Jonathan: Fencing the ‘middle croft’ – between the new road (it was built the year I was born) and the old road – has proved far more time-consuming than I’d ever imagined. The materials were ordered almost a year ago – late August 2011, but whilst the wooden posts and wire were delivered fairly promptly, by the time all the special steel ‘rock posts’ were here we were locked in the grip of the longest, windiest and wettest winter anyone – even the oldest and keenest bodach or cailleach could remember. Working outdoors with generators and electric drills was simply out of the question! But once lambing was over and the fine weather had become a settled feature of this year’s Spring and early Summer, there was no excuse but to get on with the job whenever I could spare time from engineering work. The fence type I’ve adopted – high tensile strained wire with droppers – is well suited to lone manual work, as there is nothing too heavy for one person to lift and carry (the heaviest is a 2.4m x 150mm square post, or for that matter the generator at about 60kg). But this is not the familar sheep-netting fence of woven wire mesh – it is simply individual horizontal wires (7 plain, 1 barbed) pulled to a very high tension. The spacing is maintained by fixed posts every 10m or less (depending on the rise and fall of the ground) – either driven wooden posts or metal posts resin-anchored into the rock, and between these (at a spacing of 2m to 3m) lighter battens of wood spanning from bottom wire to top, the wires being stapled to wood and passing through holes in the metal posts. This type of fencing relies on very high tension, obtained with a special tool. That’s where the problem lies, because at corners, gate posts and the such like, the combined pull of 8 wires is pretty awesome, and even with good strong stay-posts, the post can be pulled out of the ground. There’s no problem where the soil is deep and firm, or there is bare rock – but where the soil is about 200mm of loose soil over a matrix of boulders and peat, it is extremely difficult to get a firm hold, and improvisation is necessary. I would say 95% of the fence required only 5% of the total effort, but unfortunately the 5% that has taken me weeks and weeks to get right has been the length following the public road, providing everyone from my neighbours to holidaymakers with a free demonstration of how to and how not to make a fence. Belle – you’ve been a great encouragement. To the gentleman from England who said We don’t have anything like this in Norfolk! I’d like to think it was the sheep and the rocky ground you were so delighted to photograph, and not the complete and utter disaster with the gate. And finally, to Nick, Caroline, Jo, Hannah and Robert – thanks for coming to listen to my singing fence, and yes the gate is now good to go, and properly set back so that – eventually (when the access has been properly made up with stone) – I will be able to reverse the car and trailer off the road.