Now that the kitchen and bathroom are finished we have proper facilities
for ourselves and friends and family who visit. We now have the task of clearing the land and improving the barn and land
drainage. With the dense undergrowth the brambles were shredding Jan to ribbons, no matter how hard she tried or how many
hours she battled with the brush cutter she was making no headway. A friend and neighbour had seen how we were struggling
and helped arrange for a visit with a man and a tractor to come with a flailing machine. We had no idea how much this would
cost as we expected a man & machine wouldn't come cheap. The amount of 2 was understood but we didn't know
if it was 'jours' or 'heures' because of the strong accent. We had a couple of rows of old and diseased pear
trees that had wires running through to train the branches, we were instructed to remove these before he arrived so they wouldn't
jam his machine and we were reassured that it wouldn't take long. Anyway he arrived (a day later than we expected)
and soon set to work, we were well impressed, from start to finish it took one and a quarter hours!!! from wilderness to prairie
it was chopped into mulch before our eyes, as the machine was clearing a way through our friend took the
chainsaw off Dave and set to work to remove the tree trunks and larger branches. It was a great team effort,
our closest neighbour just stood there holding her head in her hands and couldn't take in how things had changed so quickly.
After we had paid him and given him a bottle of wine for 'Madame' he climbed into the cab of the tractor, and it wouldn't
start - a flat battery!!!!! we gave him a jump start and he was soon on his way. We all sat back (including Jans parents Marion
& Allan) to take in exactly how large the plot looked now it was cleared, we all agreed that it was a terrific purchase
now we could see exactly what we had got.
At the back of the barn there is a large rectangular pit
that had been dug to collect rain water to water the garden (we believe), initially we thought it was only collected rainwater
off the barn roof - after further investigation it revealed that the previous owner had diverted a stream with a
buried pipe to keep it 'topped up'. We have now altered this and removed the lining from the pit which was
plastic pipes and sheeting all tied together with tough twine, whoever did this was very thorough - the hole will be filled
in with the spoil dug out from the foundations of the new house.