Monday, 13 December 2010

Ups and downs

I've been blogging a lot lately, I guess that there's a lot on my mind these days.

It's felt like life and especially anything to do with 'the build' is a real roller coaster of a journey.

This picture was taken back in 2008 in summer when everything felt so exciting, new and fresh. We'd go down and see how the land looked through the seasons, mark out the house position with string, plan out the interiors.

This was our first glimpse of the field... from the road ..

.. and from the stream (with the house digitally added in)

Building in 2009 was great too - from the groundworks, supervised from the caravan, to the exuberance of seeing our home arrive on the back of a lorry and magically erect itself in a day.

I'd spent months imagining what it would look like, what the views would be from all the windows, how far the light would come into the house etc.

It really was amazing to see walls fly through the air.

I also had the fun of the poly tunnel and I had a ball growing all our vegetables.

Yet, as much as there have been fun times, there have been hard times too.
It was hard work doing most of the inside ourselves, running low on money, having to leave out the renewables .. and then the planning fiasco .. which was (and still is) just horrible (they'd promised it was a mere formality and it would be sorted in weeks).
With Sam's health problems this year (especially the finger end he'll never get back), losing the chickens

and having to take down my beloved poly tunnel it has been very hard at times.

It easily feels like the shine has rubbed off this project, that somehow the innocence and exuberance of it has faded. Yet, I'm pretty good at remaining optimistic - and seeing the positives (that we do have the land, the build is underway, we'll be back soon and the neighbors are great).

Yet, I'm struggling right now. There was an incidence last week thats really getting under my skin.

Somebody took advantage of the fact that we'd put up temporary fencing (to keep out livestock) and has put horses on our land. We haven't fenced of anything but the boundary so the horses are free to roam over our lawns, building site, reedbed as well as the field.

We never gave permission for this (apart from in spring 2009 when we let a man fence of the field and graze there for two month before the house went up). God knows what damage they could be doing - or what danger they could be in, as there are building materials all over the site.

Here's some pictures of when we put the fencing up .. and it's hard not to imagine what damage has been done since then.

This is the fence so livestock can't come in from the road (they can escape from nearly fields).

Here's the view from the back of the house, from the pond.

I'm really nervous about the vegetable plot too.

Most of all I'm concerned about the reed bed, which cost £1000s to put in. If their hooves break the liner, it's useless.

Here are my covered beds. Is the membrane pierced from hoofs?

This is the sort of damage that the cows did, poaching up the grass (and the membrane around the veg plot).

I appreciate that the neighbors told me about the horses. I was in touch with the police last week but the horses are still there - and there is uncertainly as to who owns them. I was hoping that they would have gone by the weekend - when the ground began to thaw, but with each passing day, it's hard not to wonder what the extent of the damage is ... and how it can be repaired?

On days like this it can seem that 'the dream' has turned into a nightmare. With Sam's health still poor and with money dwindling, sometimes I just want to run away and hide.

I've got myself through the past year of trials and tribulations pretty well (I couldn't have done it without EFT and the other energy techniques that I use) but it's at times like this that I feel my resolve waver.

Below is the model of the house that we drew up early on in the project. On paper and in a model it all looks so simple, so straightforward.

Here's me, Sam and Sally outside the kitchen of our model home.

That kitchen seems a world away right now.

I've just got to find a way to move away from the negatives of our current situation and instead keep moving towards the 'dream' (which I still hold dear) of having our own home and homegrown produce in Leitrim.

I've also got to remind myself that worrying doesn't help (if it did I'd happily worry 24/7, but it doesn't) and start to trust that maybe, just maybe, things WILL work out.


  1. Your new home looks beautiful and tranquil, all will be well...x

  2. Dear Ferris,

    I know it's very hard to stay positive when all the things that can go wrong outweigh the good in our lives. I also know that worrying does not help but it's easier to fret things than to stay calm. However, I do know that all things pass and that when things are put in perspective they don't seem so bad after all. Try to hang in there and I'm sure you will be rewarded soon. Big hug, Claudia

  3. Thanks Lisa and Claudia, I appreciate your comments.

    (The Yoga this morning helped too - thanks Lisa)

    I just need a bit of time to breathe and forget about things - to let go. Then I'm sure things will look a bit better.

    Thanks for the hug Claudia :-)

  4. Don't let your dream tarnish. It will all get there eventually. Obviously the lesson of patience from the universe is still being acquired!!! Grr I hate that one too.
    Big hugs


  5. Hi Ferris~~ I ditto Ginny's comments. I hate having to learn patience and it seems the only way to learn it is to have to wait. Hang on sister. Big hugs!

  6. Thanks Ginny and Grace.

    Update is that horses are still on field and lawns but are due to go to the pound today as owners can't be contacted.
    The engineer hasn't got the reports in yet - that were promised ages ago and the snow is due tomorrow - and so I've a sneaky feeling that he won't get to show it to the planners until after Christmas, which means we won't know if the report is acceptable... and so won't know if there will be further delays.

    Think I want to hide!(Sorry for the mini rant, I'm just finding it all very frustrating right now)

    All your support is very much appreciated, it really does help.

    Even though it all looks like a mess right now, I've still a bit of hope that it will look brighter soon. X

  7. Hi from Australia Ferris. Ithink your blog is absolutely marvelous and really admire what you young people have achieved. Those horses are a real intrusion and someone is taking a lend of your goodwill and hospitality. Just a suggestion, have you checked with the local veterinary surgeon - country vets know ALL the animals on their patch. Also you might check their ID brands with the local race or jumps organisations.

    Good luck and keep up the good work - I'll pop in every now and again and say 'Hello' but I will be following you in your great adventure!

  8. Hi John D,

    I'm glad that you're enjoying the blog and following our progress (or lack of it at times).

    Regarding the horses, the owner is most likely a known 'opportunist' and sees this as an easy option - as we aren't there.
    The neighbors are being very helpful and sympathetic - and that helps.
    The pound was due to come and take them (as the owner never came forward) but the snow has come.
    So, I think I'll just take down the fence again (I have a feeling the owner will know within minutes .. or even get wind of it beforehand and remove the horses).
    They were seen wandering before they were put in my field. They are being fed there now.
    I doubt they are ID'd .. animal care can be minimal in Ireland!
    Anyway, fingers crossed we get the situation sorted soon. At least the fresh snow means that the ground is frozen and they'll be doing a bit less damage.
    The best thing is that I've stopped worrying so much about it - I'll just do what I can and then save my energy and focus for other things.

    Thanks again for dropping in - and for your encouraging words. I hope we'll have some fun adventures for you next year.

  9. Sell the horses. = no more horse worries + fewer money worries. Sorted :)

  10. Hi temporary fencing guy.

    Thats one way to sort it alright - but not my way. (Looks good on paper though!)

    Luckily the horses have gone (they went before New Year) and the gate is well chained up so they won't be tempted to come again.


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