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Grobdale of Girthon

Grobdale of Girthon

Rabbits that think they’re chickens !

January 2018 was a glorious  month , we had been here 6 months and it was feeling more like home. We were spending so much more time together as a family , even with Andy away working most of the week.. Doing our kind of stuff, building things , fixing things , learning new skills. Making friends and having friends stay with us has been an added JAN BUNNIESbonus that we didn’t know would definitely happen.

Lauren was getting more and more involved , flower and Daffodil the bunnies had decided they were actually chickens and moved out of their hutch and  in with the hens much to Lauren’s initial worry, then joy as they decided they weren’t shy anymore either !!

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Just out a “walkin ma” pig

December was a month of many colours , most of it glittery and shiny ! As far as me and DEC XMASLauren are concerned, Christmas starts going up the first weekend in December so by Saturday 2nd we were pretty much done !

Even the pigs got decorated , they became “Reindeerpigs “.

RITA REINDEERThis is Edna sporting a lovely set of antlers.. The pigs were a bit of a focus as they were almost at the right weight for slaughter , we had had a few enquiries about the meat and ..DEC SCALES


 Three (not so) little pigs

were accounted for , so it was time to sort out a butcher.. Meet TomDEC TOM G the butcher.   As is usual we researched our topic and chose the best Butcher (it all came down to bacon and sausage – these being paramount in the Hunter household). Tom is Tom Grierson as in Grierson Brothers butchers of Castle Douglas , four generations of knife wielding, chop chopping chaps must be doing something right apparently since 1834 ! We came up with a plan  and a date was fixed for January 22nd 2018…  the girls were on their last month at Grobdale  and

Tom was sharpening the knives !

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A man needs a Tractor .. Fact

November was a big month as far as the man of the house was concerned because it was this month that we became a farm in his eyes ..


Tractor day had come !! BOOM

After lots of trawling machinery and livestock online sites , discussing at great lengths with anyone with any knowledge a suitable machine was found and bought.. since it was delivered to the end of our mile of lane on a week day it was up to me to get it down to the farm ..

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“Don’t ever ask a girl her weight”

October was upon us and life here was looking good. Lauren was settling into college , she gets a college bus and manages a 60 mile round trip by herself ! quite an amazing achievement for a girl used to a 3 mile commute with mum ..We were very proud of her and loved watching her enjoy her new independent steps. Andy’s diabetes was improving, his blood sugars were more stable and he has slowly started coming off some of his meds a wonderful endorsement of our new life.

The diary for October was a diverse one to say the least and it starts off with a weigh in !The pigs were growing well and I was keen to weigh them, however scales for pigs are PIG WEIGHT 1not cheap or that easy to find second hand. I had heard on my very fantastic smallholding course  that you can calculate weight in other ways, so after a bit of research I set about using the tape measure method..


This is Edna measuring around about 30kg according to the math.. And no this isn’t a joke its a real and serious way to weigh your porker..





I did actually get some proper scales eventually and they work just fine .. As you can see Teal trying out up at the top …



However the tape method is quite accurate and a lot more fun ..

 Thank you Debbie Kingsley  for that little gem of knowledge…

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Husbands Love Laryngitis !




When I get a cold , its rare, I’m pretty bomb proof usually, however when the snot strikes it usually affects my speech and this ,my hubster LOVES I’m sure you can guess why..

So to alleviate his pain I’ll carry on and type instead,  keeping my online diary otherwise known as the Grobdale blog and this would be August.

Funny how you get a cold when its gorgeous outside , this was the day the tractors came to make hay at the farm . .Very exciting and inspired a husband I know, to start buying machinery as if he needed any encouragement !

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Independence day



The whole process of finding our farm has stangely coincided with key dates , and so moving in had to be on Independance day of course . This is Lauren independently making toast for Ali ( rare in a teenager I know).

The 4th of july dawned and I was walking around an empty farmhouse working out in my mind where all our belongings were going to fit in .. Then ABCO arrived our removal company ! a force to be reckoned with no less ..

Oh, but then my sister Amy arrived,  and actually she’s way more in charge , her incredible interior design skills and energy came in very handy here .

As I directed boxes and furniture to rooms (lots of pointing and insisting it would fit) she started unpacking and putting rooms to work.. So by the time that all the trucks had been emptied ,Amelia wilson interiors  had unpacked organised and styled the kitchen,both living rooms a conservatory and was working her way upstairs !

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Wellies make you brave



The welly wearing brave thing 

I had a card sent to me once that had a picture of some comfy looking Wellington boots and a caption ” wellies make you brave” it’s true , and I hope the amount of boots we own must make us warriors.. it’s not bravery that anyone needs ,the thing is , is to have a plan.

This is me and Nora having a chat , I’m wearing my favourite wellies  I know ,I have my name on my boots, I held back for years but when I finally gave in I never looked back they are the comfiest boots in the world and so it seems I’ll never lose them

And yes they make me brave.

I’ve decided to keep a blog , like a diary only it’s not exactly private .. the reason for this need to publish is to share our big idea in the hope of inspiring others to wear wellies , come up with a life plan and get brave ..

Anyway the plan ! It was either brave or stupid we think it was just a sensible logical move to improve our family life . Family life had become work work school work school shopping work washing work you know how it goes , then factor in some Autism, and it’s all not looking so rosy.

So our  evil and cunning plan was to put all our finances into a new home up in Scotland where all our R&R took place . A home where we could all live and work together so business ideas began to form and collect ( in a file) . The main theme was that it needed to be something all of us could be involved with and therefore improve our family life. Also because our daughter Lauren has learning differences ( yes differences not difficulties)and is on the Autisitc spectrum we needed to think about involving her at every stage with a view to her potentially living and working as independently as possible sometime in the future.

As any parent knows with a less than neurotypical child we don’t know how much support they are going to need ,when we are less able, or around for them so future proofing is a necessity..The plans grew, evolved and resulted in a brief for a handful of estate agents to find us a  –

“Three bedroomed period farmhouse with a minimum of 30 acres and as many outbuildings ideally period as possible. The land ideally was to be mixed pasture and woodland .”

The plan was to utilise the buildings and land to bring in a lifestyle and small income  ,enough to live on and prepare Lauren for a working independent life, reduce Andys blood pressure and keep me in my wellies for as much as the day as possible .

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