Another Man’s Waste


Last week and again today I am struck by the effects of other people’s rubbish and how years later it affects us.

I read somewhere as a statistic that all the plastic that ever existed still remains in the world today.

This news saddened me greatly. I wondered how we would ever get rid of it. Although it is only a tiny small step I do try to do whatever I can not to buy anything needlessly wrapped in plastic. Save on bags and reuse everything possible.

I wish I could say that I’m doing my bit, but I feel as though it is a drop on the ocean and that we are all such a long way off.

I digress as usual…

On both occasions I was picking up rubbish in the garden. I would love to turn this place into a healthy garden, but several previous owners and my current neighbour here have some awful habits when it comes to litter and seem to think it’s ok to bury it or just leave it floating around the countryside. Something that makes me really mad. We spend a lot of time picking up other people’s rubbish here.

The house was derelict when we bought it. Those of you who have been reading for a while will know that it is still in a bad state now but we are only one couple on a non existent budget trying to make a difference whenever we can.

Yes I have dreams of off grid eco living off the land. By during today’s clear up I thought I wonder if it will ever be the sort of land which will bear fruit. I was standing in what used to be an orchard and will be once again one day.

I was clearing up the debris of a life which ended in 2001, some16 years ago I thought. For someone who lived off the land, he didn’t think about the effect of his waste upon future generations or inhabitants. I cannot hold this against him really. I did not know the man and I don’t think he really thought about it.

It was pointed out to me that due to the remote location it is not easy to get a rubbish collection up here. But for goodness sake, there are recycling bins in the village and at the end of the track a small village where they would collect it from, so I’m not buying that.

I picked up 6 pairs of leather shoes which were buried along the hedges. Toothpaste tubes, wine bottles and jam jars, cocoa jars and Fizzy pop. Plastic bread bags, probably of brands which no longer exist buried in the ground. But of course as the years go by, ground moves and things reappear.

There was broken Crockery, plates, dishes. Glasses and wine and beer bottles. Plastic containers and that was just from the old boy who lived here. The last owner used this place as a dump. He was a glazier and so the amount of glass that has been shifted from here over the years since we took it over is astronomical. I think we will be unearthing it until the end of time. Just when you think you have found it all, you turn around and find more. There are also rubber, window fittings, metal and plastic all over the place all surrounded by our woodland. What was once a lovely green space was tarnished by waste and is fighting to recover along with our help.

It may sound crazy that I am worrying about the garden in a decidedly shabby house. But I hope that if I sort out the ground around it. It will be usable and things will thrive here again. It costs only the time that we put into it and a whole lot of effort but I hope that it will be worth it.

I have visions of the orchard full of fruit trees, the garden with a lawn and the woods at the back with healthy trees again. The broken pieces of the past finally removed and something new and wonderful will remain for years to come. Even though I have no one to take over the place after my demise I don’t want it to be in a sorry condition for the next person to come along and say “what on earth were they thinking of leaving all this rubbish laying about?”

So today we have recycled the glass jars and window glass we have found so far but we literally have not scratched the surface. Whenever you take or dig anything over, it is as though you haven’t done it all.

The old toothpaste tubes and tin foil and cans have also gone to the recycling and rubbish dump along with a lot of rubber sections used by the glazier. I also found out something interesting. At least four pairs of leather shoes which have not broken down either and a tobacco pouch. The only thing that has rotted down has been the stitching. I wonder if he ever thought that part if his legacy would be found 16 years later after he died, buried in the garden. It probably wasn’t the type of legacy he had in mind at all as a writer and artist his legacy should have been far more artistic.

You can find out a lot about a person from their rubbish, especially when they leave it laying around.

We decided to make a track through the orchard to get to the back unearthing yet more of the same. There will still be trees, more will self seed no doubt and we will find some more to transplant later on. My partner talked about the possibility of a paddock one day. He has a yearning for me to have animals here. I voiced my concern today that we could be picking up glass there for years to come so I don’t even know if it is possible down the line. Maybe with a JCB to skim the top of it all it might, and we would probably lose the orchard in the process and it’s also such a lot of work and expense. It surprises me where we find it all. Around the edges, in the hedges and by the fences around the perimeter. We will have to build new ones later, a huge job (in my eyes) due to the area. But then I am used to a small plot when back South. To a farmer it’s nothing but to a townie, it’s something else entirely.
My years of dreaming of eco living may not be possible on this plot due to it’s previous life.

