Sunday, 13 September 2009

Six months in .. but not in yet.

Here's the current view of the lawn and chicken run, from the living room.

Just been musing that it's now been six months since the shell of the house went up.

We've been pretty busy since then (and also frequently pulled away from the build to do other things). Sam has been doing great work, but morale does wane at times - it really is a lot of work for just the two of us (and just him doing heavy work). Guess I might have been a bit over ambitious and quite optimistic. We are really quite tired by now - but it is still all worth it.

Some things have gone really well, like making new friends, playing in the polytunnel, and eating from it, of course. One of the best things has been having the chickens and ducks, especially now they are free ranging. They are a constant source of amusement, whether they are using the remains of the sand pile as a giant dust bath, chasing insects across the lawn or trying to sneakily gain entry to the tunnel. The chickens have really come on since we first got them. Their faces have great colour now, their beaks are now brown (rather than white) and have grown back and their feathers are improving really well. See for yourself.

Here's a pic of the bed by the tunnel, the sunflowers are the same variety as those in the tunnel in the last post. The wind has been quite fierce at times, (hence the sunflowers are not 11ft tall like in the tunnel), even over the summer, so much so that I'm considering using windbreak netting.

People have been telling me recently how getting the shell up is the 'easy' bit .. and it is after that when the costs really soar. I can well understand what they mean. It can be frightening how money disappears (and there's always something I forgot to budget for).

One thing we had planned on was using renewable energy, preferably by being off-grid, using a hybrid wind and solar system combined with a battery bank. That plan for electricity from renewables had to be shelved and leaves us now having to wait a minimum of three months to get conneted to the ESB (grid). So, it will be an interesting time ahead with just the generator for a while longer (was ok in summer with long days, may be more challenging in winter). There may even be a time when we have to stop the build until the electric is connected. Fingers crossed we'll manage ok. (The solar hot water needs electricity to work so we'll only have cold water for a while longer). At least the wood burning stove is now ready for action.

Eventually, we'll get some renewables for electricity.

We'd originally planned to be 'in' by September and although we aren't there yet, it is getting ever closer (I daren't say a deadline, let alone go for the 'we'll be in by Christmas' idea).

For now, there is a rumor that Sam might just get the toilet plumbed in soon :)

While the good weather stays we'll also be busy plastering the outside. Pictures next time.


  1. good pics/.....
    I have asked for a poly tunnel for xmas...heres hoping

  2. I think that the polytunnel is one of the best things ever. It really does make a big differene to what you can grow and is a very pleasant environment to potter in. I'm also impressed how it so sucessfully doubles as a drying area for clothes.

    Here's hoping that your xmas wishes come true :)

  3. Lovely to catch up with your news Ferris. Great to see the hens have come on such a lot :-) & congratulations on all your successes with the polytunnel. Good luck with the house as things start to come together, Best wishes, Sara x

  4. Sawubona!..Ferris.. your chiken look fine animals..they are amusing at times i know..BEWARE THE FOX...they are very clever and chiken are...well...very not clever...but they are brave... and for that amongst other things i respect them...i hope they bring you many eggs seem like nice persons..good luck!


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