Saturday, 22 August 2015

Hurrying through August

On Monday we delivered the chicken shed to smallholder W in Mid Suffolk. If you can imagine driving through half of Suffolk towing a big trailer with this loaded on top you can see why we got a few odd looks.

Col had taken the nest boxes off the side but even so the shed over hung the trailer by a foot on the near-side so we had to slow down and move to the middle of the road when the road was narrow to avoid getting stuck in the hedge or running into a signpost. The shed is on metal skids so unloaded easily. We still have the other small shed to take to them another day. It's quite odd to know that we will never again keep chickens by the 100s.
We called in at two other places - as you do- one to a company that supply packaging materials to try and find some lids to fit some jam jars that seem to be an odd size and secondly to buy some cheap meat from a butchery place. 2 Huge fresh chickens for £5 each - bargain.

 Tuesday was an incredibly wet day, it's rare that we get continuous rain for so many hours. When I commiserated with one of the people on the campsite she said "it's OK we're from Oldham, we're used to it!"
There were things I could have done but after some clearing in the poly-tunnel I sort of went into a  dull grey mood and did nothing much for the rest of the day.

Then on Wednesday we had brilliant sunshine and blue skies. In the afternoon Col took our elderly friend up to Norwich Hospital again and I sat out and enjoyed the sun. Everyone on the campsite was out and for the first time in weeks no farm machinery chugging round the fields so it was quiet and  peaceful.

Thursday started wet again but I was bread baking so it didn't matter. Col has been delivering various things that people bought at the yard sale on Saturday. A man came back for a second look at the old cement mixer and bought it and a couple of tyres for £40 and another bloke who came to pick up some posts bought on Saturday also bought some other wood for another £15. I've worked out  that the yard sale and the 2 car boots and selling the chicken sheds will keep us for 2 months in winter.

Our electric went off early Thursday evening, we could see that the isolator levers on the electric pole over the road were all unconnected so we knew it wasn't just us. I rang the number for UK Power Networks in the Phone book and a very helpful man looked through all the info on his screen and told me we and 28 other homes around had been switched off for some urgent work somewhere over the fields behind us. He then rang back later to say we should be on by 8.30pm and rang back again at 9pm to check we were back on.   (It was). What good service and what a shame it's so unusual that it needs commenting on.

Col went out to work for his Leiston customer on Friday morning and took a load of junk to the dump. I was supposed to be cutting grass but because we had a heavy dew overnight everywhere was too wet. It turned really hot and humid as the morning went on and then it was too hot for pushing a mower....... tomorrow maybe. Col did the easy ride-on-mower bits in the afternoon and loaded the small chicken shed onto the trailer ready for delivering.
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A few weeks ago I sent an email to the man who does features on houses for sale in the East Anglian Daily Times Property section. The houses he writes about are usually huge/expensive/unusual or very special but going on the theory that there is no harm in asking, I invited him to see our self-sufficient Suffolk property with 5 acres for under £500,000 that we can't sell. Much to my surprise he phoned and is coming out in early September - all publicity is good publicity!

I watched the programme on i-player presented by Anne Robinson- Britain's Spending Secrets , Col didn't want to see it on the night it was on - not his thing - he would have muttered all the way through!
There certainly are some people with plenty of money but how is it that in some places people easily find in-date food  in skips round the back of shops? Round here the bins are all in locked  gated areas. 
I was interested to hear Anne R saying how people are so reluctant to talk about what they earn yet scathing about how others spend their money. Having just detailed our whole budget for all of Blogland to see I know see what she means - for as far as I know no one else has ever done the same - or if they have I've not read any. Talking about money and earnings has never bothered me. That's what we earn, that's what we spend -So What?
 Which reminds me that I never got round to replying to comments after that post . Thanks to everyone who reminded me that we are very lucky to have savings and that's what they were saved for- true. Also sympathy to all other people like me who have had their pension age pushed back and to everyone younger for whom it's even worse. I'm glad to hear other smallholders have plans for what they will do in the future.We thought we had too, until unexpected health problems. The suggestion for selling the land and/or campsite separately isn't feasible here because of the way things (water, electric,drainage and driveway) are laid out and because we are in the middle of arable giant-field country where our little bit is worth nothing much on its own. I'm not worried about what will happen in the future as we've always found that  something turns up as long as we've done what we think is right.
On the post before that Sol asked if I could list the books that I'm taking to a car boot but there are rather too many to list or photograph.

Hope everyone has a good weekend
Back soon
Sue