FAST Blog: Family Homestead

Permaculture, Preparedness, Homesteading & Survival

Thursday, 29 November 2018

When Life Doesn't Give You Lemons...

It's been a little over 6 months now since I last posted on the blog. I've struggled to talk about what has been going on because to be honest it's been pretty unbearable, but Carly has managed to write a post that will bring you up to speed on the roller coaster we have been on so I'll post a copy of it here for those that are interested in our journey - Tricky 


When Life Doesn't Give You Lemons...

OK. I've started to type an opening line at least 12 times now and then proceeded to backspace every single letter...This is gonna be a tough post to write. I can already feel a lump in my throat forming - a physical manifestation of my words getting stuck.

No one, particular thing has lead me to write this post this evening, but there's been a nagging in the back of my mind. A gnawing that I can't ignore any longer. So here I am.

This isn't a post that's full of devastating news. But it's real, and it's uncomfortable and mostly it's hard to accept, let alone write about. But I think I need to. It'll be cathartic in the least and hopefully, it could help someone one day. Perhaps even myself when I read this back to myself in 20 years time.

I don't really know where to start - hence the waffle. I'm just gonna dive in head first, I guess.

So, if you're a friend or family member, or maybe even a follower of this blog, or one of our other blogs, you might be able to think back and remember our big dreams. Let's start there - the Dream.

We had a dream. In 2016 we sold our 3-bed terrace in Essex to uproots and move to Spain. We would buy a plot of land in Spain. We would build the eco-house of our dreams. We would implement permaculture into our land and our lives. Live a good, slow life. One full of nature and wonder and happiness. We would create our paradise and find a way to share it with others. A way to show people who were interested in that kinda stuff that it was possible. That if we could do it...well, then surely anyone can.

But, that's the thing. We haven't done it.

...yet.

I'm adding the 'yet' on because that's an important and integral word right there.

I'm not ready to give up. Not yet. So I want to share our journey so far and continue to share it, because I'm sure there must be other people in a similar boat and maybe there can be some strength found in solidarity, because I need to find some strength from somewhere.

Let's start at the beginning...

When we sold our house in the UK we had made a healthy profit of around 70k. We originally thought that that would be enough to purchase our land and build our house. If you recall, we planned on self-building from the start and so the cost for building our house wouldn't include labour costs, luckily (thanks Dad). So not only did myself (Carly), my husband Tricky and our 2 children up sticks and move to Spain, but also my Mum and Dad. The 6 of us decided to go on this roller coaster together.

The first hurdles came when we were selling our house in the UK. Months of delays, buyers pulling out, valuations coming in way under the agreed sale price...hell. Tricky and my Dad moved over with a lorry full of our belongings while myself, my Mum and the kids stayed in the UK for a month to finalise the sale. We had no furniture, no beds...it was not ideal! In the mean time, the boys had arrived in Spain to a cockroach ridden partial cave house that definitely did not look like the photos on the rental website, and spent a month panic cleaning and organising to make the place livable before we arrived with the kids. After living apart for a month, and with the sale of the house no closer to being completed, we decided to go ahead and move anyway. Whether we stayed in the UK or not, the sale would go ahead at it's own pace, right? Actually, it left us with no money to live on for months when we first moved over to Spain. My business had only just started to make a decent amount of money and it was sporadic, and so we struggled. Hard.

The rental house in Spain was grim. I'll be upfront and tell you that when we moved in, I wondered how we were gonna stick it out for a year, but I honestly believed that we would only be there for a year tops! I figured that once the house sold we could buy the land which we were told would only take 30 days, and then we'd start the building process.

How bloody naive. The sale of the UK house took 6 months to go through. Remember that we already picked our plot of land before we moved, and so we pretty much marched straight into the estate agents to get the ball rolling for the land purchase once the house sale money went into our account.

30 days my arse. So the sale of the house finally finalised in January 2017, and we finally signed at the notary for our land on the 8th June 2017. Oh, that wasn't without it's hiccups either - we were told when in the notary office, pen in hand, that there actually wasn't any water connection to our land. Great. But we went ahead with it, because what else could we do? We hadn't seen any other similar-sized plots in our region, with the option to build, for that sort of money.

