I've purposefully taken a few days off from posting on this blog, although I have been updating the new blog to keep things up to date and accountable .... to me. The reason for this was to have a good long think about things.
Over the last few weeks there have been an increasing number of comments that seem to be slanted towards asking me to justify what we do, why we do it and implying that they do it better, more cost effectively and more entertainingly.
Quite frankly .... I don't give a rats arse!!
I started this blog back in January 2009 when we made our switch to this lifestyle. It was never going to be a blog meant to be read by hundreds or thousands of people, it was to be my diary, my online diary. I am quicker at typing than I am at writing, and it's much more legible for future reading!! It could contain photos taken as we went about our journey towards self sufficiency to remind us of what we were achieving along the way, and it has worked out fine for this.
But what seems to be cropping up more and more at the moment are comments questioning the way we do things, telling me there are other better ways of doing them, letting me know in no uncertain terms that I am not doing this 'self sufficiency' thing properly. Comments and emails have trickled in implying that I should be knitting myself a hair shirt, making myself sackcloth pants, living off homemade bread and water.
Well that's not what we are about in any way shape or form.
We are now in our eighth year of this lifestyle, our first three years were spent trialing it out and having a go at things. Learning to grow food, keep chickens and breed pigs, checking out the things we needed to do these things properly and cost effectively. The next two were spent following on but in a greatly reduced way, as having decided that, yes this was the life for us, we needed to live as cheaply as possible so we could save like mad to fund buying our own house and land.
The first two years here have been about putting into action all that we had learnt, adapting it to this wet Welsh hillside and setting up a sustainable and workable system that will enable us to live as self sufficiently as possible using all that we have learnt and acquired along the way.
So now for instance, we have a water harvesting system so we use less mains water, we have solar power for the house and workshop, it powers the Aga that warms the house and it also earns us money as we sell surplus electricity back to the National Grid. We have a permanent Chicken World with fox proof fencing. We have a log burner that burns the wood from our own woodland. We have chickens that lay the eggs we eat and that will provide the meat for Lovely Hubby's carnivorous tendencies as we expand the flock with dual purpose birds instead of just laying hens.
All this and more we have picked up along the way, as we educated ourselves through courses, books, programmes, speaking to well known and little known experts, through trial and error and through sheer hard work and determination.
There have been things that we have discounted along the way, I don't knit myself dishcloths (unless a ball of 10p cotton falls into my lap) I use the stash of bargain cloths that I bought ages ago and that reside under the kitchen sink, I don't knit or crochet us jumpers or socks ... knitting and crochet don't relax me they stress me out. I hate sewing so I sold the second hand sewing machine that I tried making our own things with and instead we buy what we need and make things last.
What I am trying to say is that we know what we want to do and we know how we want to go about doing it. Having a constant stream of comments slyly telling me that 'this is so much better' or that ' that is the way it should be done' or 'don't you do this' is draining, very draining. I was so tempted to switch both blogs to private the other day ... the only thing that stopped me are the readers who are at the moment reading from the very beginning. To cut off their reading would have been like snatching away a book, and if you did that to me I would murder you ;-)
So this has been my little rant, I hope you understand where this has come from and I hope you understand that I can only be polite to inane comments and snide remarks for so long, I will not justify what I do or what I say to anyone, it's my diary you are reading ...... expect some swearing if it continues.
.... I still don't give one!!