Christmas is a distant memory and where did January go?Our year has certainly got off to a flying start as we set along the path of restoring our smallholding to its former glory. We have many projects planned to ultimately achieve self-sufficiency, which we hope will capture the imagination of family, friends and enthusiasts who would like to participate and sample the life of a smallholder. A working weekend on a smallholding would be a great experience for anyone considering a similar lifestyle.

Renovation of Trotters Bottom is going well and Spillers Farm should soon hear the pitter- patter of tiny trotters. No smallholding would be complete without some grunt and smell around the place. We are thinking of a rare breed - not sure yet what exactly. Watch this space.

As 2016 gathers pace we will be looking to increasing our chicken and duck head count and maybe introduce a couple of geese. Unfortunately during the early days Limpy and a couple of her duck pals went AWOL. Fowl play is suspected but it’s just possible they were led astray by some of the wild ducks visiting our lake.

Putting the fruit and vegetable plots to good use are also high on our agenda. We are thinking along the lines of producing something which we can add value to such as making jams and pickles which Jayne is quite keen on – research ongoing.

All of the above of course will have to fit in with the B&B side and preparing for the caravan season, which kicks off around Easter time. Our nice caravan inspector has given us a list of upgrades required for the 2016 season - adding this to the to-do list.

In between times we are also undertaking the arduous task of visiting our local eating establishments in order that we can recommend them to our guests.

Busy and exciting times ahead.