Showing posts from June, 2022

Theft, Solstice, Sweetpea

Theft: At first we thought: we have moved them and forgotten. We went home from the land and looked- we doubted ourselves and went back to the land. The stable was all locked up as expected, so how our Mitsubishi strimmer (fitted with a scrub cutting blade) and our long poled Tanaka hedge trimmer had been stolen was a mystery until our contractor told us he’d found a latch on the floor- he thought it had fallen out and had pushed it back into place. (That’s the downside of honest people, they don’t expect dishonesty.) On closer inspection the marks of it being prised off were visible. From now on we will be noting all serial numbers, indelibly marking all articles of worth, photographing things, and remembering to complete our insurance documents. While we work on upgrading security we have moved all the expensive things to a secure lock-up. Obviously, it’s not an actual tragic occurrence. No life or limbs lost, and we will purposely look to the bright side: how much we’ve learned abou

On Track

  The grass track was supposed to be a fairly straight run from the top gate to the bottom gate. It had additional wiggles where the muddy spots had snagged a wheel. I will not miss digging the van out of muddy trouble, or pushing it. We rarely dared to drive uphill. The stone track gently curves to follow the land. It will need compacting before we call it a job done- but here we are, driving uphill, downhill, hearing the stone crunch, not quite believing what our ears and eyes are confirming. It’s a silly-hot day, we barely get any work done, and every job we do wanders back to the stone line and rechecks: yep, it’s here. We did dream it, but then we ordered all this stone and now it’s real. So, what next? Of course, there’s a list we can refer to, and subdivisions of lists depending on which segment of our project we deem to be the next practical step. So..? It’s easy to write lists. The first item usually starts ‘research…’ because we are edging along a tightrope here, a couple


June’s weather has been issued in short spells: sunny-dry, sunny-drizzle, cloudy, downpour, rainbows, humid, might-rain-might-be-blowy. Washing is on the line to dry or to get an extra rinse. Roses bloom, and when I get a chance to check the polytunnel there are tomato plants rising, the strawberries and nasturtiums are zooming over the path, the lovage has doubled. When I get to the land, with Mr, Old Dog, and grandchildren 6 & 7 (aged 4 and 3 respectively) there are tracks through it. This is magic to all of us: we, the adults who instructed this progress and fully expected to see it, and the children to whom this is pure surprise. Knowledge is no impediment to murmuring ‘wow’ and savouring the press of our boots into bare earth as we wander up through the fickle mizzle. I see the levelled area which will become an outdoor kitchen: it’s mud and scraped nettle root and it makes my heart boom YES THIS IS IT! We walk to the top field to admire the yellow digger, the huge blue tra

The Silly Ones

After six months or so of diary reports that make the speed of progress indelibly clear- slow, edging around various constraints, meshed with life in general, savoured, scary, and delightful- I am whittling reportage to (mainly, anyway, one must be wary of making rash promises) a series of snapshots from our land journey. I want to focus on the specifics of bringing a dream to life- I want to bring you, Dear Reader, closer to the process. I want to share. So come with me, and Mr, and our wonky arthritic but otherwise healthy-happy Dog, and feel free to chortle as we set up camp in the stable on a June night. The day has been glorious, summery, hot. The stable is cool, dusty underfoot. There is still a roll of dung in each corner, dried like cement. There are mouseholes, ratholes, old spiderwebs thick as ropes. There is sunlight sneaking through the gaps, there is a calmness here, there is birdsong and a swoop of wind through leaves. We fix our camping mattresses on top of the sofa