Mrs Stanley Pinned for the next few days losing here life long mate was hard, we rehomed her to some one else who had turkeys.

The little kids are still doing fine and have taken to the bottles well, they are back in the goat house with all the others we have set up a heat lamp for them and all the kids snuggle in there together.

Losses are always hard it’s part of keeping livestock, you can’t win all the battles

Friday, 26 February 2021

While The Sun Shines

 There has not been a lot of sunny days this year, but then we are only in February, the few good days we have been out there getting things done, snow we have had along with freezing conditions, rain and gales those days see the every day chores done and lots of indoor stuff, calm dry sunny days and we are outside from dawn to dusk playing catch up.

I got the willow dome all tied in and pruned the other day, it’s just starting to break bud, looking forward to seeing it all green up, this is the first year I have managed to get it into shape, I am on the look out for a nice comfy seat to put in it, as I am thinning out herbs over the next few weeks I am going to plant to thinning around the dome, mainly mint and lemon balm perhaps some comfrey.

We have’s of soup day over the cold days, Muligtawny and Minestrone have been the favourites and a lovely filling lunch,

The fencing is going up in the new goat area, fingers crossed Elvis Helen and last years kids will be moving in next week, .

It will be great for them to have a bigger goat house and a new area we can rotate them on to.

The growing season is well on the way, last autumn I found some tomatoes that had self seeded in the polytunnel, I took some of them up and kept them in protection over winter, a couple of them them are now flowering and fruiting,

They were brought in and put under the grow lights in January, but now are back in the polytunnel, 

Grandson Connor who lives with us has just finished the restoration and conversion work on his second Utility Jimney, it’s now up for sale and he is starting work on number three .

Utility Vehicle here is a link to his advert on Facebook if anyone is interested ,

Time to sign off now and get another day on the go.

Take Care.

Monday, 25 January 2021

Rough Start To The Year

 2021 I was expecting things to improve, but no we started the year in another lockdown, I don’t think I can remember what normal life was like, meeting with friends and family, having a laugh, sharing the ups and downs of life over a cuppa. 

Going to a shop and browsing around , going to an event seeing new ideas and products. Days out when and where you want, going to new places and exploring all just dreams from the past.

We also lost Nick Nack at the start of the year, he was one of my original Alpacas that I bought 7 years ago this month and he moved here with us along with his companion, Odd Job. He wasn’t that old about 9, It was a Saturday and we were doing the usual winter vitD injections and feet trimming, did a body score check and he was very low, we decided to bring him in and feed him separate to make sure he wasn’t being bullied off food, By Monday his condition seemed to have deteriorated, checked his mouth and eyes nothing untoward, checked him all over nothing, decided on a trip to the vet, they ran a worm count, blood tests, checked temperature  heart lungs etc gave him a shot of multi vitamins, Results came back and nothing stood out as abnormal, everything was fine and clear, by the end of the week he had deteriorated even further, vet came out and gave him a few shots, Saturday he picked up and spent a few hours in the sunshine with his. Herd, Sunday he was flat out, Monday I made the phone call to the vet, would they come out and euthanise him.

You can’t win all the battles no matter how hard you try. 

We have had a fair bit of snow this month

It’s lovely to see but terrible to work in when it freezes over, it seems to take an age to thaw up here.

I am using the snow to clean a woven Alpaca fleece rug, and some sheepskin rugs that came from our first lambs many years ago.

It’s a method I read about on a post from Pocket House Studio up in the Hebridean islands who wove our Alpaca rug.

Snow Rug Cleaning

I have got my pepper and chili plants started

They were started off indoors in the propagator, now under the grow lights along with some tomatoes and lobelia, over the coming weeks lots of seeds will be started off ready for another season.

A bit of a change is taking place outside in the growing area, or will be when the weather improves,

Polytunnel number 3, this one is 50ft long twice the length of the others, I am really looking forward to getting started with this one. 

We have plans afoot for this year more will be revealed when we start to put them in action.

I will do another blog post in a few days as there are other bits I would like to share, this post is long enough as it is. 

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Back Online Again

 What a time for the phone line and internet to go down, 20th of December started having issues with the phone, within 24 hours the phone and internet had died, cutting us off at a time when we really wanted it, with all this lockdown stuff, no contact with the outside world no shopping, the advised date for repair was 4th January, neighbours were in the same predicament.

A little man from BT came out yesterday and by the end of day we were up and running again. The problem we have here is our lines are all over land and run through parts of the forest, branches from trees cause issues with the phone line. They need to get some cutting back done but with COVID causing staff shortages, (don’t understand that one) it has been overlooked this year.

Christmas was very quiet and uneventful we took the dogs to the beach, the place was deserted. 

The pigs went off on there final journey, we raised Berkshires this year very placid easy to handle

We had the first back the week end before Christmas, the other two won’t be back for a couple of weeks they are becoming bacon, gammons and ham. 

I have been rendering the fat down as lard and I did a mamouth sausage making session

The pesky badgers are back ripping up the field, it seems the only solution is going to be a strong insecticide drench to kill off there food supply, I am so reluctant to create a field devoid of life, but might have to bite the bullet 

This week I have cleared out the last of the Tomatillos from poly tunnel number 1 and made up a batch of Salsa Verde 

On the subject of poly tunnels we have just ordered number 3, this one is 14ft x 50ft and will go over the area of the raised beds, putting all our growing area under cover, the new poly tunnel will have mesh ventilation sides, creating a cooler growing area. 

Number 1 is kept dry and hot, Number 2 is more humid and shaded, I love having ing the different growing areas, The hoops down the side of poly tunnel 2 which are used for growing climbers are to become a net cage , we will only have a few small pallet collar beds that will not have any protective covers. 

This will be the last of the big alerterations in the growing area. 

While I wait I have plans for the back garden and front garden that I will share in later blog posts. 

I hope you have all stayed healthy over the Christmas season and I will catch up with you on the other side of 2021.