Thursday, 22 January 2009

Up and down.

TLB is away for the day finalising details of her new job in Dorset so the dog has come to work with me. At lunch time we set off across the fields over the road from work entirely unprepared for what we were about to witness. As we crested the first hill we gazed down upon a sight that simply took my breath away.

5 Red Kites were playing over the fields, antagonising a flock of pigeons that were resting, chasing off magpies and bombing each other playfully. The dog trotted out into the field to see what all of the fuss was about and one of the kites hovered about 10 feet above him, giving me a perfect view of what has to be one of the most magnificent birds I have ever seen. I have seen them from a distance a few times but today I got a chance to watch them in all their glory and it has made my day.

Back in 1977 Red Kites were all but extinct with only a couple of breeding pairs in the entire country, though there was a small population in Wales. Today they are thriving with an estimated 600 new birds being born each year in England alone. In the west country Buzzards are two a penny but they are most inelegant creatures when compared to the Kite whose long wings and relatively small body make for a very agile flier.

It looks like, one way or another I will be moving to Dorset in the next few weeks, TLB's job is looking more and more like a certainty. My employers have said that I can work from home for a few days a week but I am starting to wonder about the logistics of doing it from a tent.

The thing is, we have put in all of this effort to acclimatise to the winter and whilst it has been far from unbearable, it has been a learning experience which I will not forget. The thing that has kept us going, aside from the meagre cost of our day to day lives, is the promise of summer. The evenings are very slowly starting to draw out, the coldest of the weather seems to be passing and it is all downhill from here into a glorious summer or barbecues, parties and t-shirts.

Living in Dorset and working from home will require me to have a desk and a stable supply of electricity and bandwidth. For all of the things that we have made possible in the tent, I suspect that these will not be feasible and it is all quite a disappointment. There is also the fact that I will be away from home for at least 2 nights out of each week and I would not like the thought of TLB being alone and vulnerable in a tent whilst I am away on a sofa or a spare bed. It seems that accommodation will be thrown in with TLB's job for free which means that I will be able to continue to save, pay my increasingly modest debts and so forth but I will miss the camping terribly.

It will also relegate me to the status of a blogger waffling about my mundane ordinary life which I suspect would be rather boring. Therefore the options as I see it are:
  • Give up camping and blogging.
  • Pitch a tent in the garden of my new home and live in it.
  • Find a whole new and exciting odyssey to embark upon in my spare time and write about that.
If anyone has any ideas let me know, meanwhile I will continue to try to amuse and inform my readers with tales of camping while I work on the sequel.


Richard said...

So, the day I find your blog and spend most of my afternoon at work reading it is the day you're talking about giving up eh?! :)

Seriously though I can understand the potential move to a free house.

Maybe you could indeed find something else to write have skills as they say!

Have you read 'How to live off grid" by Nick Rosen by the way? Think you'd like it. Actually, to say thanks for an entertaining afternoon of reading, if you mail me at with a postal address I'll send you my copy now I've finished it! (After I've been to Australia though :))

Anonymous said...

d) Stay in the tent at your current location and come to work every day so we can still go down the pub on Fridays!!!!!!

e) Spend your time building a transporter so we can still go down the pub on Fridays!!!!

Either way, I think you are being selfish! You allsorts of nasty words here

Matt Hamilton said...

Great blog :) I found it via the SBMCC website and forum.

Maybe you should consider converting a van to a camper for your next endeavour, as would allow you to maintain your off-grid life, keep costs down, yet have some mobility. And you can drive to work in it.

I've converted one, and its great... also serves as mobile dog kennel - much more room than in a car.

I'm also a programmer and have a pretty decent setup with 3G/wifi setup in the van (high gain antenna on the roof) and large bank of batteries and solar panel to keep the power flowing.


Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog for a couple of months and telling a lot of my friends about it. You (and me by proxy!) seem to have gained a tremendous amount of new experiences/friends/skills from it that most of us will never get. It seems such a shame to give up now, especially as summer is on its way (err....eventually).

Your original aim was to save money. Well, I guess that moving to Dorset with TLB will still make that possible - you weren't going to live in a tent for the sake of living in a tent after all. But why not turn things on their head. Why not view Dorset as being away from home and the tent as home? So work in Dorset 2-3 days per week and come back to the tent when you have to go to work. Maybe if TLB can work at home as well then she could go back to the tent when you do.

Hmmm....this is all sounding a bit complicated but I guess you'll work out what I mean.

Anyway, don't give up the blog and if you do give up the tent then find another means to give me 'experiences by proxy' - you write entertainingly!

Anonymous said...

Your blog makes my bum itch! I must move from this earth worm riden peice of land!

Torminalis said...

Whoever you are, you just won the award for most surreal blog comment of the year so far. Fine work there.

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