Posts tagged Tent Living
Musings from a Tent: What I Know to be True
  1. Life isn't easy.
  2. But it's better to be part of the solution than part of the problem, even if you don't think you can change the world.
  3. I want to change the world.
  4. I'm not afraid of the hard work that is necessary in order to change things. My skin tingles and I get excited when I'm working hard at something I love doing.
  5. Sometimes the thing we love changes. I'm learning that this isn't always a bad thing by being a part of this community. It's helping me to realise that my life doesn't need to fit societal expectations.
  6. Just because what makes you happy doesn't make sense to some people, it doesn't mean it isn't something worth striving for.
  7. Right now, I'm searching for a feeling, and focusing on an inkling of an idea. Having the courage to do this without a firm plan isn't easy.
  8. I will never be a worry-free person, but understanding how to control and move past these feelings is something that I need to work on.
  9. In order to move forward and achieve new things, you need to try out new ideas, embrace new plans, and be brave.
  10. Life is simple, really. You get out of it what you put in.

To a brave new future, and to being the change you want to see in the world.

Why I've Been Away For So Long

This is the longest I have ever been absent from this little space of mine. There have been days I've felt guilty, weeks I've not cared, but amidst all of life's goings on, the months have passed. The seasons have changed, and our way of life has adapted accordingly. Every time I catch up with a friend, or speak to a family member, I feel as though we have lots of catching up to do, and in a similar vein, this post aims to do just that. So without further ado, here's a (condensed) update, and if you're still there reading and interested, I thank you for your patience. As I'm often reminded, all good things come to those who wait.

Where I'm Living

We're still in the tent! Making it through the winter wasn't easy, especially on the nights when the water froze in my glass, the fire struggled to ignite and I was wearing a hat, scarf and gloves to bed. Things still aren't perfect, but the lighter evenings and milder mornings make our daily routine much more bearable. It's looking like we'll be in it until at least Christmas, so I'm going to relish every moment of the summer months when they arrive, to save as memories for those cold, cold nights to come.

A Big Announcement

It's a relief to announce that I've quit my job. I'll be there until the middle of July (that's the education sector for you!), but after that point I will officially be without employment. This decision was one of the most difficult I've ever had to make: as a society we are conditioned to feel like failures if our careers don't bring us lots of success, money and happiness. My job brought me a little success, enough money to live a comfortable life, but for a long time I haven't really been happy. It's taken a while for me to be in the position where quitting was even possible, but ultimately I realised that the apathy just isn't worth it. 

If you're interested in my reasons for leaving the mainstream education sector, they are pretty much summed up in this video.

New Ventures

I'm not going to just sit around and do nothing once we reach the middle of July - my conscience, desire to be 'doing' and my bank balance entirely forbid this - but as yet my plans are not finalised. That's not to say that I don't have plenty of them, however, so here's an indication of what I'll be up to:

  • As we're building our own house (in the relatively slow manner that comes with doing everything yourself) I would like to dedicate as much time as possible to the project over a period of 4-6 months. If we're going to be out of the tent before January, things need to be moving more quickly, and while I'm not really any good at tasks like brick-laying, I know that there are lots of jobs I can be getting on with.
  • In addition, I'll be working on the land, trying to make our vegetable consumption as self-sufficient as possible with the space we have. Since Christmas, Dan has been a pescatarian, so planting, harvesting and cooking our own vegetables has never been more important. 
  • My sister owns Wold Couture, and designs and makes unique wedding dresses. She's a genius, but she hates the online world, so after making her a new website last month (it's here if you're interested!), I'll be helping a little with the marketing side of the business.
  •  I'm also in the process of setting up my own business. Finally! It's a dream I've had for a long time, and while I'm still in the early stages, it's exciting to be getting going with it. The goal is to provide inspiration for a simple, sustainable lifestyle through an educational programme of courses. If it's something that you might be interested in, there's a link here to leave your email address so that you'll be the first to know of any new developments.

There's been a lot more going on, but as I said, you're getting the condensed version here. Now, that's me, but what have you been up to? 

Our New Home

Say hello to our new home! Last night marked the first of many evenings spent under canvas in our quest to simplify our lives, live more sustainably and save money. After having spent all of Saturday packing, cleaning, moving and organising, Sunday was designated as our official moving day. Dan finished making some adjustments to our Frontier stove, which did smoke a little when we did a trial run; after working his magic, it now seems to be running much more smoothly (thank goodness). I spent the day at the house, trying to get on top of the mountain of packing, and while I ploughed through a lot, there's still much to be done. 

We finished the day rather more happily, and with the faint hum of carols, we decorated the Christmas tree and settled in for the winter. It was a night of mixed emotions: happiness and exhiliration at finally having reached this point, but also trepidation for the months to come.

Our first morning was frantic to say the least, as I had to leave for work by 8am. We have decided against lighting the stove if I have to be at work, so instead I stole quietly into my grandparents' house (they live next door and we're going to be showering there and occasionally using their cooking facilities), grabbed something suitably smart to wear and got on with the day as normal. Except it didn't really feel like normal; always in the back of my mind was the knowledge that something significant had altered, and that when I returned, it wouldn't be to a home in the conventional sense.

Tonight, Dan has gone out for the evening to his Christmas meal with work colleagues, which leaves me in charge of the stove and of the tent. So far, so warm. I've managed to keep it alight and have enjoyed a cup of scalding hot tea, with water straight from our new boiler. I've also managed to find a smidgen of Wi-Fi, hence the post. I'm not sure yet what I make of it all, as I keep oscillating between emotions, but now I'm out of my work environment, things do seem more positive. 

The house is really the biggest cause of stress at the moment. Tomorrow, the landlord is coming around to do an inventory, and then we officially have to be out by the 31st. I'm hopeful that all of the boxes will be in storage long before then, and ideally by early next week, so that we can actually enjoy the festive period, but that seems a long way off at this point. It's strange how we all collect so many things, yet actually need very little. We have given away and recycled so many of these things, yet it still astounds me how much we have left. When we do eventually move back into a house, there will definitely be a few changes.

But for now, we move forward with hope. Hope that Bella doesn't wake us up in the middle of the night again. Hope that the house will soon stop being the burden that it currently is. Hope that despite all the stresses, strains and changes, this adventure will be everything we planned and more.

Eleanor HolmesTent Living