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Valkyrie

Hello Devon - We're Home!

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Well without too much ado we packed up this morning and left Daventry behind.  Both went separate ways - OH via Solihull I guess to get onto the M5.  I went the scenic route and got on the M5 at Tewksbury.  A good run and I arrived just after he had collected the keys from the estate agent in Wellington and then to the house.  Couldn't resist a walk round first!  But only the garden.  We unloaded the cars and then wandered around.  We found deer poopies and fox yukkies.  The sheep are in the lower field and 4 are in the field next to us.  Alphonso Pheasant was miffed at being disturbed.  

I have to do a bit of cleaning here, the old lady eyes misses some icky things.  But I have a week to plan.  2 bedrooms done.  Kitchen and bathrooms tomorrow.  Internet is up and running (hey priorities right!) of sorts.  But better than nothing so far.  The mattress is up and ready for bed.  DD made us some takeaway dinners for today (noodles and veg - she whipped it up last night) and although it was cold, we ate it outside on a bench.  Our lady has left cushions for us to sit on the benches with so that was nice.  A bit drizzley, sunny, warm and windy sometimes but lovely now.  Unfortunately she hasn't left the key to the padlocks for the garage - and left the light on in there and we can't get to it!  Luckily OH has a dremel and will be zzzzing the padlocks and replacing them with new ones tomorrow.

And we have tons of apples!  There are plum trees but quite poor, but the apples are laden!  We also found blackberries that are yummy and sweet and lots of elderberries.  No sign of sloes but perhaps it was a rubbish year for those considering they are related to plums.  But hey ho.  Next is to sort out where the chickens and the greenhouse are going.  I think the funny little building was perhaps a pig sty at one time.  There is a fishing net hanging in there at the moment!    Oooh that reminds me, the pond has waterlilies and we have seen some huge dragonflies, as well as blue, speckled wood, gatekeeper, peacock - and the blooming cabbage white flutterbies.  

Will pop some pics on later after some yummies.  DD made cinnamon fairy cakes for us to eat on the way - she even took the paper cups off so we didn't have to fiddle with them while we were driving.  Needless to say OH scoffed all of his and I munched them for dessert.  I did give him the last one though.  

 

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Sounds so lovely :mrgreen:

I would love some sheep as my neighbours.

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It's sounds fabulous. It's nice to come home, but it's so exciting to start somewhere new, I can't imagine staying in one place for too long, possibly I am feeling the wanderlust......You are going to have a whale of a time, and you can fascinate us as you do it, owning 4 acres is quite a game changer and I can't wait to hear all about it:D I'm sure you are going to be very happy in your new home!

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Very exciting, can't wait to hear how you get on - lots of photos before we descend on you next summer please :D

...yep, I just invited myself  :lol: 

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Hahahaha - yes Lewis - we have bunnies, deer, foxes, pheasants and plenty of pigeons - bring your raptors please!

We've walked round twice, found a wasp nest down a burrow!  Eaten more blackberries and I'll be going out to try and get a nice sunset piccy.  The house is in shade now.

 

But the field is still sunny!

And thank you peeps.  We still can't believe it ourselves!  Already sorting out where the polytunnel and greenhouse will go.  Plenty of room for chickens!

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Happy days Val! Hope you get settled soon! Do you need to do much decorating?

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Valkyrie I’m VERY jealous, it sounds like heaven. But also SO pleased for you. Your post just exudes happiness. I hope you continue to find new treasures and POST US SOME PHOTOS :D

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Your rural idyll sounds wonderful and I wish you both every happiness there! Enjoy your new fiefdom :) 

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Ha - fiefdom!  I think we are the first generation of landowners - my lot were either tradespeeps or agricultural labourers or coachmen.  I think they'd be proud of us!  But in answer to Catsy's question, it will need decorating but liveable for the time being.  There are a couple of hideous carpets though, but most are more modern twists.  And thanks - it is so tranquil (and yes we do get the occasional aeroplane but it's nothing like back in Hook) that we've taken this week to clean and relax, clean in a frenzy and then take a day off.  Went for a meal in the pub (10 minutes walk) and had a really nice dinner - although the starters were dinner plate sized and our mains was equal in size and then they said just bringing the veg!  Oh my golly gosh!  I couldn't eat it all!  Unfortunately I'd been taking the blood pressure tablets and I had a mega drop so decided to walk home before I fainted - walking and cool air soon got it all circulating and I was fine.  This morning my BP was normal without tablets and I'm monitoring it.  I probably won't need to take a high dose now, so will do tests.  Ooh just seen a sparrowhawk!

Meanwhile OH stayed to finish his meal and the landlady introduced him to a lot of locals.  He texted to see if I was home and I OK'd it.  Then 2 hours later I texted "are you still there or been run over?" I guess he'd got run over so I just casually turned on the outside lights and went to bed.  Hah!  Soon after he came in and I heard the shuffling and stood over the bannister with a heavy object in my hand just in case it wasn't him - I figured I'd drop it on any burglar's head!  :lol:  But with the chatting - he now has sorted out a box scheme of beef, lamb and sourced chicken, duck and goose and goodness knows what else.  He had a whale of a time.  Which is good, because he doesn't have friends as such, so I worry a bit about him - but not any more!

