Here I am, a couple of weeks past our deadline for project 6, and I'm only really at the beginning! So much has been happening in the past couple of months.. we've moved back to the UK for the winter, which is a huge change from being so nomadic and free, to suddenly have a house again and housemates and all the other things that come from being a bit more stable. I brought back some things from Nepal to sell over christmas and I've been working really hard getting markets, transport and childcare organised. As of yesterday we now have some wheels, so hopefully next weekend will be the first market stall. This is all part of my project 3 planning. Working out a route to a sustainable financial future is very much what is happening in my every day and so much thought and planning is going into it. But as for writing anything up into a design, well I have just been so consumed thinking about it all and living into my thinking that I haven't done any design writing on here! Now I am realising that it all goes together though, so it should be merging together over the next few days and weeks. I'm still right at the beginning of implementing, so I'm having the opportunity to try out different designs/plans to see what will work for me. I'm getting a good idea of how it feels to work in a less linear way so far with this project. I've had several conversations the past few months about how life designs rarely work themselves through the standard pattern of observations, boundaries, resources etc etc.. in a set order. So far here I have been taking some observations and testing them out, and giving myself some time to allow some of the questions that came up at the beginning to sink in and observe the changes in my thinking that has created. It feels much more circular in method, so far. Just got to get on with it now.
We have all been given a month of rest, a time out from our diploma timetable. And it couldn't some at a better time! Just as this month begins, Ohli and I have left Panya and Thailand to journey to Nepal and continue on with the clothing project (the one that came out of my project 4.,) I'm so thankful for not needing to get back involved with another project quite so soon, to give us time to ground here and find our feet a little. I've been using my evenings so far to catch up on some much needed reading, looking through all my e books and documentaries that I've gathered from the folks at Panya, and trying to skill myself up on computer programmes that may be useful for my future work. Usually theres so much focus on projects that those things fall to the side, although they're all so interconnected. Most of my time is taken up by looking for clothing contacts, still finding it hard to make an ethical and earth friendly company, seems the whole world is chemical mad.. anyhow sure it'll come soon..
So here I find myself, still trucking on with project 3, way past the due date. Turns out I changed my living situation drastically just after the last post, moving onto a permaculture project full time, and so had much less time for study, days filled with work sessions in the garden, and navigating my way through a constantly changing community and all that entails. So I managed to hand in project 4 for the deadline and left 3 until now.. I don't feel like it's been very productive or easy at all trying to complete and write up the whole design process for two projects at once, it became confusing and a bit muddled and overwhelming. And now it's been so long since 3 was begun, it feels incredibly disjointed and I am struggling with maintaining my connection with it. But on I plod, learning from this ordeal, desperate to get it out of the way so I can get on with the next, as the deadline is fast approaching.. Luckily a super fast and super simple design has come my way for p5, with a group project for a cafe garden. On and on we go...
phew, been ages since I've written anything on here. Have been working on projects 3 and 4 simultaneously over the past couple of months, as they're both things that are happening in my present day life just now. In some ways I enjoy having different things to get into to suit where my energy is flowing most easily, but in other ways the workload lately has seemed even more than ever before. My project 4 making the clothing company has become all encompassing, my mind is constantly filled with questions, ideas, man, its exhausting! I think because the project centres around me fulfilling a long standing dream I have of getting this off the ground, it is just so important to me. I've thought of doing this for years, but have never actually started to make it happen. I feel quite astounded already at the amount I've learnt over the past few weeks with all the research I've been doing. What a journey of discovery... and the further I go into it the more energy I have for it too, a good sign..
Today I think I've made the choice to go to Nepal to find the local producers I've been looking for. Found an amazing company this morning, Sorazora, who have just filled me with so much inspiration and good feelings.. they've sent me bounding off down the himalaya trail now I can see what they've been able to make there, just what I was looking for. The thought of being in the Himalayas too, that's been a place I've wanted to go for as long as I can remember. It'd be so special to be there.
We're off to Punpun permaculture centre tomorrow for a week, which will be a welcome break from the city and a much needed change of scene into the countryside. Can't wait to see what happens there. Finally got the leads I need for my camera too so should be able to take some better pictures. Once I learn how to use an SLR again...
have spent the evening looking at Bill Mollison's manual and David Holmgrens E-books and reading all about principles and ethics. Have been doing a lot of reading lately, mostly Holmgrens, find him really inspiring and makes me feel re-energised about all of this and just want to read more.. Am feeling really good about getting deeper into this next project, feels like a curtain is beginning to lift and the light is starting to shine through..
