Location: East Ruston, Norfolk, United Kingdom

About us, Dermot and Sue Allen and our dog friendly holiday cottages. We started with the Old Forge running it for friends in 2005. In 2007/8 we were able to develop our own holiday accommodation, The Old Piggery. The Garden Room was added, belonging to another friend and the success of these prompted a further request to add Red Roofs at Hickling which has been doing very well. In 2012 we are embarking on our next project, New Barn. It isn't new at all (approx 180 years old) but it will be a fabulous new addition to our dog friendly holiday accommodation. Keep watching this space....!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

October and November

As it is nearly the end of November as I type this I may not be too accurate with the dates etc but as this is just a blog I don't suppose that matters much.

Derm has spent a lot of time over these months organising the work to start next year. Meetings with the builder and, just as importantly, the bank manager!! Digger booked for February. Many, many 'phone calls to the heat exchange pump people, carpenters/window makers, architect etc etc. Mostly chasing up quotes - do these people not want the business? It's not exactly a small project - hence the meeting with the bank manager!!!

We took the last of the sheep into Howells in November - a mixed bag. Some really decent sized ones - Suffolks - and my bottle fed Texel twins and Hampshire cross. Out of the 21 I would say we managed to sell approx. 16, possibly more. I've lost track a bit but each time we've gone to collect the meat we've had an order or two to fulfil out of it. It will be interesting to see if we have made any money out of selling them when we do the accounts - I doubt it. Next year I think we have to put the prices up a bit and sell by weight. Each half lamb will be a different weight. People seem to be enjoying the meat though and we've had a lot of interest for the pigs - their day is 29th January 2007. Not looking forward to it. They have been a fixture for so long just outside the 'dining room' window it will be hard to see them go.

Dog no. 4 joined us in October, albeit only for 6 months. My brother has been posted to Iraq and his wife has to cope with a small baby, not terribly fond of sleep, and a really rather active (and gorgeous) toddler on an estate in the winter months. So it made sense to farm out Amber. She took a while to adjust from single dog status to part of the pack but now knows the rules to all the dog games (not sure I do so she's doing well!) and has finally started to understand that the cats are not mobile scooby snacks. She's learnt about the horse - it is scary and looms out of the dark - and she has encountered the electric fence!! But only once! She really isn't a problem at all and having 3 dogs already, a fourth isn't really any extra work.

Hunting with the North Norfolk Harriers (trail hunting) takes two days a week for Atticus and I - we love it still. He is jumping better now and is fit enough to be able to stay out for a full day, each day. Derm has been out beating for the local shoot, has another day in December and has been invited on the cock shoot in January. He needs the time off more than I do really as he works hard at home as well as at work (apart from the bit where he stays in luxury hotels around the world, the shopping and the nice restaurants!). At the time of writing he is at the tail end of a 9 day Hong Kong/Sydney trip (in the middle of some cricket competition apparantly!!)


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