August 2010RSS feed

Building progress report

Sunday 1 August, 2010

by Rosemary at 8:10pm in Renovation Comments closed

We've seen a bit of activity this week as the tradesmen returned from their holidays.

The electricians, Harry and Kevin (who are my cousin and his son) arrived at Dalmore last Saturday, (with their own caravan so that they could get an early start on Sunday) raring to go. Over the two days, they put in most of the first fix cabling. They couldn't do it all because the downstairs floors weren't in. We went up on Sunday, to answer a few questions that they had.

The builders have now put in the concrete downstairs ready for the underfloor heating, and they've also put in the pipes to carry the cables and stuff for the ground source heat pump from the underground coil to the old dairy, where the plant will be. We've just had confirmation that we're getting a grant for the heat pump and an interest-free loan for the pump and the PV installation, which is good news.

Paddock Paradise 4

Sunday 1 August, 2010

by Rosemary at 8:24pm in Equines Comments closed

This weekend, we finished the electric fence in Sheepfold that creates the track for the horses. It's the start of our paddock paradise, but there's a lot of development to go. I've been in email correspondence with Nick Hills www.cloverroseequine.co.uk about it and hope to visit his place in the not too distant future.

Nick is a natural hoofcare specialist who has developed a paddock paradise in the Highlands. Looking at his website, ours looks a bit "soft" but Nick's happy to offer advice on improving the set up.

Sheep in Sheepfold

Sunday 1 August, 2010

by Rosemary at 8:38pm in Sheep Comments closed

We moved our nine ewes and lambs to Dalmore this weekend. They're now in Sheepfold, our two acre field. The grass is pretty long, so I'll keep an eye out for dirty bums. We gave them all a squirt of Crovect on arrival to repel flies. I'm also introducing a garlic mineral block.

I discussed worming with our new vet, who recommended moving them, worm testing after 4-6 weeks and treating accordingly. He explained that the regime of worming then moving stock to clean grazing exacerbated the problem of wormer resistance, since all the worms excreted on the new pasture would be resistant ones. The faecal worm egg count can also test for fluke. I am keen to use as few chemicals as possible, without compromising the sheep's health and wellbeing.

Sheep in clover

Sunday 1 August, 2010

by Rosemary at 8:43pm in Sheep 1 comment Comments closed

Since we took our sheep to Dalmore, we moved Carol's four Shetland x Ryeland gimmers into our field this morning. They are such a nice, friendly wee bunch and they followed the bucket all the way.

They've had such fun today - the pig hut has become the "gang hut". All four have used it as a shelter from both sun and rain today - it's been a bit changeable, weatherwise, you see. They've galloped the length of the paddock, then back again and played on the little mound of stones, watched the sheep in the other field and galloped up and down again. They'll be ready for their breakfast tomorrow, for sure.

Tidying up

Sunday 1 August, 2010

by Rosemary at 8:48pm in Gardening 4 comments Comments closed

I've been tidying up the garden this week, in anticipation of having some viewers. It's been lovely - the lavender hedge has come on well and is moving with bees, as is the borage and the marjoram.

Longcarse smallholding for sale

Longcarse river view.jpg

Quite a weekend!

Sunday 8 August, 2010

by Rosemary at 7:07pm in Anything goes Comments closed

Well, Lorna and I are now "officially" moved to Dalmore.

Dan, Claire and I moved the cats and Smokey up on Saturday, and Judy and Carrie brought Bugsy from Dalgety Bay to join us.

Smokey loaded beautifully and arrived cool and calm. It was great having Claire there for moral support - nothing went wrong but that's probably because she was there, if you know what I mean. I had been practising loading for a few days and he was pretty relaxed - although the trailer hadn't actually moved anywhere. Bugsy arrved about 30 minutes after us - wee boy in a big lorry. Again, Judy had prepped him well and he was perfectly laid back. He and Smokey seem to be getting along fine - for the moment, Smokey's top horse but Bugsy's no push-over.

Even more mod cons.

