Old entries from the old blog site

I began this blog elsewhere, and, just as things started to get interesting last weekend (I found a piece of land, spent a couple of hours walking around it, fell in love, made an offer… very very exciting), the blog went into limbo as I began the process of transferring it to WordPress. So, for the sake of a complete record, here are entries from the old site:
Walking the labyrinth
Having a few moments to spare at lunchtime the other day, I took the opportunity to walk a labyrinth. Why not? It was right there in the grounds of the clinic I’d just visited. As I started to walk, I began to think about this project – the land, the carbon-neutral house. It set me thinking about what this isn’t going to be. The community I linked to in my last blog sounds wonderful, and I can appreciate their urge to recreate a kind of monastic simplicity in their daily life. But that isn’t quite what I’m aiming for. What interests me is more simply to get back to something pre-modern; to try to recreate a relationship with the land based on respect, enlightened stewardship, and making what you need from what you have. It might even involve candles, firelight… I mean I’ll take every modern innovation (solar, wind…) when it comes to generating power, but I KNOW that initially I won’t be able to afford these things. So why not embrace the simplicity that comes from doing without until I can power things in an environmentally friendly way. So, would I need a labyrinth? Because as I walked this one I was thinking, “Hm, can I have one of these?” Well I guess I could, if I make one on this land I don’t yet own. I couldn’t help wondering then, musing on the “I want” factor… when I have this land, when I have this eco-home, and maybe even my very own labyrinth, what then? Will all my problems be solved? Or will there be something else I think I need? The answer came from being realistic… this is a project that will need time, that will happen slowly as I find the money, acquire the expertise. Is a garden ever finished?
Posted by Clare at 9/14/2010 10:31 PM | Add Comment

Windsor Hill Wood: another inspiring place!
People are doing such interesting things… Check out this community, Windsor Hill Wood in England. They started the way I intend to: buying a few acres of woodland, with the aim of conserving and managing it (theirs was/is a brown-field site); also building a home (they have made a tree house too), and planting a vegetable garden. Their project is also concerned to build a community. They invite a small number of people – people who need quiet time, or restorative time, away from their regular lives – to join their household and work on their land and woodland with them. It’s a beautiful idea! I especially love the notion of learning/ reviving crafts that use the produce of their trees and smallholding. I will certainly enjoy following this project closely… and would love to volunteer with them at some point. My need for quiet time away is not so great as the people they aim to help, but I would love to learn from them, and contribute something to their project.
Posted by Clare at 9/12/2010 10:17 AM | Add Comment

Eco-hot tub!
Fantastic! Just read about this wood-fired hot tub, featured in a green living article in the UK’s Guardian today. Unfortunately the freebie version of the Guardian online doesn’t include the pic (and I’m not able to paste it in), but to compensate, here are some great tree houses from an older Guardian article… Enjoy! Although not all of them seem very green… those lanterns are stunning, but what’s powering the light??
Posted by Clare at 9/5/2010 9:51 AM | Add Comment

Starting small
So the plan is to get myself a plot of land, with plenty of trees, and slowly construct something (a tree house? a cabin? most likely some kind of tent in the earliest phases…) that would have as low an environmental impact as possible. Well, I don’t yet have the land, but I’m starting to retrain myself to use less, recycle more. This week’s changes are tiny (and really banal) – I switched from paper coffee filters to a wire mesh reusable filter, and bought myself some cloth napkins to use (and reuse) instead of paper ones. Are you bored yet?  Bigger desiderata include a compost bin for the kitchen (can’t believe I haven’t got myself one of these yet).

The other bigger change I’ve made this week is part of my new resolution to get everything in my life into better balance. I had a massage the other day for the first time in about 20 years. Just to get rid of the knots in my back and neck, really, but I learnt something I hadn’t realized about myself, even after a couple of decades of yoga. I’m right-hand dominant – OK, so are many people, I guess – but I had NO idea at all that the left side of my body has significantly less muscle mass because of that. So, starting today, I thought I’d try to be left-handed for a change. Challenging, but really interesting too… especially when it comes to cooking, wielding a knife with the left hand, that sort of thing. What’s really nice is that it forces you to slow down a little, really focus on what you’re doing, so it’s already a new kind of mindfulness practice for me. I’m going to try it for a month, and see if I’m any stronger on the left…
Posted by Clare at 9/4/2010 8:36 PM | Add Comment

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