Prompted by Ootz, I've decided I need to resuscitate the near-dead orphan blog.
Since I last posted, the tractor's been fixed (it was the battery, and the first replacement was fucked as well), and the paddock has been slashed. The trees have grown, some of them are now 3 or 4 m tall. Not bad for seeds direct-drilled in 2007! Even better, on a recent visit, I disturbed a couple of euros who'd decided my 5 acres of short forest beat the shit out of the surrounding several million acres of wheat'n'sheep as a place to live. (The fox I saw on the same visit wasn't such a thrill: I've bought a shotgun to deal with it.)
Plans for the Hovel are with the local council for building approval (although I still need to produce and send the design for the reed-bed system to deal with grey water), so I may be able to get the first stages of the build underway later this year.
I'll take some photos next time I go up there, and post any that may be of interest - hopefully in the next few weeks.