It's the last day of the year so I guess it's traditional to look back at the last year and see what we've achieved.
Children and family
The first major positive for this year was me taking over the full time childcare. I wasn't sure what to expect or even if I'd cope with it.
the children seem to have enjoyed the time with me as well (or at least I hope they have!) and this summer they were both sun kissed youngsters from spending so much time with me!
|Lots of time spent messing around|
I've done the least amount of paid work since leaving school this year but luckily interesting and varied work has come my way to fill up my weekends and school holidays. Only working part time can be tricky for customers to understand but luckily I've got a few good ones that keep putting work my way and are willing to work around the limited time that I can give them.
This has been my best year ever for learning and using homesteading skills. I've had to get to grips with doing the housework and trying to keep on top of washing clothes and cooking dinner every night (and not messing around and ruining it). I've preserved lots of food, experimented with new ingredients and cut right back on the amount of meat we eat, increasing the number of vegetarian meals to make the most of the veg that we grow. I've also got into the habit of baking with the children a couple of times a week and that's something we all enjoy (plus I love cake).
This has been my best gardening year as well. Not only have we had a great summer but I've also been in it a lot more than usual to take advantage of all that good weather.
We've grown the majority of our own veg and I've started to experiment with new and usual fruit and veg. I managed to get the new greenhouse up just at the right time so we had a bumper crop of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, cucamelons and chillies, I also managed to divide the garden up making planning, rotating and managing the veg garden much easier and making it look much smarter. We control was pretty good as well, next year I need to gain better control of the weeds around the fruit bushes and increase my growing area for unusal crops.
Well we didn't increase much on this front. I didn't manage to finish the fencing early enough so we've just stuck with chickens this year but I've been told by one little girls that she wants piggies next year so I'll have to try hard on that one! The chickens have been great though and except for a fox attack we managed to keep the numbers fairly constant, although eggs haven't been produced much this autumn. We hatched out five chicks in the summer which is a great thing for the girls to be a part of and keeps steadily replacing our stock.
I managed to plant a lot of trees this last year, with a new 42m hedge being planted on one of the first days of the year. I also started a willow coppice (although growth hasn't been great) and grafted over a hundred apple, pear and stone fruit trees to either be planted here or sold to help cover the costs of my hobby.
I've managed to get all the fencing up (although I've still got quite few gates to hang) and we made some nice hay in the summer, as well as keeping the grass in good condition. Hopefully we'll get some stock next year to help with this.
Well in short the one we need the most didn't happen - the extension! By doing private work this year instead means that we should be able to better fund it but it hasn't pushed the project on. I'm hoping that we'll start in the spring once the ground dries up a bit, getting the porch built and then starting the main extension, plus we've got many drainage issues to deal with as well!
I did do a few minor project to the house that I'm really happy with, I finished the living room by putting up shelves and a mantle piece and I did a few projects to increase our amount of storage in the house.
It's been a brilliant year and I've really enjoyed having this blog to document it, the good and the bad, and all your (the readers) input as well, plus I've loved reading everyone else's blogs. The comments never disappoint me, when I have a question or want advice I get just what I was looking for and normally a new avenue to explore, plus reading other blogs gives me new ideas and things to try and it's nice to know that all over the world there are people out there who are just as bonkers as me!
Thank you all for reading and I hope you continue to do so in the new year!
Happy New Year!