Sunday, 29 November 2009

Woke up this morning to find that half of the Stable roof had collapsed in on itself during the night. The front wall is also looking decidedly shaky and we don’t think it will be long before that follows suit. We will have to knock bits of it down before it falls down just to make it safe. It’s such a shame to see it in this state and we were hoping to take the roof down in a more controlled way so we could reuse the tiles, however, it was going to have to come down anyway and it won’t be long before proper work can start on rebuilding it. It’s just a very sharp reminder of how delicate the whole property is and with the strong winds and driving rain we are having we can only hope that everything holds together – at least until the Spring!

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Cold, crisp Saturday. Woke up with the realisation that the local pub can be a very dangerous place. We only went for one but friends came and went and brought us drinks and in the end Olly guided me home much later than we anticipated! I’m supposed to be off alcohol at the moment in a vain attempt to loose a little weight before Christmas – well I say ‘off alcohol’ but really what I mean is off it during the week and then try and limit it at weekends.. yesterday I obviously failed dismally! And tonight is the Kingswood Kurry Klub at the Village Hall where for £15 per person you go and enjoy an Indian meal with a live band and dancing with all your fellow villagers, so I can’t see I’m going to obstain then either – hey ho, it’ll be Monday soon enough where I will climb back onto that wagon. 

Today I spent in my workshop making another Rustic Rudolph for the Farmers’ Market. Everything is either work or the Farmers’ Market at the moment. Next Saturday is D Day and we are all starting to get a little nervous! I finished the sign for the s
tall which I’ve made out of an old pallet from Waynes’ yard. I had a little difficulty attaching the letters ‘WLD’ to the sign so Olly suggested I screw them on from the underside. I thought I’d done a really good job until I turned the sign over back to the front and realised I’d attached them the wrong way round.. don’t know how I did it but to make any sense of it you’d need to read it via a mirror!

Letters round the right way!!!

Anyway, once that little mishap was resolved the sign was completed and I have to say, I am quite pleased with the result! We are having a mock up of the stand tomorrow so we can see if we’ve forgotten anything 

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Once again, not written for ages. My apologies. It seems as if the world is running at 100 miles an hour and I just can’t keep up. I know I should be really enjoying this time but don’t seem to get a minute to appreciate it and when I do I seem to spend the time in shock disbelief that so much has passed me by. I want to grab every second of life and appreciate it for what it is. I want to take long lunches and long walks, discuss philosophy and life in general in front of a roaring log fire, cook slowly and with effort and application, take time to pamper myself and make the effort to look after myself, I want to read more…. So many things that just get put on the back burner when the mundane dredge of day to day life takes over.   New Years resolution to self, (may as well start now!), make more time for everything!   The thing is, I’m not to sure of the recipe for time.   It sounds like the sort of thing you probably need lots of complicated equipment to make.

In the meantime, let me fill you in on what’s been going on.   Main headline news is that Olly has handed his notice in at work and will leave full time employ at the end of the year.   We both cannot wait.   He’s going to work on the farm and the building project on a more full time basis as well keeping his finger in a couple of other pies. The idea is that he can then totally project manage the build and do a lot of the labouring work himself. I’m looking forward to a more relaxed pace of life as a result and having a less stressed and over worked husband.   It will also be great to have him around more. ‘What about money?’ I hear you cry! Well, I’ve always thought that Olly and I are at our happiest when are backs are up against it and when we haven’t got a lot coming in through the door – don’t ask me why – it’s another one of my psychoanalyst moments! I think it’s the thought of us against the world, taking a step off the treadmill and not have to keep up. We do, of course, have the mortgage and other bills to pay as everyone else has, but we can do that, as long as we are careful, on my salary and we’ve got a few months put by if all goes to pot. So it’s self sufficient living as much as we possibly can from January 1, 2010. Home grown veg, eggs and meat, make our own wine, real Tom and Barbara stuff!

With Lunch or Dinner is starting to gear itself up for it’s first Farmers’ Market!   Christmas Under the Edge is on the 5th December and will be our inaugural stall!   Absolutely petrified about it now.   What if nobody turns up?   Or even worse - it’s packed and we don’t sell anything regardless!   I have to say, I am so fortunate to be doing this with Wendy and Dee. They are brilliant and keep on coming up with fantastic new ideas like Christmas Cookies on a Stick and Gingerbread Christmas Decorations. The samples that they have baked up look brilliant so I’m hoping just to ride on their coat tails! We’ve had a whole load of stone delivered for us to fill up the holes in the driveway and to put down where we park the cars. Wayne, a friend of ours from the village, has been brilliant about lending us his digger and getting us the materials we need. He runs a business selling soil, compost, aggregates and that sort of thing, as well as plant hire and he’s just been an absolute diamond to us. I think Olly may have found a drinking partner in Wayne as well! The stone will be brilliant to stop us getting so muddy as soon as we leave the house, although I fear it may have come to late for the temporary cream carpet (what were we thinking) we put down when we first moved in. It is now a distinct shade of browny, grey. I can’t even move the rugs around to cover the worst areas as it only shows up the original colour against the dirt!

