Sunday, 31 December 2017

Well THAT was 2017 ... and Onward into 2018

It's been a good year overall,. we've done lots, achieved quite a bit and moved our lives forward in the way we hoped to.  I'm not going to go on and on but will leave you with a mostly pictorial post summing up our year.

I started the year participating in Veganuary .... and stayed vegan  :-)

I also stopped blogging, well on here anyway.

Even with no blog posts to compose, February saw us carrying on as usual, very home based and emerging from Winter in a good position, with stores from preserved Summer crops still feeding us nicely.

And with March's arrival back came the urge to post once more about our activities and Our New Life in the Country sprung back into life.

In April the chooks were on the hillside, enjoying early sunshine and the first flush of Spring.

In May we snuck off to the Cotswolds and stayed in the delightful Spring Cottage.  We visited The Black Country Living Museum for the first time during our stay over the border in mid-England.

In June car boot season was upon us and I started sorting through the house for things we no longer needed and also planting to sell.  Splitting houseplants and sowing extra seeds in the polytunnel of annuals and perennials for re-sale.

July saw us with new hens over in Chicken World, the first four arrived at the start of the month and another four later on, known forever more as 'the green girls' and 'the blue girls' after the colour of the bands on their legs.

August was Show month ... we had a great day out at Trelawnyd, meeting a couple of my lovely readers ... 

... and then two weeks later I had a very successful run with my homegrown and homemade wares at the Llanrwst Show.

In September Ethel came into our lives, wandering in off the main road and following Alan into our paddock.  We got vets and farmers advice and treated her wounds, meaning for one weekend at least, she was 'the best dressed sheep in North Wales'.

She is currently off with the tup ... and some of Will's sheep ... on fresh grazing, and after being scanned to she if she is in-lamb will be coming back to us in the next few weeks.  If she has not managed to get pregnant and provide her own company for the future, the plan is to see if we can get a couple of lambs of our own to join her on our hillside later in the Spring.

October was all about books.

I had managed to sell enough over the course of car boot season to completely empty one bookcase, so all the other books were re-organised and checked.  I'm sure a few more will go during 2018 ... well they have to, to make room for the new books I've bought recently  ;-)

In November we  re-decorated ...

... and restyled the living room.

And here we are on the last day of December.  This month our world turned white. 

We used some of our Christmas money to re-visit The Black Country Living Museum to have a weekend away for ourselves,  and to pickup some inspiration for next years Challenge.  

Our egg sales are so successful we now sell out on a regular basis.

We hung our stockings and had a very merry Christmas.

*** *** ***

And now onward to next year ... this blog is closing. 

Whether for just a year or for more I don't know but I would like to take this opportunity to invite you over to our new blog A Challenging Year ... Digging for Victory on a Welsh Hillside.

There we will be charting our progress to save money, as we work over the course of the year towards trying to pay off the small mortgage we took out to buy our 'pension property'.  Can we really do this in the space of one year?  We are hoping to make this possible by taking a step back in time.  Using what we have, eating what we grow and produce ourselves and stepping away from consumerism.  Using every tip and money saving trick we have learnt over the course of the last few years to cut our day to day living costs to the absolute minimum.

Can we do it ... will you join us?

If you would like to follow our progress please use the link above to get to the new blog, save it in your sidebar or sign up to 'Follow by Email' or use whichever method you prefer get to the blogs you like to read.  Or you will simply be able to find us again by coming over to here and clicking on the link that I will leave in place after this post has been read.  The empty blog is there today, and the first post will appear at 8am on 1st January.

So it's goodbye for now from Our New Life in the Country ...
                                                    .... which after all is not so new after nine years   ;-)

Happy New Year 

from Sue and Alan xx


  1. Oooh sounds exciting. I'm looking forward to following your challenge.
    Already added your new blog to my reading list.
    Happy New Year
    Jacquie x

  2. OH I guessed right, it was the saucepan that gave the clue. Some friends have done this and got rid of TV and hoover!
    Look forward to reading about your year and YES I'm sure you can do it.
    Happy New Year

  3. I'm following you too! Go on! You can do it!

  4. I shall be reading for sure. Love to see what you're up to with your challenges. You'll succeed I'm sure. Happy New Year!

  5. I read the last bit and thought 'Oh, no!' before realising that one door closes and another opens.
    I've loved this blog and I'm sure I will love the new one just as much. Thank you for all the pleasure you have given and see you over in the new one next year! :-)
    J x

  6. Im sure you can do it. Good luck and a very Happy New Year.

  7. Happy New Year to you both - looking forward to your next challenge - I have no doubt you will do it.

  8. I've loved reading your blog for many years and look forward to reading your new one. I know you will do it. Happy New Year to you both.

  9. Looking forward to following your challenge for this upcoming year. Good luck.

    God bless.

  10. Good Luck, I shall follow with interest as we have our own Challenging Year ahead. x

  11. I can't believe that I've been following your blogs for 9 years! All because I was looking for something to do with lavender. Look forward to reading about your new adventures.
    Happy 2018!!!

  12. Cheers to you and yours. My 2017 was better from having discovered your writing in 2016. I'll be seeing you over on the new site for 2018 indeed!

    1. Also, thank you for the time you take to discuss your money saving ways. They are of interest to me and inspire me to do a little each day. It is such a satisfying way of doing things!

  13. So looking forward to reading the new blog. Sue, you always make it so interesting and I look forward to each new post. Happy New Year!

  14. A very Happy New Year to you both. And Good Luck for your challenges in 2018!

  15. Thank you Sue for sharing your lovely blog with us. I was so sad when you stopped blogging last year and so happy when you returned! I look forward to your new blog and will be there with you! May you, Alan and your precious fur babies have a glorious 2018!

  16. I'm so glad you're continuing to blog, albeit in a different place. All the best to you and yours in 2018!

    1. I forgot to say how sweet that picture of Suky and Mavis is . . . they are adorable dogs.

  17. When I read that comment about closing the blog, I thought nooooo, and was very glad there will be a new one to enjoy

  18. I am so looking forward to the new challenge blog - I have learned so much from you over the years. Thank you for this past year's posts and a very Happy New Year.

  19. I wish you the very best of luck. But really, if anyone can do it, you can!
    Happy New Year to you both x

  20. Happy New Year for all of you
    Wil from Holland

  21. I have subscribed over at the new place. I think I originally found you because I set up a google alert for life in the country which is the name of my blog. You have inspired me to freeze things I never knew could be frozen, and become a little more frugal and sensible. So thanks! ;)

  22. I enjoy reading your blog, I will be following you over to the new blog.
    So many interesting ideas.

    Great 2017 year post
    cheers, parsnip

  23. I will bookmark your new blog. I do enjoy your blogs as they are very uplifting. Thanks!!

  24. Happy New Year Sue and Family. Have enjoyed 'Our New Life in the Country' so very much. Will pop over to your new blog to 'check' what you are up to. Would love an update on Ethel the sheep sometime - new lambs - how exciting!! Best regards.


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