With much ignorance and perseverance we have managed to turn sloe berries into extremely astringent sloe jam and have an additional large jar of sloe gin brewing for future winters’ cheer. Strawberry tree jam is being poured into jars today. As Dan has brought us emergency supplies of tea and porridge we now have the luxurious choice of astringent sloe jam or strawberry tree jam in breakfast porridge.
The coming of visitors (Hello Dan, Ola & Olivier!) lurched us into building comfortable toilet facilities so others wouldn’t have to poo in a bucket. We’ve constructed a small dry stone terrace and a lovely wooden bench for you to sit on and poo while gazing up at the stars. The benchtop opens and the buckets of poo and sawdust removed, dumped into our pile of compost that is brewing to become future year’s rich garden soil. We’ve decided not to build a grandiose structure around the terrace and bench as very soon we’d like to move the toilet bench indoors and put a chicken shack on the terrace; so until then all will be pooing in comfort with an outdoor breeze. We have managed to attain a fairly decent level of comfort for guests who are still camping but can shit on a posh bench.
We have hooked up the upper spring to a tank above the cottage that provides the cottage with high pressure water and we have diverted the overflow to begin filling up a massive concrete tank for irrigation.
The conservative human instinct to cling to the way things are wells up in us. Though only two months have passed, as progress accumulates and we build comfort upon comfort, we already feel the wistful urge to hold and memorise life and the finca as it was. Now that we have electricity and high-pressure water running into the cottage the days of candles and dark stumbles to the spring for water fade, but each new convenience and comfort urges us to memorise and catalogue what life was like before.
Our pack has grown. We have gained a new dog rescued from the shelter. Unnarr is adjusting to a new life in the countryside where he can run and jump in the river, give his nose a proper workout (bit of a hound in him) and be free of the jittery, loud, piss-stained concrete confines of the small kennel he has lived his 1 ½ years in until now. He is incredibly beautiful and has a wonderful personality, but he has the tendency to slow down our efficiency.
There are quite a few urgent projects on the list now; we have a lot of winter proofing work to do for the cottage and are now preparing for Andru’s mother and brother.