Sunday, 20 April 2014

Rewilding Our Life - Day 19

It's the first time in years that we've had 2 days off over a holiday weekend & we really hadn't given much thought on just how many folks there would be out & about... 
Our original plan was to go to Cardinham Woods, but on arriving to a full car park & a heaving picnic area - we turned round & carried on.

Eventually, we found Deerpark Forest near Looe...
There wasn't anyone else around - amazing, considering the amount of folks we'd seen elsewhere.

We couldn't believe that we managed to eat our picnic without folks walking by...
Thousands of people are holidaying in Cornwall this weekend & not one of them or any locals came along to disturb us, it was bliss.

We took the 3 mile trail.

We had periods of chatting & spent time in silence - enjoying the sounds & the warmth of the sun.


We climbed high above the trees...

And saw piles of chopped down trees.

Such a beautiful day...

We were in the forest for over 3 hours & by the end of our walk we had only seen 2 other people, 1 dog & 1 robin... We heard lots of birds, but didn't see any deer.

We took a detour home, as it was a lovely evening...
Colliford Lake - where we enjoyed skinny-dipping on our 25th wedding anniversary!!!

Roughtor & Brown Willy... 
We'll take you with us to these highest points in Cornwall one day soon.

The sun setting over Bodmin Moor...

Such a happy, fabulous day!

Kay & Sime
xx

Rewilding Our Life - Days 17 and 18


Thursday, we went to The Eden Project for dinner in the Mediterranean Biome, which is as wild is it got that day...
We are struggling to keep up with the activities from the challenge, as they arrive via email daily & usually long after we have left the house - so it's difficult. 
We are still making the effort to be mindfully outside for at least 30 minutes every day, but we're just doing things our way - which suits us & maybe we'll incorporate rock sculptures & conversations with the younger generation on others days - If or when the opportunity arises.
Anyway, back to Eden... We arranged for Bebe to go into respite for a few days, so this enabled us to get out in the evening...

We enjoyed a couple of hours amongst indoor wildness...


Time with Magie & Patrick...

And a vegan feast...


We were the last ones to leave...

As always, a lovely night.


On Friday after work we were exhausted - caring for Bebe, being up at 6am & sometimes not getting into bed until after midnight, with some nights disturbed by Bebe trying to leave the house or knocking us up to see if we're ok is just so tiring. We expected to be out every night making the most of our long weekend of freedom, but no - the last 2 nights we've been in bed for 10pm!!! 

Friday's rewilding was popping into the back garden before retiring, Sime zoomed in on the moon between the clouds.

Kay & Sime
xx

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Rewilding Our Life - Days 15 and 16


Tuesday was beautiful, but the easterly winds were freezing...
We spent 30 minutes in the garden at work, but struggled with the wind.


We managed to finish with an hour to spare before picking Bebe up, so we decided to drive up to Caerhays, where we had a walk around the churchyard & a much needed warm inside the little church.


It's difficult to see just how strong the wind was...

Our activity was to think/write about things we have learned & unlearned since starting the challenge.
We have learned how if we put our minds to it - we can make time available to do the things we really want to do & what we want to do is be outside in nature, have time to take off & enjoy ourselves... Cooking outside, camping... Just simple pleasures.
We are unlearning putting others before ourselves & working long hours... Which isn't good for our health & wellbeing.

We have worked hard the last couple of weeks & finally got on top of everything, which has enabled us to enjoy a day off in the week... Yesterday started with a lovely celebration, a chap we have worked with for a couple of years now has been sober for over 12 months. After many years of heavy drinking & several attempts to quit - he finally did it at the beginning of last year. We feel privileged to have been involved in his journey, it's truly wonderful to see him blossom & we love him to bits... The local vicar whispered to us both that we had played an important part in him getting better & that he couldn't have done it without our regular input - which is sweet, but of course - at the end of the day, it still took huge determination & willpower for the chap to do it... He did it & we are really happy for him. :-)   

The rest of the day was spent with Hugo & Jess. 
As the weather was wonderful again & not cold like Tuesday, we decided to venture out to one of our favourite places... A little known Forestry Commission site called Dunmere Woods, we know it because we used to live there when we first moved to Cornwall. It was like a dream come true for us... Moving from a large, industrial town in the north of England to this beautiful part of the country & just from answering an ad in a vegetarian magazine...

Dunmere Woods is along the Camel Trail heading towards Poley Bridge.