We'd already got the ball rolling with our architect. Now, don't get me wrong, our architect is amazing and the plans she have made are everything we could have ever dreamed of, plus an extra sprinkling of amazing just for good measure. BUT. And it's medium sized but. The architect fees are more than we had anticipated. Way more. When we first met with the Eco build specialist company who our architect is in conjunction with, we showed them our plans and told them we were on a tight budget. By that point I think we had about 35k left after purchasing the land. They made it sound like it would be totally do-able for that sum, as we intended to self build etc. I'm not passing any blame at all, and this is not a dig at our architect who is also now a friend, but it's a dig at our own naivety and lack of budgeting effectively.

It isn't just the house stuff. Everyone's mental health has suffered since we moved here. This rental is not a nice place to live. Cave houses are not fun, folks. They're dark and depressing and stale. Tricky has made it no secret that he intended to take his life that summer. The stuggle just got too much for him. Luckily, he didn't as I managed to stop him in time. But the weight of the living situation and lack of forward motion was obviously taking it's toll.

As if that wasn't enough, a bigger bomb drops.

On New Years Eve 2016 we planned a family visit to the land. We were gearing up for starting the build and we just wanted to be over there, and set the intentions to build our house the coming year. Myself, Tricky, the kids and our 2 new dogs went in the car and my parents followed on my Dad's motorbike. Mum and Dad didn't make it to the land. They had a terrible crash on the bendy vineyard roads about half way there and my Mum broke her neck. I can't go into it too much because I still find it too upsetting. Ultimately, Dad managed to scrape by without any broken bones but with bad tissue and muscle damage and was bed ridden for a few weeks. My poor Mum wasn't so lucky. She spent a night in ICU with severe concussion and memory loss. She had a cave in one side of her head, by one temple, that looked like someone had smacked her with a baseball bat. AND she was wearing a full face helmet when she crashed. She had other fractured bones too but the neck was worrying. Because of the language barrier we didn't learn of the broken neck for a couple of days. Not until they came to fit the rigid neck brace. I stayed with her in hospital for 4 days and nights, sleeping in 5 minute bursts on a solid armchair while my Mum cried in pain every couple of hours. Whether from the fire-like pain in her hands and feet (the nerve damage) or the pain from the neck brace being fitted incorrectly and literally cutting a chunk of her scalp away at the base of her head...it was an actual nightmare that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

She came home after the 4 days in hospital but had to spend 8 weeks in a rigid neck brace. She'd fractured C5 and C6 vertebrae and had a lesion on her spinal cord. How she survived, no one knows. She's a miracle. None of the Dr's can believe that she has managed to recover with minimal nerve damage to her hands and that's it. We battled pulled groin muscles, depression, bed sores, not eating, anger....all of it.

But boy, were the first few months of 2018 tough. My business is run by myself and my Mum, so while she was recovering, I was having to try and keep the house running and the business a float. I think that despite my best efforts, we did eat into our savings. One woman trying to hustle enough to keep 6 other people and 2 dogs and 6 chickens alive on little to no sleep and a hell of a lot of stress, was not an easy feat. My brother had come to stay, and we had so much help from friends, luckily. I don't think we'd have got through it otherwise.

But, despite the odds, Mum and Dad both recovered. Fast forward to April 2018 and our house plans had been complete (Projecto simple) and the town hall granted our building permissions. Amazing news! It was just what we needed after the past 4 months from hell. We went to the land on the 16th April 2018 which we agreed with the town hall would be our official start date, and we spent that windy day with our architect and technical architect plotting our house, and marking the foundations. What an amazing day. Being able to see the outlines of our house on our ground was pretty incredible.

But the thing is...we'd run out of money. We'd spent thousands on architect fees, license fees applying for mortgage fees...and now we had nothing left to show for it but our dream house planned out on paper and drawn out in spray paint on our land. Torture of the highest degree, let me tell you.

When we realised that money was running low we applied for a mortgage of 75k. We figured that would be enough to build the house, furnish it, pay the fees, get the decent bio digester and the rest of it. But that bank decided at the last minute (after 6 months of back and forth, paying yet more fees for surveys etc) that if we wanted a mortgage for 75k, we we would need to have the difference between the mortgage amount and the house build estimate, in our bank as a deposit. The house build is valued at 150k in the projecto simple. But the thing is, the house build estimation is based on employing contractors and labourers and skilled tradesmen. We are planning to build ourselves, (my dad is a constructor and amazingly talented handy man) and so we wouldn't actually need to pay out for any labour costs. So if we wanted a 75k mortgage, we would need 75k in the bank. Well obviously Mr Bank Manager, if we had 75k in the bank, we wouldn't need a mortgage!

