All is well in our new farm life.
Apart from the other day when Kellie burst into the kitchen and shouted, “THERE’S TROUBLE ON THE FARM!!”
She pegged it back outside before I could discover what terrible event was occurring.
It was Marjorie. The chicken. She’d escaped from her pen!!
The next ten minutes involved a lot of distressed flapping, and a bumbling bearded bloke trying to chase down a surprisingly agile hen. Kellie was of course on hand to help, by belly laughing somewhere in the background.
It was more drama then you’d get in an episode of The Archers.
(For all you non-UK folks, The Archers is a radio drama so twee, that such a thing could only exist in the UK. It’s a long running work of fiction broadcast by BBC national radio, based on the highs and lows of a farming community. I’m not making it up honestly!!)
The crisis was averted and Marjorie rejoined the other 19 Marjories. They all look the same, so it’s easier to give them the same name (chicken racism?).
They keep us happily supplied with fresh eggs. All we have to do is let them out in the morning, put them to bed at night, and occasionally catch the Steve McQueen of the hen world, if one makes a break for freedom.
It’s also our first house sit with horses. Surprisingly tending to these two has been really simple. Muck out and feed 3x a day, which gets us out of bed in the morning and only takes us ten minutes each time.
I’m sure there is much more to it long term, but in the short term it’s actually much easier than walking a dog twice a day. On top of that I am pleased to report that horse poo smells much less than dogs. I’m sure you were wondering.
Then we have this snuggle monster, Juniper:
Juniper is like the best parts of a dog and cat combined. Not a weird genetic mutation. She is nicely independent, but also loves cuddles. This is a novelty. All cats we have experienced either claw us for no reason, or look at us with contempt until their owners return.
Feeling settled on the farm
So the farm…
Well it’s actually five acres of land, surrounded by thick forests, rather than a farm. But it’s pretty farm like to us.
We are on the outskirts of Qualicum Beach, a seaside town on Vancouver Island.
The home has got a real cosy feel to it. A wood burning stove heats the entire house, which is perfect to curl up in front of on a rainy day and or for Kellie whilst she is in recovery mode.
The living room is TV-less, which is fantastic. TV nowadays only makes me angry and shouty, especially during American/Canadian ad breaks, which are every 5 seconds and mainly focus on selling you drugs for depression, weight loss, medical ailments etc.
The side effects of the drugs are longer than the rest of the advert and may cause such things as:
Good grief! The list goes on and on, but I should stop now, before I start an uncontrolled rant at marketing by drugs companies.
This is a real advert, although it seems like a parody… At least it’s honest I guess!
Back to the point… We have become more productive without a TV. Kellie is using Duolingo to learn French for our upcoming cycling adventure in Europe.
We got the owners bikes and panniers out the other day, as kind of test run to see if our two-wheeled exploration wasn’t totally crazy for a couple of people who hardly ever cycle. After a successful and only slightly wobbly mission into town to do the weekly food shop, we are still on course for a tandem ride around Europe.
The house has a piano, so I am trying to learn a new skill. This is in turn teaching Kellie to be more patient, as she is forced to listen to me clumsily repeating the opening bars of ‘Hey Jude’ over and over again, whilst I busily chew my bottom lip to death. It’s my concentration face.
Ideas for the future
The owners are pretty handy, building most of the house from scratch. They also use the land to grow their own fruit and veg, and are currently about 80% sustainable.
We dream of buying some land in Scotland and building a tiny house. It would come complete with a donkey, chickens and maybe a lama for comedy value. In the dream we’d be near the coast, growing our own veggies and living a simple but productive life.
This ‘farm’ house is giving us a mini taster of that life, and we like it A LOT!
Plus this place also comes with an outdoor Jacuzzi and a wood fired pizza oven, which definitely warms the cockles on a cold winter evening.
It’s safe to say all this productivity, dream building and the plentiful supply of delicious pizza, means we are a little bit in love with our month long Qualicum house sit.