Thursday 26 April 2012
Something about the design of the van’s roof reverberates at a weird frequency in the wind (which is pretty constant here) and it sounds like a hardcore drum and bass sound system a field and a half away.
There are three mystery knobs under the driver’s seat of the Fridge which both Honest George and the RAC bloke who checked the vehicle out for me had said weren’t connected to anything and that I should ignore them. They have been partially identified and one, rather vitally, switches on the charging for the leisure battery. As with all revelations about this van this was great news for roughly 32 seconds before the auto electrician said, “Well we’ve identified it, but it’s a bloody stupid design.” But I’m slowing whittling down the list of van kinks and at the moment there’s just the gas ignition on the fridge and the mystery blowing fuse left to solve.
I’m on a slight tilt in the van today as I haven’t tried the levelling wedges yet. That wasn’t a psychological metaphor. I’m fairly stable in my sanity. A bizarre coincidence was revealed today though; my uncle Anson is actually in partnership with Gerald who owns the farm, they have recently formed a hemp growing cooperative together. So I’m more connected in the wild, wild west than I previously thought.
In a city with everything at your fingertips, your fingertips quickly become tentacles as they get excitedly drawn into lots of pies, (a cobbled hotch potch of metaphors there). This is both a wondrous and an exhausting thing. The simplicity of the rhythms of this life are good. Whether it is sustainable for someone so city centric we will see. At some point we may reach peak Kate where the reserves of energy I’m tapping into run out. It’s a challenge to be so self contained but this is the end of my stay at Caerhys, for now, I’m sure I’ll be back, Gerald and his passion are very inspiring, so hopefully some recharging with feisty Fire in the Mountain folk ahead.
CAMPER VAN TOASTIES! I bought this gas ring sandwich toaster in a car boot about 10 years ago and it’s been waiting for it’s debut which I’m excited to announce was tonight. Smoked cheddar and home grown green tomato chutney toasties are mighty fine.
1 bowl of porridge
1 puppy tickled (quite a lot)
3 auto electricians scratching their heads at the inventive wiring in my van
4 mini sausage rolls and a big lump of fudge (all local and sustainable so definitely good for you)
281 onion sets planted
10 rescued Escallonia shrubs planted
2 toasties slightly burnt but lava-ously melty
Saturday 28 May
Was hoping to meet up with a friend of Andy Prag’s yesterday evening but it didn’t work out and I had a bit of a bereft moment. I’d focused on the evening as a fun and sanity respite. These 2 very independent weeks at Caerhys have been hard. I’m entirely capable of it and I really enjoy my own company but input and stimulation from others is my fuel. There have been some brilliant moments but it’s just that bit too isolated for me.
Was this my Into the Wild moment? The realisation of the tortured protagonist that community is essential and it can’t be done alone. At least I wasn’t on the wrong side of a swollen wintry Alaskan river when I realised, just the wrong side of Haverfordwest.
My port in this storm was Tessa and Nick’s. They fed me spag bol and tucked me up in a real bed after a proper hot shower (I had hot showers in Caerhys but they were in an unheated stable block with horse shit on the floor so not that relaxing after a hard day in the field).
Anticipating that the Fire in the Mountain work week might be quite tough in this weather I’m stalling slightly in my ascent up country to Aberystwyth and stopping off with Jo and Rui in Tregare, Monmouthshire tonight. A couple of days of smiley folk will recharge the self sufficiency batteries I hope.
It’s a weird old thing I’ve set myself up doing. When I was a freelancer I never liked the new kid in school bit when starting new projects. Having to establish yourself both professionally and socially within a new group of people each time was hard and it made me construct a carapace that I’ve spent a good few years dissembling. So I’m curious as to why I’ve created an adventure with this very feature at it’s heart. I’m hoping that my own levelling wedges are more proficient than in the bad old days of grumpy Kate.