Furnishings delivery!!

So as well as all the bathrooms being stored upstairs we now have a three piece suite in the bedroom, a sofa bed in the tin but, a chair bed in the tin but, work surfaces for the kitchen and utility in the tin hut and kitchen units in a dry horse box!!!!!


Belated post of Easter shenanigans 

A week sure went fast over Easter!!!   



Work in the woods!! In what will be the forest school area!!!


Starting hazel hurdle fences….


Rendering the end of the house….


Concreting a hole in barn three’s floor….


Burning wood to make charcoal…


Willows arrived and planted….


Rendering drying…. Oh yes and slate look cement sills!!!!


Daffs in bloom…


The ever expanding wood pile….

  Lots of insulation…..


  A pile of old gator tyres!!!! The gator has new ones and will now go all sorts of new places!!!!

  Mulched fruit trees….

  Willow in the slurry pit…. Down the run off stream and down the pipe stream bank….

  Willows and hazel babies planted out to set some roots while we decide where to plant the extras!!!!!



  A filled hole…..


 Tiles delivered!!!!


The West Country Game fair

Last weekend we went down to the Bath and West Showground for the West Country game fair!! They had a small smallholders area too where we met some lovely and interesting people!! Who given the distance between the Bath and West and our holding were happy to share some of their hints tips and expertise!! We found out that it might not be that difficult to license our cider if we produce any from our orchard!! One chap even does the same as I have planning out his orchard etc though mine is sooooo rough it’s not ready for sharing just yet!!! But soon!!!!

I like the way he has used the apple trees in the field boundaries on his  five and a half acres holding and I think it may make a good agroforestry system for us in the bigger fields should we decide to divide them later!! And I think we need to look at getting in some crab apples fairly soon, along with our willows!!

I barely took any photos, but we met the most dense population of spaniels and Labradors in the world and found some yummy goodies to bring home!! Including peanut butter fudge cake!!!! Which was amazing and I need to work out how to make that goodie!!! James had a shotgun lesson with the chaps on the BASC stand.

We watched working dog displays, met some lovely hawks (one very fidgety small hawk who I tried to photograph and it kept coming out blurry)  We looked at lots of lovely produce and craft stands and I even picked up some knives for spoon and bowl carving!! 

Two lovely Mora knives!!!! Now I just need to get to the holding so I can get my hands on the woods supplies to start!! 

Sookie our little spaniel was far better at this game fair than she had been at previous shows and didn’t spend the whole time hiding between mine or James’ legs!! 

We spoke to the chestnut coppice people about whether chestnuts would grow at our holdings elevation… Maybe, we shall try introducing some chestnut into the new planting we have planned see if they take!! 

We met the Rare Breeds Survival trust and found another contact to see what would work for us on our holding…

Spoke to a chap about a dog poo wormery!! Definitely worth a look if you bag and tag all your dog poo for the bin and it trots off to landfill!! You can also put in the kitchen waste for the worms too!! thinking I may get a small bin to try in Newport….

And we also chatted to the people that put out the Smallholder Magazine that James and I subscribe to!!! Country Smallholding. Now do I contact the editor as requested!!! Oo nervous excitement!!!

Overall I am left with an overwhelming urge to get back to the holding and work my little socks off!!! Planting, harvesting, wood carving….. Oh and to visit Coeden Fach to look at locally sourcing some trees for our new plantings and works!! 

Farthest rough pasture

On our last drain clearing expedition we discovered a partly grown over old gate opening into the farthest part of the rough pasture!!

As yet there is no gator access here which means any wood haulage would be wheel barrowed over the pipe steam and then gatored onwards to the barn for splitting and storing….. Ugh…. We know how long that takes!!! So we may reopen this and gate it as it means a gator access directly onto the top of the furthest rough from the lane!!!


And besides we have a ton of gates we have found about the place!!!

The National Botanical Gardens’ apple and pear event

On the 19th of October we travelled down to the botanical gardens with James’ parents to see the Apple and pear event being held there. We were fortunate with the weather and got a bit a of look around the gardens too!
















The menfolk became distracted by a tractor exhibition….





The event itself though turned out to be a couple of stall selling appley products, honey etc…. And a LOAD of tables with every imaginable apple laid out….. Mmmmmm….. No photography allowed inside either!! Grrrr….. However there was one little stall located close to the entrance to the marquee. Dolau-Hirion fruit trees. The gentleman on the stall was a font of apple tree knowledge and listened carefully to our landscape description and advised us on types, root stock and types suitable for hill growing in west Wales. He is based at Llandeilo so we shall most definitely be paying him a visit!!


