Writing while curled up next to the woodstove…I’ve been looking forward to this!
We’ve had access to our common building for nearly a week now and it is a very welcome adjustment. Well worth the wait. In addition to the aforementioned woodstove, we now have hot water, beautiful showers, reliable internet, a kitchen, carpeting and some amazing furniture. There are a few finishing touches to be added yet, including power and the construction of the entry way, but most of the pieces are in place now.
Andy and I have shifted out of our tent and into this building to sleep – a trade of privacy for more warmth and dryness. We’re already missing the sounds of the river and the birds, but sleeping indoors definitely has some serious perks! I can see why it’s become so popular!
After much searching (and re-searching), we found our new car on Saturday. Affectionately named “Rusty”, it’s a 1998 Toyota Corolla hatchback and ticks all (or at least most) of the boxes – lots of space, fuel efficient, a pretty solid reputation for reliability, and an ability to do a little bit of towing too. It’ll make it much easier for us to get into Christchurch (about a one hour drive…and a much longer walk/hitchhike!) to run errands and will make it possible for us to visit places further off the beaten track. With greater ease of transportation, Andy is anxious to get around visiting horse breeders and looking for horse-drawn farm implements. We’re also looking forward to exploring more of the local countryside and venturing to places slightly further afield. A not-too-far-away place called Hanmer Springs is on the agenda for one day – I don’t think it’ll be too hard to handle!
So far, this week’s focus has been on settling into the new space and sorting out insurance, ownership and other bits of paperwork for the car. Andy is diligently mapping out the property on a big whiteboard for us – one of our initial steps in developing a permaculture plan. I’ve been working on the organization of group field trips and guest speakers for this stage of the program. And on Friday we’ll be doing some mini-presentations to update on the progress of our independent research projects. As the garden gets put to bed for the winter, the season of planning is upon us too as we begin to decide what food to grow where next spring. We’ve also fit in another trip to the Darfield library to explore their DVD collection (The World’s Fastest Indian being our most recent choice) and some good walks in and around the nearby village of Glentunnel.
So that’s it in a nutshell! The fire’s chugging along happily, Lien (one of the other program participants) is putting together some curry for dinner, and Andy is nearly finished with the current version of the property map. And once again, I look around and find myself very comfy and very fortunate.