We've been staying with a Thai family in Chiang mai for a week now. And I have the feeling that I often do, that I live inside a bit of a bubble when it comes to all things ethical and environmentally conscious. Just how long have the alleyways of the markets here been filled with so much plastic crap? And the roads filled with such big four wheel drives? An endless sea of nothing useful. Makes me feel deeply sorrowful for the challenge we all face. Inside I am a mixture of determination, and hopelessness.
Have decided to try and bring more artistic creativity into this work, as its something I feel a real need to develop. I used to be a very creative person! but have had major blocks for ages now, so this seems a good place to bring it back, as it would really benefit from it. And I'm about to start on the process of 'The artists Way' with some other diploma students, so it seems like a really perfect time to bring it all together. Hopefully this should all begin to look more interesting, once inspiration starts to flow..
so here we are with the deadline for our second project, and mine is far from finished. I have spent most of the past month working on this website, adding bits, taking bits away and rearranging what is left, still far from happy with it but at least its moving. I've also been making changes within my life to support my learning pathway and also to support my changes within myself that have been occurring since beginning this diploma.. I've moved house, shed most of my worldly possessions, and been busily planning my trip overseas. Traveling with Ohli is a pretty big thing to organise, considering natural immunisations and things like that. Also I feel the need to be more forward thinking and organised about where we are going, as the trips we have made together where I just wing it and hope everything will work out, well, sometimes they just don't, and we end up stuck somewhere not having a great time. When it was just me, that was always kind of ok, but now its the two of us, I have come to realise the best trips we have are those that I research and plan out before we go, which is all a bit new to me being as highly disorganised as I am. So this trip is taking some planning.
In actual fact, project 2 should be our trip planning, although as of now I am uncertain how to write it all up and get it straight. Maybe I'll work on that now, as it'll help me no end.
So Ben, if you are reading this, sorry for making it a challenge to peer review this all just now.. :)
just spent the evening redesigning the website.. finding pictures can take so long! people have started to ask me for the address, so it feels good to spend a bit of time on here..
I'm busy trying to get all learning journal notes straight and put the stuff from there onto here..Am very much living into the 80:20 rule- that in 20% of our time we achieve 80% of what we're trying to do, and the rest of the time we just bimble about the place being unproductive. Trying to remember Rich's advice-to just get it down there first then come back and make it better later. I've been spending too long trying to make things look nice.
Now I'm starting to just make notes on my web pages to refresh my memory of what's to go on there when I get the chance. It feels much nicer that way, things starting to flow in their own scrappy way..
I'm just glad nobody is paying any attention to all this, just yet..
have been having some amazing progress with the clothing ideas, thinking of combining making with raising money and awareness of local environmental/ecological/habitat related needs.. e.g clothes made in asia will connect with raising money for protection of asian elephants/tigers/forest.. 10% of profits to go to cause, alongside awareness raising, packaging clothing beautifully in dried leaves with lots of info of animals and habitats.. also info of all natural techniques and people involved in the making of the clothing. Documenting the full process.. Am feeling very excited about it all, though need a bit of time for the ideas to fully unfold and ensure its all realistic.
Also thinking about starting small, hats and simple vest tops/jumpers. maybe. And also thinking; do i need funding for this? And would i be able to get it?
Got to make sure I don't go off my path in ways I don't want to carry through.. As these is all new ideas..
Also, have come to the very good realisation that I need to carefully plan and think about how much is not only possible with ohli, but how much will be enjoyable for us to be a part of. Imagining spending all our time wwoofing on organic permaculture farms is all very well, but this weekend having just a small gathering of diploma folk, i found it frustrating to be unable to take part in very much of the actual 'doing stuff.' This is bound to come up again and again, so i'd like to ensure we focus our trips intentions keeping this in mind. And keeping in mind that this is ohlis childhood, and to make his every day enjoyable. And mine too, of course. and peaceful. and magic.
Just a couple of days to go before the hand in date for our first diploma outcomes, the life review, action learning timeline and CV. And since I just agreed to go pick potatoes for 9 hours a day beginning tomorrow morning, I'd better get a move on. Thankfully, its nearly there..