Monday 4th March
It has turned cold and England has nicked our sunshine. Their jealously must have peaked and they couldn't help themselves. Even Portsmouth is sunny. With temperatures under 10 degrees I have not really ventured out today which has given me the ideal opportunity to catch up with my writing assignments. Of course I can venture outside in sub 10 degree temperatures but the sudden drop is just too much to bear.
I talked to someone online today as part of some research I am doing and he describes himself as a 'world wanderer'. It didn't take long before I wanted to be one too. He, like me, is a buddhist but unlike me he has no ties. Of course I would need to hitch my family on my back in order to be a world wanderer but it might work. He has spent most of his life wandering the world and experiencing people and places on a first hand basis. When chatting you can't help wonder whether our slight obsession with fixed places is what it is actually all about. As our society is currently constructed he is outside but maybe it should be the other way round. Who knows? Maybe we close down possibilities by remaining so fixed but, on the otherhand, maybe we can give so much more this way. I wonder how my children would have turned out if we had been world wanderers? I can tell you now that Molly would have hated it because she is not good with change but I can't help thinking that the boys would have loved it.
As a family we have moved about quite a bit and, of course, we did turn our backs on everything we knew and move to a Scottish island. This is not world wandering though. Imagine just taking off with no idea of where you will end up, how you will get there or what you will do along the way? I like it when I meet someone who makes me think and he has certainly done that. We actually have quite a lot in common beyond our religion as he is a gardner and a writer. I am going to ponder further on the concept of world wandering and see where that takes me. I can hear my family groaning....
On a slightly more serious note, I shifted my research into Scottish hutting up a gear and finally wrote my survey and even managed to send it out. I am very excited about an up and coming visit to the Carbeth Hutters Community. I am hoping to gain invaluable insights into how this community was established and how it functions today. It is such an inspiring social construction and I am so grateful for their input into my article. I am desperate to know the stories behind the huts and, more importantly, the hutters. I am also hoping to visit individual huts in forests to see for myself the joy they can bring. The political animal in me will also be supporting the 1000 huts campaign and hoping that both my research and article will add something positive to this very important initiative.
I have a wooden hut. Admittedly I didn't build it myself and I will forgive you for pointing out that it looks rather like a summer house. However, it is already a massively important part of my life. I usually think of my children the last thing at night and the first thing as I wake. Now I think about my hut. I clearly sit somewhere between a world wanderer and a hermit. Maybe it is weather dependent?
Home school was lovely. The boys took their new growth sketches and created stunning watercolours. I taught all my children how to paint with watercolours when they were quite tiny. Now, of course, they are all much better painters than me and that is quite right. Now I think about it I think I have taught every child I have ever taught to watercolour. In fact I remember a small group giving up their playtimes and lunchtimes to help me watercolour my wedding invitations.
As George and Max painted Harry and I moved on to preventing sports injuries and it was all a bit too easy so we charged on. We are now at the bit when actual injuries are described. Much more like it.
Mother Nature is pitching up against me again despite my extreme kindness to her slugs. She has now presented me with a mouse problem. The little darlings are digging out my compost in my pots in search of yummy plant food. I admit to being ever so slightly terrified of things that move quickly and mice would fit into that category. I make lots of noise when I arrive in the tunnel so deter them from greeting me but when I have finished for the day my plant food becomes fair game. I might have successfully rounded up the baby slugs but I am guessing I will not be able to use the same tactic with the mice. So, taking my mother's advice, I am off down the beach to get some fine gravel to put in my pots. I am not totally convinced this will work but it is absolutely worth a try. I have always had much sympathy for Mr McGregor in the Peter Rabbit stories and now you all know why.
If those of you reading this in England could just knock back the sunshine we shall say no more about it. Until tomorrow xx
Picture is of a beautiful yellow rose that has flowered in the tunnel. Clever girl. She is pretty. xx