• Emma Bennett

Paradise Found - Our hands hurt.....


Welcome to the first blog post from the Nantlle Valley. We moved 8 weeks ago, and we are finally settled. We have some sort of routine and we are about to crack on with work on the house. We've been given the go ahead for work on the house from the council. Due to the grade 2 listing we thought initially it might have been harder to obtain. Apparently not. So new kitchen and a new bathroom have been planned. Dog kennels and polytunnels all need planning permission so we've got at least 8 weeks for that to be granted.

All the work should be starting in the next 4 weeks or sooner. It's all very exciting and at the same time it will be frustrating while we descend into chaos once more.

We are a long way from being finished, and at this moment a long way from having a working plant nursery once again. It will be worth it, and it will be very nice to once again offer plants for sale.

We've moved everything we own from two sites, re-arranged them here awaiting our decisions on the placement of everything from compost site to tractor shed. We've dug out just about half way down the drainage channel (which is about 100mtrs). Moved rocks, moved gates, re-set gates - well wedged them into the gaps to keep animals in paddocks. We've moved box after box of our stuff. ordered furniture, got two rescue dogs, figured out where all the supplies can be bought from. Sorted the tradesmen..... and so out hands hurt. It's like the dull ache you feel after doing a weights session at the gym.

We've experienced a tyre blow out on the trailer whilst travelling home last week. A sudden crack opened in the tyre wall of the 110' whilst in the mountains buying more chickens and geese. Just as we started to change the tyre the clouds came in. The chap selling the birds was very accommodating and allowed me to make some brews (he didn't drink them himself and felt he'd make a dreadful one). Tyre changed we herded geese in a large field, caught three and headed off home. Driving through the farm towards our land I spotted a loose pig. Queen again! She was off for a stroll down the hill. So before we landed home and got the kettle on I herded her back home. Again, for the second time.

We've had visitors, some dear friends stopping by. My parents, who whilst here also put themselves to work and tried to help out with loose pigs and horses (it was a bad week for the gates staying put). Goodness knows what they thought about all the ongoings.

I still remember to sit every now and again for a brew, I've had moments of sheer frustration, joy, deep relaxation (albeit short moments) and plain comatose periods after I get in bed.

We still can't say exactly how all this pans out, no one could. What we do have, however is bags of passion for this place, for this lifestyle, and to create something all ours.

So for now I'll keep this short, I've got about 1 ton of wet soil and grass/reed roots to move to a compost area from the ditch.

Thanks (Diolch) for reading.

Emma & Steve


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