Sunday, March 31, 2013

An anniversary

When we open iphoto, it defaults to the 'last 12 months' folder. I kinda like it, because every time I open the program, I get a little look at what we were up to exactly 12 months ago.
March 2012 - Moonie chops up our land to make way for home-building and driveway-making
March 2013 - home and driveway complete. Well.. almost...
Last time I opened it, I saw the pictures of our excavations and home-building. These photos - especially the ones from our workshop, especially the muddy ones - make me feel kinda funny inside. There's a big bit of pride at what we've achieved in only 12 months since breaking ground here, but there's also a bit of residual anxiety (it was stressful!!), lots of love (all those people helping us!!), relief (thank goodness we're not building load-bearing again!!) and joy that we're now living our dream, and that our relationship and family love has grown so much as a result of this adventure we're on.
April 2012 - mixing render by hand with my little 'helper'. I could barely keep my footing in that crazy mud...
March 2013 - Ahhh... gravel.
As I'm a results-driven kinda lady, I get immense pleasure from looking at what we've made here, and looking back on these photos is a big part of that feeling. When you're in it every day, it's hard to realise the progress you're making. These photos remind me that yeah - it's only been a year. We've achieved a lot. They help me to slow down a little and take it in (I can be impatient), and enjoy what we've built rather than rushing on to the next project. Anniversaries and birthdays are good like that - they're the most perfect opportunity to reflect on what you've got, where you've been, how you've grown, and where you'd like to go next.
April 2012 - final days of the strawbale building workshop, and the roof's finally going on, providing much-needed protection for our little house

March 2013 - and now she's got solar panels and a pergola and a garden!!!

When the earthworks started, 12 months ago, I felt so nervous to be disrupting the earth and all the things living on and in it. I felt nervous to be really, physically embarking on this building thing with, I realise now, very little knowledge. Sure, we had guts and determination to spare, but real, hands-on building knowledge was quite thin on the ground, though I felt, at that time, like we could do anything we wanted. And I suppose these photos show that you can, with love and determination and help from friends and family, and a willingness to ask questions of everyone, everywhere you go, and books, and helpful people who are happy to share knowledge, skills and experience. You can do it.
June 2012 - building detritus a-go-go and still plenty of mud
March 2013 - nasturtuims: the speedy gardening solution 

The objectives of building this little house were always to 'see if we can' (just like David Byrne wrote Psycho Killer just to "see if he could write a song"... I think that worked out OK for him), to provide somewhere to live while we saved up to build something else, so we wouldn't be enslaved by a mortgage for our whole lives, and to learn from our mistakes. 
And it has been an amazing learning experience. We've learned so much about building, about our land, about ourselves, about each other, about the resilience of kids, about the fun-ness of lofts and fire-baths, about the differences between wants and needs, about the seasons, about living on the land and working with it and learning from it, about happiness and tiredness, about plants and animals... the list goes on.
We feel really really lucky.
June 2012 - what the hell do we do with this???
March 2013 - steps, veggies, flowers, native shrubs, a barbecue, trampoline and cubby house - of course!


  1. Looks great ladies, looking forward to hanging with you all next week and get my tree planting on!!

    1. Thanks Meggy! Oh so great to have you here xx

  2. Wow only a year ago and you've made such wonderful progress. The Nasturtiums are looking lovely, they are such hardy plants.

    1. Hello Zara, thanks so much for visiting and taking the time to comment. Oh yes we love nasturtiums! the colour, the abundance, all the bees they attract... so good. All the best to you

  3. It's looking amazing! Can't believe how far you've come in so short time. You must feel fanastic!!! x Happy Easter to you all ! xx

  4. Hello Kim, thanks so much for your enthusiasm and lovely, kind words. Yes we are feeling pretty good and hoping to hold onto these feelings as we plan our next steps. It can be easy to get caught up in the frenzy of what's coming next and forget all that has been. Hope you're well xx