We haven’t been enjoying our usual Spring weather recently, so work on… the… new 12-foot yurt area has… been somewh…at int… er… rupt… ed.

Her Outdoors has nearly finished the wall on which the kitchen will be built, though, and only needs a few hours for the roof (look at how lush that grass shouldn’t be):

new yurt area

And I need some dry (non-strimming) hours to paint Death to All Wood-Boring Insects on the joists and a couple of days to lay the floor.

yurt platform

 

I’m pleased with the new joist layout (not that anyone will see it after the floor goes down). It’s satisfyingly close to the original design.

One of the reasons I went for this piece of land was that it’s about 40 metres (yards) above the level of the river nearby.

So I figured, even if Greenland and both poles defrosted at the same time, we’d be flood-free.

Turns out, water falls from the sky as well as rises from the sea.


I just wish we had some more containers to catch it all.

I still remember the first time I used a petrol strimmer. It was back in the days when every family had at least one car, two phones, and people thought nothing of flying to other countries on holiday – or even for work.

Did I ever tell you about aeroplanes?

I did?

Pity.

Ooh. Tea. Lovely.

I was trying to cut four acres of grass with my old scythe – on my own

Any chance of a biscuit? No, that one. Thanks.

The weather had been very wet, and very hot, and the grass was growing about four centimetres a week. I cleared about 10 square metres in about 15 minutes when my old secateur injury started playing up.

The smart money would have been to get some sheep and goats in, but we didn’t have the fencing for it. And we weren’t particularly smart. So we bought a new STIHL with a metal blade, which came with a free pair of gloves – you can never have too many gloves.

I strapped the thing on, and laid waste to some unwanted woodland vegetation. Then I cleared a path around the old pig woods. And made a path from the old workshop down to the veggie patch. All this took minutes, I tell you.

Then I went insane.

I was having so much fun, I stopped thinking about what needed cutting and started looking for what could be cut. “I’ll just keep going until the fuel runs out,” I thought. I was drunk on the power of it, aware that I had somehow become a metaphor for what was happening in the wider world around me.

Fortunately, it didn’t last long.

I walked across to near the orchard/chicken run/orchid meadow and started fragmenting a patch of particularly long and hard-to-reach grass, and the strimmer found a length of string and some wire I’d left there months before. It stopped dead.

Ironic, really. Seeing as how things turned out.

The most immediate threat to our food supply is not global warming or biofuels, as some commentators claim.

It is a thing called Boy.

That’s the startling conclusion even respected climate scientists will be forced to draw from this scene of devastation, seen in our bedroom a few minutes ago.


Entire crops of tomato, basil and pepper lie uprooted. The first leaves on other shoots are totally plucked.

‘He was only in here for a few seconds,’ said a desolate Clare, referring to the hobbit-sized menace who began throwing his wellies down the stairs. ‘I’ll have to start all over again.’

Fortunately, this is a problem we can do something about. Thanks in part to the 7.2-metre polytunnel currently lying in parts not 300 yards away on the other side of the river. It’s nearer 330 yards.