Monday, 9 May 2016


Every Hiker And Farmer? Needs A Good Hat.


That's my trusty Sheep's Head Way baseball cap.  I have been advertising the way on my hikes over the last few weeks.  Since we sold the cattle we have been making plans.  

The first one is for me to get fit because I am walking the Dingle Way in August with an old friend.   So I have started pounding the old tarmac, boreens, mountain paths and bog for the last fortnight.  Already I have lost 9 Pounds in weight and feel better physically than I have for many a moon.

The Sheeps Head Way is very peaceful and incredibly beautiful.  Especially when you are on your own on top of the hills looking down at the bay.  It's sounds strange but it's like you become part of the rock, grass, mountains...  Walking on tracks that your ancestors walked probably  thinking the same philosophical thoughts and thanking God that you love in such a beautiful place.  

The other plan was to sell some of the land and buy an house or apartment in Portugal.  Eventually we (me and the missus) will retire there and the two lads will still have an house each and a few acres in Ireland.  

So we contacted a few local dairy farmers and asked them if they wanted to buy a ten acre parcel of land.  They both made us offers which we thanked them for but it wasn't the market price we wanted.  So we paid for two estate agents valuations and one undervalued the land by twenty thousand less than we were offered by a local farmer.    

It looks like we might have to put the land on the market, perhaps even sell the lot.  It's very difficult to remove sentiment from a family farm when you want to move on.  Anybody got any ideas what we should do?  Sol, Rachel or Cumbrian will know what to do?

Hope to catch up with all the other blogs I follow this week.   

21 comments:

  1. Swell cap! I'm always losing the darn things. My current cap is a Mozart 100.

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  2. I am always collecting new caps Gwil. It covers up the ever decreasing hairline. It reminds of the tale of a lad shouting to his dad:

    Son: "Dad, dad. There's A man at the front door with a bald head."

    Dad: "Tell him I have already got one."

    Thanks for your comment.

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  3. Go for it, it would be terrible to grow old and decrepit (and probably broke) wondering what might have been.

    Just my thoughts.

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  4. Thanks for the positive advice Cumbrian. You're right we only live once and it would be terrible to regret not living somewhere warm and thirty percent less expensive than Blighty and Ireland.

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  5. You only get one shot at this life and you dont want to spend it thinking what if

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    1. You are so right Dawn. Life is not a rehearsal. Can't believe that there is an heatwave in Britain and it's pouring down over here today. Thanks!

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  6. Dear Dave It is nice to see a post again. I buy Peter a cap when I come back from my travels. He wears them. The last one I bought in Barcelona my friend asked me, rather rudely "does he ever wear them?" Well yes he does. As far as selling the family land goes, you have to follow your heart; we were all older than you and your family but my youngest brother said he wished it had happened years ago; sometimes family businesses can be a millstone around the neck. I say follow your hearts, discuss it all together, as your sons are old enough to do this, and if you are all as one, do what ever it is you want to do. One word of advice I would give, and it may not be appropriate at all, is that negative energy is stronger than positive energy and you should not let one negative voice make the decision. I hope that helps a little. I miss your comments on my blog Dave.

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    1. Hi Rachel. I keep trying to keep a bit of the family faarm in the family for sentiment sake. But sentiment doesn't make you a living. Thanks for your sensible and pragmatic and positive advice. We have even thought of renting out the properties and selling some of the land to buy a place in the sun.

      Leicester won the league like you predicted. I think theirs is up there with Forest in the seventies. Incredible!

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  7. I can't add anything to what Rachel has said, other than when you have made the choice then stick to it and don't look back. Nice to see you post again, and hoping you have the courage to do what you want to do.

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    1. Hi Vera. Thanks your wonderful positive comments. I think having a Sagittarius birth sign doesn't help. We always want to be moving on. Hope things are great in France!

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  8. Well as you know Dave, last year, well really the year before my cousin could no longer carry on the farm. Dairy prices were too low, his wife was very ill with cancer and he just couldnt carry on. We tried to help where we could. I went on a few farming courses and a small holding course to see if the cap fitted. He felt very much that it was left to him and his wife. I started to do the accounts and all of the paperwork. Some of the ordering and Farm sat as much as I could when they needed a few weekends away.

    Unfortunately no one else came forward to offer help and it didnt fit with anyones life.

    As a family we came together, my parents paid for a function room, we did slides, of where we could use help. How much stuff cost, how many hours were worked and for nothing, it was a loss. They were only really living, just by growing all their veg, trading for applesetc Living how so many people think they can, but to be really self sufficient is very hard. I know you understand all of this.

