About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

It's that time of year again

With the rapidly shortening days around the equinox, my SAD hit me again. At least this year I noticed it quickly, instead of spending a month wondering what was wrong with me. On top of this, for the last week or so the weather has been miserable. The clouds surround us, blocking out the sunlight and filling the air with moisture. Everything is dark, cold and damp. This doesn't help. So, um, sorry for the recent lack of blog posts.

It hasn't all been bad. This morning we had a few hours of sunlight, which lifted my mood enough to put these together:

Flyers for our next (and last) gig

On Friday a friend of mine posted some pictures of mushrooms on facebook, wondering what they were, and sent me a private message with their location, in case I was interested. I couldn't be sure from the photos, but they did look like ceps, so I went to see, and...

Cep, with cat for scale

... they're huge! That's not a trick with perspective, that mushroom really was that big. Unfortunately, it was also rather full of maggots, but they weren't all. My drying rack is now full of sliced mushroom - if only the humidity was a little less than 100%

I made some progress with the solar panels, then stopped when it got difficult. I'll tell you about that when I get back to it. Right now, the need to creosote woodwork does not sit well with the presence of mushrooms trying to dry in the same space.

I have harvested the sugar beet - a smallish barrow load (I haven't weighed them yet). This doesn't feel terribly positive right now, because the next task is to clean them.

Filthy sugar beet. They're not all this big.

One positive side of all this damp weather is that when the clouds do break, we often get very nice rainbows.


  1. I don't think I'd do well in a climate with so much cloudy weather. I mean, I'd LOVE the moisture and the green growing things it brings, but I think I wouldn't do well without the sunshine. It's a rare day here when we don't have sun. Even if it's 20 below zero the sun is usually shining! I do have to battle the cats for the sunbeams though! :-)

    Your fliers look fabulous, BTW! :-)

    1. Thanks, Cat :-)
      I wonder whether you'd love the moisture so much when all your clothes are damp and nothing will dry. Of course it's nice that things grow so easily, but it would be nice to have some of your sunshine! I love crisp, clear winter's days, even though I can't imagine 20 below zero. That's Fahrenheit you're talking, isn't it... oh that's not so different in Celsius (I had to look that up. Temperature is just about the only thing for which I can't think in both metric and imperial, though weight of people in pounds is tricky, too - I think in stones at that scale). No... I still can't imagine it. If it gets that cold here, we start wondering whether the world's going to end.

    2. I sorta can't imagine the dampness. One summer when I was a kid, my older brother spent a month or so at some science program in Kansas... which apparently has a much more humid climate than we have here. When he got home my mother & I were helping him unpack and I remember that all of his clothes felt damp to me. I asked him if he's washed them and put them away wet but he said no... that was just as dry as anything ever got there. It was very strange indeed!

      Too bad we can't share weather... I'll give you some sunshine and you can send some rain my way! :-)


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