mumsnetBack along, my family and I swapped a house for a three-acre field in Devon and a leaky caravan where we lived off-grid for two years. Sadly, we failed to get the planning permission we needed to stay. We are now back within four walls, with a proper loo and everything in a cottage in Dartmoor. So this is now a blog about living ethically amid a fabulous landscape with our home educated kids while we adjust to being 'normal' - for a while... and what we plan to do with our land next

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Gate expectations

Digging the hole for the gate post has been a Herculean effort for Gully. Six inches below the surface of the soil, it appears that our field is virtually solid bedrock – which explains the inordinately large amount of stones that lie on its surface.

Gully needed to dig a deep hole in order to bury the large post on which our new five-bar gate would hang. Over the days he worked – and worked – away. Passing dog walkers stopped to look on with interest, our friend with the JCB turned up. ‘I’ve got a device on my digger that does that,’ he volunteered, having spent some enjoyable minutes watching Gully sweating in his hole with a hammer and chisel.

‘Well, what the bloody hell am I doing this for?’ Gully asked. ‘Ah,’ said our friend knowingly. ‘It won’t go through that lot.’

As the hole slowly deepened, Gully diminished in stature. We became in danger of running over him whenever we drove in and out of the field on our way to shops and activities. The kids became inured to seeing a three-foot high daddy standing at the gate. ‘Look,’ I would say marvelling at my own wit as we came and went. ‘It’s Lord Farquaad.’

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