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Monday, March 24, 2014

A Love Letter to Lancashire

When we began our mammoth move from the North West coastline, up the M6 and higher and higher from sea level to 400 feet above sea level, I don't think either Gavin or I really fully appreciated exactly what lay in store for us. We spent a week driving backwards and forwards in a 7.5 ton lorry transporting our home, our business, our sheds and our small holding to the lancashire hill farm that has become our new home.



Parts of the house have been on this spot since the 1600s with evidence of a farm or dwelling here since before 1066. The land is ancient, the views majestic and the legacy and responsibility enormous.



 The property had been empty for almost five years when we moved in three weeks ago.



The owners of the estate have spent a significant amount of time renovating the farmhouse and doing what they could to clear up the land and the outbuildings. Whilst the farmhouse is in immaculate condition the land and these other buildings need an enormous amount of work to bring them back to life and production.



In between the moving, the unpacking and the rebuilding, Gavin and I have taken whatever moments we can to walk around the farm getting to know 'our land' and get to grips with what needs to be done.



Unfortunately there is currently no electric to the outbuildings so much of the work that needs to be done on these is in the pending tray. Another outbuilding blew done shortly before we moved in and another small shed needs to be knocked down before it does the same.



The previous occupant had amassed over 50 years of  'stuff' much of which has been removed, but there is still debris and rubbish to be found everywhere. The dry stone walls and ancient buildings have been allowed to crumble and decay but the stone remains scattered about the land.


The most significant problem for us though has been the absence of a telephone line, broadband, mobile phone signal or 3G connection. Every now and again for about 20 minutes twice a day, we randomly seem to pick up a 3G signal but other than that we are currently in the hands of the BT engineers who after 3 weeks have not yet repaired the faulty line to the farm.  This makes so very, many things very, very difficult and others - like blogging - impossible. With neither landline or mobile phone signal even ordering supplies from builders merchants becomes a major task. So everything, absolutely everything, takes much longer than it should and some things can't happen at all. I am having to learn patience - not a trait I am blessed with as a rule - as things slowly get done.

This all sounds horrendous, so why do it? you may well ask. Having a farm of our own which works with the business has been a long time goal for both of us, but this farm is so much more. Regardless of the debris and the neglect it is an awe inspiring, spirit lifting place.





As you walk the land, your worries depart and the beauty envelops you. To be the custodians of this glorious place is an honour we never thought we would obtain. Nature surrounds us as was truly revealed a few days ago when the fields all around us were filled with the bleating of new born lambs.




We are privileged to live right here.

 

for now,

Ruby xxx

10 comments :

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

It looks like a blessed place to settle. May you be very happy there :)

Jane said...

What a wonderful place, you are all very fortunate. I too live in a tucked away place but deep in the South of England. I hope you will not mind if I mention a few things. Our overhead phone lines are very old and fragile, we have found that although BT are good, they are Very good when they are Not the service provider but only the line provider, we use the service provider that promotes itself as from Yorkshire, we have an e-mail link with a dedicated advisor among other things and it works very well. Also we have acquired quite a number of petrol-run tools, chainsaws, generator, and battery tools, drills, saws, torches. It can be useful to have a cooker top that runs off gas, ours is bottled, and a good functioning fireplace. All the very best , sorry to go on!

Jane said...

I should add we have two phone lines and two broadband links. We try to keep it as inexpensive as possible but it works well as sort of self-checking system especially as there is no mobile signal. (Youngish children and elderly parents!). Love the knitting. I think n is narrow and w widen. I know them as decrease and increase and don't get me started on m1!

Helena said...

It's amazing how difficult even the simplest things are when one doesn't have a phone or internet connection, isn't it? Hope you're sorted out soon. I think you've moved at the right time of year; you can see what needs doing before everything starts growing, and you'll have longer days and hopefully warmer weather in which to work.

I hope it all goes well for you.

Helen said...

Soooh exciting....good luck!!
Much love Helen xx

Fiona MacBride said...

OMG I'm sure that's Pendle Hill.

Spent 5 mths renting a farmhouse in Waddington near Clitheroe twenty years ago.

I've not been the same since then...was a profoundly spiritual time.

You did the right thing moving there.

Much jealousy and love...

Fiona MacBride

Sarah said...

What a glorious home!

WendyBee said...

I am so happy for you. I can't imagine that it is all bad to be forced to slow down a bit, and disconnect from all of the devices. You can walk, alone with your thoughts. You can prepare and eat a meal,without the vibration of a text msg arriving, interrupting your conversation and repast. I don't pretend it is optimal, or idyllic, (although the little lambs had me going there for a minute!). I'm just seeing the silver lining. And again, I am glad for you. It took courage and conviction to make this change, and you will continue to reap the benefit!

Mim said...

That looks lovely! It must be very peaceful, though frustrating without the option to use a phone line when you need to.

Perhaps you should get a couple of goats to help with the clearing, they'll eat anything. ;-)

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful area! I wish you lots of luck and happiness with your new home.
Also I was wondering, how far do you have to travel to get a gallon of milk?
It seems like your so far away from the shops.
Irene