Tuesday, 2 February 2016

The gift of the country life the gift of peace

Hi Everyone,

well its a beautiful sunny day here although very windy but its nice to see blue skies and the sunshine. Good to get January over with I embrace February and the lighter nights its starting to bring us.  Again I have lots to share a finished bedroom, chicken news and outside news to and I didn't know where to start but thought as you have already seen photo's of inside I would share outside this week. And will start by sharing my chicken news :-) As you know when moving here chickens were a must for us  and one of my little dreams I have done so much research the past few months and spoken to a dear friend who has many breeds and shows them and is also a country judge. She offered to hatch me some chicks and I thought that would be really sweet but I had to be sensible and look at the long terms plans we know we have Hazelmere to rent for a minimum of 2 years which is in the contract and we know we have it for a possible 5 years. So taking that into account  and the fact that like dogs there are many chickens that need to be rescued I put my name down on the British Hen Welfare Trust  http://www.bhwt.org.uk/waiting list for 10 ex battery girls 2 weeks ago. At the age of just 18 months old these gorgeous girls are deemed no longer fit to produce enough eggs for the retail market and are then sent to be slaughtered. The thought of this actually breaks my heart so with so many hens looking for loving homes i couldn't bring more into the world in the form of chicks. As you know i rescue greyhounds when we can and i help with our local branch of the RGT i run and manage their official facebook page amongst other things so rescue really is the only option to me. These girls will arrive needing some TLC some may not have feathers and wont know how to perch but it wont take them long to learn and they will also reward us hopefully with eggs so what could be better ;-) They are very docile and friendly and they should live very happily for another 2 -3 years which fits into our plans here. I have been selling a few vintage items online and have raised enough money to buy a hen coop and all the other bits i needed. So i ordered the hen coop last week which arrived at the weekend but needs to be built so will share that when its done i am also going to paint it a pretty colour, i have bought the feeders and feed etc and this weekend we have some solid metal fencing arriving to build a safe enclosure for them where they will be safe from Mr Fox we hope. So last week i started clearing the area where they are going to be going and will go out after writing this post and do some more, its on a lumpy piece of ground so needs levelling out. So hopefully in a couple of weeks time once its all up together i can invite some chickens into our lives and i am so excited i cant begin to tell you.

Hazlemere is in a beautiful location surrounded by fields and having 2.5 acres ourselves seemed a bit daunting to start with but now we have lived here for 5 weeks we have started to get used to it and how it can work for us with its ever changing light with the weather. We decided to enclose an area for ourselves on the back of the house and make a garden for ourselves somewhere we can let the dogs out to the toilet at night and not get lost in the huge space and also somewhere we can have a lovely seating area and be able to relax in. So we started erecting fencing at the weekend just gone will share that in a minute.

Hazelmere has changed a lot outside since we first saw it and i don't wont to flood this post with photo's so will try my best.

The photo on the left was taken the first day we saw Hazelmere back in February 2015 and the photo on the Right was taken this morning. As you can see its had a few major changes one which i am sad about but was out of our hands. The landlord wanted to make a drive way in which did need to be done as you cant see at all when your pulling out onto the road and we did need somewhere to park. But what i was upset about was how far over they came with the drive and as you can see the left flower bed was taken away. But i have worked out what i am going to do.

We are going to put grass turf on the right hand side of the path to bring it level with the drive and the left handside flower boarder we then put to 2 width worth of rag role turf either side of the flower bed closest to the grass to bring the beds smaller which will be easier to fill with pretty cottage smelling plants. We will also put fencing around the outside to make it a proper garden area and cut it away from the drive :-)

Still outside the front of the cottage the top 2 photo's are to the right of the cottage behind all those tall brambles and weeds in fact is a garage. The bottom left photo is the area now :-) and as you can see its a huge space and is behind my vegetable patch which you can view in the bottom right photo. This area is where Dillis an Bill used to put their ash from the fires and the soil is actually lovely. I have decided to give myself another challenge and dig this space  and use it as another vegetable patch area :-) Its a wasted space and will lend itself well for this i feel.

This is the drive way before and now obviously i prefer the before photo on the left i loved the natural way it was but i know needs must. Its yet to be finished the old railway sleepers need to put into place and the the black layer snipped and made neat and tidy.

This is part of the area at the back of the house you can see from the top left photo how over grown it was and the more we chopped away it revealed 3 sheds that are falling down but are actually full of logs and kindle which we are using. The plan is to built another area to stall the logs and then pull these 3 sheds down before they fall down on their own.

This is also the back of the house the top left photo on the right is a lovely large shed which is full of vintage gardening tools and furniture which i need to sort out. On the left the corrugated metal building is the old coal shed which you still see is fall with coal and wood. The garage you can view in the bottom left photo and then an old lawn morrow and the old metal sink i rescued from the landlord before they will thrown in the skip i have plans for them :-) We are going to pull down the coal shed to its a terrific eye sore and will open the space up for us.

And this out and about outside in the rest of the lovely space if you click on the photo's they will appear larger for you. Every day is different here depending on the weather and the way the sun an the light casts shadows through the trees its truly beautiful and the girls love it here.

