Sunday 14 December 2014

Weren't The Smallholders Small Years A Go? Part One.

We finally decided to raise the height of the old hen house yesterday.  I am five foot eleven and number one son is 6 foot 2.  The number of times I (we) have banged our heads on that piece of wood above the door.  I have nearly knocked myself out a few times.  The air would often be blue with swear words.  Words that you would never hear on the Archers.   Words like:



"Oh heck."...

Me and number one son thinking about getting to work.  The poor brush gave up the ghost and we will have to buy a new one this week.

 Number two son towers over the wooden lintel.
Some time later.  We have removed an old flag stone lintel and lots of rubble stone.  We also found an old rats nest behind one of the stones.  Thankfully the rat wasn't at home.  Number one son attempts to wrestle with a cable going to an outbuilding.

We replaced the wooden and flag lintels and raised up the new metal lintels and built blocks on them.

No longer will we need to bang our heads.  Number one son just needs to cannibalize and weld a new metal door and we will use the old hen house for storing tools and farm stuff.

Next time I will (hopefully) show you the new door.
 New raised lintels made from galvanized pipes.

The new door space for the hen house.  All it needs is the door.  The cost of the smallholding hen house door alteration was 10 Euros.  That was for two bags of cement.  We had all the other materials lying around the smallholding.  Just shows you shouldn't throw anything away, you might need it?


  1. Amazing what you can achieve with a bit of application, a stash of what some people class as junk and 10 euros worth of cement.

    Now all you need to do is learn a few more swear words, "dearie me" and "oh sugar" for example.

  2. Hi Cumbrian. The door will be a cannibalized metal door that I bought from a scrap dealer for 25 euros for 3 of them. Number one son will weld them and text screw and make them fit. Hope he doesn't want paying for his labour?

    Why don't we change the f word to begin with a D? We could say:

    "Duck off".

    That's not swearing is it?

    Or we could use Batman words like:

    "Crunch, Biff, Zap and Kapow".

    You have got a great sense of humour, Cumbrian - thanks!

  3. Holy raised door frame, it's the old Batman words ploy. Personally I'm not sure if I can stand anymore of this air turning blue posting Dave, you know how gentile I am.....

    1. I know John. You never see any naughty words on your blog or the other one's I follow. It's like that old joke:

      "I don't swear, I don't smoke and I don't drink."

      "Oh bloody hell. I have just left my cigarettes in the pub."

      Thanks John!

  4. It's funny how we all put off jobs like that but when we get around to doing them we wonder why we didn't do them sooner! That's why my attitude to temporary jobs has changed around here, a temporary path that keeps my feet clean for a year is worth the hour to put it down! What's your new lintel? Scaffold tubes?

    1. Yes Kev the new lintel is scaffold tubes. Hard surfaces like paved paths are excellent on the veg plot. The number of times I have sank into the soil pushing a wheelbarrow or slipped and nearly broke my neck walking along a slimy plank. Tomorrow I will stop procrastinating!

  5. Hey Dave, an excellent bit of womble-ing there. Been womble-ing myself this weekend and been all over a reclamation yard. not much doin except for a massive dog

  6. Hi Sol, What's the massive dog made from? I love looking round old farm buildings, reclamation yards, carboot sales and scrapyards. You never know what you might find. Thanks!

    1. the dog was flesh and bone and lots of barking.

    2. I had a picture in my mind of a large Victorian stone dog, Sol. Is it a man dog or a lady dog? What's it called?

  7. Good job, boys! Very satisfying I should imagine. Terry Pratchett has a brilliant character in one his books who prefaces everything he says with 'king, then objects when another character admonishes him for swearing. Perhaps the Archers could add that in somewhere? :o)

  8. Thanks CT. The Terry Pratchett character is a good idea for the Archers.

    Farmyard impression you often hear:

    "Hey you, get off that tractor."

  9. Good work! Dave you asked on my blog if the pit Twiglet went down to see Santa was near Huddersfield. It is, it's at the National Coal Mining Museum in Overton. Top fun, Santa said to him how old are you lad? When Twiglet told him he said By heck lad your a biggun. Did make me laugh. Proper Yorkshire Santa :)

  10. Thanks Twiggy. I am aching today. We went down that pit about twenty years a go. If I remeber they gave you a brass token to take down with you and they would know you were missing if the token wasn't returned. Then when we got down there. They showed us a big slope that we could walk up. I didn't know Santa came from Yorkshire! You learn something new every day. Thanks!

  11. Well done on a job well done, there is one thing that you can be certain of if you have a smallholding, that piece of junk that had been laying around for years will eventually find it's place, and if you do ever throw anything away you can be sure you will need it at sometime and curse that you dumped it.

  12. Thanks Anne. You're right you never know when you will need a piece of junk, wood, old concrete blocks, fence posts...? The number of times I have needed fence posts or barbed wire on a Sunday when the farm centres and DIY shops are closed.

    Smallholders years a go quarried a cliff and built an house and chopped down some trees and made a door, windows and a roof. They were self reliant and probably had lots of people and horses to help them build their smallholding dwellings. Thanks!

  13. Oh that's a nice neat job! Our current geese hut (which was our computer office before we moved into the house) originally had a door which was so low that we had to stoop over almost double at waist level to get through it. We also have quite a low doorway in between the proper kitchen and the rest of the house, which is no prob for us, but for someone taller it might be, but we are not going to alter it.... the wall above it looks a bit on the dodgy side, so best to have the occasional visitor bump their head rather than have to cope with a tumbling down wall!

  14. Thanks Vera. Us Europeans were a lot smaller than today. I can understand you want to keep the rustic charm of your doorway Vera. It's only took fifty one years of my life to alter that hen house door way. The people before me probably wouldn't approve of of our doorway alteration and say:

    "There is no occasion."

    Thanks Vera!

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