107 days ago
One of my jobs last week concerned what was almost the last of the asbestos which was almost everywhere when we arrived four years ago. Buried just underground in the fields, just dumped in the long grass, on sheds, and on the roof of three porches, it was everywhere.
128 days ago
I am waiting for the village facebook page to have another two minute hate against me for taking down the 1950s iron shed known as the snake barn. “It was part of my childhood, it’s Welsh cultural history, bloody newcomers, it was so much better with the previous owners, blah, blah, blah.” bleats some in-bred sheep shagger. It is callled the snake barn becuase in it I stored some of the vast amounts of asbestos the previous owners had squirrelled away in the sheds and fields here and I want to keep my kids away from that. But now the barn has gone and that means that you can actually see our gorgeous 1600s listed farmhouse as you walk down the lane to our home.
574 days ago
We are almost there. As of today, the Greek Hovel is now finished after eight years. We have lived at the Welsh hovel for three years and here too we are getting there as you can see below.
666 days ago
When we arrived here at the Welsh Hovel almost three years ago, our land which runs along the lane down to our farmhouse was known as the jungle. Almost the size of a soccer pitch I only discovered that it contained three asbestos and corrugated iron sheds after about a year so thick were the bushes, trees and undergrowth. Now, of course, it has been turned into an enormous vegetable garden but at the far end there is still work in progress.
766 days ago
Fellow Woodlarks walker Robert tries to shame me with a photo of an impressive woodpile at his place. Now I know that size isn’t everything but after some hard work yesterday which even Joshua got involved with, our bigger logs have been split and the pile here in Wales grows as you can see below.
782 days ago
Unlike Eleanor I do not want 50p from you to help plant a tree. Nor do I want to cover the whole of Wales and much of England with trees in the misguided belief that this will save the planet. Instead I just buy my own trees with my own money to make this place where I live a better place. Here are the latest two which will soon be joining the 22 tree new orchard I have created on the upper field above the barns.
789 days ago
After last night’s triumph with the apple juice from the River orchard, today I picked the rest of the edible apples from the new top orchard. This is only the second year for the trees and they all yielded well and I am sure will do better still next year. However, I reckon that I have room for at least four more trees in the upper orchard and so am minded to buy another three apple trees and one more crabapple tree to assist with polination and to increase the amount of crabapple jelly I produce.
802 days ago
This is the great work which some busybody in the village of Holt reported me to Wrexham council and Natural Resource Wales for creating. Both have now wished me well with my endeavours, praising me for removing so many toxins and for improving the drainage here. This is what my shit of local (Tory) councillor wanted to snoop and spy on but was not brave enough to knock on my front door to be allowed access to the land. And it is almost complete so here is a sneak preview of what used to be rusting barns and piles of abandoned asbestos, tires, barrels of bitumen and other horrors. It is now shaping up to be an object of real beauty.
834 days ago
Twice someone in the village of Holt has snitched on me to the authorities about the dramatic land reclamation underway here at the Welsh Hovel. Removing all that asbestos, old tyres, scrap iron, bitumen and ripping up concrete paving so as to improve flood drainage, and demolishing rusted old lean too barns. Some folks think that spending a five figure sum on this is the act of a total and utter bastard. Well: I do have an English accent. Bring back the good old days when you could bury whatever you wanted on the land while singing Yma O Hyd!
872 days ago
I refer not to the photo but to another matter. The photo is included because it is amazingly sweet. Even a hard-hearted old chap like me can be sentimental.
925 days ago
The other side of the barns is the farmyard, this side is the Ha Ha side. When we arrived, along the whole of this side were metal and asbestos sheds in a fairly dangerous state of collapse, built on hideous concrete slabs of various colours. They are all gone but some of the barns were still dressed in thick paint as you can see below. But now they are not. There is still some paint dust on the walls but a good day of Welsh rain will see to that. The next step is repointing and brick repair, new guttering, windows and doors and we are there…
926 days ago
On one side of the farmyard at the Welsh Hovel lies a scrap metal skip, full to the top with more than three tonnes of iron. On the other side is the pile of sandstone blocks pictured below, many already hewn into shape. All were retrieved from the nettle and bramble covered large earth mounds that once separated our fields from the paddock where we have created the mound which will end with a Ha Ha. Suffice to say, we also removed vast amounts of plastic, tyres, asbestos and other horrors for safe and legal removal.
932 days ago
As you can see below, there is another chance for teenage mutant curtain twitcher Abi Lancellotte to get into a frightful tizzy as we burn off more brushwood from the top of man-made scrap mounds here at the Welsh Hovel. What you can also see is just how much awful junk we have removed from those man-made mounds at the edge of the field which we are now clearing. The earth goes onto the flood defence which will end with a Ha ha and another skip has arrived to remove another three tonnes of scrap metal which we have found buried here, including old farm machinery, stacks of barbed wire and other horrors. We have also taken out hundreds of sandstone blocks which will now be going into the Ha Ha wall making it a thing of real beauty. “FECKING Incomers….
Digging up things of beauty we’d buried and showing them off, removing legally and safely and at great cost tonnes of scrap iron, glass, asbestos and plastic we had buried and those vats of bitumen and tyres we had discarded. Fecking incomers. They just do not understand what it is to be Welsh. Feckers.”
939 days ago
Thanks to one of the daft in-bred snitches here in Holt, the last village in Wales, folks like teenmage mutant curtain twitcher Abi Lancelotte, at some stage some pen pushing jobsworth from Natural Resource Wales will be visiting us here at the Welsh Hovel. Pictured below is the work underway and what he or she will find. I make no apologies if the pen pusher is one of the other 108 genders and is offended by being referred to only as he or she.
