This blog is mainly a rambling kind of diary of the transition from smallholderwannabe to smallholder.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

We've had another day's hard work. My daughter & co came down to the allotment with us to put up a new-to-us shed that we were given. We had a little shed down there which my husband had created from a load of oddments off several skips back when we first got the allotment. It even had a window frame used as most of one side. (Our shed never got broken into as they could just look in and see all the old stuff we have... ) However, it is now falling apart because too much of it has rotted. So we jumped at the offer of another one, especially as it is bigger. We had a quick lunch after church on Sunday and went to the allotment. We had some slabs that we were given when a friend was redoing their garden that we were able to use them as a base. My husband had gone down on Saturday to dismantle the old shed and bring all the stuff up to the house for now. He also levelled the extra bit of ground needed for the bigger shed. We had a bit of a problem putting up the new shed...... So eight hours later, we went home for tea in the pitch dark. Once you start putting up a new shed, you can't leave it until it is secure or the wind will blow it down. And a few bits needed more repairs than expected. Luckily we had an extra shed side to use for bits of wood to repair the main pieces used. We will need an extra day to sort it all out. And we need to give a day to my daughter to help line the van they have bought to use as a camper. It is incredibly cheaper to fit a van out yourself than to buy one ready done BUT it does rather take up a lot of time.

I've managed to wash just about everything that we might ever wear to work and am well through the ironing. After many trips to charity shops over the years and visits to ebay, I have amassed enough shirts for my husband and stuff for me to last us about three weeks at work. This means that wet weather, illness, frantically busy weekends with church and/or family - can all be survived. It takes the pressure off and given where we shopped, was not expensive at all. But there comes a time when everything seems to be in the ironing pile :(

The new hens seem to be settling in well. I think I am right in thinking that they are very young but time will tell. I think they must have been kept in a barn because they keep disappearing into the henhouse during the day and none of my other hens have ever done that when we first got them. They are already thinking that if I appear, I will have food with me or at least a tidbit. It doesn't take them long to work that out! Their new addition to the run is almost complete. It will fit on the end or just at the end of one side in an ~L~ shape where there is already a door. So it can go in two permutations of shape depending on the ground available. It also means that if one is a bit poorly, she can go in the extra bit with a wire door between her and the rest so that she can be seen and will stay as part of the flock but separate so that she won't be pecked. Hens are lovely creatures but they can be vicious towards both sick hens and newcomers.

We are going for a little trip in the car to look at some land this afternoon. I'm feeling both excited and scared stiff at the same time. It is just land without a house. It is a big enough area that we might be able to put up a good enough case to get planning permission. But what if we bought it and didn't get planning permission? What would we do? Everything (££) I have put aside means that we get one shot at this. If we lose some of the money than we won't have enough to get a second go. But it is in this area so I could still see my family. Houses in this area are expensive so this would be a long-drawn-out but cheaper way of doing things. We could live in this house and still work to pay the loan for building the new house and then sell this one and pay off a substantial part of that loan. But there is still far more land than we would need. Maybe we could sell off part of that to help. The trouble is that you don't know about planning permission until after you've bought the land... So we are going to have a look. It might be in a dreadful place - don't know until you've been to look.


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