this house living malarky

well, truth be told our year of being back in a house has been a tricky one. i know we had no end of problems under canvas but i have to say i’d rather be there than here. yes i missed baths and easy cooking, yes we had neighbour issues but i still prefer that to this. i slept better, physically i was better, the children were more chilled out. i miss the simplicity, i miss the outdoors, i miss dim lighting and a lack of electricity, i miss the closeness of the whole family. here there are too many rooms to escape to, to many walls to put between us, we end up shouting out at each other and still not hearing, we end up sitting apart, even at night when we were up and the girls were asleep there was a proximity, now they’re a doorway, a set of stairs, another doorway and the other side of the room away, we go to bed and i can’t sense them sleeping nearby. we’ve just spent 4 nights at Tribal Earth and i loved it. i slept better, i was more awake and able to function in the mornings, when i woke in the night i could look over and see the girls. cooking was a bit rudimentary, but simple enough, i missed our compost loo but the loos were adequate and now we’ve discovered the beauty of the bucket shower my  bathroom requirements are easily satisfied (also at tribal earth they had a water trough with a fire beneath – something we talked about last year but were too busy to actually get round to). I don’t actually want to be in a tent again but a yurt or a hut of some kind would do the trick. i’m not sure how long i can live in a house, it’s stifling, it’s just so unnatural! would like to work out some kind of freezer/decent fridge solution though as keeping food cool & bulk(ish) buying becomes a bit of an issue with no cold storage.

anyway, there’s my latest rambling, and rambling it is.


A plea to the universe

People keep telling me that if I don’t tell people what it is I want, or rather if I don’t ask for what it is we need then I will never get/someone who can help will never know. So, that leads me to this blog post.
We do love lots of aspects of this house. We do not love some aspects of this house.
Truthfully though, we miss the woods, Boo misses her freedom,not just her freedom though, the ability to climb 20 different trees in a day, to build 3 dens, all different, to watch birds, lots of different birds! I crave hens, and pigs, and sheep, I crave the peace of woodland, coupled with the meditative quality of dappled shade. Ed, she just craves the woods – which seems amazingly odd considering how much she hated living in the woods…. In reality, it wasn’t living in the woods she hated it was in actual fact the disorganised life we had in the woods that she hated. The absolute awfulness of the weather (and Niges work hours) meant that the functional cooking area never became a reality, nor did the clean up area, the weather meant the shortish trek to the shower became a hike around the perimeter of the 5 acres of woodland we were living in. And then there was of course the planning issue. Ed did not like being watched, she did not like her comings and goings scrutinised by a miserable busybody who really had nothing better to do with her life than make ours miserable. If the weather had been better we might have been in better spirits, more able to shrug off the awfulness that was her constant spying but it wasn’t. I mustn’t forget the other two either, Yogi misses it, she says so a lot, I think it’s because I was more present with them, also she did in fact love squelching through the really icky mud in barefeet, feeling the mud squish up between her toes, she loved the compost toilet, the wee bale and she loved playing fairies amongst the trees. Finally we have Nige, he was happy in the woods, he likes nature, he likes it to surround him, he loves the sounds, the smells, the sights.
What I’m saying is, that although this house ticks many boxes, it doesn’t tick enough. We can happily survive in a much smaller house, I miss my childrens constant presence now that they run off and hide in their rooms, I miss the sparcity of ‘stuff’.
What we need dear reader is a house with some land and for some of that land to be wooded – or alternatively we need some woodland with a clearing and space for a yurt. We do not need a lot of indoor space, 2 bedrooms a kitchen and a bathroom will do us, but we do need outdoor space, I’d like to raise our own meat and grow our own veg, but for that we need space. We can’t afford much however and we need to stay local – the local home ed community is amazing and we have some truly wonderful friends, and of course Ed has been accepted to her preferred college and we need to stay on or near the bus route for that.

Someone asked today whether it was possible that moving back into a house (or this house specifically) might be what had triggered my illness. I don’t know, I can’t say but I feel things would be better viewed through the door of my cottage, with the hens clucking around in the background and the delighted squeals of my children as they clambered and swung in the trees.

