I broke my own rule of writing once a month. Continuity was shaken up.
For me 2021 came on strong – facing myself and my real needs and desires, and taking the actions that led closer towards them.
I broke up with Nik, my partner, the other contributor and possible other-half (whole) of peace and pollen. It thus seemed a bit weird, and overly personal to write about what was happening on our blog.
I’m still not sure if keeping the name Peace & Pollen on my own feels right. It was a collective vision, our journey and our dreams. But I am still continuing on a path of permaculture, healing and community, and so is he. So for now it seems okay to express myself here.
The last two months have been a whirlwind of change and adaptation. Change, adapt, change and adapt. I’m sure life is always like that, but it’s been felt frequently and intensely the past weeks.
I have adapted to living alone. Things that scared me and I thought I couldn’t do on my own have now become a part of my daily routine. Cutting wood with no-one to hold the other end, making fire night after night, and both planning and carrying out the reformation of the house.
My first step was to calculate the amount of wood I’d need for the floor. Step by step.
Signe drove me to the woodyard in their big van, and the whole family and a neighbour helped to bring it all up to the house. Eighteen thick pine boards and about nine slats for resting them on.
I started getting therapy online and my wonderful coach encouraged me to host a floor putting-in party. So I did. Lots of people from the permaculture group came and I couldn’t believe it was all done in a day.
I held a little floor inauguration party with some neighbours and we sat right upon it with blankets, beer, cushions, bread and cheese. Since then I’ve been varnishing it bit by bit. Sanded, linseed oil and a generous coating of good old dirt to make it look worn and rustic. I love the effect!
Next I made a table using the scraps of leftover wood from the floor. It only cost me the extra screws and wood stain, and I’m really happy with it. It was a fun solo project and I’ve come a long way from my infamous two-legged bed table on wheels which obviously never would have worked. The cabin is starting to come together and feel like a very cosy home.
I also changed the chimney with the help of a local builder (who was annoying and machista but we won’t go into that right now) from the cement and brick flue to a black metal tube that throws out loads more heat and has a much better draw. I’d love to say ‘no more house filled with smoke’ but this seems to be an inevitable feature of using a cocina de carbon. Oh well, it is a lot warmer now and combined with the floor it has made a huge difference.
The kitchen surfaces, moving the tap and mounting the sink is still left pending but the design is more or less ready and the wood for the structure is on its way.
I need some help to finish planing the horreo boards and to get some wood to make a sofa box-bench, and then that’s pretty much it! A cistern for the bathroom, maybe a woodburner to fit inside the old fireplace, and little tweaks here and there. But I’ve grown very fond of and deeply attached to my little fairytale cabin.
It’s been a job to accept that I will probably need to vacate it come September, as I’ve applied to study a Master’s in the UK in Counselling & Pyschotherapy. It’s what I feel called to do in life and I need the training and accreditation to be able to do it in the capacity I want. Hopefully working from home some time in the future.
But for a little añito I’ll have to say goodbye to this garden, the stone walls, the beautiful neighbours and the forested mountains. I’ll probably miss the blue skies and the people the most. But I’m sure it will fly by and be a wonderful experience with the placement, supervision, learning the foundations and being able to see my Mum and old friends a lot more than currently.
New chapters, change and adaptation!
What changes has this year brought to you?