Friday, 3 August 2012

a bit of a catch up..

where to start? so much has happened and is happening i am a bit lost and fuzzy. 

firstly i will tell you about our wonky roof.. how i wish i had taken a picture as it was quite funny really. the crown supports that are not supposed to be structural turn out to be very structural when it is the first time you put up a yurt and you have no idea how to tie a knot that actually stays tied! we planned after four days of glorious sunshine to take her down and put her again.. obviously it then threatened to rain most of the day but thankfully we made it just in time. we had some amazing helpers and a professional knot tier and all went as expected and our roof is back at nine foot instead of the five and a half foot it had slipped to, all the same we have left the crown supports in just in case!

secondly not only has papajoe started work in the office but i have been offered a sort of artist in residence role. the outlook inn (also known as the art barn) is a beautiful little hideaway filled with fascinating and eclectic objects taken from nature and the natural world. it is a space that invites creativity and reflection. while the groups are on their free time they can come and see me, join in or create on their own, i will be there, not to judge but to guide and to support. i have so many ideas, things i never had the time, space or resources to do. 

what else, what next..? today i discovered we have an abundance of fleece which i am going to use for felting, stuffing, spinning and best of all natural dying. i am hoping to use some of the space outside the straw bale to plant a bed specifically for that purpose. also i have been invited to a meeting to discuss some funding we have received for producing our own veg. the chap that comes with the money will only be able to give us a morning a week so he is going to need someone willing to fill in the rest of the time "abisnail waves excitedly".

last quick notes.. papajoe made us a pallet kitchen work station which is slightly to big but a vast improvement on what we had before. the home ed plans are coming along and we have arranged a bbq
which i am hoping will be sunny and busy and full of ideas. oh and papajoe played the dad in "we're going on a bear hunt" (read here by the author micheal rosen), in front of fifty people. it was fantastic and i only wish i had recorded it so i could embarrass him further and show you all.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

artist in residence

starting my residency with a poem -

yurt days

crackers by wind up torch light            
walking across stones to the loo          
the children are staying up later            
and waking up earlier too                    

plaiting the willow boundaries              
animals that need to be fed                  
the children have gone on a bear hunt    
while we put chickens to bed              

the kettle doesn't whistle                      
the washing ups done on the floor        
the children play games in the straw bale
we still need a lock on the door            

rustic homemade furniture                    
beautifully painted crown wheel            
the children and papa and baby
the happiest that we could feel

Friday, 20 July 2012

5 things...

5 things that are great about yurt living -

1. the beautiful painted roof poles and doorway
2. the clear crown wheel cover fills the space with daylight/moonlight and it makes for some         
   spectacular lightning shows
3. our bespoke handmade higgledy-piggledy furniture
4. we are much more in touch with the outdoors - with nature and the weather
5. i can stay in bed and still be in the thick of family life

5 things that suck about yurt living -

1. once one of the kids is up we all are
2. we are in a mess all of the time even when we are tidy (that may have nothing to do with the yurt)
3. everything needs winding up all the time (papajoe describes this as a 'fun challenge')
4. the mud, the mud, the bloody mud (this may have more to do with the crazy wet summer)
5. i keep banging my head on the four foot door

5 things we still need to do -

1. take down and re build the yurt - we are seriously wonky
2. make a kitchen unit for our new oven
3. build a composting loo/tree bog
4. build beds for us and for kids
5. cut down the floor stuff in a load of felt and sort out the tarp

5 things we have done already -

1. built some very nifty kitchen shelves
2. papajoe built a very interesting outdoor table
3. installed a wood burner
4. located local libraries, swimming pools, charity shops and pub!
5. started organising home ed group - just need a good name

Thursday, 12 July 2012

one of those days

sometimes i have these days.. these real down, sulky, slumpy days. i have had these odd days most of my adult life sometimes its ok.. i can shake it off but sometimes it lasts days on end. the need to pack a bag and run for it niggling at the back of my mind. the little voice that says no one would miss you, in fact they would be better off without you. 

today has been one of those days. i woke up cold (we are having some issues with our stove), always a bad start for me. i had a weird dream which had got me stressed about money. i am not someone who cares about money, i have a very "it will work out" attitude towards it. but this last month has been an expensive one and it unnerves me. to be honest i wallowed in it, and the pressure to get three kids and all our washing clean on the only sunny day we have had for a while totally panicked me and i lost it. 

papajoe then insisted that he would take the kids out to the park.. instead of being grateful for the break i took this as a dig at my ability to look after them. i took it as him wanting to get himself and them away from horrible mummy. i got even more upset and unmanageable and so understandably he left. 

first i was devastated, how could he abandon me, and then i felt terrible. it was me, i had pushed them all away. i am unbearable, of course they don't want to be around me. i went for a walk to calm myself down. i found myself marching, i became determined to catch them up, regardless of the fact they had gone in the van and i was on foot. i marched the three or four miles into beccles. by the time i got there i was so desperate to see them i hardly remembered to feel miserable but of course i had missed them. the park was filled with other happy families. 

i tried to call but they didn't answer so after a sit in the church garden i began the walk back. this time as i walked at a more sensible pace i was able to enjoy the twists and turns in the path the poppies and dog roses lining grass and the hedgerows. how lucky i am to have such undulating beauty right on my doorstep. how lucky i am to have a family waiting at home for me, that love me even at my most unpleasant. 

things are not always easy, and i thoroughly except to have crappy days, sometimes worse than crappy but also i will have good days, amazing jump in the air days, sometimes sing and dance days. i just need to open my eyes.. walk a bit slower and who knows what tomorrow will bring... 

