Home Sweet Home

Progress on the house was somewhat slowed over the summer by the heat of the day, which lasted literally the entire day, from 11am-8pm throughout July and August. However, steady progress was made on the interior of the straw bale house.

Packing My Bags For The Misty Mountains

Delving into the true essence of the people who are born, live and work in the mountains.

A Sealed Super Structure

With winter well and truly behind us, I find that now is the time to reflect upon some of the successes, failures and surprises which the winter and spring had in store for us and our straw bale house.

What Light Through Yonder Window Breaks?

Shakespeare knew where it was at; windows really are making all the difference to the house. It’s starting to feel like an indoor space now. Surprisingly we found the windows super easy and satisfying once we had all the right components.

The Splendour Of Render

An account of the ups and downs, ins and outs of using lime render on our straw bale house.

You Put The Lime In The Coconut…

For the past month or so our lives have been consumed with making lime putty. Processing quicklime and turning it into lime putty, ready to be mixed with sand just before it goes onto the walls of our straw bale house as render/plaster.

Trans-Siberian & Trans-Mongolian Railways

Although our round trip to South Korea and Japan was a little while ago, I’ve rounded up some of our best (and worst) memories of the trip and put them down in writing. Since returning to Europe, many friends, friends of friends and even complete strangers have asked us for help or advice in planning a trip on the most infamous of all train journeys through Russia.

Making A Crust

Since our move to France, the most commonly asked question is “How are you making money/a living/ends meet?”. For all those budding homesteaders or people wishing to live their dream but who are worried about their modus operandi abroad, I thought I would share our experiences of not only making ends meet but actually saving to build a house.

Dechen Chöling – Yoga & Writing

When an experience is so fundamental it is difficult to express the process, let alone the feelings in words. But that’s what I’m going to try and do. Rare time focused on cultivating consciousness, mindfulness, awareness; call it what you will, it was very precious.

Rubber Rings & Stoney Things

Tyres and gravel have been a consistent theme at Les Vignes Basses over the last few weeks. With a lot of help from our friends, many bad backs and copious amounts of alcofrol (surprisingly, it has come out level!), we have completed the rammed tyre foundations and the structural box beam.

Spring Has Sprung

It’s Mayday soon and spring has really sprung here at Les Vignes Basses. Despite an odd cold snap, the plants and trees are blooming and everything is turning a lush shade of green. We’ve been busy bees planting out seedlings as well as spring cleaning (and fixing) the caravan in preparation for summertime visitors 🙂…