So, we tried a different bank. They agreed that we wouldn't need to show a deposit in the bank as they would take our outlay for the land and architect fees into account. Amazing! But, they didn't work with the same surveyors/valuators that the previous bank did, and so we'd have to agree to have the land and project surveyed again. The valuation came in from the last bank at 254k as an estimation for when the house build was complete. As we were only asking for 75k, that would be easy peasy, they said. 4 weeks and it would be sorted, they promised. That was July 2018.

Finally, 2 weeks ago, we were called for a meeting at the bank. The survey had finally been done (for some reason the survey company didn't get the 4 week memo). The valuation came in at 54k. How is that possible for what will be a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 2 kitchen, A rated Eco-house on a 5 acre plot of land? Well it wasn't. They had only valued the land and not the house that we wanted the mortgage for. So the bank ordered an urgent valuation report to be done, with Friday just gone as the deadline. So, we call on Friday and our contact at the bank is not in. Monday, not in. Manager isn't in either. No one seems to know what is happening. We get told that the lady we are dealing with at the bank is ill and will be off work for 14 days. We get told the manager is on holiday until the 17th December.

We then get told that actually, this bank has now changed the rules, and they won't lend a mortgage on a new build. Over the phone. Like it was no big deal. I'm sorry, WHAT?! After months of toing and froing, after money wasted on insurance policies and new bank accounts that we were told to open and take out for the sake of the mortgage application. All we needed was the survey to be done correctly and we could sign the papers. And now this. We fall at the final hurdle.

I've done pretty well to not swear so far, but fuck my life. My fight is running so fucking low right now and I just don't know what to do. Why have things been this tough? Why is everything a fight? Why is it such a struggle? I feel like all the odds are stacked against us. Is the universe telling us to just give up, because it really feels like it sometimes. I'm a fighter, I don't give up easily, but I'm pretty damn close.

But the thing is, we want this. We need this. We could not build a house in the UK. We could not afford a house in the UK. We could not afford to live on what we do here, in the UK. We are not willing to go back to the 9-5's, daily grind, that we gave up.

I'm incredibly aware of our privilege as I spew this blog post out. We are self employed. We have our dream creative jobs, working for ourselves. We set no alarms to wake up early. We get to spend so much time with our kids and watch them grow up. We own land. We have a lot of freedom.

But we're also in a rental that was only intended to be lived in for a year max. We stress and worry constantly about how we will build our house. We've sunk our life savings into this project and I can't, no refuse, to believe that this is the end.

I don't know the way forward right now, but I will fucking find one. I promise. And I will update the journey on here more frequently.

I had always put off writing on this blog until we'd started the build. Until it was real. But that's not authentic. This is part of the journey. I always said that this blog would be somewhere we'd share the real shit of our house-build journey, and I didn't feel like it would be legit to share anything before we started. But no. That's not what's gonna happen. I always said that the highs and the lows would be documented to maybe help someone else in the future, and so I will share. Even if I only have the lows to share.

I'm signing off with a picture of my warrior, Rori that we took when we were last on the land. She reminds me everyday to be fierce and strong and to keep fighting.


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Friday, 25 May 2018

Blogging Break

I'm afraid to say there will be no Five on Friday this week, or for the foreseeable future.

I'm taking a break from blogging to get my head straight, I apologise for the inconvenience but hardly anyone participates in Five on Friday any more so it seems a waste of my energy to continue investing myself in it every week. I may restart it if/when I return to blogging but at the moment I need to take time to get my life back on track so I'm cutting back on any commitments that are not completely necessary, I am sure you understand.


I wish you all the best and will catch up with everyone when I am back on track
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Friday, 18 May 2018

Tiny Vikings, Biker Parties, Divination and Tragedy

Welcome back for Five on Friday!

Thank you Gattina for letting me know the link hadn't posted correctly, I make the posts the day before and set them to automatically publish but every now and again something goes wrong, it is really helpful when people tell me otherwise I would be none the wiser!

Lets start this weeks Five off with a photo of Logan, wielding the wooden sword I made for him, wearing a Thor's hammer and holding the cutest little drinking horn ever!

My little Viking Son

Can you believe this image was removed from Instagram because they classed it as " Photos of partially nude children". I imagine some idiot didn't read the post and assumed he was a girl because of his long hair, it happens all the time and never gets any less irritating.

