Saturday, 17 February 2018

Rise and fall

Pride before a fall and all that. After all the highs and good news of last week if feels like the universe has just flicked a massive two fingers up at us and said, "just hang on one cotton-pickin' little moment there, that all sounded just a little too good to be true….."

Just as we were patting ourselves heartily on the back and congratulating ourselves on our great progress, BAM! The internet goes off. Just like that. From 85mbps to a big fat ZERO. After years of an at best dismal broadband service, it turns out we were gorging on data like a family of starved hyenas that have just wandered across a sleeping zebra. We had somehow used up our monthly allowance of data in less than a week. Oops. You'd think a simple phone call to buy more data would have sorted the issue but no, it required about a hundred phone calls to get us back online. Frazzled, cross and close to yet another nervous breakdown.

Then POW! The gas goes off. Right at the exact moment that we have a group of esteemed guests assembled to watch the flipping extravaganza. So, we then dabbled with physics, attempting to cook our batter any which way possible (microwave, oven, wood burner…). Needless to say, none produced anything remotely pancake-like and we ruined a fair bit of kitchenware while were at it. Thankfully we managed to find a gas canister and hob in one of the barns to save the day. The even worse news was that the gas also powers our central heating so we've had to lug on average 10 baskets of logs back and forth to the house to keep the house roughly above freezing until the sodding gas company arrive to refill our tank. They assured us on Tuesday (and every day since), in classic North Wales fashion that, "we'll definitely be there tomorrow". Still no sign of them….  This wouldn't have been so bad except that….

Can you cook pancakes on this thing?!

BOOM! We all came down with the flu. Huddled together like penguins round the fire to keep warm we've snuffled and coughed our way to the end of the week, all four of us sharing a bed at night to ward off the cold from the ice crystals forming on the insides of the windows.

Then KAPOW! The final slap to the chops was the phone call from the water board to tell us that we have an "astronomically high" water bill. Like more than ten times higher than expected. Shiiiiit. It turns out we have a suspected water leak somewhere on our land. Our account has been frozen (yes, yes, very drole given current battle for heat) until we find said leak. Trouble is we are all too poleaxed with the flu and the freezing cold to do anything about it…. That or we’re too busy dealing with….

SPLAT! Just when we thought we had nailed the potty training with our youngest daughter and were smugly telling everyone what a piece of piss it was (no pun intended) second time around – we’ve had some catastrophic toileting disasters. Exactly what I needed in my freezing cold, wife-free home this week, NOT!

Whole of the Deer course in full swing

BUT it is not all bad. This week has definitely started to feel like spring with the birds singing and the sun shining. We've managed to plant our tomato, cucumber and pepper seeds and we've thrown a few peas into the polytunnel to chance our arm on an early spring crop. We’ve also run our first two bushcraft courses of the year: a full day with a group of seven young people from the Centre of Sign-Sight-Sound in Colwyn Bay and a Whole of The Deer course for three clients up from London. 1800 trees have arrived and are being planted to create our new woodland. Plus, we've also FINALLY managed to finish our new websites. You can check out the Wild Bushcraft Company here and The Forge site is here. This means we are now open for bookings from Easter - woo hoo! Please do spread the good word and, after the week we’ve just had, help put the smile back on our faces!

Planting up 1800 trees to create our new woodland

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