Tag Archives: homesteading

A New Chapter

Star date: 68812.441019787

We moved into a new home at the weekend, to fairer pastures hopefully. The house needs work, and there’s unexpected issues with the electricity but it’s a lovely big space and I’m really looking forward to getting settled here.
As you can see, we only have a small garden – nothing like the rolling expanse of New Earth in the Delta Quadrant (a girl can dream, can’t she?!) – so any ‘homesteading’ will have to be on a modest scale but I’m hoping to be able to get a little vegetable growing in there.

It’s a lot more rural than it looks – apart from the few houses around us, we’re about ten miles away from anything. So i still feel a little bit like a pioneer/ prairie girl which is kind of what I was looking for. An isolated farm would have been nicer but this is better than we could have hoped for in reality so I am more than happy.

And I’m really excited to have a kitchen that I can happily and comfortably cook in now – I can’t wait to get baking! I’m still waiting for my books which have been in storage all the time we were renting. But I’m a dab hand at improvising now – a little of this, a little of that!

Kes is out in the kitchen right now whipping up some scrambled eggs for the troops while I write my log, and the boys are tending the fire (a real, open log fire, so Chakotay is loving it!)

Finally, I may have mentioned the intermittent time-space portal which allows us to communicate with Earth on occasion? Last week we had a surprise visit from my mother who is now too elderly to look after herself, so it looks like that may be a permanent visit. 

We’ve put ‘Nanna’ in what would have been the baby’s room. It feels like the final twist of the knife, but I will just have to put on my Captain’s hat and suck it up. She is family, after all.

LLAP

Kathryn x

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Be Kind, and Bake Bread!

A friend of mine posted this photo on facebook. I don’t know who wrote it or where it originates but I liked it and thought I would share it as it seems to me to somewhat embody the homesteading/ self-sufficiency spirit, as does this list once posted in The Idler Magazine:

“Bake bread, muck about, quit moaning, stop consuming, start producing, back to the land, end usury, embrace beauty, ignore the state, reform is futile, hail the spade, hail the quill, love thy neighbour, be creative, dig the earth, make compost, down with health, down with safety, down with work, down with pensions, be alive, be merry, BE FREE!!”

What rules, guidelines,  mottoes or principles do you like to live by?

Dreams of the Good Life

The_Good_Life_(logo_for_1975_TV_show)

I had a really good run of about 8-10 weeks of feeling much better physically at the beginning of this year. I can’t explain it – there seems to be no obvious correlation between my physical health and my state of mind, and no clear connection with my dietary habits or lifestyle. I wasn’t eating anything different than I was in the Autumn and up to Christmas when I was really ill (actually, I think it has been worse this year, as we haven’t been able to afford a good diet recently); and yet, I had a very welcome reprieve.

But now I have begun to notice the clear signs of relapse, and I don’t know what has caused that either. It is a challenge to slow down and take it easy (which is essentially the only thing you can do in response to an impending ME relapse) when you are already generally so inactive.

I have noticed my dreams becoming much more vivid and intense again – while I was feeling better, I didn’t seem to dream at all. (If I recall any worth mentioning, I will share).

I really desperately want to turn my life around, get well, get fit, get slim and healthy, reach my potential, start working again. I have lost more than a decade to ME, and I don’t want to lose any more. I really do not want this.

I can’t help thinking about positive thinking and the ‘law of attraction’ again. You’ll know that it irritates me no end, and I have written about it a couple of times. And yet, and yet. I keep coming back to the whole idea.

Am I attracting bad luck? Am I somehow causing my ill health? Am I mis-using the ‘power of words’ and bringing negativity into my life? And by the same token, is it possible to change things around? Stem the tide of bad luck? Attract light and life and all good and happy and lovely things instead?

Or is it just a matter of frame of mind?

I find myself dreaming (in the sense of fantasising, not actual sleeping dreams) of a better life – a life where I am healthy and active, and working hard, and able to make a better life for us all round (actually, you probably already know that my fantasy is having a country farm, working on the land, and practising increasing self sufficiency – the ‘Good Life’).

Tom and Barbara in their garden, The Good Life, BBC TV

Tom and Barbara in their garden, The Good Life, BBC TV

One of the ‘positive thinking’ gurus on twitter suggests that the way to invite what you want into your life is to behave as though you already have it.

Well, I can’t physically pretend I’m well, or go digging the land, but I think I can practice the happiness that I imagine I would have if I had that life, choose joy, pretend that I am already there.

Make believe.

Will it make the real thing come a step closer? Will it invite happiness into my life? I have no idea. But it seems considerably preferable to concentrating on how terrible reality is.

The Forest Dark

I confess I spend quite a lot of time on the internet, simply because my illness limits my activity and I can’t get out much. I have multiple twitter accounts, and (don’t tell facebook) multiple facebook accounts. You would hardly believe how much I dislike facebook, given that fact, but I really do. There is almost no control over what you see in your timeline and it’s not fun anymore. None of it seems all that fun anymore.

The fact that I have so few irl friends here has meant that shutting myself off from social media recently has left me really isolated, and I’m probably not doing myself much good.

But without a job to go to, and without young children to meet at the school gate, it seems nigh on impossible to make real-life friends at my age. We have been down here 5 years now, and I have one friend. One. And it has not been for lack of trying, believe me.

If it were up to me, I would move home in a flash. But it’s not even an option. I am stuck in this beautiful, lonely place.

“Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
And the straightforward path had been lost in strife.” — Dante

It’s one of my favourite quotes, one that I have felt affinity with for many years. (Although I still haven’t got round to reading the book. It’s on my list.)

But perhaps I really do have a tendency to ‘glass half empty’, because I remember feeling like this before all the awful things happened to us, back when we were living in our own house, in the city.

And I remember feeling that I was in a kind of ‘wilderness’ even when we lived there, surrounded by people.

Janeway-and-Chakotay-Shoulder-Massage

While I have been away from facebook and twitter, I have been indulging in a bit of Star Trek fan fiction fantasy (a bit of writing and role play). If you’re familiar with Star Trek Voyager, the scenario is that – in the episode Resolutions – Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay, infected with a parasite that only allowed them to live on the planet where they became infected, have to be abandoned there alone while the crew go on without them.

In the series, a cure was found and they were rescued and resumed their journey home to Earth. But the fantasy is that the crew never return for them and so they live there on New Earth together, fall in love and have a family (in fact this is what the writer of the episode, Jeri Taylor, originally envisaged). Of course, I am Janeway and husband is Chakotay in my fantasy. All that’s missing is a tattoo.

I like the scenario because, quite apart from the romance, I love the idea of being stranded alone, having to pioneer a homestead, grow our own food, make our own clothes, tame animals and raise livestock, and being completely free.

So why do I hate it here so much in real life? I’ve had 5 years to think about it. The reality is that we don’t have any land, we don’t have a homestead, we can’t even keep chickens here. The country is no better than the city if you have no money. In fact, I think it might be considerably worse in some ways.

And I am beginning to think that I don’t actually like people very much (although it’s probably just sour grapes. I’m pretty likeable, what’s their problem?! Nobody smiles, nobody talks to you – it really is the most unfriendly and unwelcoming place I have ever lived in, and the beauty doesn’t make up for that). There are far too many people around here to allow my fantasy of being alone, pioneering on the planet.

So, a way forward? I can’t see us ever being completely happy here, even if I could make friends. I think that the only way to get happy is to get going and move away. I just wonder how far we’d have to move to get the kind of place we want and need at a price we can afford.