This week I've been out partying with the club again, here's a candid photo that Carly took of me just before we left

Wolfpack
We were riding over to Elche to celebrate with another club called the MalaGente, which is Spanish for bad people. One of their guys got this awesome picture of our two clubs together, I think you can tell from the photo that they are not bad people at all, they are all really great guys and do a lot of work to stop animal cruelty and raise money for local animal shelters

Good Times with Bad People

It was a great party, we get on really well with the MalaGente so its always great going to visit them or bumping in to them at other clubs parties.


This next photo I took of the horn combs I designed for my shop Thor's Threads, but if you look in the background it is the tigers eye runes I was waiting for :)

Horn Combs and Rune Stones
I have been working a lot more with the runes, I think it is something that is easy to learn the basics and can take a lifetime to master but they are lots of fun to work with and learn as you go along, theyre essentially the Viking version of tarot cards.


Lastly I wanted to shared a small memorial piece that I made. One of my good friends recently lost his young daughter in a tragic event at the beach, you may have seen it on the news. Her name was Rose, I made this wooden holder so he will always have a place to light a candle for her



Such a tragedy, I cried for days when I found out. They say the Gods work in mysterious ways but I can never see why things like this happen. perhaps it is beyond mortal comprehension, all I know is that the world lost a beautiful young soul.


Thanks for stopping by for Five on Friday, please spare a prayer to your own God/Gods for this family, and hold your loved ones tighter for not everyone is so lucky.

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Five on Friday Weekly Linkup



Welcome to Five on Friday, a weekly opportunity for the community to link up and share 5 things with us or take 5 minutes to talk about one topic. We’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own Five on Friday blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to keep your blog updated. Every Friday we'll be sharing a Fast Five and look forward to seeing yours.

How To Join In

Your 5 things can be all on a related topic or 5 totally separate things of your choosing, it's totally flexible and up to you. You might choose 5 photos, 5 quotes or use it to recap 5 things you've done this week, you have the freedom to exercise your creativity!

All that we ask is that you link back to Five on Friday using the button below (just copy and paste the HTML code in to your blog) and try to share the love by visiting & commenting on the other participants blogs. Each week the post will go live at 6.00am GMT on Friday and will close for new link entries at 10.00PM on Sunday



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Friday, 11 May 2018

Summer Storms, Dragon Daggers and Burnt Beads

This week has been a bit of a wash out, it feels like winter has crept back to catch us all off guard! Last week I was in a vest and shorts busy getting sunburnt and this week I'm wrapped up in my thickest jumper trying to dodge the thunderstorms!

I can't complain, the land here can always use some extra moisture and I'm hoping that the extraordinary amount of rain we have had this winter will mean that there will be a bumper harvest this year. In the mean time it has given me the chance to finish a few wood burning projects that I've been working on recently.

I finished my second Athame project, the client that commissioned this one wanted a red dragonscale effect for the handle, here is my take on it:

Handmande Red Dragon Scale Athame

The texture is all burnt into the wood, the handle is inlaid with Onyx gemstones and the bindrune on the blade is also burnt into the Athame. A bindrune is a collection of runestaves used together to create a more powerful talisman, the one used here is an ancient bindrune called the Dragon Tree, it represents the world tree and links the earth with the upper and under worlds. If you look closely you'll see that all the runestones laid out around the knife in this picture can be found within the Dragon Tree bindrune. This athame sold on instagram for $75 and was one of my favourite projects to work on so far.

My next project was more fitness oriented, I have been watching a lot of people take up "Mace Training" to improve their strength and fitness, which essentially involves wielding a heavy steel ball on a stick instead of traditional weights. These maces can cost hundreds to purchase, and if you read this blog you know that I'm all about DIY solutions! So for the princely sum of 3 Euros I made my own. Using an ordinary broomstick, a few screws, an old bag of concrete and a flowerpot I now have my very own mace. You can tell I've had some time on my hands because I've already started to decorate it with some woodburning haha

"Werewolf" Training Mace

I may have gone a little overboard with this mace though, this one weighs in at 10.7kg so I may have to make a slightly lighter one to build myself up to this bigger one. Most of the pro mace trainers use between 6 - 9kg!

