Sunday, 9 March 2014

Almost moved

I'm still here in Dorset, but Hereford bound this week. Our move was delayed by a month in total while the previous occupants of the cottage moved out and the estate very kindly refurbished the inside for us. In fact, I only had a full tour of the house for the first time yesterday. It's an old black and white house, the vernacular architecture of the area.

There are exposed wooden lintels holding up doorways, curvy plastered walls inside, and the floors slope in every conceivable direction. Basically your standard oldy-Englishy workman's cottage.

The owners added the sun room at a previous keeper's request. Another huge kindness on their part. Even the kennels are above standard: brick-built but lined inside. And heated.

Mike's incubator barn faces the kennel -

With under keeper and apprentice

It's conveniently right outside the house. Incubators in one room, then hatchers in the next, and the final room is where chicks are boxed and ready for transport, some to pens on this estate but most to other shoots in England. And the laying field is just across the lane -

The sheep will graze down the laying field when they arrive at the end of the week. We took Kitty up yesterday, a 3 hour ride in a horse trailer for her, but she's settling in fine.

The new place seems even more rural than our old place. A man in a horse and cart was the only vehicle that came down that lane all afternoon. The local shop sells milk, horse feed, and ammunition. And there's a working outhouse in the garden. That bit is quaint. The downside is our broadband speeds average 3 mb/s. The guy in the horse and cart could drive the data to my house faster than that. No fibre optics in Hereford.

The garden is enormous. I'm going to have to trade my push mower for a ride-on. There is a small orchard of perhaps a dozen fruit trees - with a crop of mistletoe in them! - at one end, and a neglected vegetable patch at the other. I won't be able to grow any vegetables this year, but the big house has a walled veg garden complete with gardener. I will offer my weeding services to him in trade for some produce this year. At least I know I won't be short of apples or mistletoe.

The extra month in Dorset was as busy as ever. Unable to move house, a two week visit from my sister turned into an unexpected holiday - if feeding sheep and walking dogs is your idea of a holiday. Lucky, it is for Kerry. 

The weather was all rain and howling winds so when we weren't caring for bedraggled animals, Kerry was beating the pants off of me at Scrabble, sometimes by candlelight when storms knocked out our power. Her reward was wine and puppies.

Something that's never in short supply here.

The weather has turned dry but the work continues: lambs to ice camp, giving the odd hand to friends who are spring lambing, working on my own flock of sheep in preparation for tupping (mating). The Land Rover broke again, the fields are still waterlogged, and the government needed all my forms filed for this year's farm payments. And I've been packing. 

Lord willing and the creek don't rise (anymore than it already is anyway!) I'll be a permanent resident in Hereford from Thursday.


17th stitch said...

Good luck with the move! Your new digs look stunning. Hope you'll continue blogging despite the poor bandwidth...

Kris said...

Yay! You are well, if sodden. And the new digs look splendid, if a bit off the techie grid. Hope your weather clears, the roads stay dry and your final move is swift and safe. Looking forward to all the news in future. Best of luck!!

Anonymous said...

All the best for your move and may you, your man and all your animals be as happy as pigs in mud in the new location. It's nice to see that the new employers seem to be decent enough to consider the comfort and potential contentment of their employees and their families.

B Annunziello said...

So happy to see the new place and to hear from the wilds. Looking forward to new adventures and a fresh perspective.

Hazel said...

We had a lovely weekend of (dry) spring weather here, so hope you've dried out a bit.

I love Herefordshire, and your new employers sound nice, so hope you'll be very happy once you've settled in. The garden sounds promising. with all the (relatively) low maintenance fruit and Christmas decorations.
Good luck on Thursday, I'll be thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

You are pretty organised but I'll offer advice any way.

Outdoor men are not good with packing so don't get too cross with Mike.

Label all boxes with room numbers and, as soon as you get to the new place, go round with post it notes and number each room. This way nobody has to ask you, with each box "Where do you want this?".

Hope every thing gors well.

Question: Are you going to keep the same website name? If not, please remember to tell us the new address,

Chris T. said...

Wishing you well with the move and the settling in! The new house + grounds look lovely. On a side note, just this week I learned what "vernacular architecture" is, and it's neat to see it in use.

Jennifer Montero said...

Anon - I am anything but organised, so advice to help me get there is always appreciated. The post it note idea sounds great - I'm going to try that. Website will be exactly the same, and I promise to post more regular updates.

Seester said...

Your new place looks so great, I'm bummed that I didn't get to help you move in. I did enjoy the sheep and dog kisses, muddy wellies, permanent hat-head, and cozy evenings next to the wood stove. Remy and I really miss being covered in dog hair. (ok, not entirely.)
Can't wait until you get all settled in and have your satellite internet installed.

rabbitquilter said...

Just to wish you well for your move. Enjoy your lovely new home, it sounds idyllic, on a nice sunny day, of course!! All good wishes!

MandellaUK said...

Dorset's loss is Hereford's gain. I hope you're both very happy. I will miss knowing that you are close by even though I haven't seen you for years!

Elizabeth in Philly said...

You read my mind!

Jayne Hill said...

Morning m'dear. I must, must, must get back to the routine of reading my most favourite blogs and saying 'hello'.

So, "hello" from Bag End!

The new set-up looks quite marvellous (thinking of all the seeds you can raise in the attached greenhouse, what, it's really called a conservatory?). Accommodation for all two legs, four-legs and feathered legs looks splendid. Hope you are settling well. Certainly looks as if the new estate are a caring bunch of folk.

(PS: 3 Mb/s .. there are parts of Cumbria that would bite your hand off for such lightening speeds!)

Amos Daniel said...

Wow! That cottage looks lovely! It's very dramatic, in a good way. I love how it looks like it came out of an Old English film. Anyway, I hope the move goes well, Jenny! I'm very happy for you. I just know things will go smoothly from here and on. By the way, the photo with the sheep looks adorable. Seems like it has really taken a liking to all of you. Haha! Wishing you all the best! :)

Amos Daniel @

Dana said...

I've just found your blog and it is lovely! I really like this post! It is very interesting how you manage to move! Thank you for sharing!