I realise that it’s been a while since I last posted to our blog, but for the last two and a half months I’ve been suffering with a frozen shoulder and that has seriously hampered my progress in building a farm. This is very frustrating for me. As many of you know, our farm adventure follows the three years I’ve spent recovering from a serious accident at work as a truck driver, where my strong bones didn’t break when they should have done, and as a result, I suffer with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) in my right ankle. To have another injury that just wants to stick around has felt somewhat unfair, but I’m grateful that I do seem to now be on the mend!
In the last few months I’ve managed just a few small jobs. Things like admin, label creation and erecting a bit more fencing and building another gate. More recently, however, I’ve also managed to do some work on the inside of our restroom static caravan. Putting a static caravan on a muddy field with carpets for flooring seemed a silly idea, so I’ve managed to rip the carpets up from the lounge/dining area and hallway, and I’ve replaced it with laminated flooring.
As you can see from the photo on the left, the carpets in the caravan had faded hugely, and by replacing them with laminated flooring we have made cleaning the floors so much easier with no power supply on the farm! In the last two or three weeks we have seen the Cornish summer give way to a much damper and colder Cornish autumn. Being able to get in to the static to make a drink or eat lunch, without treading half of the fields in to a manky looking carpet, and, to be able to just sweep and mop the floors, is a much better option in this particular type of environment. Bob, Bob the smallholders dog so far refuses to wipe his feet on the way in to the static, so it solves that problem too! It’s also fair to say that pink is not one of my favourite colours, so reducing the amount of pink in the caravan is a huge relief to my eyes!!
As you can see from this picture, removing the carpets and putting down the laminate flooring has really brightened up the inside of the static. Once you get over the humour of just sitting and watching Bob skate across the flooring, it seems a very practical solution to the problems of working in a muddy environment, and has most definitely made the interior look less tired than those poor carpets could manage! In order to allow the heat of the fire to move around the caravan, we decided it was a good idea to cut the door between the kitchen and hallway in half. It also means that when Bob is super-mucky he can be kept to just the hallway, rather than redecorating the seating areas with his only particular choice of colour, muddy brown, without him being completely excluded from his pack!
At the same time as ripping out the yucky carpets, we also decided to rip out the rusty old gas fire, and have replaced that with a nice looking calor gas fire instead. We were originally considering a log burner, but with health and safety at the forefront of our minds, we quickly ruled that out. Although it would have been lovely to sit and eat my lunch in front of a log burner, I really didn’t want to have to maintain and clean it out in a tin box filled with highly flammable kindling for walls!! All the work done so far is an improvement definitely, but as always with this project, everything costs three times more than you anticipate and takes four times longer than you believe could be possible. If we’ve learnt nothing else so far, we have most definitely learnt that setting goals and deadlines is akin to setting yourselves up to fail. Now, we no longer try to guestimate anything and just go with the flow and wait till the day we can say the job is done!!
With my shoulder well on the road to recovery, it is now time to get back to some of the outstanding manual labour jobs that I’ve not been able to spend my time on. Access to the land has once more become a priority, as the wet weather recently has reminded us, water seems to hold in exactly the place we drive on and off the farm. Although it’s not anything like as bad as the picture here from February 2014, we are slipping and sliding on and off the farm, and in reality, it’s only a matter of time before one or both of us has to phone one of our neighbours to come and drag us off the farm! As an ex-truck driver who can no longer drive trucks, I am so looking forward to hiring a mini-digger and dumper truck and making the access good all year round.
With so many cool jobs to do, it’s fair to say that, despite the occasional negative, we are both having the time of our lives building our dream together 🙂
Onwards and upwards as we move towards 2015!!