• Emma Bennett

Well, hasn't it become interesting around here.


It's been awhile since I managed to get round to sitting and writing, and believe me you don't notice the time passing when your very busy. One week has rolled into another very quickly. We finally got around to replacing the front of the Nissan hut completely, the half held on front door with broken windows was to say the least not very inspiring. It was half taken down methodically and then half fell down when the final structural cobweb was dusted off. We found out that most of the wood holding it up was mostly fresh air thanks to the woodworms who had taken up residence.

I built a new chicken house! All by myself...out of pallets collected for free and topped off with a nice red mite resistant tin roof (also donated for free) It's the perfect size for my new Jersey Giant chickens who are growing up very nicely. I'm learning basic electrics and putting them into practice lighting up the various buildings we have around here. Our food shed now has a beautiful external light made by Bob (the previous resident of the holding) out of an old glass jar and copper pipe now re-wired. It perfectly suits the look of the hand built food shed.

We've been busy finishing the main goat accommodation, plans for summer of 2018 is making them a nice concrete hard standing outside and fencing that off. We'd prefer to keep them on as much dry ground as possible during the winter wet, which saves a lot of feet issues. We've also noticed that a new ditch is necessary through the goat paddocks. Their ground levels out so the water is collecting there long enough to turn it a bit boggy. Thankfully everywhere else is staying ok. Hard to believe, sometimes even I need to remind myself just how bad it was the first winter we spent there. I think I could have actually described myself as depressed trudging through the mud, occasionally loosing a wellie or sliding part of the way. It was hard walking about so much that it felt like leg day at the gym everyday. It wears you down after a while so I revel in the bits of ground that still have grass and are sturdy underfoot.

Then there is the other issue that has kept us rather busy..... a mother and son issue. Those close to us know the name of her and her son. They own the land our access path crosses. So yes we have ourselves a nightmare neighbour. Most recently we've been compiling a file of evidence into a court ready file. Yes it got that interesting!. She is now leaving us alone, but the basics of repairing the track to our home, and for the future we need to finish this, she won't allow us to fix the track and she refuses to do it. Complete dead end........ We will update our readers on the on-goings when the case is finished in court. It's not appropriate to openly discuss all the elements of the case until then but I'll share some of the things we've had to put up with that have already been disclosed.

The lady in question does not like us, that fact is not up for debate, and we doubt that she would refute that. Her motive could possibly be due to the fact she wanted to buy this place, not to live in we suspect just to fill a gap in fields between her land. Either way we suspect we are 'in the way' and it was clear from the start she does not want to work with us. She has attempted to obstruct the track to our home up as much as possible, and her story changes so much it feels like your slipping in and out of different dimensions sometimes. We've had our dealings with solicitors, and the one thing that is not up for contest is her constant attempts to disengage from the process, hence why court has become the only option. I guess she wanted a fight but wasn't prepared for us to stand up for that fight. Oooops.

We believe that she hoped her antics would drive us from our home, or that we'd try to sell up. Ooops again, sorry we love it here too much!

The neighbours are amazing, two of them are appearing in court as witnesses, and when we go out and about it seems like half the village is asking how it's going. We are not the only people to have 'this issue' she causes lots of problems for other people, and we are not the only people to call her a bully (and other things)!

The process of collecting the evidence has been huge, sorting it, filing it and documenting everything. It takes time. Answering the rubbish that she has sent us, ringing the police so that we could get out one day (yes we even had to do that after she locked us in). I've put all my previous experience into this process. We are taking the case to court ourselves and we are now just awaiting a hearing date. We are not nervous about it, but we are looking forward to it.

This is our home and while we are still sorting out so much stuff up here I guess we can make the time to protect it and our access for the future.

So here's to a brilliant 2018, a successful court appearance and we wish good luck and a Happy Christmas to all our readers.

#nightmareneighbour #diy #chickencoo #smallholding

All images taken are strictly the property of Emma & Steven Bennett.

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