My friends and I have been doing loads of work around the farm. One of them is a very keen gardener and she has taken charge of the greenhouses and vegetable garden, to great effect. She has cleaned and is repairing the big greenhouse and she is laying a path to the smaller greenhouse.
I also have two volunteers here from an Internet scheme called HelpX, where people stay and work in return for board and lodging. One of them has been here for 3 weeks now and he is just brilliant. He had never done any fencing before but has erected a curved post and rail fence by himself, and hung four new gates so far. He is from Romania.
My second helper arrived yesterday and has already poo picked 2 paddocks and begun to creosote the new fence. He is from Seattle in the USA.
One of my farmer friends is overseeing the proceedings and is a constant source of support, advice, technical and practical help. He is also fencing the school.
I had a kitchen full to busting with people and laughter today. The contrast to this time last year, when the farm was still in chaos and I spent most of my time alone, is unbelievably massive.
I am so grateful to everyone for their hard work and their companionship. I don't even want to think about what sort of state I'd be in without all my fantastic friends.
I was talking to my new helper tonight about a brush with death he had just a short while ago. He needed major abdominal surgery for a torsion and very nearly died. He said he was so frightened he couldn't stop crying all through the experience.
It made me realise just how brave David was. He only ever worried about how other people were coping and feeling, and how awful it was for the nurses when he was bed bound for the last week and needed total care for every bodily function.
I have done nothing in his memory yet, mainly because I have avoided really thinking about him as much as possible until recently. I don't know what I'm going to do yet but it will need to be really special.
Here are Bertie and the boys looking much better.
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