When we were making the herb-vinegar and natural air-fresheners we wrote about last week one of the younger members of the family said ‘I don’t like blogs, they only show the pretty and tidy bits. Not what is really going on’.
She does have a very good point. Many blogs are filled with pretty, manicured pictures and stories. With carefully and artfully arranged photos. We know we fall into that category. When taking pictures we always try to exclude any mess and untidy area and crop away areas that don’t look pretty enough. Many people have told us the pictures are beautiful and the blog is pleasant and interesting to read but is it a true picture of what is going on? Not by a mile.
Our messy shed.
Building rubble and old bathroom roof mess, with a beautiful bonsai in the middle.
We are two and a half years into creating a productive garden for ourselves and the local wildlife. We are renovating and extending our cottage at the same time as keeping our family of six in clean clothes, cooking and eating reasonably healthy and regular meals and trying to keep the house clean and somewhat tidy. Those tasks can be quite difficult as our entire house measures 7.5 by 8.5 meters on the outside. With thick stone walls that leaves us with a total of about 45 square meters. It is almost impossible to keep it tidy with four teenagers and two adults sharing this space. When you have been hard at work for hours moving barrow-loads of manure, mixing cements, digging drainage ditches or weeding in the garden, it is hard to find the energy to defrost the fridge or face the mountain of dirty dishes in the kitchen. If we get a text or someone calls and tells us they are coming for a visit a few frantic moments follows when we are trying to tidy up the worst of the mess.
Floor sweepings and an unfinished corner of the kitchen.
I, the main writer of this blog walk around the garden and building site apologizing for the mess, telling people how difficult it is to keep on top of everything. Usually people are impressed with everything we have done since their last visit or if they are around for the first time interested in our somewhat unconventional building and gardening techniques and they don’t seem to mind the mess at all. So why this worry and panic about letting other people see the way things really are around here?
More shed mess.
Lots of people ask how we manage to do everything. The answer is that we don’t. The truth is that if we tried to stay on top of this mess, we would not have a lot of time over to build the extension or create the garden. Sometimes we tidy up a certain area only to find that it quickly reverts back to it’s old state. We are slowly moving from a complete mess all over the house and garden to a more finished and beautiful place but to try and not allow for any mess in the process would be a fatal mistake. We have decided to be brave in this post and show you what it really looks like around here. We think it will be a good thing as the main aim of this blog is to encourage others to do what we are doing. But if we portrait our journey as a painless, easy and always fun one it is probably not of much help. We are just like everyone else. We have good days and bad days. We have meltdowns and arguments. We even have piles of dirty washing and mounds of building rubble in the garden. Many days are full of slippery muck, cold rain and sore backs. But if we did not have any troubles and struggles we probably would not appreciate the sweet days as much. Days when we are all getting along brilliantly and the sun is shining and there is laughter all around the house and garden. Days filled with flowers and good food and friends.
Another good thing with posting these pictures is that we don’t have to apologize the next time some of you call in for a visit. You will already know that we are not perfect…
Washing up mess.
Mess of books, cd’s, magazines and dvd’s.
But we think it is worth it.
One thought on “Behind the scenes.”
I always do the same ” Sorry it looks a bit of a mess!” The thing I’ve found is there are always things that need replacing/repairing so you go round in a circle! Oh well, wouldn’t change this life eh? Your place is looking fab, very inventive. E