    All of us voted. no one offered to take the farm over. Some of the more *stary* eyed of them, who thought we were making it up did it for all of 3 days they were supposed to do it for 7. They couldnt do it. The cousins all voted, none of our parents. This is because all of our parents are in their late 70s early 80s and therefore they had decided that the vote was nothing to do with them. Our grandparents left the land and farm buildings to all of their grandchildren. It was voted that we sell. Hence this year I have not had to go lambing, or helping with the paper work. As they had ewes to get a little more money to pay for things that the herd milk payments didnt.

    Extremely sad, and we found that the people who had nothing to do with it, were the most verbal and didnt want us to sell.

    Its a hard life Dave, I know someone has to do it. Like Rachel says it can be a mill stone. My cousin felt he was letting everyone down.

    We sold for less than we thought. We all agreed that my cousin who had given his life to it should have the lions share of the money after fees. it took us 7 months to decide and 4 months to sell.

    You have to work out, exactly how much money you make and need to run it all there. What your sons would need to do to the properties, V - you selling and buying a property where you need to. Remember you have to retire and will need to factor in a newish car every amount of yearsetc The figures dont lie.

    I am sorry I dont have the answer. ie I think you do this that and the other. I can only tell you what we did. I still question if it was right. And if I could have convinced them to help me turn it into a plant nursery and garden centre, or hydroponics in green houses or poly tunnels. No one wanted to put any money or time in. I therefore reluctently gave in.

    Good luck my friend.

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    1. Phew Sol! what a wonderful heart felt comments. Reading what you have put makes me realize that there a lot of other farmers out there who can't make a do. Talked to two farmers over the last few days. They both said the wouldn't farm if they didn't get single farm payments. Think what ever decision we make we won't be happy out it. Thanks again for your very helpful advice Sol.

      Oh yeah. Quick question for you Sol. What do you think about estate agents undervaluing property/land just to get the sale?

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    2. We needed a slightly quicker as my cousins wife was really ill. it was quite a lot less than, less than 6k acre.

      Have you thought of renting the farm out? Going to Portugal and trying to make a go of it.

      We have thought about France many times. We arent sure we can make a go of it as I dont have enough French and all the jobs we see are for here or Dubai.

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  9. Yes we have thought of renting the houses and some of the land Sol. We have even thought of selling ten acres in one parcel to fund a property in Portugal. Portugal appeals because it's thirty six percent cheaper to live than Ireland or the UK. So I think it's possible if we buy somewhere cheap under fifty thousand Euros.

    Thanks!

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  10. Dave, good to see you're back. I too love a good hat and wear one most of the time. Only most of mine look silly.
    As for selling the land I think you have to make your own decision but I know that as someone who has so far inherited nothing of monetary value it would have been easier if we'd been left something. But then again I also think that's given us the drive to get where we are. It's your life to live and you can't be held back by what ifs, and you need to do what will make you happy.
    Hope you're well
    Kev

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    1. Hi Kev. Yes hats give good protection especially when you walk under branches and you lose your hat instead of hurting your head.

      We built one of our houses and we have spent much money on a slatted tank, shed, outbuildings, machinery, new road, new well, reseeding, tractors...

      We think a few acres is plenty enough for us in our fifties. Thanks for the advice Kev.

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  11. Hi, I have not been on blogger in a bit now. Nothing bad just not able to squeeze enough hours out of each day! But tonight I thought I am getting on blogger! I too love a good cap! I wear one more than I don"t :O). One of my favorites is a brown one that says Tree Hugger on it... Honeyman (DH) got it for me :O). Its faded and worn but is my favorite cap :O)

    Our experience here in the US with realtors is you tell them what your place is worth and what you will take for it. If you let them tell you they will undervalue it every time for a quick easy sell.

    Its great you are exercising and seeing the benefits from it! It always makes me feel so good when I am running on a regular basis. I love to run but I let life keep me from it at times. Why I do not know because I always feel so much better when I am running regular!

    Best to you and your wife :O).

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  12. I know what you mean about having a favourite cap, Texan.

    Yes I think you have to get a few valuations from different land valuers to get a realistic market price for your land.

    I find when I have been walking none stop for at least an hour. The endorphins in my brain kick in and my mood is enhanced with happy thoughts.

    Great to see you back on the blog Texan. Hope you post a blog soon. Did you ever find a cabin to live in?

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  13. I'd go for it Dave. If it doesn't work out you can always come back as you're keeping your house here. I know what you mean about Saggis. ;)

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  14. We are definitely going to live somewhere warm like Portugal Deb. It's just a matter of when. We have even thought of renting somewhere first before buying a place. Yes us Saggis always like a change of scenery. Been beautiful here today. We started saying typical English sayings like:

    "Is it hot or is it me?"

    Thanks!

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