That saddens me more than I can say.

I thought about my plans to litter pick on the beach when I go back back South but there is so much of that here I am starting on my home ground first.


Tomorrow I will pick up the debris from the trees which were moved and felled and probably get the chain saw out. We need to restock the woodshed which has been seriously depleted on this trip due to the cold nights. Today it was warm and glorious followed by a windy evening and a beautiful red sky so I think we will be in luck for tomorrow.

A little bit of Sparkle

26/4/17 There is something quite magical about standing on the top of a hillside at 2am brushing your teeth in the moonlight. The crisp night air and a sky of the darkest blue filled with stars. There was not a sound but for the crackling of the fire when my partner rushed into tell me that it was snowing! It is the very first time that I’ve experienced this up on the hill and although it had been so cold that we couldn’t feel our fingers and toes all day it was still unexpected at almost the end of April. But there we were surrounded by a beautiful crunchy layer of white snow, totally pure and sparkling peaceful and quiet. We took the dog out for his nighttime walk. He was thrilled. His Mama and Daddy wandering around and rushing up and down the garden whilst he ran and rolled and ate the snow he was in heaven eating it and prancing about. One happy pup we went back indoors to warm ourselves up and hoped that the power would not fail us in the night, we would need the electric blanket. Unfortunately all the cameras were dead by then so we only got a couple of pictures by torchlight.

I checked the weather report again last night and saw there’s a possibility of Thundersnow. Our boy would love it.

Northbound Journeying

Our journey up here was interesting to say the least. Our darling boy came on the longest trip he had ever been on in the car. He hated almost every minute of it and was very distressed crying and whining. He did not understand that it would be alright when we arrived. He wanted cuddles and reassurance it with his Mama in the front and him in the back it wasn’t possible. At nighttime he didn’t like the traffic noise of the lights of the vehicles behind us. It was a long Journey anyway it made all the longer by stress and tiredness. 

As we reached the border we were met with a beautiful red and orange sky, following the contours of the hills and mountains with silhouettes of the trees and occasional building or cottage.

Higher than our current landscape set way above our heads the colours did not reach all the way to the road ahead of us. 

It’s ethereal light creating another world somewhere above ours where all was at peace. Our own route now being cast into the darkness as we travelled onwards, but yet we were bathed in this warm orange glow. It warmed the soul sending shivers down my spine. “Look at that Sky!” he said to me. I am, I answered my voice almost hoarse with emotion tied up in a truly beautiful experience. Taking us away from the situation we have been in and leading us hopefully towards the next step. The orange sky like a molten sea coming down through the hills that night pooling into lakes with pine trees all around as we reached the border and our welcome to Scotland. The smile spreading across my face, heading home at last. 

Happy Easter


As those who are following will know, I’ve been off the radar somewhat in the past few weeks. 

I was feeling very stressed and rather unwell I decided not to burden everyone with the details and have not been writing much. The situation in the South had become unbearable and both our health has taken a turn for the worse. The getaways have become a matter of urgency. I have now taken the family and we headed off back to our Sanctuary this past week and am already feeling a positive shift. It is where we needed to be and never fails to lift our spirits once we arrive. 

We have brought the new boy with us, the journey was eventful since he was not a willing accomplice in the car. He doesn’t like it at all, the calming biscuits had little effect and he got scared. Since he was safely secured in the back he couldn’t get to his Mama in the front for a cuddle. Poor thing he cried for a lot of the journey and was like a whining child with no sleep when we arrived. 

Thankfully he has settled in a bit now we have arrived and we have all caught up on our sleep. We are delighting in showing him the sights and sounds around here. He has not been into Forests before, or seen any other wild animals but Foxes & Rabbits. Being a bit of a Town Bear he has to learn not to bark at everything that is new or thunder through the woods into the unknown but he’s doing well. 

He has met Stag’s, Horses, Hares, Rabbits, Field Mice and the Cattle so far. The sheep have been moved so there is no sign of them. 

He is used to the open fire now and the wind in his fur, the sights and sounds of the tractors going up the lane and has found the exact same comfy spot, protected by bushes that Kato used to sit in to watch the world go by currently surrounded by daffodils, he is very happy. 

