We’re continuing along our Warland plan-lines. Monica has just opened up her hive for the first full inspection of the year, to happily discover a healthy, expanded swarm. I started to plant the forest garden fruit trees but, after the first three filberts, a couple of sheep appeared and sat next to them, menacingly. So, I’ve moved the fencing up in my priorities and have been banging in posts and straining wire for a few days and am happy with progress and the quality of the results so far. Another day’s effort and the sheep will find that, even though they jump the wall into the meadow, they can’t get from there to the rest of the fields. In addition, Monica’s allotment and apiary will be protected and we’ll have a good-sized area to try out some experiments such as small-scale oats and barley. In the design, I’ve managed to create a 6ft-square protected tree enclosure for something wonderful; and I avoided fencing right across the best toboggan run. Yesterday I met an enthusiastic youth who wants space to grow tea plants; mainly hippy teas but, after seeing the SW-facing plot he’s thinking of looking for some tea-camellia hybrids that might survive here. 

Everything stops for a few days because we have a funeral and associated events today and tomorrow; then I have to visit Jill in Swindon to collect a cabinet and some plants from her nursery. I hoped that by using her nursery I would be helping her garden-design business but it appears not and, as I’ve discovered that they’re not growing some of the plants themselves, I won’t use them again. This trip has also been delayed several times, most recently by the mysterious disappearance of a pair of rear brake shoes from the truck. Al & Kevin used it to take some motor bikes to a jamboree and when they returned it the brakes were misbehaving. As there were no leaks, I almost drove south last week but I’m glad Kevin sent a mechanic mate to check first. All better now.

Monica has been manoeuvring her Dad into accepting respite care for her Mum but is getting very little thanks from him or anyone else. Fortunately, she isn’t very invested in seeking his appreciation and will probably ease back on her involvement while he gets used to having a couple of days of freedom each week. She’s also moving Kevin’s house restoration along and has just seen the roof replaced and scaffolding removed.

I’ve been getting back up to speed with photography after getting a few bits of kit. I hope to pick up where I left off when my graphic design business closed its doors. Back then, I decided that I didn’t want to join the race to discounted skills and was hoping to create a high-value, high satisfaction niche for myself in image creation using photography, 2D and 3D graphics. It’s more of a hobby, now, but I’ve invited Chris to share the journey with me and, who knows, we may find a way for him to give up working on the rigs. Apart from cameras and standard glass, I’ve grabbed a 17mm tilt-shift lens, an A2 printer and a slide-capable, hi-res scanner. I feel some industrial history images are in order.

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