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.

Glorious sun & glorious mud

Well I survived another day – despite my mad rantings at Nige last night (think hunger,tiredness,release after a good day marred by ‘nosey’ on my arrival home).

Friends were seen, lovely friends, (M, you are a star and E is so adorable, V, so calm in spite of my whirlwinds…) Abuelas pressie was begun – we love Fun Pots – enamelware aquired (thank you M). Twins were had fun with – although Yogi has managed to chip both her top front teeth on the new water play equipment at the park, the library was visited and finally water supplies have been replenished.

Now, I’m home. ‘nosey’ has only been seen twice today – on my trip out at lunchtime which of course was the first (and possibly only) time I’ve crossed to get the car barefoot! My feet felt free after such a long time in wellies, but I’m sure she’ll make something of it. The girls are happily playing while I boil water to wash their very, very dirty feet (their turn to play barefoot now), and I am happy. It’s moments like this when everything (shh birds!) us peaceful and beautiful that I must hold onto when busybodies invade my space.

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A beautiful Monday

What a fabulous day.

The first part of the morning was spent tidying the campsite and checking off kit – all present and correct.
A quick text to a friend confirmed her daughter would love to join us for a HE trip to a local museum for some jubilee learning and a spot of bunting making, we picked her up and headed off. Museum trip was brilliant with a good bit of catching up done for the parents and learning and friend seeing for the children. A trip to the park for more of a natter, and some running, jumping, climbing for my two and some getting to know you for C, who is new to HE.

On returning C to her parents I got to indulge in the soon to be new member of our family, who currently does not have a name – and for this there is no rush.

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Her name will come to us.

Of course my return home was slightly marred by the vision of the neighbours car parked at the gate to the field… after suitable amounts of ranting at poor Nige, I finished my sulk and hopefully an ‘over it’ for tonight.

Tomorrow brings get togethers with friends, and hopefully a little more of the beautiful sunshine.

A positive end to a difficult week

Following a very difficult week I’ve made some decisions that will hopefully improve life for us – even if the neighbours don’t magically disappear…

I’ve resigned my position as SE Region Coordinator for NCT, this will take quite a bit of pressure off me. I won’t feel I need to solve branch problems, and I won’t dread speaking to negative branch volunteers. I’ll miss the friendly ones and the positive ones and I will actually miss helping the ones who are struggling, just not the hostile ones.

I’ve also decided to hand in my notice as nanny for the twins. I’ve been toying with this for a while as I don’t think the relationship is working, they don’t respond as I’d hoped they would after 14months. Also, as it is now only afternoons, it has a really big impact on our Home Ed. There are so many events I have to decline, so many workshops and museum visits that my girls miss out on, because I have to be back for 2.30pm. I think if the twins reacted more positively to our life this could be ok, but they don’t and Yogi ends up crying whenever the girls are with us. I spend so much of my time trying to get the twins to interact that Yogi gets left behind/out. Obviously this isn’t instant, I still need to hand in and work my notice but at least I know, and Yogi will know that it’s going to get easier.

I’ve also decided Yogi won’t return to playgroup. A bigger relief than I expected, again, it impacts so much on daily life that it has turned into a complete negative.

As a result I feel calm, and I’m looking forward to an exciting week; a trip to Maidstone Museum to dally with Egyptians and the Electric Palace, in Hastings at the end of the week for some musical action with Oliver!

Loneliness and our way of life.

I have to blog on loneliness too, but it’s not a new feeling for me. I’ve felt it for years. Having grown up in a very conventional place, with relatively conventional (well to the rest of the world) parents, in a place that hated the non-conventional (far too many gypsy settlers for anyones liking…), I seem to have deviated completely; and so far, other than Nige I haven’t found anyone that I feel ‘at home’ with.

I have friends, but too many of them refuse to understand my choice to Home Ed, our dietary choices, our lifestyle choices (and that was before we moved to the woods). Sadly, the few friends I do have that seem to understand, or at least accept are not local, and so, seeing them becomes difficult, especially if they (as mothers) work outside the home or send their children to school, these limit physical availability.

I am, by nature a very shy person. I have always hated meeting new people, not because I don’t want to but because I don’t think I’m interesting enough, or worth other peoples time (yes, I know I have self esteem issues). But, acutally I love meeting new people, I love to hear their story, to find out about them, and I love making new friends. But, (I know, again with the but!) I find it hard to keep them going. My life, always feels like a madhouse, I have moments where I have felt utterly bored with nothing to do and no one to see, but mostly it feels like I don’t actually have time to breathe. I keep hoping for a time when this will all change. I think that’s partly in our ‘future’, the one that I can dream but can’t actually believe. The one where we live among others who feel the way we do about children, about nature, about ‘things’ (I say blogging from my laptop and owning an iPhone…). The one with the roundhouses, the veg plots and the neighbours. The one with the communal campfire, the shared responsibility and the sense of belonging.

 

Our first Sunday

Sunday morning and instead of getting to enjoy the woods/rain soaked bog I get to head off for an NCT Nearly New Sale bright and early.

Whilst I was gone Eds boyfriend E dug trenches, Tom and Eddie sorted and sorted and things at home are looking clearer. I met up with Tom at the house to get some more sorting done and then finally I got to see how our boggy home was doing.

My first sight of the trenched site was brilliant, it looked so much better than when I’d left in the morning, it felt like home. The weather had cleared a little and it looked like we were in for a calmer night. Tom cooked bolognese over the fire, Boo & Yogi stuffed it down and then went to sleep. We had ours and headed into Eds tent for a game of ‘Escoba’, a Spanish card game involving the number 15, some confusion on the part of all those brought up with 52 not 40 cards in a pack (everyone in the tent bar me…) and some not so lovely mulled wine.

The weather stayed calm, the night was peaceful and had it not been for Yogi waking up in the middle of the night with earache we would have actually got a whole nights sleep! The earache was solved with some cotton wool and cuddles. The rest of the night was uneventful and Monday morning dawned bright, and beautiful. The only fly in the ointment the need to travel to town for 9.15 for playgroup…..

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