Simple Things...

Monday, 4 August 2008

We spent the afternoon yesterday on our friends boat. Their mooring is just outside of  Birmingham in a beautiful spot. What a life, so simple, so free.

They've built the boat themselves, Carl is a carpenter and has finished the interior himself. This has obviously meant the initial outlay for the boat has cost them a lot less to do. One year later they are talking about selling up and starting it all over again... with a profit of £20,000!

It's wonderful to have friends who have the same outlook on life as you, I found it a breathe of fresh air to cruise down the canal, talking about what plants along the hedgerow are edible, growing vegetables on the roof, buying a small plot of land on the edge of a lake in Andalucia and setting up in a yurt.

We thought about buying a boat too last year, if we were planning on staying in the UK then it would be a definite option.  But for us it would take a substantial amount of our capital to make it happen and we need to buy our land in India first. That's the priority at the moment, a place we can finally call 'our home'.

We hope to be able to afford at least four acres of agricultural land in a quiet location somewhere in the hills of Kerala.  Build a small house as eco as possible and live as self sufficiently as we can.   

We can't go now because of the bureaucracy of immigration, but that's another story altogether...

So here in Leicester whilst we struggle to survive on one mere salary, I am doing my best to practice this life on a very small scale.

In a way it's hard to envision a life without all this commotion and chaos around me, a home and a garden that is all ours, planned how we want it, with all the things we need and none of the things we don't.  

A simple life where we can live and learn, love and grow, together.

My only little piece of paradise at the moment is our yard. It's not big, not beautiful, but it's the only place I can find peace, alone, potter around amongst my vegetables, watch the beauty grow before my eyes.  

Little things I didn't know before are more precious to me than 'shopping on a saturday', a flowering pepper (capsicum) that I've never seen before...

My perfectly formed little green tomatoes hiding in the shade, better than any episode of 'Eastenders'...

A tiny little flower has opened on a forgotten leaf of rocket, cream and deep claret, more amazing than any pretty dress I've ever seen...

A strawberry poking out of the leaves, still white but giving you a little dream of what you will have for dessert in a few more days, better than any genetically modified, tart and tasteless, plastic boxed cousins sitting in Sainsbury's...

How stunned I was to find that cucumbers and peas and beans (and probably a fair few of the other vegetables) have a mind of their own, they are very clever indeed. They hang on to their canes with just a few twirls here and a couple of twists there, they know where they are going and how to get there, and all without any need for a Satnav!  

While I marvel at the wonders of nature, I can free my mind for a while from the chaotic scrambling of lists and things to do, that seem to constantly flutter around my head.  

Talking of fluttering the butterflies are back, we've spotted a few out there in the sunshine
... too quick to click!


Anonymous said...

Hi emma
you have a lovely little've encouraged me to look at mine in a different light..I'm going to start growing things in pots, as soon as I work out how ;)
I'm thinking it would be good to start with herbs?

Jennifer said...

Hi Emma
A beautiful entry! As long as those butterflies weren't white your OK! I saw an admiral orange and black one on Sunday and it was gorgeous! Rare to see these days isn't it?


emmani said...

Hi Laura, I've been trying to work out how I was already reading your blog before you left your last comment... anyway my mind doesn't do logic, so I've given up! I've read you for a few weeks now, it seems we are both trying to escape from here, where is 5 miles? We're in the city centre.

I just recently started my little garden, only at the start of June, very late for planting seeds. That's how I got to spend so much more time researching how to grow veggies, that led me onto self sufficiency, which led me to starting a blog to record the journey.

I'm glad you like it :)

emmani said...

Do you mean cabbage butterflies Jennifer? It was white, but I'm not growing any cabbage, so it's ok right? Do they eat lettuce? I haven't seen a beautiful butterfly for a long time here... lots of them in India though x

Anonymous said...

hi emma
I'm in sileby, just up the road from you :)

Kate said...

Hi emmani, I really enjoyed reading your discovery of the world of food growing and its beauty and the awe it can inspire in us when we stop to look.

chaiselongue said...

Thanks for this post which captures the excitement that seemingly simple things can give. Your yard will be beautiful because it will be full of things you're growing. I hope you can achieve your move to India and a self-sufficient life. We moved from Wales to a more simple life in southern France and we love every exciting moment of it!
I'm so glad I found your blog, through Kate's post in Australia - I'll follow your adventure and hope you'll visit my garden sometime.

Matron said...

Your enthusiasm for growing food is infectious! A pleasure to read. I have heard that Kerala is the most perfect place to grow herbs, spices fruit and vegetables. I hope you keep the blog going when you move there. Good luck!

Laura said...

Great blog and very exciting - you will learn so much from growing edibles in pots, I think it is one of the toughest challenges so you'll be ready to fly once you've got some land.
I moved from UK to Southern France, because i wanted land to grow our own food and live a more self-sufficient life. The most exciting thing is learning what will grow on any given piece of land, it is completely different here to UK and its not really much of a distance, for you it will be even more exciting. I think Matron's right Kerala will be a growing paradise.

emmani said...

Hi Laura, Hope you had a wonderful 'Research Trip'!... looking forward to your next post, I hope there's photos, I've spent a lot of time in Goa, so I'd love to visit Portugal one day.

Hello Kate, your write your posts beautifully, I love your passion for new experiences, it's just like me... I await eagerly for your next post too...

Chaiselongue and Laura, Wow you're both lucky to live in the south of France. Sounds like you're both living your dreams. I can't wait to get started now!

Matron, you've got a fab allotment... I can only hope that my veg ends up as delicious as yours looks!

Thanks for the kinds words everyone, I'm really inspired by the new blogs I've found through my comments. It's lovely to hear what you have to say,