Today we met the neighbours and both are lovely.  I also met children and pets.  I also have the yes do get a rooster thumbs up so l'm well happy - although theirs were all foxed so I definitely need to be wary.  Had a lovely walk this afternoon, although it got quite humid.  Will post pics tomorrow.  xxx

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OK - a through the garden gate taster!  That's by the kitchen door - the gate across the garden goes into our field.

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OMG, it looks absolutely perfectB|

You have a fantastic long view by the looks of it, out over rolling fields, I can't think of anything I'd like more.  We have a fantastic view here as well, but I do miss that agricultural landscape.  Also, that is a massive result, being able to keep cockerals, how exciting for you!  And you will have fabulous meat as well by the sounds of it, I miss that as well, buying local, its just not the done thing here, although the older people here do still have the odd sheep or goat, its strictly just for the family.  Nobody sells fruit or veg or wine either, despite the fact all the land is groaning with produce, although I can drive for 45 mins to go to a weekly market.

On a more boring note, is that a gravel path?  If so, how did they keep it so weed free?  We have gravelled areas which are returning to nature despite my best efforts. Do you think there is weed suppressing membrane underneath?  I used it in the UK about 15 years ago, but it didn't work well, but perhaps you can get better, stronger stuff nowadays.  Then we moved to a garden with a gravel area for boules, and it was pristine.  I couldn't keep it that way, and it turned out they used glyphosate on it regularlyO.o

 

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What a lovely view.  I thought you said it was neglected but that looks perfect and well kept.  So nice to hear you talking about your chateau

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It has a lot of weeds Plum - mostly invasive couch grass.  There is some sort of plastic below the stones but there is little euphorbia (not the spurge type, I think rock garden variety) that is overflowing into the gravel around the pond.  The apple trees have been neglected and are in need of a big prune, but they are so laden that I'm wondering if they are happier that way.  Perhaps it means smaller apples, dunno.  Not been touched in over 10 years.  

Anyway speaking of apples here we go:

Behind the outbuilding - not so much fruit on them but lots further round past the small gate.  Small gate has a lovely wasp nest down a rabbit hole.:roll:

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Our first evening from the ridge of the hill and the welcoming committee the following morning.  Not named them but Aphonso Pheasant is here daily.  The naughty sheep had escaped from the brown field and in all 23 had a right old time with the lush grass.  Farmer came and got them the other day - but still 3 escaped later, only to be sorted out yesterday morning.  They've not escaped since.  You can see the little dew trail!

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I'll be pitching the tent next to the statue, if that's OK?

You have the sort of view I would buy a house for!

How many of those are your fields? 

Thats also a very cute picture of the deer, but they don't feature highly in my list of welcome visitors, they are too greedy in the veg plot.  They also like apples, but maybe you will be lucky.  I think I'd do a lot of reading up around apple pruning.  I hate the thought of pruning too hard, but maybe that's the way, and/or prune out some of the fruit which is what Bob Flowerdew says you should do to get larger ones; I think you do it around the June drop.

 

 

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Yes, they are cute, but they will have a rude awakening when they get banished from the veggies!  I think we may have to get a veg cage.  I've seen people use fishing wire to deter them - they can't see the wire and it scares them.  Otherwise netting over plants is the next best way. I guess they are happy to nibble the windfalls at the moment - so is Alphonso!  He brought his wife this evening!  The trees are so tall that the deer would need to learn to climb to get them all!  Luckily there is an apple charity close by that take courses in all things appley - including cider making.  Guess what we'll be doing!  Hahaha!  I've pruned apples before in the garden but only referring to books - much easier to be shown.

We have one field that wraps around the property.  We are getting a Rhino soon.  Greenhouse - this isn't a zoo!  Yet!  :lol: That's going in the garden and the polytunnel will go along the hedge line at the north side.  Chooks are going behind the walnut tree.  Veg will be at the far side.  Met Andrew the sheep man this evening.  He'll be running some sheep in the field in November - and hopefully I'll get him to show me some ropes.  Like if they are on their backs turn them over.  Who knows, maybe I'll be able to have a few myself later.  Another nice bloke!  

Where Alphonso is in the photo, that's the garden and behind that is part of our field.  The green one with the naughty sheep is owned by someone up the top of the road and the big brown sheep field is owned by a farmer from somewhere else.

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Continuing along that line - the fence in the far corner behind the two lots of trees is the southern/western boundary.  The actual hedge is further across with the other field wrapping around ours. The next is from almost the bottom corner of the field.  We can only see our field clearly from upstairs - sitting in the living room it slopes so much that we just see the neighbour's field.  And the bottom east corner - someone is scoffing blackberries!  Some beauties too!

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I do feel lucky to have the garden I’ve got but wow I’m jealous. This just looks like heaven. My tent will go under the walnut tree near the chooks.

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We feel very lucky indeed.  We have to pinch ourselves to check we really are here! It was a dream, but we didn't think we'd end up somewhere like this.  Winter might be a different kettle of fish though!:lol:  But log fire - mmmmmmmm!  

Feel free to pitch it up. :D

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It all looks so wonderful - congrats on following your dream!

Whereabouts in Devon are you? We know south Devon pretty well as OH has (very) distant rellies near Dartmouth and we also used to go to the Bude area several times a year too BC. A lovely place! Our favourite Border Morris group, Beltane, are based in Newton Abbot and I keep 'joking' that we'll have to move down there so that I can dance with them :$

 

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