Pembrokeshire Musings - 5 months in

So, what have we learnt in the first five months?

  • Dave loves the gadgets, and the bigger the gadget the better! Smallholding is a fantastic excuse for buying big gadgets!

  • Tractors work better with four wheels on the ground.

  • The Pembrokeshire Promise. The Gregorian Calendar has passed Pembrokeshire by. If you ask local workies to commit to a date you will be given (as a minimum) three reasons why they cannot provide a date, and leave you with a vague assurance. Workies also never say no to a job, but do take all Yes responses as tentative (a Pembrokeshire Promise)

  • By definition, as you have no start date, be wary of making plans based on another job being completed.

  • Workies must be continually pestered, before and during work activities, and sometimes after if you feel obliged to pay them for their services.

  • Workies frequently get abducted by aliens. The only logical explanation to some of the above.

  • Lawn Mowers (even the mini tractor type) don't cope well with a 4 acre field.

  • Slugs are the spawn of the devil, and Butterflies are winged brothers from another mother.

  • Chickens are dudes

  • Piglets dig, and piglets will find any gap in a fence that exists. Supplementary : piglets do not like electric fence, and nor do Miniature Schnauzers.

  • Trailers are easy to tow forwards! More practice required backwards!

  • Carrots don't like our soil - potatoes do.

  • Tall, thin fence posts bend

  • Raised tractor mounted buckets stick out a long way (sorry barn!)

  • German Shepherd puppies grow

  • NHS appointments don't happen first time, or second, or third.

  • On a Smallholding you must always have a can of TyreWeld to hand

  • Welsh Cakes, straight off the hob, are lush

  • The Welsh do say lush, lovely, tidy, etc.

  • Bats aren't scary, unless they are flapping round your head at 2am, or are flapping in the toilet bowl

  • Courgette plants must never be left unattended

  • Lambs are arrogant devils (perhaps related to slugs)

  • Anything left by previous owners (they left a lot!) is on its last legs (at best)

  • The electrician used by previous owners should go back to school.

  • A flame-gun gets a bonfire going well, and if said bonfire is predominately garden waste, expect an enormous amount of smoke. Oh yes, and remove gas canisters from the area before lighting.

  • Dexter, the Welsh Border Collie, prefers to chase things rather than round anything up - especially if said thing is a ball, frisbee, etc.

  • Chopping wood is manly!

  • Any job will always take a lot longer than planned.

  • Our new friends at Moat Goats (another mad goat couple) have been our best 'find' yet. Meg and Damo have a 150ish strong herd of goats, and their knowledge and help has meant more to us than we can possibly say. Supplementary : One key teaching has been how to assess a male goat that one may be looking to purchase. Such a beast can be rather large, so being expected to perform an 'extremely intimate' examination of the animal is a rather interesting experience which I had not foreseen.

  • This is the riskiest thing we have ever done. It is a roller-coaster ride of course, but we have absolutely no regrets. It still feels like a dream at times, especially when the day ends like this:

The one big question that remains unanswered 5 months in -

  • What's in the attic in this house?

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Fronrhydd, Letterston, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire

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