Monday, 9 July 2012

week no.1

we have survived our first week of yurt living through torrential down pours and severe flood warnings. what is more we have survived unharmed, apart from one small leak by the door and the small bog surrounding us. mainly it has been exactly as expected.. a bit like luxury camping ( i refuse to use the term glamping). 

we have no electric or running water and we have a small walk to the nearest toilet but we do have a wooden floor, a proper front door and tonight a proper mattress! we have borrowed a table from the straw bale building so are managing to be quite civilised at meal times. well as civilsed as you can be when you are baby led weaning and babys favourite food is mashed potato. 

papajoe built us some shelves for our kitchen area which will only need a small amount of tweaking before they are perfect and we are on the hunt for pallets to make some more bits of furniture. the big kids are having a bed designed and built by the lovely tim germain which will be so multi purpose (and curved) i get excited just thinking about it! 

all in all we are settling in nicely, getting to know everyone better and doing odd jobs to help out. if only it would rain just a little less so we could really get out and enjoy the space, visit the beach (only half an hour away) and get started on the millions of jobs we need to get done. 

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

yurt building for dummies

we have only gone and done it...

weds 27th june - we set off early to collect the van. the plan, to buy the wood we needed and drop it off on site. papajoe would then head into london to collect the yurt on thursday morning ready for a mad day of floor and yurt building. an easy start? well, first the yurt people rang to say they were away and we couldn't collect till friday then we had a serious maths debacle. papajoe underestimating and me over. i had a miny meltdown (see previous post).

thurs 28th june - uncle piers was late. he slept in and missed his train so we arrived on site (with just us) late. we marked out a circle with string and sticks and then, as all maths skills had deserted us, spent most of the morning lying planks on the floor to correctly work out how many we would need. we were later joined by mrs cleary, one of her lovely boys and finally uncle piers. we picked up all our wood laid our tarp and starting setting out the struts for the base of our deck. by half seven the kids the clearys and i had had enough and we left the boys to start screwing down the first few planks.

fri 29th june - papajoe picked up yurt! he arrived on site at 2 o'clock and since i had been on my own with the kids had not done any more than unwrapping the beginnings of our floor. we began work.. when (wait for it..) my mums boyfriends sisters boyfriend showed up to offer a hand. what a star! we were almost finished when we ran out of battery power for our one drill and one screwdriver (yes we were very prepared!) and so wrapped everything back up and called it a day. 

sat 30th june - determined to set of early we picked uncle piers up at 9 made a quick stop at the diy shop and headed back to site.. today was going to be easy! just a few more screws and onto putting up a yurt. whoops spoke to soon.. the floor was done but turns out we cut it pretty fine. we had a nightmare trying to fit the door and getting all the wall sections the same height. mum came and took some pics and chased the kids around till i couldn't keep my eyes open any longer and she ferried us home. again we left the boys to it but it was late and getting dark, they managed to get her up and get a waterproof cover over her before rushing back to ipswich to miss uncle piers' train. 

sun 1st july - moving in day.. or not. we were exhausted right from the word go so we decided we would take down the waterproof cover and add the proper layers, cotton, then felt, then canvas and plastic, then more canvas and a pvc rain cap, and get back to ipswich for an early night. the wind and the weight of the material held us up and if it wasn't for the help of a man named tim i don't know where we would be. but we did it. she was up, she was dressed and as much as we wanted to stay the night it was good to go back to mums. we had a takeaway and a bottle of fizz and collapsed into unconsciousness. 

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

bloody wood

first of all i feel i should put it out there that i love my husband and he has done an amazing job trying to figure this all out and make it work. he is a super star. today though i nearly rang his neck, when i thought we were spending quite a bit on wood only to discover we had bought far to little. i sat in the van and cried down the phone to my mum. having had some stewing time with some paper, a pen and a calculator (and a large glass of wine) i have come to the conclusion that -  

a) money spent on floor is money well spent
b) working out how much rectangular wood you need to make a circle is bloody difficult and 
c) papajoe did his best, the man who worked at the wood place was obviously a wally and this is about moving forward and making the best of whatever we've got! 

with that in mind, tomorrow we will get up early, go buy some more wood and then rush over there to build a floor. we have after all, in case you haven't heard, bought a yurt! that involved quite a bewildered cashier and a very large envelope. when i went to deposit the cash i very briefly entertained the idea of just legging it but was distracted by the lady ahead of me in the queue with not only odd socks but odd shoes!!!  

so after a whole lot of hoo-ha and changing of minds the plan goes... tomorrow build a floor, friday pick up and build a yurt, saturday, if not dead from exhaustion, empty storage keep some stuff but mainly fill nearer storage and sunday start living in a yurt!!