Right before Christmas, we received a letter from the Crown Estate, or at least their agents, giving notice of the end of our Farm Business Tenancy on the land - a notice to quit. Or not. There is a paragraph which says, it may be up for renegotiation (trans: a rent hike) - it isn't clear to us whether that paragraph is standard or bespoke - in other words, we don't know if they want us off, or just want to take more money off us.
We had a beautiful, quiet Christmas, with much joy and laughter, prayer and gratitude.
Yesterday, we took the dogs and walked up on the high downs, went to visit our rams, and generally wondered ...
We can't know anything more until the proposed meeting on 5th January.
Should we fight for it? We've had it nearly seven years. We have a year's notice. When we look at it, although once it held a lot of promise - I ran the box scheme from there for two years - it is now pretty unkempt and provides some sheep grazing, and a LOT of hay. The hard truth is, we haven't done what we intended to do with it.
A harder still truth is that we have knowingly or not, offended, upset, and generally peed off a lot of people in the last decade, living here or hereabouts.
The psycho nutcase who got Neil chucked out of his last farm job down in the village, and threatened to rip his head off if he showed it around the farm again (because I did not run Brownies the way his wife liked!) is only the part of it. We started life at the school, Neil was a governor. We left the school and homeschooled our children for six years. That went over not so well.
We started life in the village CofE church, again, Neil was a church warden. Then we realised things were wrong, moved churches, found God, and received the greatest gift of all. It did not come with local approval.
The people over the road don't like us. Because our cockerel crows.
The family Neil used to work for who, when he was friends with the psycho nutcase, he was hoodwinked (by the p-n) into leaving without notice - they're not over fond of us.
The guy in the village who made an official complaint because I told his Brownie daughter to 'shut up' (in jest, we say 'shut up' all the time in our house! apparently, she had never, ever been told to 'shut up' in her entire life (which was actually self evident) and it destroyed her self esteem totally) whereas, I had no redress for the fact that she blasphemed almost continually, and I was pretty offended by that.
Is this really the place for us to try (yet again) to launch a community project?! Is this not maybe time to move on?
I have just begun with my Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design - and as part of the process, the Learning Pathway, I am going to have to figure out where I am going. Where we are going. Are we staying here? Or moving onto new horizons? What do you reckon?
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