Grass pollen and Bob!

BobWell, I didn’t see this coming…

When our offer on the land had been accepted last year (2013) and the purchase was going along swimmingly, I decided it was time to get my smallholders dog, Bob.  I figured that way he could grow up on the farm and that would be his lifestyle.  All has been going brilliantly… until the grass pollen came out to play.  It turns out, my Bob is allergic to grass pollen!!

In order to solve this dilemma (concreting 13 acres just isn’t an option!) he’s taking antihistamines and I’m bathing his sores with salt water, but what I really need is a bath/large water container to be able to rinse him off each day to get the pollen off him.  In the summer months when the pollen is at it’s worst it will also be a nice refreshing dip for the lad.  Much better than the muddy puddle he chose for himself, which now we’ve not had much rain for a while is gone.

So, perhaps you are doing up your bathroom and have an old bath you want rid of (not too far from Cornwall would be good!), or maybe an old trough or loft cold water tank?  Anything really that would hold enough water in it that a large breed dog could use as a bath/dip.

Let me know if you can help.  Bob & I would really appreciate any input or offers of water holding containers, so that my lad can get back to some good old unfettered enjoyment of the farm, without the issue of an underbelly reacting to grass pollen.

Dry weather entrance and a fire-pit

firepitIt’s an awkward moment when you sit down excitedly to blog about what’s been an exciting week and come up well short of being able to write the first sentence.  The last 10-12 days swirling around in my head, and me, sat dead still in front of my laptop wondering, ‘where do I begin?’.

For those of you that don’t know my history, I had an accident as an HGV driver in September 2011 that ended my career.  The injury to my ankle has left me with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), which put’s me in a constant battle of wills between my determination to overcome all obstacles, and, the CRPS’s ability to bring me to a grinding halt, no matter how motivated I am to my ultimate aim.  For every day that I succeed and get something achieved on the land, I can pay with 2-3 days of not being able to do much at all.  I wear an Air Cast Walker for long day trips out and to parties so I can dance.

Some of my friends have taken to calling me ‘one 16th Storm Trooper’.  I mention the nickname, because Adrian and I were discussing it earlier.  When we use it with reference to my progress.  It means we’ve also reviewed the last 6 months, with the 6 months previous, always stating that the progress I’ve made with my ankle is astronomical. 6 months ago I couldn’t have walked easily around the land once, let alone once up to 4 times in a day in the last 2 weeks!  That’s 4 miles walking in a day.

This week I’ve exceeded even my own expectations of myself!

I’ve built a fire-pit!cuppa2

Well, I suppose technically, it’s more of a stove-pit… I built it to protect my gas stoves flame from the wind, so that the kettle might actually boil!

Whatever you call it, I love it.

I’ve been up to the land and walked Bob round a couple of times, then got back to the car and made myself a coffee before starting on a little project.

This weeks little projects have included clearing the mud from the entrance, building a fire-pit, and making a fake hedge out of branches and twigs.  All of this action inspired by the arrival of Draco the Christmas Tree and the farms tracks being laid out as we want them.

cuppa1Clearing the mud out of the entrance has also made it possible for me to reverse the car on to the land whilst the weather has been dry.  I’m not sure my none 4wd vehicle would cope with even the smallest amount of water on the land.  I’m hoping this respite in the wind and rain will continue for sometime to come.

The fake hedge is more of an experiment in using branches and twigs to make a screen.  I figure it will also help to shield you if you are taken short on the land!

It feels like things are finally starting to happen.  Although we still have the ongoing delays, at least something of progress has been able to happen.  It means that future visits to the land are becoming more and more comfortable, and the more time I can be up there, the more I am likely to be able to do…