Life in Wales was to be just that…a life, not an existence. When the weather allowed, we wanted to immerse ourselves in the landscape and create a home, surrounded by our four acres of land. Self sufficiency was another aim, using the wood on the land and planting new trees for the future was the first step; creating a vegetable patch, the second. My card for this month is II Wands and I embraced its message, gathering up the spark from the ace, propelling me along my chosen path and fulfilling my dreams of my life in Wales…and then reality hit me like a truck, out of control on the ice road…my partner and I have to work as well.
Though we’ve been in our house since November 2013, without a roof and with major work needed at the house (heating, bathroom, sceptic tank), setting up my partner’s wood floor business in Wales is in its infancy so working away is the only option. Without him here, I’ve done my best, but this weekend was our first opportunity to make a real difference. On Thursday, I borrowed a strimmer from a neighbour, keen to get a headstart as the weather was dry and sunny.
I trimmed as far as the lead would reach but no extension lead could be found in the house. I read about using a white vinegar and salt solution to kill weeds and decided to douse the grass and weeds growing through our decking. I carried the two gallon can outside five times, liberally dousing the area. The following morning, I checked to find it had made no difference. I cleared nettles, barrowed stones and filled the holes on the driveway. I burned half the cleared bramble, twig and nettle pile, until the ash in our tractor wheel fire threatened to seep from its metal safety and a few spots of rain began to fall.
My partner came home. I’d cleared away brambles and nettles at the front of the house, dragging out the beech tree branches ready for chainsawing, splitting and barrowing…and then the chainsaw refused to work.
My head said ‘Forget it, you’re both tired. Give up,’ but my heart said ‘No way!’
Our fabulous neighbour lent us a chainsaw. Between strimming the driveway, extension lead having been extracted from partner’s car, I moved a dozen barrows…until we realised the piles in the wood barn were not going to work and we needed to move the wood we were using now. ‘You’re tired!’ yelled my head. ‘It needs to be done, you can do it’, assured my heart. By the end, my biceps were buzzing, my back screaming but the resulting wood piles were magnificent…and then it rained.
We worked in the rain on Sunday morning. I cleared nettles from around half our apple trees, my partner mowing without the grass boxes on as they clogged every five minutes and still it rained, a thundery downpour forcing us indoors. Just after four o’clock, the sun came out and we cleared the final uncovered logs from the front grass and finished mowing around the house.
Returning our borrowed tools, we sat on the riverbank with a cup of tea.
Whether its people or circumstances, we get knocked and buffeted on our path. Doubts creep in, as does the fear, both of the future and of failing. Only you can commit. Only you can turn a dream into a reality.