Thursday, 19 January 2012


Where is home? Where your parents live? Where you live? Where you are right now? Where your loved ones are?

 Home...the word has such a lovely hum to it, home is always where I feel most comfortable;  making homes, and being at home, and I will happily turn a tent on a one night camping trip into a cosy home with the help of some blankets and a few flowers. When I arrive home, wherever that is, I invariably feel my shoulders melt into the ground and my breath lengthen as I exhale into familiarity and comfort. Maybe it's because I feel able to drop all my barriers at home, stop trying so hard, to be liked? to fit in? to do the right thing....? So my home becomes an oasis, where I don't have to pretend..yeah I know I shouldn't pretend anywhere, but that's a work in progress.

In my defence, Cancer features very heavily in my astrological chart and the lovely woman who drew my chart, mentioned the word 'cosy' several times during the course of my consultation with her. I like things to be cosy, and curling up next to a warm winter fire, by candlelight, with some snuggly children nestled in for a story is a blissful feeling.

I think that's why I have struggled with feelings of restless and insecurity during the last year when I just didn't know where my home was going to be, and then when I did know, facing a double house move in two months.

So, as we begin the countdown to our final move to our land, I will be readjusting to another home. I know I will feel impatient to get curtains and rugs scattered around very quickly (I should be making them now....) and the children's rooms comfortable and welcoming. (Hugh and I will be sleeping in the sitting room for a while, but we've done that's very cosy!) I know that the strange, slightly exhilarating, yet uneasy feeling of novelty will soon wear off and we will sink into our new ryhthms and ways on the land.

blanket walls

Back to an outside composting toilet, still awaiting completion...

Almost no electricity, save what we can glean from a leisure battery....plans for stream generated power are afoot... (shhhh!  we will have a gas cooker, at least to begin with.)

I've abandoned ideas of a whiskey barrel bath tub (they leak if they dry out) and am resigned to a tin bath in the corner of the kitchen for now with heavy curtain drapes for modesty. Later we have plans for a rocket stove, wood fired shower, in a separate room, luxury of luxuries, but we must wait for time and money..Actually I really love tin baths, and harbour romantic memories of sitting in front of the wood stove in our yurt, soaking and watching the dancing flames, as the candles threw their shadows on the canvas walls.

My laundry will now be completed with the help of this lovely item, for my birthday present from my mother in law , a Victorian washboard, and a mangle yet to be purchased.

Lots of candles, and I will have an entire blog post devoted to candles very soon.

And lots more mud, and outside, and cosy firelit evenings.

I long to be settled. I have moved far too many times since children, and although I do have a restless changeable nature, I yearn for stability, security and a longterm home where I can root myself in the land and gather my scattered plans, thoughts and dreamings into one place, where they can flourish and grow. To sink down quietly into the earth and gather my family around to retreat and reflect for a while before this winter is over. Before the headlong full blossomed rush of Spring.

I'm looking forward to going home.

Where is your home?


  1. It's good to see some more photos of how things are coming along. I envy not the Victorian washboard and mangle, but I love the idea of a home with very little electricity - it's the constant hum and drone of appliances and horrible LED lights that drives me crazy, this is why we have planned since moving here to build a little electricity-free guest cabin with little more than a bed and a writing desk to escape for peace from electric noise and light pollution. We will get to it eventually, a small building (too small for building regulations to make it impossible to build it) made with straw bales and stack walls and a "turf roof" planted with sedums, rhodiola and other tough plants that don't care about drying out in summer or freezing solid in winter.

    I'm like you, home is my favourite place to be - a sanctuary. I love being at home, staying home, coming home, and having one place of my own to observe and be part of the changing seasons year after year. I find it hard to feel "at home" anywhere but home.

    1. Ooh I hope you finally get to build your cabin!I must admit there is something about living with no, or minimal electricity that I find really appealing (unfortunately two members of my household are not in total agreement over this) When had our electricity free week last year the transformation of our family life was huge.

  2. We have moved house twice in the last 7 months and I still dont feel settled really. We have just bought paint for the living room and I am hoping it will help make it feel like mine (ours). I am pining for the old house(s) which I desperately wanted to move from, its a strange thing. We lived in a gorgeous victorian flat for 12 years and I desperately wanted a garden so we moved, but I miss the flat so much. My 2 older children (aged 22 and 20 now) grew up there (we moved in when they were 8 and 6 and moved out when they were 20 and 18), and my little son was born there and we moved when he was only 4 months. So I guess its the family at that stage I miss not the actual bricks and mortar.
    Your new home looks amazing. I am looking forward to following its growth. Oh yes and I wanted to say, my Granny used a washboard and mangle in the 1970's. She passed away very young when I was only 7 years old, so my memories are vague, but I do remember sitting under her kitchen table playing with her wooden clothes pegs in a basket while she washed her clothes. Aw your photo took me right back there.

    1. Lovely to hear about your Granny Val, I did actually used to have a mangle, which belonged to a very old man who occupied the house before us for 50 years. He had a hand pump for water...100 pumps to flush a toilet just to give you an idea of the work to do a hand wash and dry! 50 years eh, he really felt at home!

  3. A beautiful post :-) I struggle with the thought of 'home' so much. I dream of a home on our own land, just as you are creating, but I am unsure how to achieve it. For now my moveable home is my sanctuary, surrounded by nature... it is the best we have been able to achieve so far. I can't wait to watch your story unfold and would love for you to email me (can't find an email on here for you) as would love to find out more about what you are doing. What a wonderful life you are creating for you and your family x

    1. Thanks Alice, I think your home seems pretty wonderful too, I used to fantasise about living on a boat...Think should be easier to email me now, but will contact you anyway..H x

  4. I can empathise entirely with the feeling of having moved about far too much! I can't wait to see what it looks like with your curtains and rugs in place. much love xx

  5. In admiration of what you are doing and it has been interesting reading your journey this far. Hope all goes well with the final fixings and that, you get to put your creative stamp on your new home quite soon.


    1. Thankyou San, yes, I'm really looking forward to getting a bit creative, all the carpentry has left me as a lowly assistant, passing tools and minor drilling....

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  7. Thanks Josie, hope your new place is working ot for you love H x


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