We decided to detour from the track & have a peek at our old house. 
We paid a low rent for the house & land, while also taking care of the owners furry friends too - 2 chocolate labradors, a ginger cat & 3 donkeys. It was a wonderful experience & all 5 of us are still incredibly drawn to the place. The owners split up, so had to sell & so we moved on.

We revisited some of our favourite spots along the trail.

This used to be Hugo's favourite tree, but it's been chopped...

Our very favourite part of the woods.

We enjoyed sitting next to Sime's tree for a while, just taking in the sights & sounds...

We hadn't received the activity before we left yesterday, but amazingly, we did it... We were asked to listen & think about communication.  
We had watched a duck & her tiny ducklings swimming on the river, close to the weir, we were concerned that they would go off the edge, but she guided them to safety on the other side. We were upset that such vast areas of the woods had been chopped down & not really a lot of planting was going on, we heard trees being cut down & wondered about the devastation it causes to wildlife. We discussed the communication between trees, using pheromones & Hugo told us about the smell of mown grass being a distress signal.  

We spent 3 hours walking & sitting...

And enjoying the views...

So lovely to be with family.





We had a wonderful day, finishing off with a picnic above Daymer Beach.

Kay & Sime
xx


Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Rewilding Our Life - Day 14

Yesterday's activity was to think about the human population.
How many people live in our area? 
Our hamlet has 31 permanent residents now & during the holiday season (April to October) there can be up to 1050 more... As there is a campsite at the top of the lane, a youth hostel across from us, 2 holiday lets & a B&B.

We are all pretty well spread out along the lane, but for us - the hostel is near & the campsite stretches to the back of our garden, so it is pretty intrusive, we knew this before we moved here & are just happy to be in a beautiful place...

Our house is on the left & that's the hostel on the right.

Lupe outside the hostel...
 Looking up the lane - Meadowcroft is on the left.

We did our rewilding in the garden at work yesterday, so we didn't see anyone else...
We picnicked, lay in the grass & looked down at the sea for an hour... And forgot the camera!

We love the warmer months, but we don't enjoy how busy our little place becomes... We like November too when it suddenly goes quiet, it's really wonderful.


Kay & Sime
xx


Monday, 14 April 2014

Rewilding Our Life - Day 13


We didn't get a chance to do yesterday's activity, as it was to go forest bathing...
Our nearest forest is over 20 miles away & we already had plans for Hugo's other family to come over,which was lovely.

We did venture outside last night & it was very cold, but the sky was beautiful... Just a shame the photo didn't come out! :-)

But we do have an accidental video of all us around the table...

video

Oh dear, we're still tired & it's back to work today for us & day care for Bebe, so another full week ahead for us all...


Kay, Sime & Bebe
xxx


Saturday, 12 April 2014

Rewilding Our Life - Day 12

We managed a stroll again with Bebe today - just to what we call the first gate.
Neither of us felt like venturing out too far, after such a busy week... 
Bebe wasn't happy about it though, she always gets restless at weekends & just wants to go out in the car... But in reality, as soon as we go out - she wants to come home, so we can never win!

Apart from spending 30 minutes outside, today's activity was about ancestors & creating a ritual to think about them & thank them...
This kind of thing isn't really our bag, but we do like candles & incense...

We burn Nag Champa incense pretty much all the time & patchouli in our little oil burner. 

We don't need a reason to light candles...

Nice being at home today.

Kay & Sime
xx

Carob

We have been using carob powder (also known as carob flour) since the 80s, when Sime developed an intolerance to caffeine.
He had overdosed on coffee & his body couldn't take any more. 

We discovered carob powder in our local health store & have used it ever since as an alternative to cocoa... 
We enjoy it warmed in a pan of plant milk & drink it like hot chocolate, but mostly I use it in baking. Carob doesn't have the kick that cocoa can give you, but it is higher in fibre, has a lower fat content & is naturally sweet - so it's possible to use less or no sugar at all in recipes. It is also rich in calcium & contains a long list of minerals, as well as Omega 6 fatty acids. 
We love it!

You can substitute carob for cocoa in any recipe, but I would recommend adding an extra half of carob to the required amount of cocoa, so if a recipe says 2 tbsp cocoa - I would add 3 tbsp carob & then deduct 1 tbsp of sugar from the recipe... Otherwise, it would be too sweet!

Here are some of my recipes, which are free from sugar & added fat.

