The Life Recycled!

You know that family dynamics have reached a transitional point when your entire stock of chocolate biscuits appear in the re-cycling bin. They do this spontaneously — apparently of their own volition. You call your daughter who is staying for the week-end to witness the mystery. You both stare into the gaping mouth of the green food-recycling bin where pale, slightly crackly milk chocolate digestives peep out from beneath cauliflower leaves and carrot peelings. “Perhaps it’s for the best, Mum? They don’t look very fresh!”

“I just fancied something sweet,” chips in son-in-law from somewhere in the background. The plot is edging towards a painful denouement. “But I couldn’t find anything that had expired later than 2018.”

“But, but…” I suddenly sound defensive, “We’ve only just dealt with the spaghetti mountain.”

“Not quite” interjects Judas Iscariot who is helping set the table, ” we’re up to 2016.”

“Well that’s no age at all for dried spaghetti” I snap, I’m starting to sound petulant. “Anyway, I’m on a war footing.”

So I have reached some sort of milestone. It only seems yesterday that I was furious with my own mother when I caught her rummaging through my kitchen waste to rescue things that she felt needed to be recycled — this was early in her eco-warrior phase. She had done this by emptying the entire contents of my kitchen bin onto newspaper on my kitchen floor.

I seem to have come all the way around some sort of cycle — I think I’ll go and hide my dirty underwear, like great-granny did, in back copies of the Daily Telegraph and start spitting my pills behind the toilet cistern.

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.



Here is Number One Son stripping off the branches —



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



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




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.