Saturday, February 23, 2008


It has been such a busy start to the year and as March approaches I find myself with a few updates to be noted, mostly good and one a little sad. However as I am 'Being Buffy' I am more than qualified to deal with anything life can throw at me!

Ok so sad news out of the way first. The situation regarding our house has progressed somewhat and we are unfortunately not in a position to buy at this time. It has therefore gone on the market for sale.

(Image Credit Sale Sign: Webclipart)

The sign went up last Monday and there has been a viewing every day! Our landlords are not giving us notice until they have secured a buyer so again we have a little breathing space although we have been looking for other places to rent all year to be on the safe side. We are going to view two places in the village today. We hope to remain in the village as it really has become home to us.

As for this house, I have felt so lucky living here, it's not the biggest house or garden but there are some benefits that I hold in high value. The garden, and several of the rooms in the house, face east and as a result I see every sun rise as it permitting, from the comfort of my house and back garden. The moon rises over our back garden too and as there is open park space behind us there is little light pollution and we are afforded a wide and generous view of the sky and stars.

There are a few good areas for the birds in terms of mature trees and hedgerows adjacent to this house and that in conjunction with the bird foods I put out has provided us with a wide variety of birds to watch and enjoy. Additionally we have managed our garden organically for the past three and a half years and the result is more wildlife in many forms.

I will miss the views from our position high on the hillside, the sky view and the peace and quiet, and the birds, and I hope that they find new places to feed quickly. I am going to leave some of my bird feeders here and a little note for the new owners explaining what we get in the garden should they choose to encourage the birds by replenishing the feeders.

I will also miss the feel of this house and garden. The wind that comes across the field always makes it feel like we are by the sea and is reminiscent for me of my paternal grandmothers home where we holidayed as children.

Anyway, we are now looking forward! I will let you know what the houses we look at are like following today.

Other news; I have just spent two days surveying woodland with one of my colleagues and friends at work. We had a brilliant two days and during our many conversations she mentioned that she knows a farmer in the village who is also a Land Rover nut. Apparently he has a big yard with lots of space to spare so I have asked if she could mention to him that I am looking for a small space to rent to put my Land Rover in and see if he is interested.

I am hopeful! It would be a perfect solution to getting my Land Rover sorted and down here, as recently noted as a task for this year on my blog. I will wait to hear back once she has spoken to him and then hopefully take steps to get up to Durham to collect it. I am looking forward to being reunited with my Land Rover and predict many happy hours covered in oil, tinkering!

Finally my Scottish adventure looms ever closer and my departure date is set! I found myself a little apprehensive about it last week as it transpired that I actually have 82km to cover in a week........yep that's what I thought!

The job has already been priced and I have a week to complete it and that's all there is to it. Additionally the report needs to be submitted by the end of March so what ever weather I get when I arrive it just has to be done and it is going to be hard work. I have to carry a lot of kit including GPS (An older version that consists of a big rucksack, pole and aerial!) a hand held tablet PC, maps and survey sheets plus the usual tree inspecting kit!

I am expecting to be up there for 9-10 days in total. As I expect to be working the weekends, which is time I would then get off as time in lieu, I am planning to use these extra lieu days to stay up there and survey trees if more time is needed. It will be a very testing week on my physical fitness and I will be returning to start straight back at work with no break at all for a couple of weeks but that is how I am going to have to approach it if I am going to get it all done.

I found out about the increase in distance last Wednesday and felt my stomach churning for the day as my mind raced to fit the work facing me into the time allotted. I am so excited about this trip but as I said there is no option of returning home with this job incomplete. Then I came home and watched Ben Fogles' Extreme Dreams.

The programme involves a selection of applicants from the general public who wish to change their lives, usually following an extreme trauma or as part of dealing with an illness or disability. Once a team has been chosen they set off on a trek with Ben to climb a mountain or cross a dessert etc.

All of his journeys are designed to test physical and mental strength to the maximum but the sense of achievement for these people on completion of the journey is overwhelming and the inner strengths you witness people find is amazing. The last group to complete a task walked across Venezuela and climbed to the summit of Mount Roraima which stands at 2,810m. (Mount Roraima Image Credit: Wikipedia)

The team members had a variety of physical and mental issues but constantly looked inside themselves and found the strength to carry on, face their fears and change their lives.

It's a great show, ok not a totally new idea but I like Ben, he is very good with people, and they go to places that I dream of! I am therefore beginning to think of my work in Scotland as my extreme dream.

It is going to be a hard slog, probably the hardest work I have ever had to do physically in one go, but if Ben's group could reach their summit I can survey 82km in 9 days, come hell or high water!

And who knows, if I do finish early I can use my lieu time to visit the north coast and sneak a peak at the northen lights! Another task I have set for this year.

I just happen to be going close to the north coast of Scotland at one of the best times to view the northern lights. It can't be a coincidence and I am determined to try and see them while I am there.


  1. I am sorry the house situation didn't work out. I recently found out that the city wants to buy up property in our area, my house included, which would impact us. Eminent domain and all that. Part of me would be glad to be rid of this place, but another part knows that we probably won't get much for the house with the city paying for it. I hope you are able to find something you like in the village!

    How exciting that the dates for your trip to Scotland are set. I hope you have a nice time, even if you will be working. It sounds like you will be very busy and working hard.

  2. Hello! Thank you. I am similarly sorry to hear about your situation. I know it's only bricks and mortar but it becomes home quickly for the smallest reasons.

    Eminent domain (compulsory purchase over here) sucks in my opinion.

    I am very excited about Scotland now and am definitely going to go up to the north coast and look for the northern lights while I am there. We go to Scotland for our holidays every year but it's always the wrong time, this is just such a perfect opportunity!

    I hope to return with fabulous photos......and somewhat fitter!


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