zaterdag 6 april 2013

A home across the river: an introduction

Imagine this: a horse farm in the mountains in Spain, the morningsun peeking just over the mountaintops across the valley, making the frozen dew hanging from the stable roof sparkle. A girl, then 24, living with her newfound best friend in an rv on that farm, waking up to feed the horses, cats and dogs, cook her own meals, bake her own bread and take care of everything that needed doing on the farm.



This was me, 4 years ago, when I lived in the Alpujarra range in the south of Spain. It was a magical time, and I learned so much about myself, about who I want to be and what I want to do. It wasn't perfect, but it was the cleanest living I've ever done. We didn't have hot water or electricity, but we did have a gas stove and lots of blankets to keep us warm. Always having a cat in your lap or a dog next to you helped a lot too.



When I got back to the Netherlands, I started studying for my teaching degree and that took up basically all my time. It was very hard, almost nothing will bring your flaws and faults to the surface like teaching does. Standing in front of 30 students trying to teach them something they don't particularly want to learn is like standing in front of 30 mirrors, with very bad lighting. So I had to struggle to make it. But I did make it, and I'm so glad I did. Teaching is a lot of fun, and very fulfilling.
I don't want it to be my life, though. It's a passion, but it's not my only passion. When I decided I wanted to be a teacher, this is what I imagined as my dream life:
I would be a teacher 3 days of the week, and the rest of the week I would live on my own small ecological farm, growing my own vegetables, having some chickens for eggs. And a horse to ride on, of course. I don't feel like complete selfsufficiency can be a goal for me (yet), so that's where the money I make from teaching would come in. What I wouldn't be able to grow, I could buy.

And what has come of this dream so far? I do teach 3 days a week, and spend the other four taking care of horses, walking my dog and crafting. And watching tv shows, lots of them. But I'm trying to change that. This spring I am starting a garden on my terrace, I'm giving square foot gardening a go. Hopefully I can learn enough so that when I do finally get a house with a garden, I can grow more and realize my dreams.

This blog will be a way for me to keep a journal of my gardening, as well as a place to keep inspired, show what I've learned and what I still want to learn. You'll also find recipes and pictures of food here, as well as my crochet and other craft projects.

There's a life across the river that was meant for me, and I do intend to have it.


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