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Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Volunteer Workforce.

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.


  1. Glad Bertie is all better! You are fortunate to have so many good friends and helpers. I'm a bit of a loner myself, so I'm a tad envious.

  2. Wow, things are looking great there! Nice fencing job and gates. You lucked out with that very clever and industrious worker. He's done a super job.

  3. Things are looking fantastic! What superb fencing - he's done a brilliant job, and the greenhouse area looks like its just asking for wonderfully social BBQs......

    So glad to see Bertie and the boys looking well. V smart new rug he has there, obviously taken before the obligatory rolling :-)

    There's no rush to do something in David's memory. Rather like finding the vocation for the farm and your next phase, the right gesture, event or other thing will come along naturally.

    I'll bet that kitchen table is a great place to be - after all, you do make a fab cuppa!

  4. The best monument to David will be your continued health and busyness. He would want that most of all. The physical monument will present itself to you when you least are looking for it. Promise.

  5. Thank you phaedra96. You are very kind.

  6. Sounds like you have a great crew there. I love the 'family' feeling of working together on big projects, especially if it's a stable full of horses. :)

    Reading what you write about David chokes me up. I'm so sorry you lost him. I hope it continues to get a little easier each day for you.



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I am a clicker training addict and there is no cure - thank goodness!!!