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Author Topic: Hi from Lancashire!  (Read 3286 times)


  • Joined Feb 2012
  • Ormskirk, Lancashire
Hi from Lancashire!
« on: February 19, 2012, 07:44:05 pm »

I'm Michelle - or Spinpup. That's because I love spinning my dogs' fur. We have 2 big Rough Collies and a little German Spitz. Their fur spins beautifully 1/2 and 1/2 with sheep's fleece.

My ex-husband was a wood turner, so an awful lot of the house and furniture is made of wood!

I have 2 adult children, who help with the hens :chook:, dogs :dog:, chopping wood and keeping the ever-hungry wood burner fed. We have 2 woodburners - the best being a large Esse. The smaller one is in the dining room so we only use that when we have company.

I'd always wanted a smallholding so decided to start right where I am, in a semi in Lancashire. Our garden is wide and quite long, so plenty of room. I have the bottom 1/4 fenced off for hens - Warrens, Light Sussex & Ex-battery hens. There are trees in there so they're happy and productive.

I'm currently investigating the possibilities of aquaponics. It makes sense, especially with the cost of everything going up so much. We're vegetarian so wouldn't eat the fish though!

We're pretty self-sufficient in the summer. We have 2 large wooden raised beds and loads of planters and pots dotted around. That's because our soil is rubbish for growing anything other than bamboo and willow. It's heavy clay and often waterlogged. Fruit trees don't do too badly, especially the ones next to bamboos, which keep the fruit trees from getting their feet too soggy. We have 3 big compost bins, which give us loads of compost, thanks to the hens contributions, but I'm still learning about compost - I find it much more difficult than local councils would have us believe!

I'm a part-time IT teacher and full-time writer so have plenty of time at home to put off working by seeing to the animals and plants.

Have quite a few traditional hobbies which fit in with our as-self-sufficient-as-possible lifestyle:
  • Making willow baskets - have planted some to produce our own. Want to try making live willow structures, looking for a suitable course.
  • Wool crafts - spinning, knitting, crochet, felting.
  • Card-making
  • Jewellery making
  • Baking/making - bread, yoghurt (goats is our favourite), wine & beer brewing

As well as other hobbies:
  • Swimming
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Computers

I'm passionate about camelids  :alpaca: and would love to have llamas one day. I grew up around horses  :horse: so a couple of Clydesdales wouldn't go amiss either! I learnt to ride on a beautiful, placid Shire, absolutely love the big heavy breeds.

I'm currently on a low-carb diet, so am chitting some Vivaldi potatoes - they were bred to be higher protein than most varieties. It will be a great excuse to overeat when they're harvested!

I used to run a training company with my son but we closed last summer - with debts. We're in danger of losing the house (because the creditors know we have equity built up in it). My biggest regret, if it happens, will be the loss of the garden. But we're staying positive and working hard to keep it. If the worst happens we are very tempted to rent somewhere more rural. If anyone hears of any smallholdings or houses with large gardens for rent we'd be grateful if you could let us know!

Looking forward to getting to know people on here, it seems a friendly forum, and contributing/learning loads.

Michelle [Spinpup]

2 Rough Collies, 1 German Spitz, 2 ex-batts, 2 Warrens, 2 Light Sussex, 1 tiny willow patch. Trying to persuade the dogs that we really do need a mouser.


  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Hi from Lancashire!
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2012, 09:33:03 pm »
Hi, Michelle, welcome from Carnoustie  :wave:

Unfortunately, your story seems to be all too familiar  :( Hope things work out for you and your family. :alpaca: :alpaca:


  • Joined Feb 2012
  • Ormskirk, Lancashire
Re: Hi from Lancashire!
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2012, 10:33:15 pm »
Thanks Rosemary! Had to look up where Carnoustie was, hadn't heard of it before!  ::)

2 Rough Collies, 1 German Spitz, 2 ex-batts, 2 Warrens, 2 Light Sussex, 1 tiny willow patch. Trying to persuade the dogs that we really do need a mouser.


  • Joined Feb 2009
  • Deep in The Trossachs....
Re: Hi from Lancashire!
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2012, 10:47:46 am »
Hi Michelle .... welcome to the forum ... from a very soggy Trossachs ....




  • Joined May 2011
Re: Hi from Lancashire!
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2012, 11:27:32 am »
Hi Michelle a warm welcome to the forum from a very windy, wet central scotland  :wave: :wave:


  • Joined Feb 2012
  • Durham
Re: Hi from Lancashire!
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2012, 09:01:44 pm »
Hello Michelle,  :wave:
Welcome to the forum,  You sound very talented with all the different types of crafts you can do. 


  • Joined Apr 2010
  • Perthshire
    • Brucklay Pygmy Goats
    • Facebook
Re: Hi from Lancashire!
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2012, 09:10:07 pm »
With a joiner as an OH I know the wood thing - but then I love wood - we use wood for everything - hen house, dog house, duck house, etc and when it reaches the end of it's life it's in the burner (sorry after being recycled 10x)
I hope you manage to pull though ok - or change direction for the better - welcome Spinup from Aberdeenshire - would you like some Castlemilk moorit wool to add to your mix next year (as a gift)
Pygmy Goats, Shetland Sheep, Zip & Indie the Border Collies, BeeBee the cat and a wreak of a building to renovate!!


  • Joined Mar 2010
  • Just when I thought I'd settled down...!
Re: Hi from Lancashire!
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2012, 09:18:43 pm »
Hello  :wave:

Might have to look up those Vivaldi spuds you mention....  ;D


  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Hi from Lancashire!
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2012, 07:41:29 pm »
Hi Spinpup and welcome from Staffordshire. Sounds like a lovely place, no wonder you don't want to lose it. Think you will find that you won't lose your house just like that though, there will be a Charge put on it on the Land Registration as a last resort if you fail to pay anything. First Charge is the building Society, second Charge is remortgage or loan and soforth. Problem is the subsequent charges are acruing interest so ultimately they will be all the residual value of the house. Of course if you were a Limited Company they can't touch the house at all unless it was a Company asset. Sure you will take legal advice when you have to as, I am certainly no expert.

The Mobile Butcher

  • Joined Jan 2010
  • Whitby North Yorkshire
Re: Hi from Lancashire!
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2012, 09:48:16 pm »
Hello , from Whitby -North Yorkshire :wave:
Paul - The Mobile Butcher

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Hi from Lancashire!
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2012, 11:44:13 pm »
 :  wave:  HI Michelle and welcome from another back garden smallholder in shropshire.  I keep goats in my garden, have fruit trees (on dwarf rooting stock) and a number of raised beds for veg.  We have a lot in common.  I too am a writer.  What do you write?  I was a professional weaver for 11 years (my ex was the spinner).  I also knit and have just got into extreme knitting which I love (and hope to sell).  I read as much as I can - while eating, in the bath, anytime really, and enjoy swimming.  Have two dogs - a lab and a lab/GSD - and enjoy swimming. 

Hope you enjoy the forum.  I'm sure you will.


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