945 days ago
Last time some small-minded little imbecile in this village, with time on their hands and a malice, almost certainly generated by generations of in-breeding, decided to meddle in my life it was by reporting me to the Council. I sent Wrexham Council packing as I demonstrated the amazing works we are undertaking here at the Welsh Hovel. So some other inbred local has now reported me to Natural Resources Wales.
955 days ago
The concrete bases, where asbestos clad sheds once stood in the area formerly known as the jungle, have now been ripped up with the concrete lying at the bottom of what will be the Ha Ha. And with big planks salvaged from inside the big green barn, the snake barn, which – pro tem – stops one seeing the house from the garden, two small vegetable patches have been created. Yesterday, being a non nursery day for Joshua, we went gardening.
962 days ago
Here in Holt, the last village in Wales, where snitching on your neighbour with unfounded allegations is deemed fair game but something that cannot be discussed openly, a bright sun shines this Tuesday morning revealing another night of, modest, frost. So far this frost season the blossom on the fruit trees has survived and peas and beans planted a few weeks ago, grow unaffected.
963 days ago
“I am here from the Council” said the young lady wearing fishnet stockings and a short skirt. “Hello…Oh yes” said I in my best Leslie Phillips accent, wondering why she wanted to see me. The awful truth is that someone here in the last village in Wales, has snitched to the planning department about lorry loads of rubble and earth coming down the lane to the Welsh Hovel, suggesting I may be threatening the flood plain. And so, I was honoured with a site visit.
971 days ago
As I continue to work on reclaiming the fields around the Welsh Hovel, the list of buried horrors grows. I have already spent almost £5,000 clearing this place of asbestos in barns, in sheds and where I have found it buried by the previous owner in various places. I am almost there. But now to the tyres and to the folly of Wrexham Council and every other local authority in Britain.
1000 days ago
What a delightful day it was. I had great fun on family researches as you can read HERE and then watched the asbestos removal men start to do the work. Then it was bonfire time as our accountant and I worked on filing our accounts with an efficiency for which we are not noted. In the podcast I discuss public/private company filings and then Rishi Sunak’s Budget, the threats and a big mistake I fear he will make.
1006 days ago
As you can see below, the work that started yesterday is done, the ghastly asbestos shed is no more. You now have a clear view all the way up the vegetable garden, what was the jungle, with this horror removed.
1006 days ago
The workers arrived at 7 and the skip shortly afterwards with the first project the removal of the asbestos shed at the bottom of the vegetable garden, the area formerly known as the jungle. Notwithstanding my work into the early hours on family papers, I’d set an alarm and was there at the outset to make coffee for all.
1009 days ago
Enough is enough. It is time to clear this place of asbestos. I have got a quote and a reputable firm and this weekend it is, nearly, all going. The red-flagged sites are below.
1025 days ago
Within 48 hours of placing an order with Amazon, my new toy had arrived. I have one just like it at the Greek Hovel but it was needed for a specific task, the long term plan to dismantle the hideous shed, made in good part from asbestos, at the edge of the area formerly known as the jungle. I set to work at once.
1029 days ago
When we first arrived at the Welsh Hovel, you could barely see this shed which was buried amid foliage at the near end of what was known as the jungle. Today you can see it in its full horror and it is pretty ghastly, is it not?
1036 days ago
This part of the lands here is at the edge of the new orchard on the inner upper field. When we arrived just under two years ago, this field was under six foot high in grass, nettles and ferns. You could not see the gate and fence at the end of it, nor a chicken shed and small asbestos shed all of which have now been removed.
1040 days ago
Behind a hut made largely of asbestos, which when we arrived was almost invisible as it was surrounded by the jungle, is my new pride and joy. Yes, it is my very own compost heap! Exciting or what? I can’t wait to tell daughter Olaf, I bet she will be thrilled. The Mrs, a townie who does not know anything about gardens, now understands about separating waste and I only have to remove the odd bit of plastic from what she dumps there. When the weather improves, there are a stack of rotten apples and some leaves from the formal lawn to go in.
1051 days ago
When we arrived, this was a galley kitchen 1970s style with a nice asbestos roof cladding. It can be so much better as its back wall is the old brick and timber external wall from the oldest part of the house. It just needed a stack of work. This room adjoins the 1600s kitchen when renovation work is almost complete.
1185 days ago
Back from my fathers’ and in need of exercise after six hours at the wheel with an all too brief break in Shipston, it was time to start tackling the scrap iron at the Welsh Hovel.
1271 days ago
When we arrived at the Welsh Hovel, what you see below, the area at the edge of the nearest upper field was a sea of ferns and nettles, almost six foot high in places. You could not see the small shed at one end of my strawberry patch, which I am now knocking down, and the larger chicken hut at the other end, whose days are also numbered, was barely visible. In fact I did not know of the existence of the smaller shed which is, I fear, largely made of asbestos so not that easy to eradicate. The area between the two sheds had once also been a building and you can see the base of its wall still exists.
1397 days ago
This is a rarity, getting the Mrs to assist in the garden, but the lure of a strawberry patch got her on board and also Joshua who was given a new gardening kit for Christmas by “aunty” K.
1591 days ago
I explain the unusual location of my studio today. The welsh hovel is amok with workmen including Brokerman Dan who has explained to me his thoughts on Union Jack Oil (UJO) as he clears away asbestos. I also look at IQE (IQE) and at Idox (IDOX) both of which SHOULD have placings and neither of which I’d bottom fish.