Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Signs of progress...

We have been making the most of the dry weather here in Devon (we will ignore the very slight showers that seem to be very sporadically falling from the skies and pretend we haven't seen them).  I took a few photos today before we started our 'work' and compared them to previous pictures this evening.  The results have been pretty satisfying it has to be said.

First of all, think back to October when we shared photos such as these...

We used to go out each day and think "Just where on earth do we start?!?"  Not any more.  Just look...

All clear :)

We used to look out of our kitchen window and see scenes such as this...

Now we have a patio area...

You no longer have to fight through nettles and brambles to get onto the back piece of land.

Instead it is starting to resemble a some sort of field space...

The overgrown and pretty inaccessible chicken house looked like this from the outside...

That has now been cleared and the inside has been cleaned...

We are almost ready for new arrivals!  Very exciting :)

The greenhouse looked like this when we moved here...

Slowly we are sorting it and it currently looks like this...

I'm going to be giving it a clean tomorrow and then we will look at replacing the broken glass panels at the weekend.

The stable is almost ready for a goat or two...

I have an area that I think will make an ideal milking space.  I need to source some rubber matting and give the place a good scrub down first to make it hygienically clean.  

Today we have been working on clearing this area of the front drive.  I will show you an after photograph tomorrow as it got too dark to take one by the time we had finished.

Things are really coming together well.  We have had some fabulous help from the surrounding neighbours and have tried to make the most of every dry day we have had.  Progress has been hampered by the sheer volume of rain and subsequent flooding, but I don't think we have done too badly in the 13 weeks that we have been residing here.  

Life here is so different to where we lived previously.  

As I sit with my first cup of tea of the day, usually before the children get up so the house feels peaceful and silent, I still smile as I listen to the birds tweet and chatter to one another as they flit from hedge to feeder.  Neighbours stop for a chat over the gate or fence, whilst complete strangers will wave a hello or pass the time of day with you.  

Do you remember Kira our beautiful Springer Spaniel? 

Can you just imagine the different lifestyle she has out here in the country?  When we are out 'working on the land' (I love saying that, I've wanted to be able to say it for soooo long and now I can!), she is outdoors with us, for hours on end.  She gallops to and fro, finding sticks to chew and begging us to throw her ball to chase.  She gets filfthy - I mean really really filfthy - as she bounds carefree through puddles and mud.  She knows now that she needs to be rinsed with the hose-pipe before entering the house.  She doesn't particularly like it, but puts up with it graciously bless her.  Kira is gradually getting used to strangers too.  Just yesterday she let one of our neighbours stroke her as he came around for a chat, then kindly took her stick (small log) for him to throw for her.  It's a huge improvement.  It's great being in an area where people are used to dogs.  They are used to dogs barking and making lots of noise and it doesn't bother them.  Kira needed that sort of confident response as she knows how to deal with it.  She doesn't know what to do with herself when people appear nervous or scared.  She picks up on it and starts fretting herself, wondering if she needs to be nervous too.  I think in time she will overcome her fears and start welcoming people visiting instead of going into protection mode and having a nervous breakdown.    

In other news, Callum and Tiegan have been busily planting up the early seeds in anticipation of our 2013 harvest possibilities...

I believe we have started off with Leeks, Tomatoes, and Parsley.  

Little Taisia has decided that she and rag dolly make much better basket contents than the usual run-o-the-mill firewood...

I have to say I agree, she is far cuter.  As you can see, Taz is still going through the tattoo phase, but it has to be noted that the obsession is slowly dwindling.  

We are still without a car at the moment - this time due to the fact ours needs taxing!  We had just taxed the Spacewagon before it broke down.  When that had to be scrapped we returned the tax disc to refund what was left on it thinking that would pay most of the new car tax.  Oh the fuss we are having trying to get that refund!  Meanwhile I am once again in the middle of nowhere and car-less.  Kinda getting used to that now :)      We will soon be in the position to start saving up for a 7 seater vehicle again thank goodness.  I hate having to 'choose' which of the children are able to join us whilst going out shopping - and I refuse to go out for nice days out without being able to take everyone that wants to go -, it just isn't what we are all about as a family.  

Tomorrow shall be spent at home again (I'm not complaining, I love it!)  We shall be greenhouse sorting, bread baking, nature notebook 2013 creating, and who knows what else living life in the country will bring forth for us.


  1. Anonymous8:54 am

    You have done marvelously, I'm exhausted looking at all the work you have put in and have had to go for a lie down - ha ha. Great post.

  2. wow, you've done so much :)

  3. How lovely! wishing you a really Happy New Life Julia. xx

  4. Anonymous9:48 am

    Looking good, you've been very busy!

  5. Wow...just wow. That's amazing. Hope you're O.K xxx

  6. Wow what amazing progress ....inspirational