Blog is back!
Hello, and my apologies for having missed writing a blog for the last few weeks, and also not posting any videos to our YouTube channel. Originally, the problem was that it just got very cold and very snowy, grinding all work to a halt. There is simply not that much going on in the middle of winter in la Creuse. I had planned to carry on flail mowing and make a video, but I just got snowed in. I was also hoping to do a first test of the time lapse camera on the chickens, but they refused to come out for the week!
The weather did improve, and we then had some friends and family come over to the farm to help us with some work. We spent a week working on a woodland that we will use for grazing later in the year. We also managed to take apart (using ingenuity, brute force and angle grinding) a corrugated steel shelter that we will rebuild later as three pig arcs. After long days in the cold chainsawing, shifting logs, driving tractors , angle grinding and man handling steel sheets, I was just too lazy to get off the comfy sofa in the evenings to do any work on the computer. It is a very nice feeling laying down in front of a fire after a long day in the cold.
The excitement for that week, is when we managed to run out of diesel in the tractor right in the middle of the road into the village. Since the fuel tank is 200 litters, you can still technically have a lot of fuel left in the tank and run out, if you are going uphill. As always the locals came to the rescue. The organic vegetable farmer in the village supplied us with fuel, whilst a friendly farmer from the next village got the tractor going again. Because the tractor is diesel and uses a mechanical pump, it needs to be “primed” before it could be restarted. Simply put, it means that all the air has to be taken out of the fuel line. There is a proper way of doing this, that involves hand pumps and disassembling key parts of the engine, but the friendly farmer, simply sucked the air out of the line, (whilst stating, that at least diesel tasted better then petrol) and then towed the tractor into starting! Not recommended for obvious reasons, but still very effective and time saving.
This week I have been back in the UK. I have mostly been catching up with all the takeaways I am missing in France, as well as making the most of fiber optic broadband, by catching up with as many films and tv shows as possible. Dolly the farm dog is enjoying her stay in England. She very much enjoys the opportunity to meet other dogs on her walks, but is still very confused by joggers! But, aren’t we all.
Finally, I would like to mention customer service. Great customer service is about making life easy, stress free, and the little details that make your experience that little more enjoyable. This week I have been very impressed with two companies I have dealt with. I always take Brittany Ferries for the crossing back the UK, and it is always a hassle free, pleasant experience. This week was the first time I booked a pet cabin for Dolly. Upon settling in the cabin, I Loved the little pet goody bag they had left on the bed. It contained poo bags, a water bowl, a nice toy and some treats. Dolly loved it and had a very enjoyable crossing. Secondly I had to return a chainsaw to Screwfix that had stopped working. The chainsaw, designed for occasional light garden use, had clearly been used heavily for full on woodland management, and it had the scars to prove it. Nevertheless, I informed the staff the chainsaw had stopped working, and they straight away offered me a refund or a replacement, no questions asks. I asked for a replacement, which they gave me. They also informed me, that as the price of the chainsaw had dropped since I had bought it, they would refund me the difference! Have any of you guys had any great customer service experience you want to mention?
Well, that’s it for this week’s blog. I would like to say it will be back to normal service next week, but with a very cold front predicted, it looks like I may be snowed in again. At least I never tire of my office window view (photo below).