History

We had spent 20 years living aboard boats the last 10 years of which were in the South of France where we renovated houses, ate oysters and went fishing.

Circumstances changed and we decided we wanted some land and following a 2 -year search we found our future home in Anglesey. In the January snow with the wind blowing a force 6 across the bows we shook hands with the Commander and the land was ours.

We moved with a tent in July 2010 and our project commenced; 2.5 acres of agricultural land with planning permission to convert the tumbled down barn.

We tucked a static van tucked inside the Nissan hut where we are comfortable and have a functioning kitchen, office and workshop with compost toilet. We bought a landrover an it runs on chip fat we can buy from a local producer. It does need some normal diesel in the cold weather but otherwise it is tip top

The first project was to resubmit the planning permission to build the eco house we want. Unfortunately the planning department staff are all busy finding their belly buttons so while we wait for them we have achieved other things.

We have had services installed

The telephone was fairly straightforward we had to say the line was going into a building not a caravan then when the chap turned up it went straight into the caravan. This was a useful lesson in the British service system. There is a paper work chain you pedantically follow then totally ignore when it comes to the actual job.

The previous owner had started the administration for the water supply so it just required a big cheque. We discovered that digging a meter deep trench is not for the fainthearted but eventually our trench passed a test and the mains supply was put in with great big diggers through the road.

We had looked into using the spring water on the land and the environmental department of the council aided us. The level of manganese from the well water would take a non sustainable amount of energy to make it drinkable. So we will use the water from the Alaw reservoir for drinking and use spring and rain water for everything else. This situation will be continually reviewed.

We now have mains water coming out of taps for the first time in 20 years woo hoo.

We also decided to have mains electricity supplied. The building work would be difficult without mains and with a contract with Good Energy we could produce electricity for a feed in tariff system. This system does raise a lot of questions and is not ideal but we want to have the options. At the moment we have our small wind generator producing 12 volt lighting via batteries.

Getting electricity connected is a major project management achievement. There is a supplier of the mains line and a different supplier of electricity both the companies subcontract all the actual work. At every stage somebody is of sick, your file gets lost regularly and you seriously question if it is worth it, I am not as yet sure.

One sunny afternoon in September a lady stopped and asked if I wanted to pay council tax she then proceeded to teach me Welsh swear words which was fun. Once the tax has been paid I was able to arrange to ask for a wheelie bin that arrived on a Sunday; this is defiantly a very exciting novelty. Our long-term aim is to take responsibility for all our own rubbish. However until we are providing our own food we do have to deal with food wrapping; tins and glass are saved but there are still huge piles of plastic. Fingers crossed in 12 months we will no longer need the bins.

We have also attempted to get an address, I have a friend who created the name         Hafan y Rhyd. This is liked by the council but will not be used by the royal mail until the house has been built with a real certificate, I have painted a sign by the letterbox though and we get mail.

In the middle of November the sheep left, so the land finally felt like ours. Although the sheep are just next door and we intend to use thier wool for roof insulation.

We wanted to provide our own food as soon as possible so we started a small garden where we have grown carrots, Swede and pak choi

We have chickens to provide eggs and fun and a cockerel from free cycle, he is exactly the same as the cockerel Tom and Babara have on The Good Life, which has to be a good omen.

We have dug a pond with a digger we hired for a week and already it has a newt. Eventually ducks will be housed on the island and we will have carp and crayfish for food.

We have built a green house, which has cabbages and onions and sweet peas, and a wren has moved in.

This takes the project 12 months on  to the end of 2010. I will now keep a monthly diary that should see the building of the house the planting of the forest garden and a move towards a self-sufficient life.

 

2 Responses to History

  1. clare wilson says:

    Nice to hear from you Sue and Ted, sounds quite interesting and radical your house plans. Good luck with it all.
    I am enjoying a 10 day break from GP, just been across to dublin with veronica for a few days, luckily we had a lot of snow but were able to get back to birmingham okay last night, so we can all celebrate chirstmas together!
    Lots of love Clare

  2. Dieter Runzheimer says:

    Hi Sue, hi Ted,

    i looked at your website to see what is going on. I hope everything is fine. Greetings from family Runzheimer

    Dieter

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