Monday 9 August, 2010

by Rosemary at 5:35pm in Anything goes Comments closed

I splashed out (pardon the pun) and bought a portable toilet for the caravan. We've been using the WC in the garden, which has been fine in the summer (good weather and light nights) but we didn't think it would be too good in winter, specially if we have guests. Currently, it's in the middle of the living area floor - you can watch DVDs while you sit - but we're taking out the toilet from the caravan WC tomorrow, so it can go in there.

John also got the shower working today, so that's real progress. It had a real bad leak but fortunately, the plumber was here and, after a rummage in the back of his van, he produced just the "thing" to fix it. So we had our first shower - amazing how little water you can use if you try.

Kittens out!

Monday 9 August, 2010

by Rosemary at 5:56pm in Cats 2 comments Comments closed

So much for keeping the cats in for two weeks. They got out this morning and have been having a high old time. Felix was out and in a few times, but really prefers to watch the world go by from behind the net curtain. I just hope they come in tonight.

Building progress report

Tuesday 10 August, 2010

by Rosemary at 8:28pm in Renovation Comments closed

The plumbers have been getting on today - bathroom wastes all cut, first pipes in, "stuff" in the kitchen. And the new upstairs windows are in and they look fabulous! They feel really robust, with solid brass fittings. I don't think the joiners will be back this week, because they have to wait on the plumber finishing some of his work.

So pleased with the windows!

Paddock Paradise 5

Sunday 15 August, 2010

by Rosemary at 5:36pm in Equines Comments closed

The boys, Smokey and Bugsy, have settled into their new field, well, the track round the field. It hasn't taken them, with some help from the sheep, to get the grass down. We decided not to strim it and risk putting the grass under stress - both ponies have grazing muzzles, just in case. So far, we haven't used them, though.

We've had some heavy rain, but the track seems to be holding up. It's quite sandy, neither pony is shod and they don't really race around. It took me 25 minutes to pick all the poo yesterday - one barrowload. That's one day's worth. Rebecca, our neighbour, picked a week's worth on Friday.

Good neighbours

Sunday 15 August, 2010

by Rosemary at 5:44pm in Anything goes Comments closed

On Friday, our neighbours, Rebecca and Tony, and two of their boys came along to ask if they could help us. Jeez, well, we have list as long as your arm but we weren't sure if this was a genuine offer to be taken up, or just pleasantries. It was the former - and boy, did we take advantage!

Tony and Dan, assisted by young Alex, put up the shelves in the feed store. It looks great and will look even better when we get a few more from IKEA, to finish them off. John has put up a row of hooks and the saddle rack, so with very little additional work, it should be ready for use. We've kept a table and a wooden cupboard, which locks, to keep any chemicals in.

Lazy Sunday? I don't think so

Sunday 15 August, 2010

by Rosemary at 5:55pm in Anything goes Comments closed

It's been lovely here today - sunny, bit of a breeze. After a quick breakfast, Dan and I sorted out the plan for the hen runs. Stobs, red and white tape, tape measure and mallet on the trolley, we marked out the areas to be fenced. I've ordered some POL pullets - we can't keep up with the demand for eggs and we planned to restock once we moved anyway. Dan will bring up the big ark next week, so that we can interoduce them gradually. Finally, I got the strimmer out and strimmed the fencelines. It's the first time I've used it, but with the harness, it's not too physically demanding. It's easier when you stop clenching your jaw and gripping the handles so tight your knuckles are white. If smallholding fails, I'll get a job with the Council doing the verges.

Light bulb moments

Tuesday 17 August, 2010

by Rosemary at 8:04am in Anything goes 3 comments Comments closed

I had two yesterday - it's not THAT unusual as I can be a bit dim at times, but I'll share these with you.

First one was that the kittens aren't kittens any more. Harry was lying on my lap and when I looked closely at him it was clear that he's left kittenhood behind. His shape has matured but there's also something in his eyes and his behaviour that's changed. Bertie is not quite there, but they're all growed up now.