So, if you can help us please do get in touch. It sounds like such a huge ask but if I don’t ask no one will know and things will never change.

repurposing a doll bed into a fruit basket

Today was a day of calm for me – amazingly as Boo had a friend over to play.
While the children played I sat and repurposed.

I picked up a toy Moses basket from a charity shop, about 3 years ago now, with the intention of fixing it up. It has sat waiting all this time. I almost did repair it, on about 3 separate occasions, but my heart wasn’t in it. It just didn’t seem like something we needed/wanted. The girls co-slept and didn’t use baskets so I suppose it didn’t seem right to get them to do this with their babies. Today I realised we needed a fruit basket, and considering fruit is a large part of our diet I decided we needed a largish one. I wandered round the house, and garden trying to find something suitable but couldn’t find anything and that was when it occurred to me to take off the shaped edge of the Moses basket and make an original fruit basket. A nice, oval, fruit basket. Of course once you cut some off you have to re-affix the edge. And then of course there’s some of the original damage that still needed repair!





The move part 2

Saturday night was pretty impressive. In an ‘oh wow I can’t believe how loud and wet and wet and loud it is’ kind of way.

I spent the day at home tidying and packing, knowing it was J’s party that day so we’d lose some time but being happy with that as we love J very much. The weather had remained pretty much ok all day but as tent time approached the weather deteriorated. But the beds were in, everything was ready there was no way on earth we were going to spend the night in the house. So, we had hot chocolate and snuggled down for a very wet and very windy night.
The girls and Tom slept fantastically, I on the otherhand spent the night checking; checking the rain wasn’t coming in, checking the fire was still going, making sure there was a tealight lit in case the girls woke up, checking they were covered up (but not too covered), that they were warm (but not too warm), using the Shepee Tom set up, hoping Ed was warm enough and then finally sleeping! The good news is everyone was warm enough, stayed dry and slept.

The area outside the tent looked pretty boggy this morning!

The move part 1

We are really doing this.

The move seems to be a mixture of incredibly relaxed and ever so slightly stressful.

Today I spent the day at the launderette trying to make sure anything that needed washing was. I should have been home packing but with so many towels and individual socks appearing at every turn I just had to get it done. The launderette in itself was an adventure, Boo came with me and helped me count coins, load washes (what goes with what and why), gold washes etc then we hotfooted it next door for a quick cuppa. We also got to experience the hows of repairing a brick wall without closing the launderette due to an unfortunate incident earlier in the morning involving an elderly gentleman, his car and the wall to the building.

The afternoon was indeed spent packing, finally the girls room was cleared, mine was begun. I never realised how many pennies I’d lost, more socks too… The bathroom (thank you Ed), the ensuite and most of the kitchen. A quick nip to the supermarket revealed a new discovery – chocolate coconut milk! Wow, an early trip to the woods was definitely required. As soon as Tom got home from a hard days setting up we headed back to light the fire and drink hot chocolate paleo style. The hot chocolate was absolutely delicious. The children were relaxed and happy round the fire and the set up looked amazing.

Reluctantly we headed back for our last night in bricks and mortar.

Tandem tandeming….

Today, whilst ambling around the wonderful – but prohibitively expensive – Forest Row, we came across this


I’m not sure how well you can see but it’s a tandem trailer bike! I’m planning on showing mr Tom later as I think it will beautifully compliment the tandem that Tom inherited from his father. Imagine us on the tandem with the smalls trailing behind!

Probably won’t go for it but I have really been looking at ways to cut down on car travel. I have a rather dodgy hip, since forever, which I’m getting under control with the help of (costly but worth it) one to one Pilates on a weekly basis, and I am hoping that I’ll be able to actually get about by pedal power instead of petrol power. Boo can ride a bike with no problems but I worry about her on the roads as she is only 6. Having had a discussion fairly recently about my past trips, by bike, aged 6yrs to about 10yrs, from Hailsham to Pevensey Bay, unsupervised I do wonder at my reluctance, but I alternate that with astonishment at my parents lack of reluctance!

Tell me, do you think it’s safer with a trailer bike or should I take Yogi on the trailer bike and let Boo meander/wobble/speed/dawdle beside/behind/in front of me?!