Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Settling in

It's been a while since I last posted and many things have happened and many more are still happening.
I have been trying to get quotes for the sheep barn and at the same time looking for a mobile home.
I have found one but I have spent a good part of the first two weeks making the site accessible and ready for the delivery which as you can imagine can be tricky on a farm. Clearing the overgrown lane  in order to get an 11 feet wide mobile home through was quite a task for the city boy that I am.
After that I had a lot of help from my neighbour Mike who has a big digger, he took down a ditch, placed drain pipes down and covered the whole thing with 40 tonnes of 4 inches stones from a quarry nearby.
I am surprised by the number of quarries in the vicinity...
The quotes for the stable have been coming in pretty slow and apart from two outrageously expensive ones, the others seem to be more in line with our expectations...
Let's say that it seems to be cheaper than what budgeted.
Crowly: 6300 euro without groundwork.
Antony, who speaks with such an accent that I can understand one word every four, 5K without groundwork, 6.5 with groundwork.
Tumi & C: 6.5 with groundwork.
We'll probably go with them because they are the only ones who did not get scared by the groundwork and seem to be intelligent guys who build barns on a regular basis.
I haven't moved on the sheep front yet, but I have called a person or two about Zwartbles and should be able to visit and go a bit more in depth with the breed this week. Zwartbles are 3 attitudes sheep, that means they perform well on lambs, wool and milk but they are definitely good milkers. I have started to consider this breed as a potential alternative to East Frisians as a starter flock because of some practical advantages like having a docile and less delicate breed, the potential of changing direction of selection should things not go as expected, but above all the potential of growing in numbers quickly without worrying too much about the volume of milk. In case the volume will be inadequate we can always buy a Frisian ram.
The van, after much fuss, is going very well and I am happy with it, so much happy that I am sleeping in it :)
Kira has already come to visit and she's coming again tonight. Her cooking will be much appreciated by the farm.
The only bad news, if we can call it bad news, is that the works for the stable won't start until October, so that I'll be here again to supervise the lads. In a sense is bad news because it will delay the electric connection application of a month but it looks like we won't be able to get our first sheep before late spring, so it won't make much of a difference in that sense.
The work to get the lane accessible has been tough and my body healthfully hurts in correspondence of all the muscles I haven't used in the past 5 years.
But I guess what most of you will want to know is if I regret my choice and if I am happy.
I feel good. I feel like for the first time of my life I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. I enjoy every moment of it, the pain, the disappointment, the expectations, the sweat, the chills, the great feeling of reward and achievement in getting a job done, coppicing, clearing the lane, preparing the site for the house and stable, getting prices. I feel real for the first time after a long time.
More soon.

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