Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Family values

Yesterday I lit a fire in the kitchen wood burner which made the house feel even cosier as Mr J continued to bring in our belongings. Moving has been a slow process out of necessity, but the advantage of this is that we have had time to consider where we want things to live. Bit by bit and room by room, the house is starting to look very much like our home.
My sister and brother-in-law (BIL) visited us yesterday. My sister had already seen our new home as I had invited her to join us for one of the viewings prior to purchase, but watching my BIL’s smiles as he looked at our new home was a delight. They live about 20 minutes away and I am so pleased to be near them, they are a pleasure to spend time with, so I am hoping that we will see them more regularly. He exclaimed ‘Wow’ in his deep Welsh accent at all the appropriate moments and shared our joy at finally having found our ideal home.

My sister and I discussed the merits of turning the stable area into a hen house, which would provide the chickens with a large dry area in which to live, we could secure it from foxes and other animals that may take a shine to ‘the girls’. They could roam the garden during the day but return to a warm, safe and dry area in the evenings or when the weather is inclement. The trailer (and wood) and other bits and pieces that can be seen in the photograph, have now gone to their proper home with the previous owners of our little smallholding, and we have a large dry stabling area to make the best use of that we can. A chicken condo certainly seems a good idea.

Inside, the kitchen has already become the focal point of our home and our cooker should be installed at some point next week. I found a great bargain on Gumtree, we are keeping our fingers crossed that our second hand cooker works properly (it was already disconnected when we purchased it) because otherwise my great bargain will be a rather costly ornament! I have promised the previous owners that once the cooker is installed I will bake a cake (or two) and invite them for afternoon (or morning) tea.
I find something magical in sitting around a table sharing homemade food, discussion and laughter, it’s probably the most relaxing, healing and life-affirming thing I can think of. And this is exactly what will be happening when my daughter and her family come to see us at the smallholding at the weekend. My daughter has been inundated with photos and phone calls from me about the house, the garden, the trees, exactly which spot her chickens might be living when they first come to us, my plans for the garden, whether we should have a pigmy goat or tiny donkey (I’ve decided against both, after all Archie the cat is enough pet for us!) and the list of things I’ve talked to her about goes on and on. I can hardly wait until I can show her and her partner and my two grandsons around. Grandson number 2 won’t take much notice of his surroundings, he’s just two weeks old today, but it will be lovely for him as he gets older to come to visit ‘Grandma’s Farm’.

Today we are taking a break from moving, first thing this morning I had an appointment at the doctor’s surgery and a fairly unpleasant test which has left me feeling giddy and nauseous, so have returned to bed for the remainder of the day. This is probably no bad thing, I have done more in the last seven days than I have in the previous four months, so it will give me some much needed rest. Mr J is, as ever, being thoughtful and supportive and I am sure that he also needs a break from the process of moving especially as it is he who has been doing most of the lifting and carrying and all of the driving.
I'm going to spend a bit of time reading about micro-organisms and gut health, and then go back to making plans about permaculture.


  1. Hello :) Another very informative piece of writing, which actually brings the reader to the smallholding! My Archie and I had 2 pygmy goats here for about 5 years, but they are no longer with us, for a variety of reasons. If you change your mind and would like to know more about the pros and cons of keeping them, please let me know. I hope you feel better after an afternoon of rest :)

    1. Ooh pigmy goats! I am tempted
      Chrissie, but every animal will need to earn its keep and I'm not sure a pigmy goat would pull its weight.


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