It seems like whenever I have any free time to myself I revert to carving beads. One of the dangerous things about being a creative type of person is that you start combining things you like to do, so now instead of spending an hour carving a bead, I end up spending an hour carving one and then another hour pyrographing it! Here's a peek at a few I made this week, these ones are only about 20mm big so were quite a challenge to burn anything worthwhile onto such small beads, they are being sent to a model in the US that I am working with to showcase some of my work :)

Handmade wooden beads

The top two are olive wood and the bottom two are mountain pine. I toyed with the idea of staining them but the problem is when people wear these in their hair they don't tend to take them out to shower, which means the shampoo ends up fading the colour over time which is why I decided to leave them natural.

Frustrated at not being able to stain the beads I went overboard and dyed one of my knives green!

Snake-inel
It's an old Opinel no.7 that I've had sitting in one of my bags for a year or two, I decided that if I made it a bit better looking I might start using it more so I burnt the scales into the handle and dyed the handle to make it a snakey yellow/green and renamed it the Snake-inel :)

With all the burning activity going on I almost forgot to tell you about the combs! A couple of months ago I started to design my own combs and they are finally finished and listed in my shop. They are handmade from natural buffalo horn and I am totally in love with them:

Mjolnir Thor's Hamer Comb
Viking Horn Combs
Based on authentic historic finds and with the Thor's Hammer cut out of the middle this could be the birth of the ultimate Viking comb. So happy with how they came out, I think these might be my favourite item of all time.


Thanks for swinging by once again for Five on Friday, We hope you have a blessed weekend!

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Five on Friday Weekly Linkup



Welcome to Five on Friday, a weekly opportunity for the community to link up and share 5 things with us or take 5 minutes to talk about one topic. We’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own Five on Friday blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to keep your blog updated. Every Friday we'll be sharing a Fast Five and look forward to seeing yours.

How To Join In

Your 5 things can be all on a related topic or 5 totally separate things of your choosing, it's totally flexible and up to you. You might choose 5 photos, 5 quotes or use it to recap 5 things you've done this week, you have the freedom to exercise your creativity!

All that we ask is that you link back to Five on Friday using the button below (just copy and paste the HTML code in to your blog) and try to share the love by visiting & commenting on the other participants blogs. Each week the post will go live at 6.00am GMT on Friday and will close for new link entries at 10.00PM on Sunday



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Friday, 4 May 2018

8 years

This week me and Carly celebrated our 8 year wedding anniversary!



We had Carly's childhood best friend over staying with us this weekend too, who also happens to be the Maid of Honour from our wedding :)

What better way to spend our time than a visit to the beach down at Alicante



Since we're still just outside of the holiday season it wasn't too hot or too crowded either. We sat under the palm trees in the shade and just had a relaxing chilled out day with the kids with a picnic on the beach and then took them to spend their pocket money on ice cream :)



Here's a photo of my entire world. without this little tribe I have no idea what I would do with myself. No matter what happens we always have each other and always will.



Although we were all sat under the palms for most of the time I spent a lot of the day going in and out of the sea with the kids and as a result I have ended up quite medium rare!



But I suppose that is the price to pay when a pastey white Brummy ups and moves to Spain, a bit of sunburn each year goes with the territory hahaha


Thanks for swinging by for Five on Friday, we hope you have a wonderful weekend

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Five on Friday Weekly Linkup



Welcome to Five on Friday, a weekly opportunity for the community to link up and share 5 things with us or take 5 minutes to talk about one topic. We’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own Five on Friday blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to keep your blog updated. Every Friday we'll be sharing a Fast Five and look forward to seeing yours.

How To Join In

Your 5 things can be all on a related topic or 5 totally separate things of your choosing, it's totally flexible and up to you. You might choose 5 photos, 5 quotes or use it to recap 5 things you've done this week, you have the freedom to exercise your creativity!

All that we ask is that you link back to Five on Friday using the button below (just copy and paste the HTML code in to your blog) and try to share the love by visiting & commenting on the other participants blogs. Each week the post will go live at 6.00am GMT on Friday and will close for new link entries at 10.00PM on Sunday



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Friday, 27 April 2018

Aurora's Birthday - Mundomar

On Sunday our littlest wildling Aurora turned 3 years old. Funds are at an all time low for us at the moment with every penny going towards the house build but we managed to score two for one tickets at a local(ish) animal park so we set off with a packed lunch for our very first visit to Mundomar.

