Thursday, 21 May 2009

Lost in the grass

It's been a strange old day today, this morning I started to fret about all the work that needs doing and how slow things seem to take. The main problem is that I can't really keep popping to the shops every time I need some more glue or a few nails as it's at least a 1 hour round trip. So while I was fretting I actually didn't get anything done.

This afternoon however was much more productive.I gave myself a slap round the face and told myself that I would only feel worse if it got to the end of the day and I hadn't achieved anything. So I decided to lay the lino in the barn kitchen. I had been putting it off as it was a bit daunting, but I managed to get the whole floor cut out of a single sheet and now all that needs doing is for me to glue it down tomorrow.

I also received a new toy today, the new mower arrived (or topper to give it it's correct title), she's a real beauty and will cut 5ft swathes (is that spelled right Phil?), and as you can see from the pics I took of Charlie just now, the grass is in desperate need of a hair cut. One problem however, I haven't got a clue how to hitch it to the back of Trinny!!!!!!!

Sunday, 17 May 2009

I've got a brand new combine harvester......

The eagle has landed everybody. We have gone for it and bought the little tractor. Isn't she a beauty!!!!! I think I'll call her Trinny :-)

She's a 29 year old International 434 with 48 horses under the cab, though I imagine only 30 are really working hard for me! It's got a link box on the back which is very useful, and it means we can get a large pasture topper now to keep all the fields in check now we have finally fenced the sheep out of the property.

You're all invited for a spin!

All hands

Well it's been a busy few days. Mr and Mrs Pickworth senior have been up for the week so I got them straight to work. There were lots of jobs that needed seeing to and we made a pretty good dent on most of them. Day one was garden day and mum staked in the peas while Dad and I planted the main crop potatoes in the outside beds. The folks also brought up some current bushes and loganberries which we stuffed in the ground waiting for the head gardener to design the fruit areas.

Day two and three involved painting in the cottage for mum, and the start of laying our first floor for Dad and I. This floor was in the kitchen of the cottage, and we needed to get it in so we could fit the kitchen. The floor looked relatively straight forward to lay, but with all the walls being at funny angles, and one wall being a very uneven stone affair, it was a bit of a fiddle. We managed it in the end and just need to fit the skirting and flexible filler for the gaps between the floor and the stone wall.

Dad and I also completed the trellis work in the garden of the cottage and made a start at the dry stone wall. At one point the whole thing nearly collapsed on Dad as he was trying to hold it all together. Luckily he got out of the way just before it did!

Friday night Phil arrived and it was an early start next morning as we were all off to the Royal Welsh Smallholders Show in Builth Wells. It pee'd down most of the day but it was really useful and we found several pedigree pig breeders as well as local poultry producers.

We have decided to try the Welsh rare breed pig alongside our Berkshires, apparently their meet is second to none, with a lean carcass, good fat covering but not too fatty as with the Gloucester Old Spots and other rare breed pigs

Thursday, 7 May 2009

The Red Devil

Well I think I've broken the back of the first kitchen. I had a bit of a shock when I first started to assemble it, as the units didn't fit into the space I measured. (this wasn't due to the Dave can't measure effect, but because the Ikea planners had omitted a spacer from the original design!)

Anyway, after a bit of huffing and puffing I managed to squeeze it in and it's starting to look pretty good. It's mostly these high gloss red units with brushed aluminium trim. I'm not going to put the final doors on and the finishing touches until the carpenter has fitted the worktops (I know it's a cop out but it's just easier to get someone who knows what there doing and who's got all the right tools)

All in all quite a sense of satisfaction :-)

Monday, 4 May 2009

Reedbed progress

Well things are moving along well with the old reed bed. The weather has been kind so we were able to crack on with the excavation. We already had the made-to-measure industrial pond liner and felt (to protect the liner from being pierced by stones), so once we had the bottom level we packed out the contours with a layer of sand. Then we lay the first layer of terram felt, followed by the big pond liner.

It then started to rain so we had to quickly dig the drainage ditch and attach the pipe otherwise we would have been left with an unintended eco-swimming pool!

The following day we added the first layer of drainage stone and the first section of piping. It took me ************ ages to drill all the holes in these pipes, but they will take the filtrated effluent and dribble it out into the wetland. It was quite fun putting the pipes together, it was just like a giant Airfix model kit, with the glue being just as potent!