Friday, December 31, 2010

And A Happy New Year To You All

Two thousand and what? Eleven already? What about 2010? It was just starting a moment ago. Where did the year go? What happened to all that time?


I could moan on about 2010 for hours - it's not been the best of years, though hardly the worst. But that would be a waste of time, really, since it's over now. Better I think to look ahead to 2011 and what should be coming up.


2011 will be the year of the great move north. OK, so 2012 might also be the year of the great move north, and 2013 too. Who knows, maybe 2014 as well, although I sincerely hope not. A lot depends on how long it takes to sell the house here in Wales, but I will be more often in Fife come the spring, when I aim to resume farming on what was my father's farm but is now (mostly) mine. I say mostly, because my brother inherited the farmhouse, and we sold a bit of the arable land to raise funds to buy out my other brother and sister, so the farm's not quite what it was. It's still substantial enough though, and getting my own livestock on the land will be a big psychological moment.


Of course, my brother inherited the farmhouse, so for the timebeing I shall be living in a static caravan. It's been a struggle, but I have finally received planning permission for this. One big task for 2011 is to design and get planning permission for a more permanent dwelling. Those of you who've followed these witterings from the start will recall my lack of progress the last time I tried to build a house. This time I own the plot already, which should help. I won't be able to afford much in the way of building until the house in Wales is sold, though, so I might be stuck in my caravan for a while. Trailer trash, that's me.


2011 will also be the year of windmills. At least I hope it will. My brother already has his erection at the farm, and my plan is to have two of my own, bigger and better.* There's that small matter of planning permission again, of course, and Fife Council could scupper everything if the nutters bat lovers come out and complain. I hope not, as the energy farming is a key part of my plans for the place, hopefully providing the funds needed to set up the Horse Doctor's wool enterprise and many other interesting things.


2011 will also be the year of clearing gorse. Since my father reduced his farming operations about ten years ago, the gorse has rather got out of control in some parts of the farm. Fortunately those nice people at the Scottish Government Rural Department sometimes award grants for environmental improvements, and I've secured one for part of the farm that is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). It's a tidy sum that will help bridge the gap before the business starts to earn any real income, but it does mean that I have to cut and clear almost one and half hectares of mature gorse by hand. That's a lot of work.


Hopefully 2011 will be a year of greater writing productivity, too. In 2010 I managed to write the first draft of a short thriller - a total word count that in 2006 I'd have dashed off in about two weeks. It's going to need a some serious rewriting before I dare show it to anyone, but I should be able to get it done in between bouts of gorse clearing, house designing, arguing with the planning department and trying to remember all the stuff I've forgotten about animal husbandry. 


And of course I'll be up and down the M6 like something that goes up and down a lot.


Did I mention that I was going to be very busy?


So goodbye 2010, and don't let the door hit you on the way out. Welcome 2011, and a Happy New Year to you all.




*fnarr fnarr

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1 Comments:

Blogger Jo said...

Happy New Year to you the Horse Doctor too.

Glad to hear you got some semblance of joy from the planning department, hope further encounters aren't so tedious (well we can all hope can't we)

They always say if you want something done ask a busy person, so fingers crossed the coming craziness helps you find the time to get down to that proper writerly stuff.

See you at Harrogate (if you can fit it in) and in the meantime All the best.

Jo xx

January 02, 2011 1:49 pm  

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