Entering the park

The park is pretty amazing, you can see that a lot of care and attention has gone into the encolsures and the animals are all looked after really well. One thing you will notice about Spain is they are much more relaxed when it comes to interacting with the animals, you are encouraged to get photos with almost every animal at the park and it was of the main ways that they keep entrance prices low and still generate enough income to care for the animals properly

Sitting in the Lemur Enclosure
We got to the park around 10.30 and it was perfect timing for us to see all of the various shows and feeding times around the park. We were really lucky, the weather was warm but not too hot and it is still just out of tourist season so there wasn't too many people which meant we really got to make the most of our visit

Watching the Sea Lion Show
There was a sea lion show, a dolphin show and a parrot show to sit down and watch amongst many other fun activities and feeding times for the kids to get involved with. Logan was really brave and got stuck in with everything, by the time we had left he had been kissed my a sea lion, held a lemur, fed parrots from his hands and been splashed by a dolphin!

Who wants a kiss from a sea lion?
The highlight of the day was of course the dolphins. Watching them with the trainers was incredible, the aerial acrobatics and stunts they pulled off were nothing short of magical.  Dolphins lifting their human trainers up out of the water and doing backflips side by side was a breathtaking thing to behold and you could tell that there was such a bond and level of trust and love between the keepers and animals it was quite an emotional thing to witness.

Logan and the Dolphins
Normally I don't really agree with animals in captivity but in this circumstance I can honestly say the animals are kept both physically and mentally healthy. The park actually pumps sea water in for the animals daily through one of the worlds most complex filtration systems and have specialists constantly analysing the quality of the water and the health of the animals. Generally speaking Spain has quite low animal welfare standards compared to the rest of Europe but in this case I was pleasantly surprised by how high the standards were. I think the look on this guys face says it all about how happy the animals are there:

a happy smiley dolphin
We hope you've all had a magical week and wish you a wonderful weekend, thanks for stopping by for Five on Friday


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Five on Friday Weekly Linkup



Welcome to Five on Friday, a weekly opportunity for the community to link up and share 5 things with us or take 5 minutes to talk about one topic. We’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own Five on Friday blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to keep your blog updated. Every Friday we'll be sharing a Fast Five and look forward to seeing yours.

How To Join In

Your 5 things can be all on a related topic or 5 totally separate things of your choosing, it's totally flexible and up to you. You might choose 5 photos, 5 quotes or use it to recap 5 things you've done this week, you have the freedom to exercise your creativity!

All that we ask is that you link back to Five on Friday using the button below (just copy and paste the HTML code in to your blog) and try to share the love by visiting & commenting on the other participants blogs. Each week the post will go live at 6.00am GMT on Friday and will close for new link entries at 10.00PM on Sunday



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Friday, 20 April 2018

House Update: Marking Out

So the 16th came this week, the day we can finally make a start on building our dream home!

Making a start marking out

Now ordinarily this would be a fairly straight forward and simple task.....but not for us! As you may know, the Straw Bale House we are building is in the shape of an almond flower, which meant that trying to mark it out required a masters degree in Geometry!

Geometry at its best

Luckily our Spanish architects (Myriam and Joan, pictured above) are both such amazing people, really hands on and as passionate about sustainable building as we are, we would not have been able to even get this far without them.

The kids helping out with the work

We think it's important to involve the kids as much as possible so they were both there to help with the work on the big first day :) It's great to think tht as they grow up they will remember building a house with their own hands alongside Mommy and Daddy, Nanny and Grandad.

Almond flower shaped house

Now that it is all marked out We're just waiting on prices back from the digger man so we can get started on the foundations. The foundations will be concrete with bamboo and hemp fibres for reinforcement, next will come the wooden frame and the straw bales for the walls.

foundations marked out

It may not look like much right now but it feels so incredible that after almost 2 years of waiting for paperwork and doing hurdles over red tape we can finally start to see the dreams turning into reality on our beautiful plot of land beneath the mountains.


Thanks for stopping by once again for Five on Friday, We hope you have a wonderful weekend.

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Five on Friday Weekly Linkup



Welcome to Five on Friday, a weekly opportunity for the community to link up and share 5 things with us or take 5 minutes to talk about one topic. We’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own Five on Friday blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to keep your blog updated. Every Friday we'll be sharing a Fast Five and look forward to seeing yours.

