Raising the Roof

Oh Lawdy, there were yet more terrible gales during the night;

with winds gusting in excess of 70mph which even shook the 3ft-thick walls of our sturdy cottage & rattled the slates like a frenzied Patrick Moore playing the xylophone.  It was tragically inevitable therefore, that the temporary repair Kev had swiftly effected to the Long Barn roof, simply wouldn’t hold any longer – & at about 2am there came the agonisingly massive wrenching, grinding, & screaming of twisting metal & then a most horrendous CRASH, as the sheet tore from its moorings & smashed to the ground below.  But there was nothing we could do about it for the time being; the conditions were just too dangerous & of course it was pitch-black outside.  In a way I was thankful that it’d happened during the night as otherwise either one of us could have potentially been collecting firewood or transiting the yard, only to be injured by the falling roof. 

The deluge continued well into the morning, with even poor little Silli getting a soaking; caught out whilst performing her daily post-breakfast ablutions – I can honestly say I have never seen rain like it; the valley was completely obscured & the barn roof appeared to have a lace curtain hanging along its’ length, the force of the rain was hitting it so hard. 

Thankfully, the weather had calmed a little by the time I felt brave enough to venture out for my weekly Welsh lesson, leaving Tony tucked up in bed against any stray elemental squalls & still feeling very sorry for himself.  This week we studied more grammar, learning a wide range of ways to express positives & negatives; Welsh is such a richly complex language although I think we all inwardly groan when Yet Another Rule is introduced: I’m beginning to think the Welsh language contains more mutations than an entire series of Torchwood!

Thankfully I bumped into our neighbour, Kev, in town; as you know he came to my aid the first time the barn roof was damaged, & agreed to come over to help if possible.  He & Tony worked out a strategy to repair it, & some sturdy metal sheeting has been procured, to be fixed -hopefully, once & for all – into place on the morrow.   

Meanwhile quotations for our brand design have started coming in; it’ll be very useful to ultimately compare them.  We’ve already carried out our own preliminary assessment exercise which proved extremely interesting – if only because we were in agreement, that they’re all so very good!

However a quote for the dairy process rooms which we received, dismayed us somewhat; as it was over £80,000 ex VAT – the cost of a modest house or flat in fact!  We spent most of the day rapidly reforming a contingency plan; as surely there must be another acceptable method of construction…..& we think we’ve hit upon it; although we’ll have to get it fully costed before we can reconsider.  But we certainly cannot contemplate the amount of money the current quote requires; not with the marketing costs, further equipment purchases, delivery vehicle, & fixtures & fittings we still need….phew!  It really is quite frightening when you tot it all up; in spite of our projected turnover, which appears reassuringly healthy.  And a colleague carried out an almost-identical project recently, for only £20,000 – so it obviously can be done.

Meanwhile based on the information supplied by a dear friend & mentor in the dairy business (they know who they are I’m sure, & we cannot thank them enough for their wonderful & unstinting help), we have been able to ascertain a clearer idea of overall set-up costs AND of projected turnover; so this has given us the confidence that we do potentially have a very viable business after all…..it just seems so near & yet so far, at the moment.  So chins up, eh?


About LittleFfarm Dairy

The LittleFfarm Dairy Team: Jo - Goat farmer & Gelatiere Artigianale, plus General Dogsbody; Tony - Airline Pilot & part-time Herd Manager, Product Taster, Accounts Secretary, Handyman etc!
This entry was posted in Business, Dairy, Diary, Environment, January 2008, Life, Locality. Bookmark the permalink.

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