Monday, 28 February 2011

Cost-benefit analysis

The streamlining continues.

Yesterday I parted with my stock trailer.
This wasn't as much of a wrench as I thought it would be. I decided to sell it because it is too heavy for me to manoeuvre alone and I just cannot hitch it up without assistance. It also needs a jolly good clean. My original plan was to buy another, smaller trailer that I can easily handle - I only ever need to carry two or three animals at a time - but I have had a couple of offers of loans, so I might not need to at all.

This feels like a positive step. The trailer was just sitting there, slowly deteriorating and turning green from algae, and it was another symbol of the things I could not do any more. Clearing it out felt like a breath of fresh air.

And the best part was that it sold for a tenner more than I paid for it!

I am finding that this acceptance and jettisoning of what I cannot cope with on my own brings a real sense of peace. Heaven knows I have fought against it for long enough.

I was talking to my sister-in-law the other evening. She has some significant health issues, including having had major back surgery. Although she is still working, she finds anything like gardening, which involves pulling and bending, to simply be too painful. Their garden is beautiful, and they put so much work into turning it into a little haven of loveliness. But over the past year they have gradually accepted that she can no longer do what is necessary to keep it looking that way, and have taken the decision to turn it into much more of a low-maintenance garden.

This was a heart-breaking decision for them and is the sort of little domestic loss that needs to be mourned. But she can also see the possibilities that the new garden will open up for them. More time to travel, for example, and certainly not being tied to the place during peak sowing and planting season. More cash to spend on other things, and no longer feeling a need to shoot rabbits from the upstairs windows to keep them off their newly-planted seedlings!

I started feeling the benefits of this simplification process myself this weekend. With just one henhouse to clean out, and no large smelly duck house, I had a lot more spare time. This meant I could make a start on clearing the decks for my new flower cutting garden, and just generally tidying that part of the garden which tends to be the dumping ground for all sorts of things I can't find a home for. The mess around there has been seeping into my consciousness for a long time now, despite my best efforts to ignore it.

The picture was taken last year, so I would like to clear it properly before the nettles and brambles spring back into growth with a vengeance. Then I can perhaps get a path laid and the flower bed edging in place. This will have the knock-on effect of not having to control the triffid-like weed growth in that area during the summer - which will hopefully save me more time.

It is all good.

This little fellow wasn't keen on being exposed though!


  1. i am reading a certain symmetry in some widow's blogs about their lives. they go through things, change their habits, re-vamp their way of life to simplify everything. i started doing that when i "woke up" from the numbness of his death and realized i needed to be more organized. if my death was to be sudden like my Dragon's, i did not want my children to have to much to face. that is just my reason for going through things as i do not have much of a life anymore. but what i do still own, i did not want them to have to huge a burden cleaning it out.

    i wish you peace.

  2. perhaps you could borrow a goat to clean up that patch....

  3. I'm glad that you are feeling positive about descisions such as selling the trailer. It does seem like a good move. As you've mentioned, if it isn't seeing much use, then the maintenance isn't really worth keeping it around. Lightening up on those things that eat up time and don't really give back much to our lives, can give us more time for the things we truly care about. I love gardening and am building a new garden at the place in Nova Scotia, but it will never be like the garden we had at our farm in Ontario. However, I hope to keep it manageable. The Ontario garden was large and took so much care. I have to keep reminding myself to *not* recreate anything similar now that I am alone.

  4. It sounds like a good decision J, the back-up of loan offers is excellent.

  5. Funny how with each thing there comes the right time to let it go. I've been finding that with a few of D's things as well as starting to look at what I really want in terms of workload etc in the days to come.

  6. wNs is sending Bunny to you ... and your family shoots rabbits? Well done in all seriousness, it's hard to let go ... but simplifying your world will help you in the end ... that's my plan anyway xxx