Carob Balls
4 oz chopped dates
2 oz chopped apple or puréed apple
2 fl oz plant milk
2 oz carob powder
1 oz toasted hazelnuts
1 oz desiccated coconut
6 oz porridge oats
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Ground cinnamon for dusting
Makes around 16


Method
Mix the dates, apple (or purée), milk & carob in a pan.
Gently bring to the boil & simmer for 5 minutes.
Chop or grind the hazelnuts.
Take the pan off the heat & whizz the date mixture with a hand blender.
Add oats, nuts, coconut, vanilla & spice.
Mix thoroughly, then roll into walnut-sized balls.
Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Leave to cool on baking sheets.
Store in airtight container.


Carob, Orange & Apricot Cake
Wet ingredients: 5 tbsp puréed apple, zest & juice of 1 orange & 3 1/2 oz chopped dried apricots.
Dry ingredients: 5 oz self-raising wholemeal flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 2 tbsp carob powder, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, pinch of ground nutmeg & pinch of sea salt.
Makes enough for one 8 inch cake tin.


Method
Preheat oven to a medium heat & line cake tin.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the wet ingredients.
In another bowl mix the dry ingredients.
Gradually add the dry to wet ingredients & mix well.
Add a little plant milk if the mixture is too dry.

Transfer into the cake tin & bake for 20 minutes.
Test the cake with a fork, if it's still soggy - bake for another 10 minutes.
Remove from the tin & cool on a rack.

We think this cake is nice as it is, but for some extra sweetness... 
This is a delicious topping or if you double the cake recipe - you could also use it as a filling.

Carob Fudge Topping
4 oz chopped dates, 8 fl oz plant milk, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract & 4 tbsp carob powder. 


Heat it all up in a pan for around 10 minutes, then whizz the mixture up with a hand blender or food processor & just add extra milk if too dry.

Enjoy!

Kay x







Friday, 11 April 2014

Rewilding Our Life - Day 11


What a crazy day today has been...

We started out incredibly organised & Bebe was in a fairly ok mood. To top it all - the weather has been wonderful... We got the washing on the line early this morning & enjoyed the warm sun on our backs, the birds were singing & bees humming - a lovely start to our day!

Work was straight forward, until guests turned up early, which caused a bit of chaos...
Our friends, Lou & Vanessa  are a fantastic help & we couldn't do it without them, especially today, so we are very grateful & feel very lucky to have such lovely friends! :-)

We've been looking after another holiday let today too, which some other friends own.  Unfortunately there was a power failure after some work had been carried out on electric cables in the area... So we ended up spending a couple of extra hours trying to get it sorted out.
Poor Bebe had to come with us, but although it was a warm evening - she refused to get out of the car & just sat pulling her face & moaning about everything.
There's a bench just outside the office, so we sat for over 30 minutes in the sun, fussing our friends' kitties, while we waited for a call back from the electricity company... It was all resolved in the end, but we were home late & Sime had to then rush off to his gig.

Our rewilding has been a bit haphazard really, but we shall make up for it tomorrow.
Today's activity is to take up deep breathing exercises - something we've been into for years...
We don't breathe deeply enough, but it feels great when we do & it's amazing how just concentrating on your breath & filling your lungs can be such a calming, yet uplifting exercise. Nice to do for a few minutes on waking...

It's been a long day, so think it's bedtime...Goodnight!

Kay (& Sime)
xx

PS. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your comments... We love to read them & do mean to reply... At some point soon! :-)

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Rewilding Our Life - Day 10

We are preparing a house in Portmellon for the owners, who will be arriving next week & we never tire of the views, so we enjoyed our rewilding break just soaking up the scenery...  







The property has been closed up for a few months & amongst the usual dead flies was this small tortoiseshell butterfly, also dead...

Today's activity is to research ecovillages because they can be a much more sustainable way to live... 
We were interested for many years in joining an intentional community & have visited a few too.  One of the major downsides for us is that we very much like our own space & we're not always very sociable - we like hibernating & doing our own thing. Even the thought of getting together with  the same folks every week is just too much on a regular basis & would be worse if there are communal chores to be done! We work hard, but only because we have rent & bills to pay, otherwise we'd rather be lazy... 
Most of the established communities require some capital to join, which we've never had, but we did nearly join a community in Yorkshire some years ago. We left excited after spending the day & being offered a house, but on the journey home - the more we thought about it, the more we doubted our decision, until eventually we decided not to go for it. Another issue for us is animal husbandry, we could not live in a place that breeds animals & slaughters them, so it's not easy.

That's why for us, LETS (Local Exchange Trading System) & Transition Network are a better way. We can do our own thing, live how we like & meet up with like-minded people in our own time.

Proud to be selfish buggers!

Kay & Sime
xx