One year ago today me, Jon and the boys landed with all our worldy goods in a Welsh wonderland and I really can't believe just what, in these past 12 months, has come about so I just wanted to write a post that I could look back on. I think it is always fun to see how the past compares with the present and gives you ideas for future; this will tie together everything we have accomplished and is a post for prosperity but would love it if you found the time to read it, too.
Our journey was a troubled one for a while, and I don't mean the Beverly Hillbillies-style packed trailer that came along with us!
We put the boys in school just three days after arriving and, following the initial week, they thrived from being at the Canolfan in Felinfach before returning to main school at Christmas and they have continued to thrive to this very day.
Our dream started to become a reality.
I began some Welsh lessons at the beginning of January and hope to have some more soon to improve on the small amount I have managed to pick up, much through the boys.
I have taken part in village life by going along to the monthly lunches and coffee morning/book swaps which are so conveniently held literally across the road from the house at our lovely, historic community centre.
The boys have taken part in lots of things through school like the Urdd Club - having a fabulous time on their residential weekend - the local Eisteddfod and a wonderful afternoon of entertainment to celebrate St David's Day.
The boys and I began tentatively sowing seeds to grow our own at the beginning of April to start off in the conservatory.
We got chickens! Our six girls continue to provide us with a fabulous amount of a very useful foodstuff; you will never starve if you have eggs! Since we brought them home they have given us, to date, 559 eggs and you can look at this as having paid off just over half of the initial £80 set up cost of the chicken project.
We set up a strawberry patch along the back of the Poly House but this has not been a great success so we chalk this one up to experience and hope for better results next year by possibly growing them under cover.
Jon and I completed the first part of our 19 x 6 foot veg patch. I planted out turnips, swede, carrots, broccoli and onions. The second phase was finished at the beginning of August - things sometime just take a while - when I planted leeks, carrots and beetroot. I have had some issues with a couple of these plantings and I have lost the broccoli to the caterpillers but the patch looks quite healthy otherwise and some harvesting should take place very soon and I am very eager to share the details with you.
We built a raised bed for sweetcorn out of the last four sleepers we found in the garden. These have been the basis for the veg patch, raised bed inside the Poly House, as it is now known, the strawberry patch and said bed for the corn. This has saved us a HUGE amount of money as well as looking really attractive.
At the end of the month the garden was scraped down with a digger. We decided to take out three large rhododendrons along with the dreaded bamboo which has almost become a distant memory, although the cheeky little divil still pops up here and there but nothing like it did before! The garden is a shadow of its former self in the best possible manner and is a very useable space.
Our newest project is our room to let - We now have it on Airbnb and we wait to see what happens.
So at this point Jon and I are so pleased and frankly amazed at how much we have just managed to get done really! There is so much ahead for us and the boys but I think we have made a proper good start!
Thank you, again, to all those who have given help, advice, encouragement, empathy and sympathy along the way. I so appreciate how you lovely people have added to our dream becoming a reality. - see what I did there?!