The summer holidays are upon us again. The forth, after having moved to Germany and these should have been calmer and more settled unlike the three previous ones, that were clouded by a certain franticness in order to settle down in this new and unfamiliar place.
However, these holidays are proving to be anything but ordinary! For the first time in years, we are staying put!!! We, that is the family consisting of the human variety: Mark, Andrea , Molly, Lottie and Kaspar; and the furry variety: Aniseed (long for Ani)and Nancey, have decided to stay put and see how the holiday will unfold around us. The coronavirus crisis has meant that we, as well as so many other people, have had to take stock and start to make decisions in this new era. After all, things around us have changed and so have we , so our small contribution will be to keep our physical contact with others to a minimum, yet share our experiences with many: by writing a blog (da,da).
So here is our plan: we will move our summer residence one and a half kilometres uphill, up the road to a large, but neglected old wineberg (vineyard). We are determined to live off grid – as has been our romantically toyed-with-want for several years and enjoy the great outdoors, with just ourselves for company. Oh, and our two Dartmoor Hill Ponies, which are normally stabled about 12 kilometres away, have also come across to join in the fun and help complete this idyllic picture. This leaves just Kasimina (the cat) firmly in charge of our temporarily abandoned house – although she has twice daily visits from us in order to be fed and adored.
So, over the past two years we have cleared a large (but, still relatively small section of our two acres) piece of the land. However, as you will see the taming and clearing, is obviously very much an ongoing process, the cleared section now includes a gorgeous large wild flower bed, Mark`’s rare and unusual fruit trees, shrubs and plants planted in polycultures embracing his love of forest gardening and his views that a garden should be an holistic experience feeding all of the senses. Also, erected is a large sunsail to shield us and some of the plants against the blistering sun on this southfacing hill where temperatures regularly reach the early 30 degrees celsius. There is also fencing all the way around – so that our furry friends don’t get sidetracked by the extensive local wildlife and a good sized firepit, as well as tents and seating for the rest of us, we can almost relax into our adventurous holidays. However, in order that the ponies can join us, we have had to further fence in sections of the large, uncleared remaining swathes of land. We, or rather our girls who presently have dedicated their lives to these lovely animals, have had to roll up their sleeves and give their all to fence in a section at a time.
Finally though, the adventure can begin and we can find out what it might have in store for us – no expectations, just pure anticipation….