As a child, I spent so much time with my maternal grandparents. Early on through necessity and then later, through choice.

They lived in a tiny semi-detached with a long, narrow back garden that was given over to food production and Granddad George’s prize-winning flowers.

Memories of picking peas and then sitting on the back door step podding them. Or stringing beans. Or making gooseberry jam. Or gathering lettuce and cucumber and tomatoes. Etc.

Right at the bottom of the orchard was an old pig sty that had once housed pigs, but that was before my birth.

Today has been a little – urrrm – illuminating. But throughout all the trials and tribs, one thing has been made manifest. It’s time to go back to my childhood and become much more self-sufficient.

We have 2 acres here. Plenty of space for chickens and vegetables. We have the orchard already with apples and plums and walnuts.

I know how to make bread – from a common crusty loaf to Irish Soda bread to Indian Naan to Italian pizza dough. We know a great place that delivers good quality meat.

Enough trees for wood.

All we really NEED is a change in mindset. No more getting into the car to go to the supermarket to buy over-priced crap in plastic.

Which is where this all began. Our car has finally died :o(

Three times I’ve had to walk up and down that bloody hill today because not a single soul would help me. One even wanted £700 to tow the bastard car back to our house – a mile and a half away.