Our beautiful 12 year old girl Kia has decided since we moved that she loves to dig and oh boy when she gets started there is dirt flying everywhere :-) It does make me chuckle she is nearly completely blind now and was so nervous living in the town of the lorries rumbling past on our walks and she would rattle and shake at any bangs or loud noise, she adores it here and it brings a lump to my throat knowing she will see her twilight years our here in the peace she craves and that we were able to give both our girls that gift.

And as for Milly Moo you wouldn't believe the difference in her she is confident and more self assured now. Milly Came to us scared stiff of men and strangers and the outside world. living close to the town and walking the streets to get to the park was a nightmare for her and i had to keep her close as she was liable to slip her harness to if men approached us. Taking her away from all that and giving her peace and open spaces well she is just loving it and life is less stressful on our walks.

So the weekend as i mentioned at the start of my post we decided to build a back garden area for ourselves

The little black iron gate came from my old house

We used the decking panels that had made up my vegetable boxes at my allotment ( Which i have decided that i cant manage now we have moved ) for the actual fence panels and a friend of my husbands gave us 5 posts for free. We re used and recycled the old black metal farm gate from the front of the cottage rather than it being thrown away we needed access from the garage to get the tractor out.

The space to the left of this photo is the area for my chicken house and run area it will run up and into the main garden area.
This back garden area will be great and give us some space away from the rest of the garden which we are going to leave its to big and its lovely the way it is already with the trees etc i will plant some fruit trees and bushes though and if i had my way maybe a couple of pigmy goats to live there to.
And we put our little vintage caravan Bertie at the bottom of the paddock which is directly at the bottom of our enclosed garden area. We have plans to erect some decking to the front of him along with some flower pots etc so will can still tow him away for our little holidays. But it will be nice to use him and when my parents come to stay they will sleep in the house and my husband and myself will sleep over in Bertie :-)
And well that's it from me for another week i was kind of dreading writing this post as i had so many photo's to share and i didn't think i would be able to not over load the post ( But think i have managed it )  but i still wanted to share the beauty that Hazlemere has given us the gift of the country life the peace and the quite and the gift of living our dream. Yes i am still pinching myself.
Thank you for all your lovely warm comments on my last post. Have a lovely week what ever you are up to.
Bye for now
Dee xx


  1. You are so lucky to have found such a beautiful house is a stunning location xx

  2. Your photo's are lovely, it's nice to see a before and after, I am watching your blog with interest on how you grow your plot of heaven.

  3. It is so lovely, I am happy that it is all coming together for you. All that seasoned wood will keep you warm and toasty this winter, and maybe the next one.

  4. You've worked very hard. And I love seeing the photos!

  5. You've done an amazing amount of work and it's looking great. I can see you living most of the day outside come the warmer weather.

  6. what amazing work you are doing!

  7. Hi, tracked you down after a long time away from blogging! What a stunning location - lucky you!

  8. you did a great job with the post and with all the work you are doing to that beautiful home. Can't wait for the chickens to come.

  9. Are you not sleeping?...so much work you've done already its looking fabulous and I'm so jealous well done to you all xx

  10. Wow wow wow, it looks so lovely Dee
    Julie xxxx

  11. It am very envious .... But in a nice way! You have done such an amazing job already and I'm loving following your journey x

  12. I can't believe how much you have done in such a short space of time ... it all looks wonderful. Glad the dogs are happier and the chickens will think they have died and gone to heaven! M x

  13. You certainly are making it home, a beautiful transformation in the process. Such a great idea to rescue the chickens I would love to do the same.

  14. Dee I can't get over all you have achieved, it's amazing.

    My Mum used to work at a nursery and next to it was a small holding. Every year the owner would get half a dozen battery hens. She said the children used to be fascinated by these naked, featherless creatures huddled together in a corner. She said watching them grow feathers and get confident and start scratching about was a joy to see.

  15. I've so enjoyed reading through your posts and seeing the transformation. You and Jon are such grafters and totally deserve the beautiful home you're creating. I bet the owners are thrilled. xxx

  16. looking lovely, you have been working hard. rescue hens are a good idea, I'm going to have 3 next month when hubby has finished building the run.

    1. aahh that's lovely well done :-) will look forward to seeing them.

  17. Beautiful yard, home and animals :)

  18. As always, I am amazed and impressed at how much progress you are making. The two of you really throw yourselves into a job, don't you?! What a fabulous home you are creating. xxx

  19. A lovely peaceful post....you have done so much and your country life sounds idyllic. How gorgeous it will be to wake up there on a summer morning! I would love to live in a country cottage too :)
    Helen xox

  20. It's all coming together really well. Lots of hardwork I kow but SO worth it.

    Nice to see your two gorgeous greyhounds so settled and happy. When we lived in Oxfordshire my friend had a rescue greyhound called Lyn, she was an absolute darling girl. The first time she slipped her lead Margaret was distraught but they were in the depths of our farm and Lyn just ran and ran and ran ... then came back to Margaret with a great big grin on her face as if to say 'I enjoyed that', she never ran off unintentionally again but was the happiest and most laid back dog I have ever met.