Sunday, 23 January 2011

A downsized upgrade AKA the temporary house move

Farmer and family are living it up in the Studio, enjoying bright sunshine in the sunroom (above), its lovely views, adjustable cosy central heating, comfortable beds and the unexpected feeling of 'being away' without leaving the farm. We have internet in the Studio but not a phone.

Having lived without central heating of any sorts for nearly a year, through no fault of our highly efficient wood chip boiler, it is total luxury to be warm at the touch of a button, rather than as a result of Farmer carrying basket loads of logs into the house constantly. Alot of time during the last couple of weeks has been spent packing our things and moving furniture so that the plumber and builder could move in...(well, I think that was why we did it). Weren't we supposed to be installing a new central heating system with thermostatically controlled radiators? And at the same time, eco-insulate roof spaces and cut down heat loss through blocking up drafts round windows, floors and doors? Only... yesterday morning, the expected start date (2 weeks after the first start date), no one turned up...a sinister stillness and lack of activity within the chilled house....And no one today either! Oh well...

The same cannot be said for feeding time. Everyone turns up here! The hoggs, led by the tame 'Zwarties', mob Farmer when he goes to feed them - almost tripping him up in their eagerness to get to the line of troughs.

And the tups wait their turn in the wind turbine field.

Radical steps taken last weekend, after months of research and deliberations, to do a bit of machinery upgrading. Sometimes it has to be done in order to pre-empt aged machinery and inevitable breakdowns. First to go was the old digger, which has helped with all sorts of jobs over the last 10 years. To my inexperienced eye it looked pretty knackered, but it may just be the rust on the cab and the fading paintwork. Photographs of our digger were sent off so Farmer and Dealer could agree its value before it left the farm. Satisfactory deals were eventually done and on Saturday a younger (and much smaller) digger appeared to replace the older one.

This is the old digger being loaded up onto the lorry.

And this is the newer one. Much smaller tracks, and not so many rusty bits.

It has already been put to use, by a neighbour who is helping us out when he can - putting a new layer of fine 'dust' on the farm track.

The schools issue rumbles on. We had a visit from the Education Spokesperson yesterday, who was on a fact finding mission. Looking at every school. I hope she enjoyed the time she spent - they arrived in time to join in on the school Burns Supper, another of those special 'school in its community' events when the school was packed with family and friends of the school enjoying a traditional Burns Supper cooked by the Boathouse girls from Ulva. The children entertained us confidently with Gaelic songs and Burns poetry as well as some poetry of their own. After her visit we were none the wiser as to what she thought about the school, and we have no more idea about our chances of survival.
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