The end of September and throughout October we were blessed with some lovely Autumnal weather! It actually stopped raining for weeks at a time and the sun shone beautifully in the blue skies.
This meant that we could really crack on with some outdoor work on the house and land and with our amazing band of volunteers a number of jobs got done.
Thanks to craftsman and volunteer Jason and his trusty assistant James, the beautiful new log burner was installed in the snug. This was was possible with a generous donation from Mike and our thanks goes to him, Jason, James and everyone who helped!
The house as a whole also got a little face life. Rachael and Jules balanced on the scaffolding in the dusk for a few evenings to remove the bee’s nest in the eves. This was fairly dangerous work, but they were determined to move the bee’s in as gentle way as was possible. Doing this at dusk meant the bees were less aggressive. The next day however the remaining bee’s swarmed and nearly went down the chimney to make a new nest! With a little magic and a lot of luck, the bee’s were somehow persuaded by Jules to put themselves into a box on the floor! What a result! They were then relocated to the top field!
Tom and James also got to grips with the entrance restoring it to is former glory. The scaffold allowed the team to get on with restoring and repairing guttering, fascias as well as getting a wonderful view of the land!
Many of the downstairs windows are in need of extensive repair and as the house is listed we did not have time to overall them properly. This will be part of the restoration work bid that we are preparing for the Heritage Lottery Fund. We did however, ensure that they were treated to stop any further deterioration and smartened up to match the rest of the tidy house!
Our willing workers in October were blessed with sunshine rays as they worked tirelessly with the TD team to clear the kitchen garden, bring in the corn,apple and raspberry harvest, clear the small poly tunnel, mend the track to the house and trim the extensive hedge and tree line on the drive. The fountain was also cleared and tidied.
As we move into November James and Tom have got to grips with the back wall of the house and they are filling the gaps with Lime plaster before it gets a paint.
Wood chopping, collection and storage is a massive priority here as we head to winter. A group of us were able to get up to the large barn and begin to cut and stack wood to season. This is a job that is continuous throughout the year and its amazing how a few people working together for a few hours can make great inroads into this task!
It is also important to acknowledge all that goes on behind the scenes. A lot of writing bids, running the database and emails, banking and generally organising stuff. Shona has been particularly involved with the Heritage Lottery Bid and managed to get a first section actioned! (see more below)
As a group we have only owned the house for a few months and at times it doesn’t seem that we are making much progress. However, when we look back at the photos and remember what has been achieved this year, we feel very thankful to all those that have come and lent a hand, made donations or just sent their heart felt good wishes to us which helps us to keep going.
Blackberry Open Day!
In September we held a community blackberry day. We opened the top area to visitors. We were blessed with lovely weather as we served refreshments and watched the children play handstands, chase and hide and seek. Next year we hope to run more open days, and have put a bid into the community ‘Celebrate’ lottery fund. Lets keep our fingers crossed in the hope we are successful!
No it wasn’t a mistake, its just the editors strange sense of humour about paperwork! See if you can work out the title of this piece! (answers by email please!)
As the days get shorter, usually a time of rest can be had. We however need to turn on our lights and computers and start writing a range of bids to further our vision. We have allocated different tasks in the group, but we would always welcome help and advice from those who are experienced in this kind of work. If you have any ideas or think you can help, we would love to hear from you!
We are currently focusing on: Heritage Lottery Funding Bid for the house and barn refurbishment and One Planet Permissions.
We have internet so Skype, email and phone support is welcomed! Please consider this, as it may well mean we can emerge next spring from the paper pile!
Late summer and autumn has brought some funny antics from the animals here. Many of you like to know what they have been doing so we thought we would bring you up to date!
Poor Masie fell over and hit her face resulting in four teeth being lost. Some fell straight out, the others were unfortunately flapping in her mouth and needed the vet to visit (not a happy bunny!) She has recovered well however, and seems not to mind munching on the toothy side! Branwen didnt want to be outdone so she decided that she would begin to jump over 4 foot clean out of the goat pen and walk along the wall to eat all the yummy branches normally out of reach.
Our bantam hen didn’t manage to hatch the eggs she had, despite her best efforts (probably not fertilised) so we bought her some day old chicks and she adopted them instantly! They are a bigger breed than she is and right now they are growing taller than her! The other small bantam hen got a fracture, but after looking on the internet, Jules found that she could splint her leg and it would mend brilliantly!
The local cow herd surprised us one day by managing to escape in to our top fields, resulting in a few of them frolicking in the meadow for a while!
And last but not least, a stray cat gave birth on a beam high in the barn. One kitten dropped from the beam before she moved the other three to lower ground. Fortunately the little black kitten was found as it was mewing weakly and due to the gentle care and healing from those that were around, it became strong enough to join its mum and siblings! We temporarily named that one Lucky of course!
Volunteer Weekends 2017
Thank you to all those who have given time to help us over the past year. We have had a lot of fun and met a wide range of lovely people of all ages. If you are interested in volunteering for a weekend with us, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have yet to decide on the dates for next year, but if you feel inspired, look out for the next email or check in with the website in a few weeks!
Retreats & Workshops 2017
There are a number of retreats and workshops being planned for 2017. Please click on a link for more information:
Thirteen moons journey
Six individual weekend retreats covering a wide range of subjects with Jules and Jimmi from April – September.
More info click here! http://replenish.me.uk/
Red Tent Events