Splitting up the blog…

Splitting up the blog…

This little blog has taught me so many things. It has taught me that it’s ok to open up: I can write about our mistakes and our bad days, and it’s ok to share our successes and our good days with the world as well. It has taught me that although most people think we’re crazy for moving to Spain and starting a new life here, they also think it’s bold and courageous and they like following our adventures here. But most of all, it has taught me that I love to write about those adventures – and that I love to share everything I’m learning here.

The adventure started years ago, when we first started dreaming about an Earthship somewhere on grassy meadows in the south of France – and it took a leap when we bought our land in Matarraña (Spain turned out to be quite a bit sunnier and just as pretty as France). There were other milestones – the day I got my (online) Permaculture Design Certificate with Geoff Lawton, the day we moved to Spain, the day we moved to our little maset (the little donkey shed Axel rebuilt for us), and finally the day we moved into our new house.


Our “maset” – the converted stable we lived in before the big house was finished.

I now felt like it was time for another milestone… this week, I split up my blog. I will continue to post personal updates, news on the bed & breakfast, the adventures of our volunteers and some chicken stories on this blog – but I’ve also started a new blog. I’m looking forward to using that blog as my big outlet: I can’t wait to share information about permaculture, homesteading, small scale farming and keeping animals. I will post my favourite recipes, share tips on how to go back to basics (even if it’s just a tiny bit) – and as a sociologist I would love to write about the social aspects of permaculture, gender roles on a homestead or the importance of an utopia in the modern world (fans of Jurgen Habermas, hold on to your hats). Of course there will be chickens as well, and volunteers, and everyday observations about life in Spain.

I would like to invite you all to take a look at my new blog on www.simplelivingspain.com (yes, it’s basically about Simple Living in Spain). And maybe you’d like to subscribe to my newsletter, and get a weekly overview of cool things I’ve read, interesting videos I’ve watched and news from the farm? If you have any suggestions on what you’d like to read there, please go ahead and contact me – in the comments, on my (new!) Facebook page, on Twitter, Instagram or good old-fashioned e-mail. My (digital) door is always open, and I’m always looking for more inspiration – or interesting subjects to stick my nose in.


Stuff I’m going to be writing about on my SimpleLivingSpain.com blog: chickens, living off the grid, growing our own food and cooking / baking it, gardening, living in Spain and much much more… 

Things that make me happy

These are slightly stressful times for an obsessive planner like me; we’re moving out of the nice big rental house we’ve been staying in all winter, and moving back to our little converted sheep’s shed (we call it the “maset”), the same we’ve been living in all summer. The house still has no windows, no doors, no running water and no electricity; thankfully the deadline (for closing up the house) has moved from “in 2 weeks” (in february) to “next week” (since a few weeks). So maybe, you never know, hopefully, next week. I’m not  complaining though: it is going to be gorgeous!

And in the mean time, we’re so lucky to be living here. Hey, most days I even say that out loud. It also helps to make lists of things that make me happy. Like these:

  • A party to plan, and everything going according to plan for that one. I’ve even got friends doing my nails, hair and make-up – woohoo! All we need now is entertainment – no-one wants to hear Axel and me singing a duet, believe me.
  • Old Geoff Lawton videos, like this one
  • The fantastic job our painter is doing so far (in the picture, the walls still need to be painted, not to worry)
    2016-03-30 19.28.57 x
  • Jabba sitting in the sun on the lookout, ears flapping in the wind (no picture of that one, unfortunately)
  • The wonderful sunsets and sunrises at Mas del Caballero (the fabulous house we’re renting)
    2016-04-01 20.19.47
  • The nice and extremely supportive friends we have around here
  • My weekly yoga lessons – I go in stressed and thinking “I don’t have time for this”, I come out all inspired and full of energy (and a tiny bit more relaxed).
  • Little chicks growing up – especially those little roosters, clearly ready to defend their little hens from my fingers (awtch) (although they probably just thought they were food… they’re a bit food-obsessed. They’re little chickens now).
    2016-03-10 18.17.28 kk
  • Doctor who – always saving the day and ready to lul us to sleep with his crazy adventures
  • Friends from all over the place coming to visit us here – either for the party or during the summer
  • Jinx trying to get a tan on her belly
  • Ordering lots of stuff online. Beds and mattresses, electrical appliances, so many things to buy and so little time!
  • Forming an unbreakable team with the best man in the world (yes, this is my husband we’re talking about – he’s got many hidden qualities ;-))
  • Guests bathrooms, ready for the water to be connected and taps to be installed! Happy with the tiles we chose, happy with how they are perfectly laid…
    2016-03-27 19.54.20 mde
  • The chickens, all laying again (= fresh eggs!) and generally scratching around happily
  • Sanchez who’s almost leaving us to better pastures (not a euphemism, he’s going to live with friends and hopefully father many of their little chicks)
  • The prospect of wine we’re working on (blood, sweat and tears – and then we’ve only done 2 days of pruning grapevines so far)
  • My friends in Amsterdam, chatting about concerts and birthdays and everything we’re missing out on… I don’t really miss the life, but I miss them!
  • Kristin’s delicious home made tomato sauce, it just tastes like summer – and it’s perfect for people who don’t make time to cook
  • Beautiful, beautiful stones around the house…
    2016-03-31 18.18.24 x
  • One more beautiful sunny day, and then finally the rain we’ve all been waiting for! Hopefully. Weather is a fickle fing (and I keep checking my weather app, which keeps changing the exact amount of rain we’re going to get… Definitely over 50mm now though)
  • 7 new eggs in the incubator! 6 are Gallina Serrana de Teruel, the last one is from our chickens.
    2016-03-31 19.37.50 x
  • Reading reviews on our Workaway profile page – so many people whose lives we touched, and who put a stamp on ours
  • Winter vegetables going to seed…
    2016-03-31 17.58.47 x
  • Finding the perfect Workaway volunteers to come and help us out in a few weeks… Maxwell, Radmary, Hannah and Eoghan – looking forward to meeting you all!
  • Writing about permaculture! (more on that soon… hopefully a full article, or a guest post on a fellow permaculture addict’s blog)

I could go on and on… but the light is fading – time to go to bed, we don’t want to miss the next sunrise tomorrow morning!