The weather has been unbelievably fantastic of late so it’s meant I’ve been flattening out the fourth field ready for the barn, levelling the ground for the polytunnels, and backfilling the ditches the MIA diggerman decided to put in there inexplicably. Previously we had dumped tons and tons of soil down there. Day after day after day of hopping in and out of Ginger and clambering up and down Thumper. Except the days Thumber decided to go on strike naturally. On those days, I hauled out tree after tree after tree from the boundary and added them to the wood pile. Utterly knackering work.
But I’m now ready to dig a square hole for the hardcore which will ultimately have a barn sat on it. This will involve a bucket change on the digger (eek!).
Here’s my lovely flat ground:
Today two more chicken houses arrived – I was going to paint them but I realised one would need paintbrushes and masking tape for that, so I didn’t.
We were supposed to be getting two very large sheds delivered this week but they didn’t turn up and they are not answering their phone. I am not impressed.
But in other news, we have a lovely tarmacked new entrance:
I have now started work in field 4 levelling the ground ready for polytunnels and barn. Ginger had a spectacular breaking down last week but she’s purring like a kitten now and I am a pig in muck as I move mounds of soil around and fill in ditches and dips.
Last week proved very productive.
Mic sent me off to buy some bits and bobs and when I came back he’d built ‘Le Chateau’ single handedly. Just left me to paint it, which I duly did:
I finished painting the lurid blue duck house, and mic made a skid for it:
We prepared the Dutch Barn for its first chickens:
And Mic and Mark erected an aeroplane and a wide screen TV. Somehow they now mean I have running water on the farm from the borehole. Tea, anyone?
A fantastic week of weather had me kept indoors – as I got deliveries galore ready for Mic coming back. He arrived back just as the weather turned rainy and cold.
First tasks included building the Vegetable Oxo cube – the shed that covers the borehole, for the third time. I then painted it green. Shortly after, Jen, Mark and Jami arrived with our new car (woo-hoo) as we’ve sold the other car as it kept overheating.
Jami, Jen and I have built a small duck house and painted it a lurid blue. The roof blew off overnight. Mic reassembled the Goose House roof, which blew off during the last hurricane, and then the four of us rebuilt the Wonky House which completely blew away in the last storms! Amazingly I had managed to recover all of the bits.
The highlight of all of this was moving the Goose House to its new home – at the pond near the entrance.
Mark then got the tractor good and buried just after we parked the goosehouse!
The next day was spent recovering the tractor, and whilst Jami, Jen and I painted and painted and painted – a task rudely interrupted by hailstones.
Mark and Mic got the chipper attached to the tractor, and made tons of sawdust, loading up my now fixed Quad trailer, which I then got stuck (twice) delivering to the new houses!
So a busy few days – but lots of progress made.
Fencing Folks have finished phase one of our fencing, with the hardest part – the top boundary being finished today – I shall miss their company next week for sure. I’m delighted with the results – our farm looks like things are about to happen now. They’ve been really good at picking me up in the mornings to get me to the farm and just in time: the Quad came back today (phew!).
We’ve had a huge deluge of rain in the last twenty-four hours so it’s a bit soggy at the moment, however, the next ten days are looking mighty fine so I’m hoping to get another crossing done and finish the drainage in Field 3, as well as the big tidy up now the fencers have gone.
Two more sheds have been delivered and one installed.
Now to get some animals to fill the paddocks with!
Got that wrong, didn’t they? Just look at the stunning weather we’ve had today:
So as you can see, Fencing Folks have finished all the paddocks and are now working on the
goose, duck, goose, poultry enclosure. Rather excitingly our first, but smallest, gate has been attached.
So I’ve enjoyed a real spring day today, with a very mild north wind rather than the blow-you-off-your-feet South Westerlies we’ve endured for weeks. I even got to take my coat off whilst tidying up some piles of rubbish waylaid around the fields I can get to, having finished the crossing between Fields 2 & 4, and used it several times with Thumper, a machine I can rely on to get stuck in the smallest of quagmires, to move between 2, 3 and 4.
Tractor Repairman came and fixed the damaged done by Tw*t Thieves, so the tractor’s working again. The police are coming to take another statement next week and I’ve requested T.Thieves be charged for offensive McDonald’s munching. They declined, unsurprisingly.
It is almost a relief to be picking up stones again after three days of back-breaking tree planting: 300 willows (Rosemary, Violet and White) have gone in – pictures taken: none! Will try to do tomorrow.
So I shall carry on, weather permitting, to clear Field 2 of dead trees and the excess soil, which is what I had just started doing when Tractor Thieves rudely interrupted.
My quad may be repaired next week (thank goodness) although it’s a lovely 30 minute walk to the farm, an hour’s walking each day on top of hauling around trees, stones and bags of rubbish has made me ache! Looking forward to it hissing down on Sunday now!
