One Person With One Shovel…

Today I read a blog that is on my goggle reader list, written by a woman, Sharman Apt Russell, who writes beautifully about feeling connection with place.  Her blog is here.

This particular entry is called “Love of Home” and it was the last paragraph that gave me pause for thought – It buoys me with proof that one person with one shovel can change everything, given a guiding vision of a more abundant life, a life more intimate with the gifts of its place.

I would encourage you to go read the post in it’s entirety so as to have the excerpt in context. It has me think more about last nights post and whether to become more actively involved in politics, not actually running for election or anything heady like that, simply whether or not to join a particular political party in order to help change it’s focus.

I like that one person with one shovel can bring about great change, it’s more in line with my current thinking, to just do what you do and let that be enough.

Knowing that it is enough is key.

Knowing that it is enough to just do your best doing what you do and let that be.

Letting it go and not try to influence or change anyone else, just do your own thing and trust that it will work out…

Easier said than done…

Wild Summer Wanderings

I have been wandering here and there for awhile this summer, it’s fun to be footloose and fancy free – so to speak.

The weather has not been the best, however, this is Ireland and we have grown up with these weather patterns and have learnt from our mothers knee to just go out there and make the most of it – even if that means putting on waterproof pants and jackets, maybe even gloves – no I go too far, gloves are rarely needed 😉

I have been camping in a few different places and having some lovely fun. No phones and no modems – hence not much action on the auld blog of late.

On the advice of a friend I headed to a beach on the west coast to see this friendly dolphin I had heard rumours of.  On and off over the last few years I had heard of a dolphin along the west coast who liked to swim with people and I often dropped by various places to see if she was visible. Until lately I never saw her.

She has moved to a very accessible although quiet beach and she is really enjoying the company of the swimmers. I have swam with her a few times now and can’t believe how friendly she is.

She seems to really want to play and spends a good deal of time with people who enjoy playing with her and ignores those who, for whatever reason, don’t want to play, which means that anyone who feels nervous about being in the water at the same time as her, need not worry about her swimming around them.

I can’t believe my luck to have had such wonderful experiences in the water with her. I snorkel quite often and it’s quite something to be swimming along, just looking at crabs and little fish and then to see, just about a foot away, a seemingly smiling face of a dolphin looking back at you.

Although I know some good swimmers who are reluctant to swim with her and are happy to keep their distance and admire her from afar, I have never felt any fear in her presence.

Mostly I feel a sense of mischievousness when she is about, a playfulness, a childlike joyful sense of fun.

I count my blessings to have had the benefit of her friendship this summer.

Building Dreams

We had good weather to work on our house building project today after I got back from getting some building supplies.

The first floor joists were put in this afternoon and it is really satisfying to see them sitting on the beams that span the “stilt” style foundations. We have a very sloping site and so the southern face of the house will be close to six foot off the ground on sturdy stilts which are on concrete pads. The concrete pads are set about three foot into the very solid clay subsoil.

We really would have liked to avoid using concrete however we really could not afford the alternative of cut stone and there is no stone naturally occurring on our site. There are some compromises which we find we are making, mainly due to budget constraints – our budget actually being almost non-existent!

Our floor design will be a little unconventional – quelle surprise! We are fixing galvanised chicken wire between the tops of the sturdy beams and on top of this we will spread a breathable fabric which will in turn be fastened to the tops of the beams. The floor joists will then sit on top of this fabric, nailed to the top of the beams and the spaces created will in time be filled with insulation and the floor boards screwed down to the joists.

We will not be adding the insulation just yet for two very good reasons – firstly we need to get the roof on in order to keep the insulation dry and secondly at the moment we do not know what sort of insulation we will use.

The second consideration will depend on budget – if we win the national lottery – highly unlikely but not impossible – if only we remembered to buy tickets!! I digress – if our budget changes we would love to use sheep’s wool or something similar.

What is more likely is that we will source some local timber and use our free electricity and an electric planer to create wood chips which we could mix with lime and maybe some hemp hurds and a little water to create a sort of woodchip insulation.

Any suggestions about alternative, easily sourced, environmental insulation will be most welcome 🙂