The wish list

It’s nearly that time of year again – though I work in retail so it’s been “that time” for many weeks now and I’m getting The Question: “what do you want for Christmas this year?”. Helpfully*, it’s my birthday just three weeks after Christmas, so this list will do for both.

B has asked me to put a list together but keeps rolling her eyes whenever I say I want practical presents, ones I can put to good use. This includes:

  • home-made Christmas goodies of the edible variety (yes, that’s a hint!)
  • the updated version of John Seymour’s Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency
  • Andy Case’s book, Starting with Pigs: A Beginners Guide
  • any other smallholder books that look interesting
  • pig food
  • bales of straw or hay
  • a new pair of wellies (UK size 6, black or green, no decorations)
  • a new pair of waterproof trousers (small, dark colour, not the ones that rustle every time you breathe)
  • a new waterproof winter farm coat (so I can, from time to time, put one of them in the washing machine! – any dark colour, must be robust enough to survive the brambles and other thorny plants, pockets are good, lots of pockets are better but it needs to have diagonal pockets that you can put your hands in, not the straight ones, if you see what I mean)
  • a waterproof winter non-farm coat (I’ve got one suitable for spring/autumn but there’s no point wearing it in winter – needs to be black, the same issue with the pockets!)
  • a new hat (black, small, little or no decoration, definitely no bobbles etc, maybe one with the flappy ear things for very cold days?)
  • a small, robust and energy efficient radio for the shipping container where I keep the animal food and straw (not one that runs off the mains as the mains ain’t connected!)
  • rubber skips for feeding the pigs
  • buckets with lids for storing stuff like excess corn in
  • I am utterly convinced that such a thing does not exist, but I’d love a wind-up kettle for energy free hot water for coffee (if it doesn’t exist, I hereby declare the idea to be my own and wait for someone to build it so we can share the profits…)

As I said, anything practical.

And yes, having read back through the list, I can see why my nearest and dearest dread buying stuff for me.

Love you all 😀

* Yes, I’m being sarcastic.

10 responses to this post.

  1. Hi there, just popped over from Compost womans blog. I dont know of anything I want for christmas, I would like a kelly kettle and a new camping water carrier. No one will buy it for me as it isnt a REAL present they keep telling me!

    Anyway, I have a 2 questions. if you would be so kind as to answer. The answers may already be somewhere on your blog, but it is lunch time at work so I havent long.

    1, How hard do you find it setting up your holding?

    2, where did you find the land?

    at present we arent quite in a position to buy or even rent a small holding. I am just looking for a little advise of where you would even look for one to rent or buy? I can only imagine that it would be out of our price range to buy. I have googled small holdings for rent… not really found anything. Places in Portugal, to buy but not much around to rent. Any ideas? Ps your chickens are so clean, not much mud? on them… I am building up to getting some in the back garden as we arent allowed live stock in the allotment.


  2. hint taken xxx

  3. The energy free hot water COULD be provided by one of two things..

    1 A solar thermal tube..Navitron demonstrate the ability to make hot drinks using one of these ! ( and soup….)

    If you go on the Navitron forum there are threads on cooking in on of these!


    2 ( perhaps more practical? A Kelly/Storm/Volcano Kettle…These will boil water on a handful or two of paper, card, small twigs, straw…etc..

    so you could use on of those to make your hot drink? And if you buy a Kelly Kettle you can get a kit with a small trivit and a pan set so you could make bacon sandwiches or heat soup…

    I have a Kelly kettle, its great!

    Hope this helps…..

  4. Posted by welshpurpletree on 27 November 2008 at 1:35 pm

    I can never think of anything I want for Christmas or Birthday. My parents bought me a lawnmower last year. I’ve asked all my family to give me money this year to pay for the Eglu, don’t know if they will though.

  5. @ Compostwoman
    Wow, oh wow, oh wow.


    @ welshpurpletree
    Money is, I am told, the one thing you should never ask for, not unless you want to mortally offend your nearest and dearest (which is, quite frankly, a pain in the arse, but I’m well trained!)

    You tactic should be to decide what things you want / need and probably will buy for yourself (not “luxury” items you wouldn’t ever buy but would love). Ask for those as presents and when you receive them, put the money you would have spent but now don’t have to against the cost of the Eglu.

    (I am not sneaky, it’s just that I have time to figure out the best way to both have my cake and bloody well eat it!)

  6. Hi S.o.L, thanks for stopping by 🙂

    I love the fact that your comment was caught in the first time commenters’ moderation queue until after Compostwoman left hers and yet you both mentioned the Kelly Kettle.

    I guess that now officially goes on the wish list – fate has decreed it!

    In answer to your questions…

    1) Very easy to set it up, though also very expensive. When you buy all the equipment at the same time, you need a stern backbone as it’s ouchy ouchy ouchy when you think about the figures.

    2) About five years ago, a friend of mine bought an old farmhouse and about 7 acres of land with it. He has no livestock and so the brambles etc have taken over. When I asked if he knew anyone with land to rent, he immediately offered his field so that my pigs could clear it.

    Some websites you might find useful are:

    HTH and good luck.

    Oh, and as for the muddy chickens, the orchard is well drained, so even when they scratch too much, they don’t make mud. Well, if you move them often enough, they don’t. Mud only happens when rain hits earth. If the soil is covered by grass or leaves or bark etc, they just get wet 🙂

  7. Posted by welshpurpletree on 28 November 2008 at 9:52 am

    Luckily all my family say “Is there anything you want or shall we just give you the money?”, so they don’t get offended. That doesn’t stop them from still asking if there’s anything I’ve thought of yet at regular intervals.

  8. Well I * really* hope someone gets you a Kelly Kettle as they are really wonderful….

    and can be used for cooking…as well!


  9. WPT – you lucky so and so. I occasionally get a cheque from mum for my birthday, which is not long after Christmas (apart from in JennieWorld when it’s in July. Which makes her older than me!) as she’s run out of ideas (a good thing too, I’ll never forget the fold-up pick axe / shovel I got one year).

    Darling B, however, likes buying presents. In fact, if it was up to her, I wouldn’t be allowed to make a list at all.

    Compostwoman – me too 😀 Sadly, I doubt Santa’s been reading!

  10. You never know…….

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