The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

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Photo: Nicotiana blooming away unconcerned by dramas

Photo: Nicotiana blooming away unconcerned by dramas

I want to thank everyone who read and made a comment on my Twist wrench and grab post – and any other post too as we really appreciate your comments. I really value your support. Living such an isolated life it’s easy to get overwhelmed by a mini disaster. As you say, it wasn’t the loss of the money and the cash box that hurt. It was the breakdown of trust. Tamara pointed me in the direction of an inspirational post on Huntergathercook which is well worth a read and calmed me down considerably.

My mind is racing with all your ideas. The stand has not been up for the past two days whilst we lick our wounds and plan for the future. The cash box arrived and it’s not that strong but I do have an American mail box with chicken attachments (don’t ask) and this could make a fun cash box for the stand bolted to the stand and unlocked and opened when I bring the stock inside – I’d hate to lose it and if it’s clearly empty… I also loved the idea of the pipe that runs down to a secured cash box – brilliant.

I think that a sign stating that the stand is covered by CCTV could be a good deterrent. The stand is about 40 meters from the cottage, on the outside of the front fence. People have told me that they like it as they don’t feel embarrassed or obliged to buy as there is a fence between the stand and the cottage. I hate the Big Brother state so wouldn’t be dead keen on proper surveillance of the stand. But on the other hand, if I was a practiced thief I’d steal a jar to see whether the CCTV ‘worked’. So perhaps real CCTV is an option. We are already preparing our Christmas stock and I’d be gutted if that was nicked.

Personally I’d preferred that people put the money through the front door. They could choose in countrified peace and then have to walk up the drive. Sometimes people do this anyway.

As Clayearthcafe pointed out, growing up in a family who ran the village shop, people that they knew and liked even stole from them. And as Fizzyian noted – it’s not always the scruffs that nick. Up until now the main culprit for giving less money is a client that I worked for once (never, ever again. Even if they offered a million). Bizarrely something must ring a bell when she appears at the gate and I am on red alert and watching her from upstairs. She never leaves the right money but I reckon that if she likes the preserves she does leave more – sometimes even 5p short of the proper price! You can read about the decorating experience here it’s worth the read if you are self employed and work hard to please your clients and give good service  –  as you are generally deemed to be as good as your last job.

The pheasant dish that evolved from this upsetting foray is superb and unusual – great when you are getting really fed up with traditional pheasant dishes at the end of the season.

After my experience with The Beastleys, the bongo drums were beaten extremely hard and they shot to the top of every decent local tradesman’s Blacklist. Yes Blacklists do exist, as tradesmen are real gossips and supportive too!

We will continue with our gateside stand. Your encouragement has made us even more determined. Thank you for all your ideas they are canny, inventive and really appreciated!

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  1. Magic Cochin

    I don’t think they covered on the programme afterall – they were asking for comments on the programme facebook and twitter pages…


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