14/06/2014

In the afternoon we had a visit from the purchaser of an old farm trailer which LSS had listed for sale. It’s capable of carrying 5.5 tons, and weighs 1.3 tons empty. We’re never going to use it.

The chap turned up with a large truck, and it was my job to put the trailer onto the lorry using the purchaser’s ramps. These had seen better days, and were incredibly bent. Fortunately the tractor has a towbar attachment at the front as well as the rear, so I found it much easier to push the trailer up the ramps instead of having to reverse it on! Now we’re just waiting for the purchaser of the non-running JCB to come and collect it (we’re selling it for parts; it would be too expensive to repair, which is a pity). That should be the last of the large equipment. But there is still more stuff which needs to go, including a fertilizer spreader, sprayer, cement mixer, branch chopper, and possibly an hydraulic log splitter. Not all of it is working, so some of it could well go to scrap.

The aged FIL and LSS have had a bit of a falling-out. About a week ago he decided he wanted his “office” cleared, ready for the installation of the new electricity supply therein. He didn’t want the control board in the kitchen (which is where the electrician proposed it was installed) because of the risk of fire. (?) He would rather have it in his office (which is a padlocked room adjacent to the house). Don’t ask. LSS informed him that she didn’t have time to do it straight away, but would get around to it well before the electrical work was due to be done (we still don’t have a date). Unfortunately this was not good enough, so the aged FIL called Mr. M (the woodcutter) to ask him to do it.

Last Sunday (the day after he had helped us install the solar panel), Mr. M came around to discuss the aged FIL’s request with LSS. He said that unfortunately he did not know where to put any of the stuff which was gathering dust in the office, so LSS had no option but to go to the aged FIL’s farm and help. This took most of the morning (and she had planned on working in the vegetable garden instead). The office is now empty; we have lots of paper for wood-stove lighting, and LSS has not spoken to the aged FIL since. She still takes him his shopping, but doesn’t say a word.

Speaking of gardening, the vegetable garden has come on leaps and bounds. We have 15 rows of potatoes (over 300 plants) and rows of beetroot, parsnips, carrots, courgettes, beans, and peas (which have already produced pods). Watermelons and tomatoes are also present, as are lettuces and apparently cucumbers. For the first time LSS seeded some pumpkins and sweetcorn, and there’s some rhubarb in one corner. So she has done a lot of work!

Since the completion of the solar panel installation a couple of days ago I’ve felt at a bit of a loss. Not that I’m short of things to do; the woodstore needs extending (and more wood needs to be cut). I need to create a gate in the back fence, increase the height of the roof in the outside shower, and create a panel wall for the future corridor into the barn. But I haven’t been idle; the woodchipper has converted a pile of branches into wood chips for the compost, the elderflower champagne has been bottled, and the parsnip wine has been racked – fermentation has nearly finished!

And the solar panel is still producing heat for the thermal store. Even though today was partly cloudy, the water temperature at the top of the store is 52.6 degrees.

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