So Christmas has happened and I had a calmly brilliant time wittering to the family and strolling the somewhat wet and soggy fields and woods with my brother.
We talked about the woods, growing trees and the soil and speculated on the future of the farm.
Our older brother told us about a scout hut that used to be in one of the woods on the other side of the farm and we came across it, completely fallen down. It was a rotted shell, that you couldn’t call a shed, but we found some rusted treasure amongst the debris and I said to myself I’d come back to get it sometime in the future. It might make a good outdoor table for the garden, or a frame for a work space if it had a new wooden top on it.
I’ve never learned to drive a tractor, despite growing up on a farm, so that was my new year challenge to myself. My dad gently helped me with my first go. So I reversed the loader out of the barn, picked up a metal cage with the front forks, put some fire wood in it and drove it back to the house with a small degree of trepidation and feeling of slight accomplishment.
New year challenge already started in the old year- result!
The days between baby Jesus’ birthday and going back to school blend and merge into a sequence of getting up late, eating eggs in bed and then progressing to the sofa for bad tv films and peanut snacks throughout the day.
I bore myself with such laziness, so research some forest school settings and farms who have diversified into education and open access. I find a local setting, fill in an application form, which feels like a slight victory against the sloth which is encompassing my being during this time.
Further reading and research ensue between the mental effort it requires at this time of year to get dressed and unload the dishwasher. I am not alone. There are some teenage children around who seem to outdo my sloth, so I don’t feel too bad overall.
Today the fog lifted early to produce a clear, mild and bright day and I’ve got the urge to plant a tree, or maybe two. Trying to remember and learn some Latin names for trees, takes me down a click bait rabbit hole of differing trees and planting situations. I fear for whatever may be transplanted into the field, for the deer are especially virulent these days.
My dad told me that when he was young on the farm, a deer sighting would stop the work of the farmyard and everyone would come to see them. These days they destroy any new growth on coppiced woodland and completely trash a newly planted garden in a short nights browsing.
I search my sheds and lean to for left over posts and wire and hope that this time, the trees I imagine in 20 years will have a chance to grow. I have been in contact with my brother about tree planting and deer proofing. We might try to create a shared vegetable garden also.
I had one day inset training back at school. Always good to catch up with colleagues and to learn a bit more about how to support the children to the best of our abilities.
Now it is day one of being self-employed. I have been investigating my DBS. It looks like my one was done before the update service came into action. The online research was a bit convoluted, but a telephone call was great. A really helpful Hayley explained that I have to get another enhanced certificate through school, then register for the update service.
Paperwork here we come.
Had an email from a Forest School pre-school locally, which I had visited previously. They are happy to have more bank staff, so I am hopefully meeting next week to go through some induction info on the site. Feel good that I am starting to use and make connections and feeling positive that running away to the woods might not be such a scary and daunting plan after all.
I have emailed some old friends who have a brilliant design, illustration and website business. Number75 design. I hope that they can give me some steering and advice about online presence and website information.
I then had a go myself and here you are!