The amount of water we have had flow through the land over the last few days has been unbelievable. The ducks are loving it as their little stream is now at bursting point and they have a great area to swim and play in.   You could imagine, over the last couple of days, what this place would have been like as a mill as you could hear the sound of rushing water from outside the back door. The leit that we almost finished clearing over the summer is running constantly now and makes me wish I’d worked harder to get it finished. It’s a source of irritation every time I walk over the bridge to get to the cars! Maybe I’ll learn from this and work harder next time! I can only feel for the people of Cumbria however, it must be soul destroying to see your home and livelihood under water.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Just gone outside to put some washing in the dryer to find one of my chickens mangled to death on the driveway. I let the girls out this morning to give them a stretch of their legs and this is what happens. The others are fine, it’s only one and the fact that she was left on the driveway means it was probably a dog more than a fox. Apparently, a few people in the village don’t like our dogs as they think they are unruly, and as a result don’t like us. Millie does bark at other dogs and Morgan, whilst Millie was on heat, tended to mount everything that moved but other than that they are well behaved dogs that would never go a kill another animal. Everyone lets their dogs off the lead at the bottom of our driveway and leaves them to run around our field and down our private road to the house without even thinking of the consequences and then slags me off for having unruly dogs. It just doesn’t seem fair. She was my favourite as well. She had survived two fox attacks at our last place, was exceptionally broodie and a real wylie lady. I will miss her. She used to sit on the gate outside the kitchen door, such a lovely girl.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

It’s been ages since I last wrote, and I do apologies for my tardiness. Once again work has over taken me and it’s been absolutely manic. Anyway, less of the excuses… so let me tell you what’s been happening.

Halloween came and went, I carved a pumpkin to sit at the end of the driveway, which managed to last the 31st but got smashed on the road on the 1st. I am hoping by hapless youths rather than an angry village mob who had taken offence at the sloppy workmanship of my carving or to my participation of the Celtic festival of Samhain. I very much doubt it be the latter as many other houses had pumpkins outside them too! Not to my surprise, we didn’t get any trick or treaters, to be honest, I’m scared of walking down my driveway in the dark, Halloween or not, so I should think it was probably too much for a 10 year old.


Work continues with WLD (With Lunch or Dinner) to making produce for our first ever Farmers Market stall. Wendy, Dee and I (WLD… get it!) are starting to get a little nervous about our venture, but we’re having loads of fun getting it all ready. This weekend will find me mainly knee deep in jams or chunteys of one kind or another. We have also made Christmas decorations from dried chillies and cranberries and will have soups and cookies and cakes and all manner of things to sell! I have also set up a website for it ( and we hope to do a few orders from there for delivery around the area. Watch this space… world domination any day soon!!

The garden is looking totally drab now. I have weeded a couple of beds but there is so much more to do before we can say that it is finished for winter. Hopefully, amongst the jam and chutneys I may be able to do some more weeding this weekend.

Olly had loan of a digger last weekend (he is never more happier than on a digger!) and he managed to scoop away a lot of the soil and rubble from the original mill house ruin, so much so, as to expose the original floor. It really made us realise just how much excavation has to be done here. It is such a mammoth project. And we still can’t find a builder! We have had one tender back from all of the enquiries we have made and I am starting to panic that we will never find one that we trust and like. We don’t want to start building until Spring but even so, you need to book the good ones in.

Olly is off on a Coppicing course this weekend so that he is able to harvest more hazel for me on a regular basis. I think he’s really looking forward to it and I’m sure he’ll love it as much as I loved my Greenwood Furniture course. The good life is nearly in our reach! We’ve just got to win the lottery and we’ll be able to afford to do it!

Talking of furniture, I have finally finished my two seater version of my chair and it’s not looking too shabby. I am now working on another chair but in a totally different style and also want to try to make some rustic wooden Rudolph’s to sell on the WLD stall for Christmas! Will post some photos over the weekend for you to laugh at!

Two seater in progress...