Wonderful January! The start of a new year, the shortest day is past and it’s time to get all the indoor repair jobs done that have been looking at me for the past year, plan the veg garden and chit the potatoes.

It’s tricky finding a moment to plan major upheaval at The Old Kennels. When there aren’t courses running, we have accommodation guests, but in January it’s generally pretty quiet, so I can turn the place upside down for a few weeks.

Our first job was to take up the dining room floor boards and replace the old broken square edged pine boards. The new floor looks great and is much stronger with no squeaks. Beautiful tongue and groove solid oak boards from the lovely Luton Green Saw Mills . The old boards will of course be repurposed somewhere else, however they weren’t functioning well as a high traffic floor en route to the loo any more.

Mucking out the alpacas stables, felling dangerous trees, chopping and splitting wood for the boiler and making marmalade all get slotted in between of course.

Main goal for next month is getting the accommodation and studio redecorated. Always nice to start the year tidy and clean. We will be fitting some additional lighting in the studio and another heating controller in the next week or so.

Mustn’t get side tracked by the veg garden till March … just get the pruning done and order a few untreated oak sleepers to edge some of the beds. The second-hand scaffold boards that I used to make vegetable beds 12 years ago have finally become compost. But didn’t they do well 🙂

The satisfaction of ticking things off lists is just amazing … roll on spring, but not too quickly as I haven’t quite finished my list yet!