He is peaceful and as long as we don’t go near the car he is enjoying the long walks over the hills and sleeping at the foot of the bed. 

So however you are choosing to spend your Easter weekend, we hope that you have a great time with your loved ones. We will be cosy by the fire and enjoying the peace and serenity here. 

Our Sanctuary 

We’re off again to Sanctuary 

To save us from the Melancholy

A place to help us to forget,

Where we do not suffer regret.

Where the sun shines brightly through,

Trees and flowers grow anew.

To replenish mind and body once more,

There’s friends around and surprises in store.

Spring is in the air, sights to behold.

Welcome the new, but cherish the old.

Lambs and calf and fawn surround,

Open your ears and relish the sound.

A bright carpet of yellow daffodils,

Will always be one of the thrills.

What will have grown, what will have died?

What small animals used the house to hide?

There through the winter cosy and warm.

Inviting and safe to them, not broken and worn.

So I will clean up the house, the caravans too.

Will do some repairs, will make some stew.

Put on the coffee and light your cigar,

Remembering that we’ve come so far. 

When nighttime comes you’ll get your desire,

A glass of Brandy by the roaring fire.

Batten down hatches to calm the storm,

Silently, resting peaceful and calm.

Our place where we feel truly free.

We’re home again to our Sanctuary.

This Once Was Home

I sat in the garden looking at night sky
And thinking about it began to sigh.

I sat there silent it’s fair to mention,

My body ached from all the tension.

Remember that this once was home.

The place where I could be alone. 

Peace and quiet alone with thought, 

Not sitting feeling overwrought. 

With home comforts all around. 

Windows closed would block the sound.

Of the world and people passing by.

Watching as the time would fly.

A quiet haven to rest my head.

The cosy sofa, the comfy bed.

Neighbours with whom a hand I’d lend,

Small garden with plants that I could tend.

But now as I wait for Spring to call

Here I sit trapped in these four walls.

Life as we know it before this began, 

Now altered forever because of one man.

So much has changed I feel locked in,

No escape from the stress and din.

Wanting once more to get out.

Making me want to cry and shout.

The peace is shattered, the calm is too,

I crave to find that something new.

A place where I am at my best,

A home to thrive, a place to rest.

Natures beauty there to please,

Surrounding you will put you at ease.

A personal space to call my own,

Which once again I’ll feel is home.

I’ll keep looking I’ll search with care, 

To find the place that is out there. 

The plans have changed, our dreams have too,

But we’re still in it, it’s me and you.

Wherever we go on this journey of ours, 

We’ll stop a moment to smell the flowers.

Shall plant some new ones on the way, 

Put down some roots, as they say.

Life will be once more safe and secure.

The countryside an obvious lure.

A house, a cottage, a bungalow,

A place for us to thrive and grow.

It’s time to move on, or start to roam

And find this house to call a home. 

Excitement and new challenges await.

Walk down the street and open the gate.

The new life we will soon have begun,

Once there you’ll know you’ve found the one. 

Hideout

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Ahh the memories, of where we used to hide as Children.

At my Grandparents house, they had a dining table.  It had drop leaf sides and a cupboard in the centre with a shelf in the middle and a drawer at each end. When we played hide and seek with my cousins, this was usually where I chose, under the shelf inside.  Well, I was quite small!  I have the dining table in storage, the memories all came flooding back when I saw it.

In our first house, my favourite was in the larder, with my best friend sitting under the bottom shelf on the floor, making bread squares, by squashing the bread very hard into cubes.  It began when her father went fishing and we had a conversation about what fishing bait he used.

After that, when Dad emptied the big cupboard in my box room of all of his stuff and I was allowed to use the space to keep my toys and books. I used to sit in there and read stories to the Dollies and the Teddies.  The door would be open and I would take a pillow and sit on the floor of the cupboard with my back against the wall.

When we moved house aged 10, I had to find new hideouts.

A favourite was the bathroom roof, My bedroom window opened out above it and I would sit out on the ledge of the roof straddling it and be able to look down the street across all the other gardens, trees and flowers.  It was quiet there and no-one bothered me.  I always got into trouble for being out there since it was deemed dangerous, but I actually felt very safe up there.

Down the road from where we lived there was a brook with a bridge. I used to go there with my friend who lived over the road, we would fish for sticklebacks and read books and camp out under the bridge.

via Daily Prompt: Hideout Image: Morguefile