Landed In Wales

Removal Friday was, as expected, hectic and a little chaotic. The removal men arrived late Thursday afternoon and packed a load onto the van, leaving the last third for Friday. Luckily they had some spare boxes they left us, as we had run out.

In the morning the van arrived bright and early and I carried on with the frantic last minute packing – LOL. Down to the allotment for the last time, bringing back the rotovator, cold frames and some other bits. I must admit to feeling quite tearful as I locked the allotment gates for the last time. 8 years is a long time and I’ve had so many happy hours on those plots. Strangely, I didn’t feel a thing as we left the house – just a last check up that we’d not left anything.

So, a couple of tips for moving house:

  • Decide how many boxes you want, then double it, then add the figure you first thought of and you may well have nearly enough!
  • Start packing a week before you think you need to.
  • Mark the boxes with where you want them to go (like which bedroom!) and as much detail of what’s in them as you can fit on. ‘Tools’ isn’t so helpful when you want your electric drill but not the circular saw.
  • Pack one last box with the tea making gear and keep it with you for when you arrive.

If you are in the Stoke-on-Trent, Stafford or Crewe & Nantwich areas, I can whole heartedly recommend 5 Star Removals. Efficient, helpful, cheerful and very reasonably priced. Thanks guys!


They say the devil is in the detail and I think they’ve a point. Before we moved we were making grand plans for what we would like to do with the place when we got here. The woodburning stove, new kitchen, solar power were all on the list. What wasn’t on the list were; coat hooks in the porch, curtain rails, toilet roll holder and so on.

It’s a bit like running a veg plot really – you have these grand plans for where the greenhouse is growing and how to rotate the crops but the details are where to plant the spring onions and what variety to get.

We’ve decided where the new veg plot is going now – it’s the field I can see from the office window which gets the sun all day. There’s a couple of ‘details’ to sort out before I start digging though. First we need to fence off the area to keep the sheep out. A local farmer runs his sheep on the land and whilst they seem happy eating the grass, I’m reliably informed they’ll decimate a veg plot in minutes given the chance.

Secondly, at dawn I watched a number of rabbits hopping around the field. So not only sheep-proof, we need to rabbit proof the area. That should keep me busy for a bit!

Before I do anything else though, I’m setting up a large plastic compost bin we brought with us. For normal garden waste I prefer constructing a 3 bay wooden bin but we can get the plastic bin up and running in minutes, so none of those teabags go to landfill.

Anyway, as you can imagine, it’s chaotic here with boxes everywhere still and loads to do. I did manage to snap a few photos yesterday in the sunshine, between clearing the gutters and drains from years of leaves and debris.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
10 comments on “Landed In Wales
  1. Allan says:

    Great to hear you have arrived safely ..
    So the work starts to keep sheep and rabbits out .
    One thing I will say about rabbit fencing is buy the best …. if you can find the green wired rabbit netting then get it , it will be the most expensive but will last the longest by far , also dont be to wide with your posts , as your in the countryside you may experience more snow than you have been used to and as daft as it sounds snow can pull your fence down , so the more support the better…..say 2.25m spacing or 2m even .

    Good luck

  2. greenfinch47 says:

    Croeso y Cymru. I moved here from Old Albion some 40 years ago now – just never bothered to go home! You’ll love it! Live the life, love the people. I maintain my Englishness, always have. There’s local issues I support passionately and I still get the “you’re nearly Welsh” schtick. Don’t buy it – take the flak, be proud (not defensive) and enjoy your beautiful new surroundings. This may seem very intense; it’s not – you’ll get it very soon! Sorry if it sounds a rant – I’m not a ranter, just been there, done that. All the very best for the future.

  3. John says:

    One important thing to add, everyone we’ve met Welsh or English has been nothing but friendly, helpful and welcoming. We were a little worried about the locals resenting new people but none of it.
    Yes they speak Welsh in the shop but they’re polite enough to speak English to us..

  4. Steve in Salford says:

    Now that you are in the country have you considered the no dig method of gardening/growing. It’s simples, you cover the whole lot in a layer of manure fresh or rotten about 2″, then top with the same of compost, let the worms do the work for you.

    It is an approach I wanted to try out last year but the manure ran out before I got a chance to implement it at the allotment, so had go a bit traditional.

    I now have just under half the plot under cover now that the manure has started to arrive again. The slugs have abated to a degree, the cabbages, cauliflowers, spring onions and shenshu onions are coming on fine.

    Just thoughts……no digging is a replication of natures way. Oh yes glad you landed in one piece.

  5. Colin says:

    If readers would like to pin-point Val and John via Google Maps I posted a link on the New Era page here:

  6. elaine brett says:

    i am a new reader to your site and found it very interesting -) best of luck with your move to wales – its really great that you are sharing your experience with us all. I am planning a move to France next year to set up a small-holding and have been using the no-dig method (as suggested by Steve in Salford) for two years now – the strawberries love it! and the brassicas are beefy boys – also i spend less time on the allotment for the same amount, if not more yield – so maybe try it out and put away the spade – you will need all your energy for the rabbit-proofing!

  7. Su says:

    Delighted to have you back on line John. Have missed you but pleased to hear all went well. Moving is stressfil at the best of times. Looking forward to keeping up with your progress.
    Interested on people’s comments on no dig method. Had a car accident this year and broke my foot and find digging hard now, so am having to go the no dig route. Will be interested to see the results.

  8. Carolyn says:

    View to Carmel is interesting – isn’t that the place that has Clint Eastwood as its mayor?

    Good luck with the new life, I’m sure it will be terrific and enjoyable for you both.

  9. Ben says:

    Its been a while since i’ve seen your site and was surprised to see you’ve moved…though in achieving a dream i applaud you….

    Your not the only one to have moved and going from a third floor apartment in the Big Smoke of London, i’m now the proud owner of a 3 bed house (that needs a little work) and 3 acres of land near Cork in Ireland….and there’s money left over….:)

    I’ll be reading avidly at your success and comparing them with my own. Though i may be moving at a slightly place, the house needs sorting first before i can get started on the dream…..though itching to get started where i can….

    Any ideas? Was thinking a small orchard and a small plot to keep me going whilst the house is getting sorted.

  10. Samantha says:

    Glad you all there safe & sound pictures are great – not jealous at all (sniff) !!!

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