How To Join In

Your 5 things can be all on a related topic or 5 totally separate things of your choosing, it's totally flexible and up to you. You might choose 5 photos, 5 quotes or use it to recap 5 things you've done this week, you have the freedom to exercise your creativity!

All that we ask is that you link back to Five on Friday using the button below (just copy and paste the HTML code in to your blog) and try to share the love by visiting & commenting on the other participants blogs. Each week the post will go live at 6.00am GMT on Friday and will close for new link entries at 10.00PM on Sunday



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Friday, 13 April 2018

Five on Friday the 13th!

It's a spooky themed post this week since today is Friday the 13th!

Are you superstitious? or is Friday the 13th just another day to you?

Strangely in Spanish speaking countries it is actually Tuesday the 13th that is considered the unluckiest day.

While there is evidence of both Friday and the number 13 being considered unlucky, there is no record of the two items being referred to as especially unlucky in conjunction before the 19th century.
Despite this some say the origin of the superstition goes back to Friday 13th October 1307, the date Philip IV of France arrested hundreds of the Knights Templar, going on to torture and execute the majority of the order and strip them of all their assets by the order of the Pope.

As a biker for me the number 13 is actually a lucky number, in my club every member wears the number 13 in a diamond patch on their vest.

Creepy Kooky Mysterious and Spooky! 

In keeping with our spooky theme I thought I'd start by sharing a picture of the Addams Family patch and pin from our store , both of them actually glow in the dark!

Next up is a small offering bowl I made this week with the words "House Wight" burnt in Norse runes

House Wight Offering Bowl
Our ancestors knew there are nature spirits all around us. The land wights are ancient guardians of their native lands. All places on earth have native vættir, and when humans come along and build their home in an area either an ancestral wight or a local land-wight will take up residence with them as a House Wight. House Wights can be identified with the brownies and boggarts of English folklore and the tomten of Scandinavian folklore.
If your House Wight is kept happy they will bring you good luck and prosperity, but if they are hostile you will be fraught with ill fortune. To ensure your House Wight is a friend and ally consider honouring them with gifts or offerings. Treat them with the respect they deserve and they will look after your hearth and home and shower you with their blessings :)


Handmade Custom Athame
This week the one of a kind Athame I mentioned making has finally arrived at its forever home in the USA. An Athame is a normally black handled knife used for ritual magic by witchcraft practitioners.  I love being able to make items that are treasured by their new owners so I hope to get more commissions for spiritual items like this in the future.

I've been spending a lot of time and energy on Instagram recently trying to grow my following and showcase the things I make to a wider audience. I find the community on Instagram massively more positive that Facebook, which I can barely stand logging in to anymore now that it seems to be a platform for people to constantly complain on. Asides from getting some weird and wonderful requests via Instagram I have also had one of the users on there send me some of my own photos that he had edited! here is an example of one of them:

Tricky the Lion Heart
Of course I was flattered that he had used one of my images for his artwork, although I would have chosen a wolf for the background of course!

I'll end with the highlight of my week which was Monday when I decided to skive off work for the day and spent the entire day out in the mountains with a buddy and our kids.


Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, sky, outdoor and nature
Teaching the Ways of the Wild
 I love nothing more than taking the kids out and teaching them the ways of the wild. We shot catapults, built a fire, made charcoal and used it for warpaint, filtered water from a natural font, followed animal tracks, found wild boar bones and taught the kids tons of different edible and medicinal plants along the way. I guess I'll have to knuckle down and try to catch up with work, but totally it was worth it!

I hope you all have an amazing weekend, Thanks for stopping by once again for Five on Friday

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Five on Friday Weekly Linkup



Welcome to Five on Friday, a weekly opportunity for the community to link up and share 5 things with us or take 5 minutes to talk about one topic. We’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own Five on Friday blog post! It’s a great way to make new friends from around the world and gain some motivation to keep your blog updated. Every Friday we'll be sharing a Fast Five and look forward to seeing yours.

How To Join In

Your 5 things can be all on a related topic or 5 totally separate things of your choosing, it's totally flexible and up to you. You might choose 5 photos, 5 quotes or use it to recap 5 things you've done this week, you have the freedom to exercise your creativity!

All that we ask is that you link back to Five on Friday using the button below (just copy and paste the HTML code in to your blog) and try to share the love by visiting & commenting on the other participants blogs. Each week the post will go live at 6.00am GMT on Friday and will close for new link entries at 10.00PM on Sunday



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