4 Weeks on a Farm

We’re now in our fourth and final week on the organic chicken farm and for the first stop on our trip, it’s been all round pretty awesome. Here are some things we have learnt:

  • When chickens are alarmed, like when you approach them too quickly, they spread their wings and squat in place. It’s as if they think “if I’m small and don’t move much, no one can see me”. It’s adorable. So we’ve been scaring chickens quite a lot for our entertainment during the last month.
  • Turkeys are a bit stupid (always suspected but now a proven fact).
  • You can’t fix a broken tool with a broken tool.
  • Sleeping in a car during gale force winds is like being on a boat.
  • Heaters are by far the best things to have been invented in the 20th century.
  • The police that keep an eye on the royal family at Sandringham are highly suspicious of hobos parked on the side of the road rolling cigarettes.
  • Local farmers are a bit tricky to understand when English is your second language.
  • There exists such a meal as a 12oz steak with a side of lamb chop, and extra bacon.
  • Air hockey is still fun.Another joint goal of ours was to work on jobs that only needed attention during working hours – that evenings and weekends wouldn’t be overshadowed by the niggling stress of things that needed to be done, or things that went wrong that day, or looming work problems sure to crop up in the next days/weeks/months. So far so good on that front! We’ve been able to plan our days here and enjoy some hard work in the lovely English elements, but when the day’s work is done, it’s done, and our evenings and weekends (and coffee breaks and lunch breaks) are our own.

    Norfolk has been a lovely place to spend some time, and we’ve made the most of our weekends with trips to the coast, treats in B&Bs and hosting family guests from both our Austrian and British sides. Fish and chips have become a regular meal, ideally consumed sat outside looking at the sea of course. Our van is a wonderful flat, and we’ve got the daily transformation from living room to bedroom perfected. After a few days off when we plan to thoroughly de-chickenshit all of our belongings, we’ll be on to the next job, which will probably be when we write the next blog. In the meantime, get sneak previews on Instagram as always, and leave us a message in our guestbook if you want to say hi!

New year, new job

As the calendar clicked over and we started the New Year, we turned to each other and asked the usual question faced at the beginning of the month; what bills do we have to pay?

Rent? No

Utilities? No

Internet? No

What about groceries, do we need to go shopping? No

For us, one of the motivations to move into our van and get on the road was to draw a line under the time of monthly bills and obligations and lead a life with as few of those ties or commitments as possible. As the first week of January passed, we settled nicely into our new routine and enjoyed the shit out of not thinking about money and talked instead about where we might be in spring, what to do on the weekend, and what work we want to do the next day, interspersed with general chicken-chat…

Because we are currently working and living on an organic chicken farm! There are chickens, pigs and turkeys to take care of, and the manager also produces organic honey so we will be taking care of the hives of hibernating bees in the next weeks. So far, we are carrying out the daily tasks for the animals, and doing any maintenance work that we can (tools and weather permitting!). We’re pretty much left to our own devices, so we can plan our days and keep ourselves busy. The manager prepares a feast for us each night, and pours us as much beer and wine as we can drink, so we’re well rewarded for our efforts.

In Vienna, we made many plans to spend a few nights in the van before we ‘properly’ moved into it, but for one reason or another (thanks ÖAMTC, see previous blog) we weren’t able to sleep in it for the first time until we were on the road in Germany. Since moving to the farm, the van has truly become our home and we’re really loving it! With no street lights around, the sky is something wonderful to see each night. Cockerels and other, more delicate, bird song wake us in the mornings and over coffee we look forward to stepping out into the elements, seeing the animals and getting to work.

We’re in a beautiful area of the UK, and hope to explore a bit more this weekend. The next blog will have a few more chicken tales for sure, perhaps something from the bees and some highlights from our weekends of explorations. There are sneak peeks on Instagram of course, so follow us there too!