Sunday, 11 October 2009

All cut up

Its not a good idea to burn the candle at both ends as a smallholder, early nights with a cup of horlicks is the order of the day if you want to make progress on the big jobs planned for the morning. So spending a very nice evening over dinner with Mr20% and his lovely wife, the Stable Sprite and his lovely wife and yours truly who has the loveliest and most patient wife ever was a great idea right up until 5.30 am when I got up to go and fetch Rocky (Spot) a Berner pup we had sold who was coming back to live with us, see the Dolyhir Bernese Mountain Dog pages for the full story.

Lack of sleep really helped the long drive but by 9.30 we were back at HQ and getting on with the jobs. Concreting was planned but our number one concreter had locked himself out of his house so was stuck the other side of the county. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as there was no way I felt like that much hard work today and the routine jobs that needed doing, getting water to the horses, pigs and so on all ate into the daylight hours and before we knew it the day was over. Messing about with leaky pipework that couldn't hold the pressure of the water from the bore hole without falling apart stiffened my resolve to contact Steve and see if my brilliant idea of a pump in the well is actually that.

In between walking up and down the hill connecting and reconnecting pipes, rushing back to turn various valves and taps to regulate the water pressure I thought of many things, not least of which was can you buy a 20mm to 25mm connector at 4.30 on a sunday afternoon. The local Spar I suspect would sell me many things but not this very necessary item. As 20million gallons of ice cold water shot out of the suddenly disconnected pipe hitting me with the force of a water cannon soaking me from the waist down I dutifully forced the pipe back in place and adjusted the pressure of the flow with one of three taps placed along the length of pipe, once harmony had been achieved with the three taps the water manages to stay within the confines of the pipe and into the various containers and drinking vessels used by the inhabitants of Rock HQ. The three taps being on two separate pipes and thirty metres apart just adds to the entertainment that can be had running in water filled boots.

As the water started to arrive in its intended destinations I perused the pigs fate, soon to be part of the food chain, these pigs have grown to be the friendliest pigs ever raised at Rock HQ. Plans are afoot to build some proper pig pens and do it all properly next year, which will hopefully lead to an opportunity to raise some revenue by animal husbandry rather than lose it like we usually do. This was a topic of last nights dinner, aside from the many ways you can butcher a pig, how do you make smallholding pay so you can do it full time and not work elsewhere.

As I squelched back up to the disconnected pipe for the fifth and final time of the afternoon I really knew that this was what I wanted to do, its so much more fun than work. Its hard, chaotic, messy, fills you with hope, then despair, but I have never been happier. So, much thought will have to be applied to this puzzle, how can I do this full time. Meantime I shall continue to buy lottery tickets.
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