Little Pig Robinsons

So, our pair of calm, docile, lop-eared Houdini-piglets have decided they would rather be roaming the mean streets of Horkesley as opposed to a life in their lovely green meadow.  Thank you to everyone who took part in the attempts to get them back into the field.  The way to revitalise the Big Society?  Community animal herding.

   I very kindly left the escapists in the care of others to head to our twin farm in Dorset, to witness the remarkable results of Adam Henson's new agricultural show, "Pimp My Calf Hutch".Me and Calf-Tel have had our differences in the past, but if I were ever to consider camping was a good idea, I would like to take one of these with me - canvas is very overrated. [NB. Had I had to assemble this I would probably be thinking differently. The smaller version drove me to near-violence.]

But, there is no need to run away!  Better than a calf hutch or pig sty, is our pimped-out barn here in Essex.  For those who didn't make it to OFS, we are proud to introduce our new-look Mill House.

 Hats off to the incredible Richard Green for the work he put in to turn this side around in under a week.  And for patiently dealing with the site Führer, sorry, foreman.

Not to mention a bricklaying apprentice with little (to no) spatial awareness.  "Is that level?" Genuinely, no clue.  I could blame the PTSD from stacking 1600 Victorian bricks for the new plinth the day before my short-lived apprenticeship, but I would be lying.

The barn is now boarded against the weather.  Naturally, this is a temporary measure and distressingly, the boards will have to come off (joy!) to reinstate the original features we've preserved in the frame beneath.  However, our priority at the moment is making sure the barn is weatherproof and structurally sound in order to continue the work.  I did not get a chance to put these pictures up for Open Farm Sunday, but the change in a year is quite remarkable.

JULY 2011


JUNE 2012


Inside, it is looking fabulous with Roy Cafferty prepping sections for the lime plaster course next week.  Following my "success" at bricklaying, I am confident lime plastering will uncover my hidden genius.

Thank you again to everyone on the Essex CC courses, but particularly to Richard, Essex/Suffolk's premier timber frame restorer, for the incredible work.  It is lovely to have an area getting back into a usable shape and to see progress on the farm.