14/04/2015

Yesterday, I used the newly-upholstered tractor for the first time in order to fetch some more firewood (mainly small trees which had blown down). The seat is indeed more comfortable, but the angle isn’t right; one is leaning forwards all the time. Obviously some more fettling needs to be done, which means the entire thing has to come out again. This I am NOT looking forward to. I think it may well be easier to remove the cab from the tractor, and working on the seat in situ.

Today we got another two hens, bringing the total to 16. This was totally unplanned. You see, one of LSS’s adult pupils had three hens, but wanted a goose. As their space is limited, her husband told her if she got a goose, two of the hens had to go. So they ended up here. The other 14 don’t seem to mind. I don’t think hens can count. “One, more-than-one” is probably their limit. The two newbies soon settled in.

I have discovered another large aspen which the wind has uprooted, so it seems as though I may need yet another woodshed.

The garage building was beginning to look like it belonged somewhere in the jungles of Borneo. Some ivy had taken root at the rear wall and had been left unchecked for years. It had reached the stage where the roof of the building was starting to disappear under a verdant green canopy, and shoots were even entering the building under the tiles, trailing down towards the floor. There were also three grapevines which a previous owner had planted; and these had completely taken over as well. Unfortunately the grapes are rather astringent, so are not that good for eating. We did make some wine a year or two ago but that wasn’t very nice either. Well, LSS spent most of the afternoon up a ladder, pruning. The walls (and obviously the roof) of the building are once again visible. The only down-side of this is the huge pile of ivy-and-grapevine clippings which need to go through the wood chipper. Mind you, we’ve found that piling wood-chips underneath the hen roosts make cleaning out the chicken shed that much easier. Nothing is wasted if we can help it!

Today was the fourth day in a row in which we have not had to light the boiler stove. The lovely cloudless conditions mean that the solar thermal panel is heating the water in the thermal store to around 60 degrees with no other input necessary.

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