Shepherds pausing for lunch outside our house under the walnut trees.
Shepherds pausing for lunch outside our house under the walnut trees.

Well that’s my year off complete so I better get back to work and start earning some money…no, no, no I’m not giving up and coming back to good ol’ Blighty…not unless someone drags me kicking and screaming, but I have decided it is time to stop the pot draining and do a little something to earn my keep! So I’ve started teaching English as a Foreign Language online, just for two days a week – it’s great – and I get the rest of the week off to renovate the house and tend the garden. At least this way my muscles get some time off and so does my brain, win win 🙂

DSCF3193This change of lifestyle has been an adventure in many ways, figuring out how to bring in a few quid to keep things ticking over while trying to save a few quid doing the work yourself …we are not lacking in desire, determination or in our ability to learn and adapt, the only thing we are lacking in is time! Where does it all go…one minute it’s Monday morning and I’m all fired up about cracking on with one project or another and then suddenly it’s Thursday and somehow Tues & Wed didn’t show up.
Funnily enough it’s not the time it takes to empty a woodshed or remove tiles from a roof or build a chicken coop or tile a floor…it’s what happens in between that buggers it all up! Shopping to do, documents to sign, deliveries to pick up, get-to-gethers to attend, cream to be shoved up one of the animals butt,  tools not working like they should or a hailstorm hitting out of nowhere.
DSCF3220We have people coming to visit this year so we’re also trying to get a bedroom ready for them…strangely not everyone wants to bunk in with me and Dan, so I’ve started tiling the spare room, until the ants hit…yes suddenly out of nowhere thousands and thousands of tiny little TERRIFYING beasts started stomping across our bathroom ceiling and dropping in the bath…they make my skin crawl, but you can’t run away when it’s your house they are invading so out came the hoover! An hour of constant hoovering and still they came…so out came the DE … that slowed the buggers down, but has made a right mess of the new bathroom, which will now have to be painted again. I used to be frightened of ants, but had a certain respect for them…now I just hate them so I guess that’s progress of sorts.
DSCF3240They must have known something we didn’t as from a beautiful sunny (32C in the shade) day, a sudden massive clap of thunder and synchronised flashes of lightening and then the heavens opened…not just rain, but hailstones the size of marbles…Dan ran outside to close the greenhouse down and me to get the dog food bowls out of the pen…we looked like we’d been swimming fully clothed and the temps dropped rapidly. I took a video, it lasted only about 10 minutes but I don’t think my lettuce will ever be the same again.
DSCF3237So the chickens are hatched and waiting for me to claim them as their new Mum, but they are having to wait for us to get this coop built. We are half way there, we have all the materials, the basic structure is built, half the roof is on…then it rains…then the shop doesn’t have the guttering we travel half an hour down the road specifically to buy…breathe Jane breathe! On the plus side the chickens could be laying by the time we get them 🙂
DSCF3238Meanwhile our wonderful neighbour decides that her health is too bad, so she will leave here and go to live with her son in France and offers me the rest of her wood pile as she will have no further use for it. Well this was too good an offer to turn down, but I only want to move it once so I needed somewhere to put it and those that have been paying attention will DSCF3243know that my mini is now in what was last year’s woodshed…time to brave the black hole of calcutta where we stored all of the dismantled, scrap and destroyed furniture that was in the house when we moved in. There are all sorts in DSCF3247this shed, including two lovely little units I want to restore…but mostly crap pieces of wood, bags of rock hard cement, smelly old rugs and stacks and stacks of chipboard. Needs must and a couple of days work I cleared the lot…it was a distraction from what we were doing but a necessary one and yes my yard is now covered in rubbish piles of wood ready to be cut up and stacked neatly inside…once I have the good stuff in first!
DSCF3246And once we have built the coop, tiled the spare room, ordered more wood for this winter and restored the two little pieces of furniture…actually that maybe classed as fun so that may have to wait…
Until next time…
Join me:


  • Rick

    Those bags of rock hard cement are useful. I find they make interesting looking “rocks” to be used where needed. And they make a very good foundation if you need to build a small shed or even a small retaining wall.

    • Jane

      I better go get ’em back off the rubbish tip then Rick (which as it happens is currently right outside my house) 🙂

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