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 ..
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).
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.