Health and safety, Humour, lifestyle

One of those days!

Putting on my glasses while leaving the bedroom I noticed a spec on the lens, thus distracted, I walked into the low beam which floored me, moaning and clutching my forehead.

I struggled downstairs clutching my re-booted head which remembered that I had not checked the freezer since I had switched it on several days ago in such bright sunshine that I could not see the little indicator lights. Never mind, I had thought, loading it with frozen fish, scallops, squid and prawns — I’ll check it when it gets dark! It has been dark on and off several times since but today it is bright again so, ever adaptable, I open the door to feel how cold it is. I am knocked back a second time this morning , this time by the disgusting smell of corruption — of rotting flesh — wasted seafood — green slime drips out onto the floor. I pause and experience a wave of sympathy for the poor fishermen whose produce rotted in Calais because of the wrong paperwork, then start lobbing out my lovely fish as Bill retires gagging.

Back to basics, I pull out the freezer and trace the wire to a plug that I had forgotten in a cupboard I don’t use and switch it on — all the little lights sparkle into life — well at least the freezer works but there is another whiff. In that cupboard with the disused wedding presents from the one before last there are signs of mice — that distinctive musty smell (Mus musculus) and tell-tail chocolate sprinkles — really disappointing, as I had thought we were rid of them.

So I set to — washing out the freezer, the cupboard and the floor — I set the mouse traps by the likely looking hole, a job I hate, then I rise with a sense of completion and crack my head on the overhanging work-surface, sending me reeling a second time and wondering what new horrors will be jarred to the forefront of my mind.

Just another day at the end of the rainbow!

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Ecology, Health and safety, Hill Farming

Rural Detox!

Do you remember the old barns we inherited when we bought this farm — here is Alan starting to demolish the tractor shed!
The area at the back remained a gathering ground for scrap metal and all the bits and pieces that might just be useful in the future!

But the future is now!

We took a look at the older stuff and I accepted the proposition that it might just be asbestos, took some to the tip and had it checked and confirmed that it was asbestos. They thanked me for my offer but said they didn’t want it — at any price. At this point it could have stayed behind the shed for another 20 years but no, with the help of a friend with a digger we have sorted and stacked it and tomorrow an approved contractor is arriving, at immense expense, in PPE to double bag and remove same to a place of safety (actually controlled un-safety) after which I will get a certificate!

Ancient Asbestos
Roof tiles that no-one wants to recycle

And look — space for a new barn!

Sadly — the large ash tree has been reduced to produce — logs
and kindling!

Tomorrow the man will come to measure up for the steel frame of the new barn and we will order the wooden cladding, the painting of which will be another new diversion.

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Farm engineering, Hill Farming, Welsh History

Another one bites the dust!

There is an ancient lorry trap where we live.  It used to trap carts but it has never stopped. It is the reason why the old drovers took the high road — some say it is a portal to the underworld.

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It’s dusk now and the ingenuity of the Welsh farmer is bought to play — he always has a few railway sleepers about his person.  The tractor-pull has failed. The two-tractor-pull has failed — the chain has failed, fired like a mediaeval weapon into a field, but on this occasion no one is killed.  Eventually with a little modern help from the biggest jack in the world the sleepers are inserted and the spell is broken.

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What happens here repeatedly is that a right angle bend, on a 1:10 rising to 1:5 hill, arrests the vehicle.  It backs down, thinking it will take the alternate route, the driver turns the wheel clockwise. “Left hand down!” I scream as I hurtle across the field (Alan has told me to do this) but it is all too late.  There is a thud as the heavily loaded grain lorry slumps against the bank.  Sadly,  think our sheep (who have seen it all before) nothing is spilled, carts were much better!

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Babies, Farm engineering, Trecking

Off-road baby buggy

My daughter has got a four-wheel-drive, all terrain baby buggy with off-road tyres.  It’s probably got floatation bags and an electric winch.  When you fold it up and put it in the car (hopefully you have retained all your digits) it can transfer all its mud to the other items of the boot — the travelling cot — the bags for life — the steriliser and all the indispensable baby paraphernalia.

The alternative is to attack it with baby wipes or to run it through the sea or a river ford — then it makes everything wet.

So here’s a thought:

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This is the de-lux model but a cardboard box will do

 

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Farm engineering

Building Bridges

Do you remember the tree we cut down last winter, because it was threatening to fall over and cut off the electricity and to block the lane and maybe even catch a passing car.

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Felled

Here is Number One Son stripping off the branches —

Stripping

Stripping

Here is the trunk,cut in half and laid across the stream —

Naked

Naked

Here it is clad in recycled larch boards that used to cover the barn — Pedro checks it for stability.

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Dressed

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It is part of our new Habitat Creation Project — for trolls, but we didn’t get a grant.  We just added lots of water and waited three months.  Here it is now —

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What a difference three months makes.  Here is the view from the bridge.

View from the bridge

View from the bridge

It hasn’t cost us a penny (maybe a tablespoonful of chainsaw fuel — the nails were recycled) and it’s somewhere nice to sit and eat our sandwiches. This time of the year we are mainly cutting bracken in the pasture.  Here in the woodland we live in peace with it as do the shamrocks and the trolls.

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