June 2012


This is what I’ve been doing for the last few days, among other things:


You might recognise it as my standard joist layout for an 18-foot wooden floor. We’d have done this last year but we didn’t have the time or the money. This year, at least we have the time. (The woodyard has the money.)

It’s taken a bit longer than previously, because this week temperatures have been in the mid to high 30s. Centigrade. And 38C is a bit hot to do much sawing by hand – even in the woods. Yesterday, I actually had to go and sit in a lake up to my neck. Something everyone should do more often.

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The crop seems to be coming along nicely. But here’s something interesting:


On the left is what the triticale looks like almost everywhere on the field. On the right is what it looks like in one smallish patch Her Outdoors dug over for some other crops last year. The difference in potential yield (we’re not counting our grain until it’s bagged) is almost unbelievable.

Years ago, I promised a compost toilet that looks like the kind of toilet you’d find in a luxury hotel. I think this probably does the job.


Can’t stop to chat. More photos coming soon(ish). Must go and turn some hay.

Her Outdoors usually finds the orchids in écovallée. But the other day I was the first to spot this, behind the polytunnel:


It’s the first Lizard Orchid we’ve seen on our land. You’d think, at about three feet tall, it’d be hard to miss.

Almost every day, I/we learn something new. On other days, we/I learn something old, or re-learn something I/we should probably have remembered. Let me show you what I mean.


This is a scrap bit of kitchen worktop we were given which will become the sink holder for the tree bog. I made a template, marked it out, then needed to cut the hole without the benefit of a jigsaw. Thinking myself clever, I cut a 30 mm hole with a drill. The battery went flat, I found the spare battery was already flat, so I used my second drill, ran another battery down on that, changed to a 25 mm cutter thinking it was sharper then stopped when the drill started to smoke from the back end.

‘Sod it’, I thought, and used that saw to carry on cutting, which was Very Hard Work (even using wax to help keep the blade running smoothly). It was also Very Slow Work and I started thinking it would take DAYS to finish this small job.

Over a coffee break, I thought it might be worth using a smaller drill bit (like 8mm) to make a series of small holes that could be joined up by the saw. I tried it and did all that before the battery ran down.

I’m pretty sure it’ll only take another hour or so to finish (which I’ll get back to when at least two batteries are charged up). I’m also pretty sure I’ve been told this information before.