The second one was that this is home now. I live here, at Dalmore. Longcarse is no longer my home - I'm not on holiday here. That was a bigger moment than the kittens. I've lived in Clackmannanshire for 48 years, give or take a couple, and it's kind of weird. But nice!

New arrivals 2

Wednesday 18 August, 2010

by Rosemary at 7:40am in Equines Comments closed

Our second new arrival yesterday was Sheba, our neighbour's 23 year old Fell mare. We planned to put Sheba in the centre of the track, with the boys on the outside so that they could get used to each other but we decided to just go for it, following a risk assessment i.e. none of them are shod and they all like eating!

After about ten minutes of squealing, bouncing and cantering around, they settled down to much the rose foliags and hips. Bugsy likes Sheba a lot; Smokey is a bit more reserved - I think he sees his short spell as top horse ending.

Breeze and Blizzard

Wednesday 18 August, 2010

by Rosemary at 3:59pm in Cattle Comments closed

Thankfully not a weather forecast!

It is the centenary of the Shetland Cattle Herd Book Society, so a number of breeders from the mainland have been up on the islands. Barry Allen, the SCBA Secretary, was good enough to take a photo of Breeze and Blizzard and send it to me.

Shetland heifers

How they've grown!!

Bugsy's first outing

Tuesday 24 August, 2010

by Rosemary at 10:20pm in Equines 1 comment Comments closed

Bugsy and I went for a stroll today. It's the first time I've had him out and about - it was an absolute treat. He is such a sweetheart.

We went down Station Road, over the level crossing and on to the cycle path towards the golf course. Two trains went past - he paid no heed; three bikes, no heed; he greeted a couple of dog walkers, exchanged sniffs with the dogs and got a scratch from one of the people, then we went home.

He's interested in everything - especially if he gets to investigate, so I'm quite happy to give him time to do that. Mustn't forget he's only got little legs, though, and doesn't walk as fast as Smokey.

A bit of a glitch

Friday 27 August, 2010

by Rosemary at 10:17pm in Renovation 1 comment Comments closed

Last Saturday, the screed in the ground floor was poured - 4 cubic metres or 8 tonnes of self-levelling liquid screed. The plan was to allow it to cure for four days, with the plumber and electrician arranged for today. The screed would take a few weeks to be completely dry, but would be firm enough to walk on within 24 - 36 hours.

On Sunday, it looked exactly the same as when it was poured. On Monday, it looked exactly the same as it did when it was poured. Today it looked exactly the same as it did when it was poured. And tomorrow, the contractor will be back to sook it back out, take out the pipes for the underfloor heating and scrap the underfloor insulation.

Who needs a cat flap?

Friday 27 August, 2010

by Rosemary at 10:23pm in Cats Comments closed

Harry and Bertie have been driving me nuts at night. During the day, the caravan door is pretty much always open and they dot in and out as they please, but at night, I was up and down like a yo-yo, letting them in and out. Last weekend, Dan and I discussed how we might put in a cat flap. No need!

One of the design faults of the caravan is that there is nowhere to hang jackets or keep outdoor footwear. So Dan purchased a two-sided gazebo and erected it beside the caravan. Its roof is just outside the kitchen window. Last night, I heard Bertie meowing to get in and, instead of being 'down there', on the ground, he was 'up there', on top of the gazebo. He'd also tried to get out the hopper at the top of the kitchen window. Aha!


Sunday 29 August, 2010

by Rosemary at 5:50pm in Equines Comments closed

Rebecca and I took Bugsy and Smokey for a walk yesterday. The flags were up so we couldn't go on to the camp, so we went along the cycle track that runs parallel to the railway. I have to admit, I was on tenterhooks in case a train came - I wasn't sure how Smokey would react and the track is fairly narrow in places, with barbed fence on one side.

We hadn't gone awfully far, when I suggested we turn for home telling Rebecca that I'd rather we saw our first train from the road. "Better hurry", she said, "there's one coming".

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