mumsnetBack along, my family and I swapped a house for a three-acre field in Devon and a leaky caravan where we lived off-grid for two years. Sadly, we failed to get the planning permission we needed to stay. We are now back within four walls, with a proper loo and everything in a cottage in Dartmoor. So this is now a blog about living ethically amid a fabulous landscape with our home educated kids while we adjust to being 'normal' - for a while... and what we plan to do with our land next

Monday, 26 November 2012

Going off message

'You seem to have left not just the office, but the planet too,' observed my friend Lin in an email.

Well, I may as well have done. My transition from commuter to full-time field dweller has been less than smooth.

First there was the little incident of the filched Blackberry. This was the result of a mix up in a London bar after my last day at work. My friend and I had identical smart phones and she mistakenly went home with mine during a farewell exchange rendered extra confusing by the fact we were both very drunk. So far, so not too much to worry about. This could easily be remedied by the trusty post. Sadly, though, when the mail was delivered I received an empty Jiffy bag, devoid of any phone. Not such a trusty post then.

So I spent much of my first week on the telephone to the Royal Mail, which was magnificently disinterested in my missing phone, even though it had gone astray while in its care. 

The loss of my phone was a bit of a catastrophe; we have no landline and we are not in a 3G area, so dongles are useless. Thus my Blackberry wasn't just a useful communication tool, it was a psychological connection to the outside world away from a small village in deepest Devon where the inhabitants don't like us much.

Still, I didn't have long to dwell on this misfortune because the next week the car broke down in the middle of a country lane, so that took care of that week.

Since then, we have been enjoying the effects of nearly a fortnight of torrential rain, which has led to flooding and general misery - again. We seem to be having a lot of weather in recent times. I can't help but wonder if there is something driving our climate, some sort of change perhaps. But, surely not; why else would our government appoint a climate change sceptic as the secretary of state for energy?

Our little encampment is at the top of a slope about 190m above sea level. This is not luck, we discounted an awful lot of plots that were low lying. We believe in climate change, even if Mr Davey does not. Thus although it is extremely soggy, we aren't actually having to wade around our home - unlike many others. But we have been affected at times when the roads around have been flooded.

It does feel somewhat as if the fates have combined to test quite how isolated I can become before losing my marbles. I think I'm doing quite well, all things considered, but Lin disagrees: 'I must admit, your decline to a mad woman in a field has been more rapid than I predicted,' she wrote after receiving an illegible email typed in haste without the benefit of spectacles. 

Still, not quite drowning yet - just about waving ....

1 comment:

  1. I've been thinking about you so I checked in with your blog today. I don't envy you (obviously. I am so rubbish at roughing it, a wet sock ruined my morning, espeically as I was just stepping into Sainburys. Oh woe is me!