Guess the weight of the bull – that was just one of a series of brilliant attractions at the county show in our local town of Keith. If you’re ever in Speyside in August, I’d highly recommend it. Other categories included Best Turned Out Donkey (see photo) and also Best Animal Sculpture Made From Fruit…or something like that.


Country life is certainly completely different. Manure for the garden is dumped over the fence by the digger-load, courtesy of Graham and Colin, our lovely neighbouring farmers. Wood comes from the woodyard 200 yards down the road. When we offered to pay Robert before delivery he wouldn’t hear of it. “I might die tomorrow!” he said.

One bedroom is now completely painted which means we might actually be able to move out of the tent. The tent has now been up so long that we have mushrooms growing inside (photo – it’s the yellow thing in the middle!). Grim. Still, the spiders and the slugs seem to like it.


Derek continues to do a wonderful job of the joinery. The latest work at the top of the garden room looks fabulous . We’re also really pleased with some of the architectural touches, such as the exposed beams below the skylight over the upstairs hall. We had our doubts about this, but our architect persuaded us to go ahead and he was right. (see photos)


We finally decided to employ a tiler, who starts work in a couple of weeks. After that, hopefully, the end will be in sight. While munching on our lunch of cold pizza, we realised that we ate cold pizza when we first saw the steading three years ago. If we’d known at the time that we’d still be building three years later we might never have gone ahead, but I can honestly say we’ve enjoyed (nearly) every moment of it. I was amused, though, to see a paragraph in the latest Homebuilding and Renovating magazine about the film ‘The Money Pit’ in which a couple continually ask their builder how long it will be before their house is ready. Every time he tells them, “two weeks.”

(The Keith Country Show bull weighed 1500 kg!)

  • Samuel Joy

    That bull is absolutely huge!!

  • Percy Fulger

    That donkey certainly is well turned out!

    Good to see your progress. That garden room really does look fantastic. Hope you do get to move out of the tent soon, slugs and spiders really don’t sound like very good bedfellows…

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