Friday, 12 December 2014

hey everyone

Hey everyone!

Don't worry, we are still at home. We wouldn't run away so quickly without telling y'all (and also, you know, the wallet 'lite' situation).

No, this post is simply an update of what I have been up of late. And not of the 'working in a cafe bla bla bla' sort. I have been very busy, in a sitting in front of my computer sort of way. (Actually I have been very busy in every sort of way, from hanging with the fam, to trying madly to start a garden and build another sweet home for some Australian chickens, and working, cooking and christmas-presenting a lot. But also in a sitting in front of this computer way.)

I have created a new little spot for myself on the dotcom! It's all very shiny and new and exciting. And taking a lot longer than I thought to get up and running because blogging is hard when you have to do real life stuff as well.

But anyway, now I have. It's all about.... everything, really. Sometimes cooking, sometimes gardening, sometimes, traveling. All the things I like to do.

I really liked spending time writing on here while I was away and I didn't want to stop that ritual just because I wasn't moving around so much, so I decided that I didn't have to. But I also decided this blog couldn't make the move away from pure travel- it's all in the name isn't it? So it is time to retire wander with me and move into my new place...

...which is called vermilion red and you can find it here and you can even leave me a wee note and let me know what you think!

I hope you like it and thank you everyone who followed our journey along on here. 

Monday, 20 October 2014

two surprises are better than none.

Where have you been? I hear you asking. What have you been doing? You wonder aloud.



If I don't have some news for you.

You may be able to sense what is coming, spider-sense style (that and the title of this post...). Surprises! Two of them! Hurray!

Everybody...most people...OK, some people like surprises. (I hope. It's what I'm basing this post around). Anyway, here goes:

Surprise the first: Some people already know this (in fact, I had to wait to post this til some people found this out, hence the gap between posts) but...WE ARE HOME. Really and truly and for serious. I am writing this in my lounge room; my recently reunited cat skulking around the bedrooms and my Dad completing his TESOL course in front of the fire. The fire! Because it is freaking freezing and not at all the sunshiny spring weather I was hoping to step breezily (how I thought I would be stepping breezily anywhere after a 36 hour flight-transit pancake I don't know) into from the plane. But no problem (maybe a little problem). We are back!* Back in Radelaide. Back in our normal lives- sans money, jobs and routine. Back.

Surprise! Gotcha, right? Good.

Because now it is time for surprise the second. Except this is more the announcement of a surprise that will be coming to you shortly, a surprise in the making. But it is thus: I have made a book! I spent three months in HutLand cooking, scribbling, writing, drawing and painting and now I have a book. It is a book of the Keralan food that we ate all the time at Our Home (it happens to be delicious so this was a good thing) and I am going to be selling it to raise money for my favourite bunch of Indian kids. Except that right now, I only have the one copy. The original, definitely not for sale, it took me so long to do that it is bizarrely precious to me now copy. We were going to get it printed in India but because I enjoy the rush of leaving things to the last minute and this doesn't work in India because it is India, it didn't happen. So we are making a plan. When that plan is made, I shall let you know.
Keralan food for everyone!

But now here are some pictures of our house at Our Home. Our favourite place in India and a place that wasn't as sad as I thought it would be to leave because we know for certain we will be back within the year. Except when we told some of the small boys we were leaving and they stood and stared at us with the blank faces of the 'just-awoken', tinged with sadness (I'm sure I didn't imagine it), I thought I might cry. But I didn't. So I win.

It feels strange to be back at home so suddenly. Whisked from the busy dirtiness and chaotic noise of the Indian streets and planted in the staid quiet of an Adelaide Tuesday. It's odd. It feels like I am on a little break from Our Home and I will be back there, building a toilet, playing chasey and sleeping in our bamboo hut in a day or two. I miss HutLand already but I am glad to be home. I think. I am pretty deliriously tired from some stupid long airport-y travel so I don't really know how I feel just yet. Except that I am happy to hang out with my dad and my cat. And my bed is reeeeaaallllyyyyyy comfortable.

Welcome home us!

*There is a little delay between when this post was written and when I published it. There is a reason though, not laziness I assure you. I wrote on the eve of my homecoming, so everything would be fresh and true. But I had to wait to post, because I had decided to surprise certain people and I can be a bit stubborn so there was no way I was giving this up, so this could only be posted after said surprises had been surprised.

P.S. Yes, I really did light a campfire inside the bamboo hut. Because I was halfway through cooking a curry when we ran out of gas in the HutLand kitchen and the daily downpour was about to start. And I was NOT giving up on that curry.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

it's finished. finished. FINISHED.

OHHHHH EMMMM GEEEE. It is finished! Our palace on the hill-side, our best ever egg farm in the history of Kerala, our main frustration for the last two is. finished.  

This is what we were thinking when we began this project (now I think about it I really don't know what we were thinking). We were thinking 'a big chicken coop, easy, should be done in two weeks tops.' We were thinking 'well, obviously we need to make some kind of snazzy laying-boxes-poking-out-of-the-back-of-the-fence situation, for ease of collection and all.' We were thinking 'oh, and why don't we make the front walls lever up so we can clean it easily and I think the floor should be split in two, and have some kind of ridiculously over-complicated lowering system for some reason that I can't even recall right now'.

What we ended up with, two months later (!!), is a fairly simple hutch made almost entirely out of bamboo and coconut rope, with your basic floor and walls and nesting boxes strewn thoughtfully about, a snake/eagle/rat/dog proof yard for our hens to peck about in and a design that is so un-Keralan that everybody keeps asking us when we will be putting the tin roof on, concreting the floor and installing the light. And we keep telling them that our chickens don't need those things. Our chickens are going to be happy, earthworm digging hippy chickens. Our chickens are going to be the happiest in the land. And they accepted that (sort of). But then we bought rice-sifting baskets for laying boxes...

Here is our last two months in pictures. The satisfying digging and planting of the poles, the kind of frustrating kind of hilarious days when the kids were helping, the tedium of stitching together 60 metres of netting for eagle protection, the triumph of putting the roof on.

A moment when we were so sick of roping together bamboo to make walls that we had a quick 'look at how pensive and meaningful I am, staring into the distance, sitting in a chicken coop' photo shoot.

The painting of the hen-house. The time we were having a cup of tea and a sit down and we heard coconuts falling form the neighbour's trees...

And finally, the Arrival Of The Hens. We drove for half an hour with thirty hens cowering in terrified clumps under our feet in the back of the jeep. Then we arrived home and I handed them out, one by one, as you would with lolly bags at a birthday party, so the kids could take them up the hill and plonk them into their new home. As you can imagine there was much squealing and giggling.

And some very happy hens. Thank freaking god.