Living with kindred spirits, in nature and people

Hello dear visitor, it’s been a while, since I published a journal about my new life in Britain. Now, at the start of March 2017, after an adventurous period of house hunting, with bizarre encounters and awkward tribulations, I’ve found a good home in the South of Devon.

With kindred spirits in a home, sharing interests like bee keeping, gardening, natural remedies and clean food, lots of humorous scenes too. All of us are comical in our ways and so we laugh a lot, dancing our dance and at ease with stepping onto each other’s toes, once in a while.

The backgarden with a grasspatch, is offered to me for the creation of a vegetable garden and flowers. The sun is in the home all day round and the views are far. Where I am I’m on a high place, very safe from flooding!

Close to the sea and to Dartmoor, two goodies in one bag. Hello to you in the image below!

Totnes churchyard 03-2017 (4)

Due to the fact that I’ve arrived here recently, pictures will be included later. This house hunting has been an experience that taught me how important it is to have a comfortable home, a place of your own where you feel happy about, returning after a long day outdoors. Even when sharing the home with others, who are kindred spirits as well.

As I perceive it, this time of big change invites us to live with those supportive in our lives and to our peace of mind. In the coming years we’ll find a great need for that. Not suggesting there’s gloom and doom around the corner at all, but much change coming our way and some form of global and individual reset that is beneficial to all life.

After moving 4 times in one and a half year I’m looking forward to a time of rest, enjoying the first year of my retirement without any worry in the world and the relief that my time is mine. What better time of year than finding my feet and leaving footsteps in this landscape of rolling hills, than springtime!

vogeltje-in-huisje

A different building project

Slideshow of mosaic bench Groenkapel Griftpark Utrecht Holland

A 12 year project, since 1999, in the Griftpark of Utrecht, Holland. Designed and built by volunteers, I’m one of them. All materials were delivered with trucks, coming from demolished buildings. Tree trunks and big stones were delivered, plus small bags with broken tiles and croquery, contributed by residents who lived in the neighbourhood. We felt like children at the beach, with an abundance of sand to build a sandcastle!

We worked amidst huge heaps of material and the first year, no plant was growing on or in between the stones. Visitors often had no clue what we were doing, most of what we created didn’t look attractive. Only when the plants began to beautify the stone walls and those long yellow torches of flowers arrived, with numerous other “windfall” seeds turning into flowers, the Groenkapel (Greenchapel) began to show a good natured face!

The first 5 years, we volunteers were in a frenzy, diving in each container on  the road. “Oh, there’s a special stone….” “Ha, here’s a broken vase, exactly the colour I need… ” or how about those favoured orange terracotta rooftiles?      Such great material to work with, building stone walls, leaving space for insects, frogs and salamanders.

No doubt, the snails found their way too in between the cracks and damp places in the shadow. After a shower, a huge population of snails began to move around on the paths between the structures. It was impossible to walk without crushing some of them. Once we tried to decrease the population, collected them in bags and brought them to another part of the Griftpark.

Little did we know that they simply find their way back, despite the slowness of their journey! Fortunately we didn’t find much severe damage done by them, as you will see in the video. The place began to thrive after about 5 years and since than it’s a self-regenarating place. The shrubs and trees need pruning of course and now and than some stones are loosened by children’s feet or winterfrost. Eastern eggs are hidden each year, for the children of the neighbourhood, dressed like bunnies.

The first 5 years we had to fiercely defend the place against demolition, for the site was open to the public. We couldn’t fence it off. Visitors didn’t understand what we were doing. The design of ecological gardens with 3D stone structures was relatively new, around the turn of the millenium,  at least in Utrecht. This was a large building site,     of about 400 square meters in size, including the mosaic bench.

Many attempts to destroy structures and an unwelcome “spreading” of material were frustrating and a huge excersize for our patience. One of us lost his cool at some point and responded in great anger, to a couple of visitors. Parents who didn’t pay attention to their kids’ whereabouts received a severe scolding.  This was reported at the reception of the visitor’s center in a dramatic manner, which required a park-guide’s diplomatic skills to quiet down.

In due time, the Groenkapel grew into its form, balancing stone and plant. Many children found their dreamspots and fantasy playground, as elves, knights, damsels in distress. Or they were running around playing tag, or hide- and-seek. With the mosaic bench finished, in 2010, we’ve completed a beautiful oasis.  A refuge for visitors, some of them tired citizens coming from far, finding a bit of quietude, dreamily licking their icecream. In the quiet of the night, hedgehogs are shuffling about and nowadays, the peacock family finds its resting place in it too. The cry of the male reaches very far, I could hear it in my home, at night, about half a mile on distance of the Griftpark.

Peacock.jpg

 

                  Impressions of the Groenkapel aka Greenchapel