Living the Dream: Ruthless clear out begins in earnest

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I just wanted to begin with a cautionary tale for all. If ever you get the urge to take that short cut through the nettle patch, as it’s getting dark, to save time, whilst en route to tucking the hens in for the night, always ensure that you are appropriately dressed and don’t find yourself in little more than a dressing gown, as it’ll never end well, take it from one who sadly knows from experience!

Currently, we have our teashop closed, giving us the opportunity and the time to get some bigger jobs done around the place. You know, the sorts of things that you would do as autumn approaches.

With the leaves already falling, even if the grass is still growing, it’s time to get some pruning and cutting back done, for a start. In fact there’s been lots of gardening, including tidying up borders, properly edging up the lawns and giving the vegetable patch a good old clear out.

If I’m honest, I didn’t get anywhere near the veg patch or the greenhouses, as Wendy and Naomi were doing such a great job I hated to interrupt them whilst they were in full flow and so I just steered clear of them and they’ve done such a marvellous job too!

We’ve also been doing some decorating too, well I say we, but again it has mostly been Wendy doing the decorating, not all though... but she does such a good job, so why would I interfere? Starting today, we are commencing with tackling the much spoke of, but little done about, barn clearout.

It’s way past the talking about stage now and so we have a skip on site and we are heading out there to be ruthless, I repeat ruthless. There’ll be none of this, ‘I could use that in the future’ malarky and there’ll be no sentiment involved, at all. If we haven’t used it in over a year, then we have a choice to make; we’ll give it away, we’ll sell it or we’ll chuck it! I don’t think we’re hoarders at all, but it is so easy to collect and hold on to things that you may get around to using in the future, but it’s funny because that day so often never comes.

With us spending lots of quiet time around the farm recently, without visitors, it has given us the chance to once again appreciate what we have and where we live.

It can be very easy, in all of our busy lives, to take what we have for granted and we are certainly guilty of that recently, as we get caught up in the busyness of the place.

In only the last week alone I have been able to spend time on several occasions, watching the squirrels preparing for those leaner winter months. As they gather nuts and treats and with great agility and boundless energy, they almost fly through the trees searching for just the right place to bury their stash of goodies.

I also had the chance, whilst cutting grass the other day, to just stand and watch around 25 rooks attempt to chase a red kite off their patch. Whatever they did and however they tried, she just went about her business, unflustered, without a care in the world.

I spoke to Mr Hedgehog, who was out for a stroll the other evening and also Mrs Tawny, who appears to have found a new favourite perch on top of our house sign, right outside our bedroom windows, which hasn’t gone down well with everyone around here!