A Cottage in Clarkville

One Year of the Clarkville Blog
November 5, 2010, 7:09 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I was reminded by one of our regular readers that it has been more than one year of recording life at a Cottage in Clarkville on this blog. My first concern is that I might start to repeat myself with seasonal happenings, so I apologise in advance if you read things over the next 12 months that sound familiar.

It is obviously a good time to look back over the last year, and also what we would like to achieve in the year ahead.

There have been a few lows over the year, the most notable being the death of Angus the cat. He is still remembered very fondly by all except Ceilidh, who we don’t think missed him much at all, seeing as he did hassle her a bit. There were a few other animal dramas, Toby swallowing rat poison and one of the sheep getting fly strike were definitely stressful. And on the non animal front the September 4 Earthquake was something we certainly could have done without. We were very lucky that the only damage of note was to our chimney, and although our nerves were all worn thin by the ongoing aftershocks, things appear to be settling down on that front. I see that I forgot to advise that our chimney has now been rebuilt so we are able to use the coal range again.Thankfully a lot more highs than lows for us. Obviously the biggest thing was the arrival of Noah Tav Miller on February 19. Although his first few days were a bit tough in intensive care, since then he has absolutely thrived, and he’s a very happy wee lad who has brought us great happiness. He has only a couple of unscheduled trips to the doctor for minor baby type things and he is a really good sleeper and eater and giggler. He hasn’t started crawling yet, although it appears that is close, that will make things a bit different!

Other arrivals over the last year have been our bees, Toby the dog, lambs, Wellington the cat, and the ute. The bees have so far been a success, but I feel that there has been a measure of good luck in that. There is so much to know and look out for, they are really fascinating and it was such a thrill to get our honey out this year. This season has started off well, the bees haven’t swarmed although they were showing signs of wanting to, and they have made a box of honey already, which I am preparing to extract. Toby has been a great addition to our wee farm. The training is an ongoing process, but he certainly hasn’t caused us as much stress lately as he used to. He is normally pretty chilled out but can still get a bit excited when there are new things going on. He is just what I was hoping for in a dog, following me around if I am doing things outside, and coming for rides on the ute when I go out. I am sure he and Noah will be great mates growing up.

We have continued to have good success with lambing. The 3 ewes are generally good mums, although one took a few days to get sorted out. It is great to be able to look out and see the lambs running about together, and although it takes a bit of work and sometimes a causes a bit of stress, we really enjoy having the sheep here. Wellington continues to be a cool cat to have around. He has worked out that Toby gets shut away at night, so that is a good time to go out, just sometimes he leaves it too late to come in and so stays in the Macrocarpa hedge until he gets rescued.

I have really enjoyed the ute that I purchased. It recently went for its first Warrant of Fitness since I bought it, and I am pleased to report it passed easily, no problems at all. There has certainly been a bit of money spent on it since I got it, things like a tourneau cover, a radio installed, a bit of rust sorted out, and it now needs an oil leak attended to, but it has served me very well, it has started every time and been very handy with carrying various loads on the back.

We continue to try and improve things around the wee farm. We have fixed up some fences, the sheep yard has made our life easier and we are constantly learning things about all sorts of topics. We have a couple of new fruit trees in and have made some improvements to our house, including getting the coal range going and some internal decorating.

Looking to the future, I have some thoughts on what I would like to achieve. First of all, on the animal front I am getting ideas on what I would like to have here (this list may possibly differ to Paula’s!)

Sheep – about 5 breeding ewes, we want to look more into getting Wiltshire sheep, which are a shedding variety,

A house cow – we need to learn a bit more about getting on, but I am pretty keen. The plan would be to keep a calf feeding off her so we could still get away ok. We believe a cow would produce enough milk for us and a calf, and we could then have some beef for the freezer.

A goat or 2 – This might not happen, I have visions of a friendly goat that will keep the weeds down in the paddocks, but won’t try to escape into the vege garden or anywhere else. Possibly a big ask.

Pigs – I really like bacon, and would like to try fattening up some pigs. I need to get a sty set up, and the other problem I see is that people say pigs are very friendly and you can become very attached to them.

Another dog to keep Toby company, maybe a retired  greyhound?

These animals won’t all arrive in the next year ( I’m pretty sure!) but that is the long-term plan.

Also on the agenda around the place is an ongoing list of jobs. The big one for me at the present time is the vegetable garden, We haven’t made good use of this yet, and we are behind things this season as well. It has become full of weeds again and it is a mission to get these cleared before we can plant things. Also the glass house needs work, I have pulled off the old netting sides and the old clearlite off the roof, so this needs to be re-clad.

There are also more fences that need to be fixed up and replaced, including the chickens run. Also on the house front, both the inside and outside need some work, but we have started. Everything is achievable, it is just a matter of having time and getting started. We certainly don’t have as much time available for these sort of jobs since the arrival of Noah, but that is not a complaint! We just have to be careful not to beat ourselves up if something doesn’t get done, as he is definitely a worthy priority!

I am looking forward to the next year, and all the years after that here at a Cottage in Clarkville. I love living here with my family, and can’t imagine being anywhere else.

Thank you to everyone who has helped us out since we have been here, and thanks also to all of our blog readers who have given such lovely feedback. Thanks also for reminding me when new posts are required, it is nice to know that you are interested, and it makes sure we maintain this record of living here.


2 Comments so far
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What a lovely update! Sounds like you guys are really enjoying the life at the farm. What a place to bring up little Noah!!! So looking forward to visiting your farm one day, sadly its not going to be next year but at least we get to see you all! Keep us posted xxx

Comment by susanna

It sounds like “The Good Life” for sure!!

Comment by Emily

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