"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Saturday 8 November 2014

An unexpected discovery

When we left the Barrydale Hand Weavers last Saturday, I ask RMan if we could stop at an "antique" shop which I had spotted on our way in.  I am trying to find an old fashioned pottery butter dish, which is glazed on the inner butter tray surface, but unglazed everywhere else.  It would be perfect for keeping our butter cool during summer, as I could just soak the unglazed pottery and the process of evapouration will assist in preventing the butter turning rancid, and / or melting in the heat of summer instead if it having to take up RMan's precious beer space in the fridge.  Sadly, again, I was not in luck...

RMan is a real people's person, and can strike up a conversation with almost anyone, anywhere, anytime.  He gets so involved that the only way to tear him away from his new found friends is for me to wander off - he misses me after a while ;)

I had to use this ruse last Saturday:)

And ended up educating myself a little.
Pretty messy - I don't know if I'd want my
neighbour's property to look have this "curb appeal"
but it certainly grabs your attention.
Across the adjoining road from the antique shop there was this house which had a whole bunch of decrepit enamelled items hanging on the boundary fence. That is guaranteed to appeal to the curious in me.

Why would they want to show off their clutter publically?

I couldn't resist...
A cute continuation of the theme, whilst
doubling up as an advertisment support
On approaching the property this "mug" grabbed my attention.  Not only because it appeared to be some kind of "windmill", which was quite cute and, in it's design, a clever way of continuing the theme of enamelled plates and mugs, but also because of the sign "FOR SALE - COAL STOVES".  Ah, I had heard that there was someone in Barrydale who was repairing Dover stoves (not quite coal stoves as per the sign) so this must be the place.
Ha!  What is that coming from
within the repurposed metal drum?
On closer inspection I saw something that made me pause.  And think.

Eminating from the enlarged "mug" was a pretty substantial piece of copper wire.  This copper was "insulated" at it's source, but then stretched, unprotected, along both sides of the boundary fence.
Copper wires protruding from the "mug"

The owner must be storing a battery (or two) in the "mug which is powering a homemade electric fence.  The "windmill", as it is rotated by the wind, will obviously provide a charge for the battery which is stored within it's depths.
A real jumble of old enamelled plates and mugs are
suspended from this boundary fence
But, I know the law regarding electric fences (don't ask me how I know, I have no idea - it's just a scrap of information that resides, along with a whole bunch of otherwise useless information within my head) that there must be some sort of visible warning to prevent accidental electrocution.

I couldn't see one.

Could I?

Well, blow me down if I didn't (eventually) spot it.
The warning is there - if you are observant enough
In the middle of that jumbled collection of mugs and plates was a plate with a warning arrow inside a yellow triangle.

Clearly marked if you're observant.  I must've polished my glasses that morning LOL

My eyes wandered.  And then I saw what was behind the warning sign.
A wonderful, large cement dam - filled to the
brim with precious water
A beautiful cement dam - full of water.  And a small, old-fashioned, homemade windmill on the far side.  The windmill does not seem to be large enough to be operational and is merely there for historical / decorative purposes.  So, I have a feeling that this clever person has linked a small water pump to that same battery and is therefore utilizing that source of power to not only deter unwanted intruders, but to also simultaneously top up his dam when necessary.

I like that :)
His services are advertised
Looking down the road towards his house I spotted a sign on a tree next to the entrance gate.  It details what the gentleman who resides within is offering and his contact number.
All time top entry pages on my blog
Seeing as two of the top five all time entry pages / searches which resulted in someone landing on my blog involve "Dover / woodburning stoves", and in keeping with my "sharing is caring" motto, I guess if anyone is looking for a Dover stove, the repair thereof, or some spare parts, this might be a good number to call ;)


  1. Isn't it just fun to come across something like you found? You have to wonder what those people were thinking when they put together their display. And even if you never find out, the sheer silliness of it is absolutely wonderful.

    1. Vicki - Yes, it is very silly, and eye catching - which is the whole point I guess :)

  2. That reminds me of the kind of thing you used to see in Florida all the time, along the road. But now they've pretty much done away with unique properties like that.

  3. Astute observations on your part! Very interesting set-up at that little place. Very clever. Very eye catching too.

    I'm not surprised at your blog stats. You do have some of the best information on things like that.

    1. Leigh - Oh, I'd love a dam that can store underground water. Our water is brak (salty) so it's usesless to sink a borehole here.

      No - my blog stats aren't that great, but the majority of hits it gets is regarding Dover wood burning stoves. I find that quite strange LOL

  4. I wonder if the windmill is used to stir the water.

    I'm guessing the owner of that place must be an interesting character.

    1. Bill - I reckon he must be - and quite handy... ;)

  5. Clever little set up. I like something like that. I also like the "hidden" warning!

    1. Kev - Very hidden - took a while to locate ;)

  6. It would appear that people are "people" wherever they live. But that "attractive" fence would be quite a temptation to a person looking for those particular pots and pans and just wanting to have a "Look-see" at them. Legally, it's an invitation to be shocked versus a guard against theft. It reminds me of places I've seen in Canada, as well as Florida. And oddly enough, I never saw things like that in Kentucky and Indiana, which some folks would expect from "hillbillies" like me. lol

    1. lotta joy - Most of the items hanging on the fence are rusted through and would probably be unusable for their purpose.

      The fence is not my cuppa tea though... ;)


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