Thursday, May 01, 2014

Why I have not been blogging for a while – excuses 7, 31 and 302b

To add to the usual excuses of being busy with our permaculture smallholding and barn renovation and distracted by writing magazine articles, I have recently started another blog. Clive and Wendy first came to visit as paying guests in our gîte. They liked it so much they came again. They came as volunteers. Then as friends. This Christmas gone, they looked after our chickens, sheep and cats, which allowed us to leave together (for a change) to visit our mums in the UK.

Soon after they got home, Clive fell ill. The shocking news is that he has a cancer of the brain, which, among other traumas has rendered him blind. Clive is a professional photographer and senior lecturer in photography at Leeds Metropolitan University. 

I have started a project to get one of Clive’s own photographs—which he has in his head—into a tactile image that he can feel. We quickly raised all the money we needed for that and Clive has asked that we put on an exhibition of his work and that of his students in both conventional and tactile images, so make accessible the world of photography to those who are visually impaired. If you’d like to read more about Clive and his project, click over to the blog “A Tactile Image for Clive”.

I got carried away with Photoshop !
As regards permaculture (i.e., this blog) I have loads to tell but so little time to type. All the lambs are born, three Ouessants and a pair of Ouessant x Belle Isle twins. The barn renovation project has taken huge leaps forward since I last blogged about it. We’ve added another 15 metres to the forest garden windbreak. All the new spring salads are up, so are the tomatoes and Gabrielle’s waiting for slightly better weather before planting out the courgettes and squashes and we’re right in the middle of asparagus eating season.
We’ve a colony of midwife toads in residence in the polytunnel and saw a kingfisher perched watching our pond today. Next week, we have some friends helping us to harvest the wood cut last winter and this winter just gone and the bluebells are out, in their ever-extending beautiful carpet of blue.

The new (Summer) issue of Permaculture Magazine is out and I have an article in it about my visit to Martin Crawford’s forest garden in Totnes, Devon, UK last year. An article written by Patrick Whitefield also mentions us. I promise to carry on blogging here a little more often, so watch this space.