Building regulations

Hello everyone, sorry for my absence but James and I have been super busy between work and Tyddyn Bryn visits, emails, phone calls…..

Back at the beginning of the month bundling work was progressing with all the underfloor insulation going in!!!!!





And we were on course for the underfloor heating to be installed and screeded by the middle of the month……

Then the builder and I agreed given a few issues with roof trusses that we should probably invite the building regs chap out for a visit……

He came out on the 2nd of October and since then we have stopped work…. Boo hissssssss…….. My builder met with him and then later in the day rang me with a list of 8 yes 8 points that need to be dealt with…..

1. Wall plates and roof truss clips…. Some have been fitted backwards so this needs sorting, but it’s fairly simple and easy.

2. The bathroom/bedroom three wall…. This wall is a cement and mortar wall that sits on a metal RSJ it is 4inch block and supports the roof….. No no no apparently four inch block is not good enough and steel is required and the wall balanced as it is on the beam needs taking down…. Ok said James and I we can make a stud wall and have a smaller bedroom! bigger bathroom and the steel could form a corner of a shower enclosure…. Oh but wait this isn’t the only four inch block wall supporting the roof….. No no!!!! The wall to the left of the gaping from door hole is four inch block that runs from the concrete base all the way up…. Building regs man wants steel in there too and a reconfigure of the wall…. But this could help with point seven…

3. The Esse walls…. We had the left hand wall moved and new lintels installed as the space was not big enough for our stove we wanted…. Now the right hand wall which supports the chimney is insufficient and needs to be six inch block not four inch block!!! Argh!!!! Starting to bristle somewhat by now!!!!

4. The building regs chappie would also like to know what is under the concrete base…. What lies beneath…. Structural engineers report needed…… ££££££

5. On a positive note the chimney liners that one of the builders said were upside down aren’t….. They are the right way up….. And the boss reckons said builder must have had whiskey on his cornflakes that morning…..

6. The upstairs flooring….. “There’s a bit of a bounce I don’t know if you have noticed” ummmm no says me….. All the new flooring joists have been let into the walls, the old walls, I.e. The two foot thick stone walls…. Not so many and they have installed noggins and bridged them across giving the floor a bouncy feel…. We have two options….. Take the upper floor in these places down and start over (hell no!!!) or beef up the stud work underneath from the concrete slab to support the upper floor in places it needs it….. So this means we need to take up chunks of insulation and add these struts in…..

7. Stairs…… They won’t work in the current hallway, head room and door opening space is an issue…. Even if we remove the upper floor…. Needs reconfiguring…. Which needs an architect to do….

And finally

8. Secondary means of escape…. All the upstairs velux windows in the plan are secondary means of escape…… The previous owner has installed the wrong ones…. Again two choices, FD30 doors throughout the house…. Or replace the velux…..

So thump…… Wind totally removed from our sails……

We have arranged a builder architect me meeting for the 28th…..

In the meantime I sneakily checked with the building regs guy myself and had the following via email…..

Further to our site meeting with your builder at the above I confirm the following points that need addressing as discussed.

1/ The single block partition supporting the ridge beam appears to be inadequate please provide a structural engineers appraisal including any recommendations for this support
2/ Please provide a structural engineers appraisal for the single supporting chimney stack
3/ truss clips to be provided on the inner leaf of the wall plate
4/ Please provide specification details of stairs. [Ref. Table 1, Approved Document K]. Minimum 2m headroom is required on the access between two levels. [Ref. Para. 1.10 & Diagram 2, Approved Document K].
A space 400mm clear of any door swing is necessary on landings. [Ref. Para. 1.16 & Diagram 6, Approved Document K].
5/ Any window provided for emergency egress purposes and any external door provided for escape should comply with the following conditions:
The window/skylight should have an unobstructed openable area that is at least 0.33m2 and at least 450mm high and 450mm wide (the route through the window may be at an angle rather than straight through).

Please note this is not an exhaustive list if you require any further information or help in any way please do not hesitate to contact me

I need a structural engineer….. £££££ again, but this may be better than forking out straight out on building if an engineer thinks some areas are fine…..

Overall I think this build may take a while longer than hoped…. Just hope that we get it completed before the mortgage deal is up for renewal and we can get it onto a normal rate rather than the self build rate!!