Just a quick update really. Earthmoving Man and I headed off to Anglesey to recover the tractor and trailer, which have now been released by the police. The tw*ts (I’m being as polite as I can here) who drove her to Anglesey also had the audacity to pop into McDonald’s whilst driving my tractor to their farm. They left me the rubbish. They did, however, clear her of my rubbish!
No sign of the bale carrier, they’ve wedged a nail into the ignition (clearly they have some experience of nicking machinery), and they’ve ripped out the back valves we use for PTO machinery (a vital part of a tractor), and the front loader has ceased lifting. Repairman is coming tomorrow. More expense! I’ve just been so relieved all this time knowing we were getting her back, but now I’ve seen just how much they’ve harmed her, I’m now livid. I had quietly fallen in love with her over the summer moving all those bales around. That said, I’d love Earthmoving Man’s John Deere – not only does it have two seats, but you can hear yourself think as you bumble along.
I just hope they are prosecuted now. Incidentally a quad and a dumper were also stolen and recovered from the same farm – so I’m not the only victim.
Heartfelt thanks to Earthmoving man who helped me recover her – and then got me out when I sunk her in our entrance!
In the meantime, fencing continues – although their quad broke down, then their tractor starting having ‘ishoos’, and finally their car went kaput last Friday. Whilst I don’t wish these woes on anyone (except the tw*ts more than possibly), it does make me feel a bit more ‘normal’ when experienced machine handlers encounter the same woes. They were due today but I’m guessing they are still having problems. So I had a nice brisk walk to the farm early this morning as I was expecting deliveries.
Thumper (the dumper) and Ginger (the digger) have been very good companions in recent months (I’m firmly hugging my wooden table typing that). I have however had to give up using Thumper today when I nearly buried her: we’ve had a huge amount of rain in the last few days (in fact it’s still going now) so I’ve been hanging around Field 4 getting the ground ready for yet more hedgerow (a willow mix this time), and having finished that I waited for a few hours in the deluge for the delivery of the willows. Normally the delivery company come around 11 – 12, but not today when I was being thoroughly washed by the rain. I intended to start planting it all tomorrow but yet another gale is whipping up and due to last all day. So Wednesday it is.
The top field is certainly starting to look very busy!
is where I’ve been living lately! Dinas Dinlle has been battered and our Wonky shed ended up on her side. Then when the hurricane arrived, it lifted her up and she battered the wooden replacement of the Oxo Cube and then carried on down the lane. Thanks to the Fencing Folks, we were able to recover it and bring her back to the farm on one of Mic’s skids – which worked wonderfully well and glided over our very boggy entrance! The windmill moved over five metres and is slightly wonky, with broken windmills but has otherwise survived. Then last week we had another gale and wonky house is now back into her component parts! Bummer. She is, however, rebuildable!
I’m drawing on the plus side of life: this is an opportunity to consider the worst case scenario and build for it. But Lordy, it’s brutal!
On top of that Mic’s quad broke down embarrassingly at some road works. Worse, I left my mobile at home and the nearby Red Telephone Box wasn’t working. Welsh Water, working nearby (the company I’m still waiting to come back to my land to sort out my outstanding issues), wouldn’t let me use their phones to get assistance. Fair play, it turns out, I didn’t have breakdown recovery on that bike anyway. I was rescued by a lovely couple who made me coffee and gave me use of their drive, but not their loo. They too are pretty pissed with WW too having not had use of a toilet ‘ers talwm’ [since then]
The next day the quad was towed to Earthmoving Man’s place nearby (Thanks Tractorman!). On top of that my mobile now rarely gets reception since the gales to add to the difficulties.
It’s been a bit of palaver trying to get to the farm, to Welsh lessons and to court, today, regarding none other than the MIA Diggerman. I remain amused by the fact that I was surprised that he didn’t turn up. My rough period of luck continued by my running out of heating oil at exactly 5.31pm on Friday. And companies don’t work Saturdays round here. By Sunday, you could see yourself exhale indoors! First thing Monday morning, I ordered some more – only to find they can’t deliver until Thursday. I am an idiot!
My luck, however, is changing: it arrived today (Tuesday) and, er, thanks to my lovely landlord, he’s got the boiler going again and I have warmth. Real warmth! And Paddy the Tractor is coming home this week all being well. I shall be buying some lottery tickets this weekend so the rest of you don’t need to bother!
And progress – in between gales, the fencing continues. Fencing man and his crew have been great company every day and very sympathetic to my lack of transport, bless them. I still have ten fingers and toes – although only just, as I try to build the crossing between fields 2 and 4 (which is a main crossing route in the farm). I have been hauling the field stones to lay down between the two as is the design on all the other crossings we have. I’m nearly finished (phew) and it’s definitely making a big difference. I have arms like Popeye now.
Every day (in between hurricanes) the farm looks busier and busier.