Just over a month into the year with the terrifying number thirteen and so much has happened already! Warm beaches, super yachts and mountains covered in snow seem like years ago rather than a matter of weeks – The Monson family dropped in numbers when Mrs Fox came for dinner one night, taking three of our four lovely hens, numbers promptly grew again with the addition of a pair of Blue Silkies called Dande and Cuckoo who are settling in well and we soon hope to hear the peeps of tiny beaks coming from the hen house, Puck and Torsie the tortoises are still in hibernation, Frugal the puppy is housetrained and crazy as a crazy thing, Molly the cat is finding her way around just fine and seems to be adjusting to blind living just fine, and Benji dog is still – well still hairless and stupidly lovely really…
January arrived and a last hunt to get some land in Cornwall started, with the thanks to a heart warming offer from a beloved friend to hike up the bank balance we found something!!! Dreaming and planning followed immediately – but the elated feeling only lasted for a month sadly, reality bit hard when we accepted our slim chance of either living unnoticed for a full 4 years to get a Certificate Of Lawfulness or proving our ‘needs’ were enough to convince the planners to let us live on own piece of land in a low impact dwelling, it seems it will be a step too far for our local planning authority, even with a free forest school for the local schools to use, supplying local businesses with even more trade than we currently do in the way of putting people up in local B&B’s and feeding them at the local food places during courses on our land and making local ‘green’ BBQ charcoal for the tourists to cook their horse burgers over rather than the rain forest in a bag they buy in tonnes from Tesco each summer (other supermarkets are also available) – still, it is more and more apparent it will just not happen….
We are all too aware that without people willing to pioneer low impact dwellings in each area and set precedents for future generations nothing will change…But along with this we also have to pick our battle wisely and taking on a piece of land with slim to no chance of ever winning approval would be foolish on our part…So, no low impact dwelling for us in Cornwall it would seem.
One thing we are sure about is that we will take lessons from being here right now and wherever we end up it will be well thought through and somewhere truly wonderful…We are now considering everything else and somewhere in between, New Zealand has been discussed (again) – too far – Wales where One Planet Development is taking off with force thanks to LAMMAS – quite possibly – Southern Ireland where ancestral roots are buried and I can speak at my natural pace and still have people that understand me – Portugal who have planning laws I wish we had in the UK (if you own your land and you put down no foundations i.e. live in a low impact dwelling of a reasonable size you can live there with no planning permission needed) many, many families are heading this way at the moment for much the same reason… We are lucky to have the opportunity to choose, I will never lose sight of the fact that we are so fortunate to be in a position where we can buy our way out of a system and choose where to do it…Even so, the thought of leaving Cornwall will be a wrench like no other – Watching a new (and celebrated) housing estate being built less than half a mile from the land we found just makes it an even more bitter pill to swallow…This is seen as progress, while our little straw bale build which could bring security to a family and keep business local is not, the digging, the shifting of tonnes and tonnes of soil from small fields which have been grazed for hundreds of years, blades of grass to be replaced with concrete blocks and tarmac in the name of progress… So February sees us positively head onwards and upwards, exploring new opportunities, nothing to say they will not be better ones and of course nothing to suggest anything other than the fact that this is ultimately where we are destined to head! It seems 2013 has an even bigger adventure in store for us than we first knew!