Thursday, 12 June 2008

A meaningful coincidence

Yesterday evening, we admitted to ourselves that we have - officially - Nearly Run Out of Money.

That wasn't supposed to happen.

If all had gone to the original plan (hereafter Plan A), we would have been open at the start of April, with three yurts full of fabulous eco-friendly families, paying enough to cover the various bills and taxes that come with 21st Century nearly self-sufficiency, and ploughing what's left into further improvements, reforestation schemes and the like.

But Plan A, as you know, only worked in a parallel universe (where, I trust, it's doing fantastically well).

Plan B (and you may remember, there was no Plan B) is unfolding by the day.

My job pays just enough to cover the rent and fill the car. Bills, insurance, food, tools, animal feed and the myriad costs that come with non-self-sufficiency are all paid for by the house we sold last year. There's not much left.

So you'll understand why we went to bed a little bummed last night.

We're at one of those points where you need something - anything - to let you know that you've been doing the right thing (before I go any further, I'm talking about something from my belief system, not yours - unless you share mine - in which case: "Hi" - and ignoring the fact that it's impossible not to do the right thing and that there is no right... I'll get my wine).

Clearly, we need to increase our income, reduce our outgoings, and/or have some kind of meaningful pat on the back.

So when the cheese woman in the market said, this morning: "Is your wife looking for a job?" and gave me the phone number of a rich person who lives nearby (who may have a gatehouse to rent - you never know), I could have taken that as a sign.

I didn't.

Nearly did. But it wasn't funny enough. Or coincidental enough.

Like the coincidence I didn't tell you about from a few months ago, where our neighbour on our land is also our neighbour in town - not a nearby neighbour - I'm talking NEXT DOOR.

Cheese stashed in the fridge, we had work to do. Proper work. Moving the horse field (again - the plastic fence posts must hate us). Taking the temporary chicken ark away so our two flocks can become one. And clearing a path for a new pig enclosure in the woods.

Impressing Her Outdoors (an Aquarian, for those who see meaning in these things), I (a Virgo, which will be shocking, interesting or intriguing for those very same people) chose a meandering route through the woods. A sharp turn here. A straight bit there. A little wiggle between a couple of pine trees in that bit.

After I'd cut my swathe and put in my metal posts (don't use anything else, seriously), I paced out the new fence so I'd know how much wire I'd need. It came to 143 paces.

Arse, I thought. That's loads more than the old fence. I'll have to do some arsing about with the wire. To see how much arsing I'd have to do, I paced out the old (current, excuse the pun) enclosure.

At 100 paces, I started to smile. At 120 paces, the smile grew broader. My last pace came down exactly where I suspected it would. A completely random, but reassuringly exact 143.


alphamum said...

Surely there's some way that people can sponsor something that would bring you an income currently in return for money off a stay when the yurts are up and in business?

There's a way of doing this . . . like people who get others to pledge £1 to them and if they get 300,000 people doing this, they buy themselves a house? You know what I mean. . . . . I hope!

devolutionary said...

Yes. You can imagine I've had a couple of these ideas over the last few months. One was a kind of club (called "Friends of Alex & Clare") where people can stay in the yurts and be able to prove they are one of our friends. Another was a kind of "Friend of écovallée" thing, where you send us £50 and get £50 off your stay when you come - or, if over-subscribed, get your £50 back after 12 months. Or whatever. Problem is, at the moment, there's absolutely no guarantee that we'll get up and running before oil runs out, society collapses, and France has to somehow cope with millions of environmental refugees. Which, you can imagine, it won't be able to do very well.

alphamum said...

You could set up one of those credit card operated web-cams where we could see you tilling (toiling?!) your land or the pigs foraging, or whatever. No mention of triangular physiques or anything but it might help get the punters in . . . . . :-P

devolutionary said...

I'd hate to be the first person to set up a CCTV camera in France, though. What would the neighbours say?

Alphamum said...

Come and get some from the UK - I heard on 5live (so it must be true, eh?!) that there's one CCTV camera for every 14 citizens. . . . . . scary.

devolutionary said...

In France, if there is a CCTV camera, there are probably 14 people watching it. All employed by the government.