Yes, We Cairn!

Those of you who loyally wade through these interminable whitterings about country life up here in the mountains might just have noted a recurring theme; Rocks!

We have rocks! More rocks than exist in the asteroid belt! Really! As we slave away to clear yet another few square metres more of the buggers seem to appear – or is it my imagination? It’s a bit like a stick of Margate Rock, you can never get to the end of it and no matter how hard you suck ‘Margate Rock’ will outlast you!

margate rock

It’s not that we haven’t used a bit of initiative for ways to use up the bloody things. We’ve filled in ruts in the track up here to the cabin; we’ve stacked them around the edges of the plot – it doesn’t look that pretty but give the weeds time!


We’ve built little rock circles around the trees and vines we’ve planted. We think that painting them pastel shades will liven the garden up a bit!


Then we’ve built a wall to retain a pathway and give the roses something to look classy against. And there’s a very nice terrace area under our magnificent old pine tree where we can collapse and swallow beer without tasting it after several more tons of rocks have been moved from A to B, or C, or bloody Z at this rate!


I know it’s a mess, it’s another ‘work in progress’


Then, of course there are some nice steps that we’ve made to meet health and safety regulations;


Today saw us begin another bit of walling to tidy up the area in front of the great big retaining wall;


OK, sometimes we need to get at the bottle before we finish for the day and collapse! Yesterday it lead to a moment of sheer, blindingly obvious inspiration – Leonardo would have been proud. Edward DeBono would know that we once read his books!


A cairn! We’re building a cairn! Our neighbouring smallholders have been arriving to admire it as the word has got around – they are incredulous! They cannot believe what they are seeing with their own eyes.

There is one small, dark cloud that is floating about – as there is a limit to how far up I can chuck a shovel-full of stuff, and I do not intend to get into any scaffolding work, then it follows that there is maximum cubic capacity to what I can build and fill. So, it is at this point, dear reader, that you come in – as there are still tons of rocks to find a home for, what do you suggest?

Alan Fenn, (with Joe Brown up a pile of rocks)

22 thoughts on “Yes, We Cairn!

  1. I rather like the idea of painting your rocks in pastel shades and what a shame I didn’t bring you back a stick of rock from Cornwall !!!!!!! I think it’s all looking pretty good all that blood sweat and tears. See you soon.

  2. A cairn circle in the style if stonehenge, correctly aligned to the equinox of course, so you and janet can don the white robes and entertain the locals 🙂

  3. Hi Alan. Great work still gong on. You must both be exhausted. It will be so beautiful when finished. Can’t imagine what a future Archeologist will make of your Cairn when he/she pops in on the Spcecraft from wherever about a thousand years from now. How confusing !!!! Best wishes to you both. Mary

  4. A, Wikipedia informs that a cairn is a human-made pile of stones. Brilliant! Mark has some ideas. How about digging a well, building your walls higher, build a bomb shelter or root cellar, building a stone oven for bread making, building a grill. (Then again, he said that some of these projects require digging into the ground which will produce more rocks.) Oy. ‘Distributing’ them under cover of darkness? Well, that may get you into as much trouble as pagan rites around the cairn. No further ideas – we have enough rock problems of our own!

    1. apart from chucking more rocks on the walls and the night time redistribution idea they all require cement/concrete (I’m not that good at drystone walling) – that could lead to more problems than you have in this protected area!!
      Alan recently posted..Yes, We Cairn!My Profile

    1. Ha! We feel pretty sure that we re at the confluence of several ley lines – how else to explain that the sun rises in direct alignment with our circular construct every morning – except when it is cloudy and then we have to assume.
      Alan recently posted..Yes, We Cairn!My Profile

  5. My back is killing me just reading this post. How do you and J manage to move around all those rocks with out breaking your backs??? You have my full support and admiration for all those projects — they look great! I love rock walls, cairns and rock tree rings. Do you have a rock garden? You deserve as many cold beers as you want after all that heavy lifting.
    Trisha Thomas recently posted..Traveling with Pope Francis in ArmeniaMy Profile

    1. We generally put in about 2-3 hours of graft first thing in the morning – that is more than enough! We are getting to the end of the rock clearing at long last and soon I’ll start to dig out to create a pond for all those beautiful dragonflies 😀
      Alan recently posted..Things That Go BumpMy Profile

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