Friends from Oxford came to visit for the weekend. Wow! Hill-walking up the mountain, packed lunch making, mussel picking, chocolate sharing, beach game playing, anemone poking, ice cream licking, birthday caking, dance performances and getting all to the train on time. And that’s all in a weekends work for our lovely friends. But very far from an average weekend for us. It was great to be around the kids and gain a different perspective on living here. On Sunday for Rafa’s birthday we spent some time walking the land around Gelli, which was the first time this year for Russell and I. It was a reminder for me of what an adventure playground is on our doorstep, including what looks to be like some fun bouldering just minutes away from the house. For them, the trip must have felt like a whistle-stop tour. And for us, it has been very refreshing to have our routine synergy thrown up in the air. And it seems very quiet round here now!
Living out here we are very privileged to get a glimpse of life 300 years ago. The simplicity of not having to choose what DVD to watch, or to remember to put food waste in the brown bin (we put it on the fire). But we are not fully immersed in the experience. We have mobile phones, a laptop, a solar panel, a gas stove and a car at the bottom of the hill.
We also enjoy the convenience of mass produced global food supply, and can eat bananas any time of year, and cheap, pre-packaged meat with no idea where it came from.
So this weekend we took a tiny departure from that and went Mussel picking on a nearby beach. There is a sense of liberation from finding and picking food in it’s natural state rather than paying for it in a supermarket.
It was a really positive experience for everyone and I’m sure we all learnt valuable life lessons, if I could just think what they are. It also helped that Nina did a great job in cooking them, it was hard work de-barnacling them and scrubbing the seaweed off, so when we sat down to delicious bowls of pasta and Mussels cooked in white wine sauce, it felt like tremendous reward for our efforts.
All this got me all excited about the possibility of living a whole day in Gelli without any modern influences whatever. I am sure we could get by without using any technology for 24hrs. We could run down to the beach, pick mussels, and cook them on the fire. Somebody could have done the exact same thing 300 years ago. Nina is not so keen on the idea. But I am. So expect to see it in a post soon.