Life on the farm – Latest house sit

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!!

farm-Chickens

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.

farm-montage

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:

farm-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.

farm-cosy

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:

Anal bleeding,
suicidal thoughts,
heart failure,
paralaysis.

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!

[weaver_youtube http://youtu.be/taXGAPZwuCo sd=0 percent=100 center=1 rel=0 https=0 privacy=0]

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.

farm-Englishman-river-fallsExploring Englishman River Falls

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.

We use Housecarers.com and Trustedhousesitters.com to find our house sits.

farm-pizza

15 Replies to “Life on the farm – Latest house sit”

  1. I feel similarly about TV nowadays too. In fact, I think I pretty much only ever watch something *on the TV* twice a year: Eurovision and the Dr Who Christmas special.

    This sounds lovely (despite the drama) and it’s good to hear that your cycling plans are getting closer to becoming a reality!

  2. We do watch stuff and things, but usually via download so we don’t just mindlessly sit and flick.

    I LOVE that Eurovision is on your must watch list. Got to be honest I ain’t watched it since Terry Wogan left, but my sister used to have big Eurovision parties which involved drinking games. Much fun.

  3. Oh it sounds like a dream! I’m trusting it hasn’t been too chilly on the island? I’m kind of fed up with this winter thing right now and would love to house sit a nice charming place like that!

  4. This looks so cozy! I love that you call the chickens Marjorie! I’ve been doing a bit of learning about the Tiny House movement. I have a question. If you did build a tiny house where would you build? It seems that in the US Tiny Houses aren’t quite legal, but there are still plenty of them!

    1. Well you have done more learning than me, had no idea. We actually want to get some land at some stage in the next few years. But before that we plan to convert a big van and go on an adventure in it. Then we will get a taster to see if tiny life is for us. After that, we shall see…

  5. I love the idea of farm life! We grow a lot of our own veggies, but I know I couldn’t run an entire farm. It’s just so much work, for me, haha. I do think I could handle a wood-fired pizza oven like that though!! I completely agree about the commercials too.

    1. I do love the satisfaction of eating some food that’s been home grown. The wood fired pizza is honestly the best I’ve ever had, not even trying to be big headed 🙂

      Boo to commercials!

  6. So jealous of your outdoor pizza oven! That really does sound like heaven. So glad to hear this latest house sit has been exactly the kind of adventure you’ve been craving!

    (Also, I don’t even remember the last time I watched something on tv… I haven’t had cable for about 10 years now, and all of our movie/tv watching tends to be done on our computers these days. I absolutely don’t even notice whether places have tvs anymore (and when they do, I never think to turn them on!).)

  7. If only you could fit one in your back pack Steph, that would make great packing list post 🙂

    Also well done on being without TV, it always make us find stuff to do rather than zombie out. Plus most of it’s dirge. No TV when we return to the UK.

  8. Wood fired pizza oven?!! When can I move in? 😉 Love your house sit posts, it’s like Through the Keyhole but for really interesting and quirky places. I too hate North American adverts on tv, when something may cause actual death and they’re advertising it on tv, wtf?

    1. Thanks Maddie.

      You can move in straight away. We have fresh eggs for breakfast. In fact we have about 60 fresh eggs! The hens are just too fast for us. Might have to go egg a few houses to get rid of a few.

      Before we stopped watching tv, Kellie began to mute the adverts. It reduced the amount of shouting. I get angry. Especially when a beauty products advert starts with “Do you hate imperfections?”. Garh! 🙂

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