Things I can learn from Max

I am very unsettled. The presence (and absence) of builders over the past few weeks means I don’t feel particularly relaxed.

First, every morning, there’s the will they/won’t they arrive question. Then if they don’t turn up first thing the issue of whether I should release the chickens to free range, or whether the builders will appear later and then I’ll have chicken wrangling to deal with. If they do arrive there is disturbance and noise, even though the workers are all very nice and deeply apologetic when they need to ask for something. I had hoped that it would all be over in three weeks, but it’s going to go on longer than that.

In an attempt to work out how I should get through the next few weeks, I have been observing Max, who seems to take this sort of thing completely in his stride (well, shuffle, really). These seem to be his top tips:

1. Everything is better with a friend

Hunting around

Where has our patio gone?

2. Sometimes you’ll put your foot in it, but everything will be OK in the long-run



3. It’s all about getting the right balance

Dogboard NOT duckboard

Dogboard NOT duckboard

4. Life is just an adventure playground

Who says dogs can't climb?

Who says dogs can’t climb?

5. Nothing beats good a nap!



So, there you have it… I’ll be seeking balance, being playful, enjoying the company of my friends and, when all else fails, going back to bed!


The eagle-eyed amongst you may have spotted that I have changed the tagline that appears in the header on every page. It used to say ‘small steps to sustainability’ because documenting such steps was the original aim of my writing. However, I have come to realise that, because of the way things have evolved, that isn’t exactly a great description of what I write about now. Over the past three years I have become increasingly aware that what I want is a kinder world – one where we care for the environment and for each other. That’s not to say that I don’t think sustainability isn’t an important part of it, just that I want to emphasise the broader goal. Originally I was going to change the words to ‘small steps to a better world’, but on consideration, I think ‘kinder’ is more appropriate for my current goals.

So, what have I done on the kindness front recently?

One ready for stuffing and another on the needles

One ready for stuffing and another on the needles

Well, there’s the knockering¬† of course. I’m currently signed up to make five of them and I’ve just ordered some more soft cotton yarn, which is what they are made of.

I’ve agreed to have a #chumbrella to trial. This means I’ll be going out into the world with the aim of offering to share my ‘dry space’ with anyone who wants to. I plan to take it to the International Permaculture Convergence in September and share it with the world!

I’ve been kind to myself by giving myself plenty of time to think about an offer of some possible work. I’m not sure that I want to jump “out of the frying pan into the fire” as far as teaching is concerned, so I’m going to think very carefully about what I take on and where I go from here.

Not sure which one was responsible... I have grovelled to Peter the builder

Not sure which one was responsible… I have grovelled to Peter the builder

I’ve been kind to builders… making lots of tea and ensuring that they are happy to be here (despite a ‘paw marks in cement’ incident earlier today).

And I’ve done some ethical shopping, nothing frivilous: loose tea and coffee transported home in our own containers; a visit to the local farm shop; and I’ve ordered some replacement bamboo water filters (no plastic in those).

So, how have you been kind this week?

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