I must apologise for the lack of food updates of late- there has just been so much building going on I feel that must come first, once that has calmed down (give it a week or two), there will be more bits and bobs from the hedgerow than you could ever find in Huge Furry-Whippingtool’s big shaggy mane.
As I mentioned last week, I had the good fortune to have a visit from the Hungry Cyclist (to see a full account of our escapades please check out his blog). Oh, and if you wish to see how we cooked a leg of lamb in an underground oven click here.Tom was a massive help on the roofing front as well as force feeding me chicken hearts (actually no forcing was necessary- they are incredible and at £1.90/Kg, an absolute steal! Douse with a little Tabasco and lemon juice to serve).
He also made me a fine birch broom for sweeping out the Treehouse: it looked more Hogwarts than household and I have still to give it a test flight…who knows I might make seeker this year for hufflepuff, after all I’ve got the elder wand…in your face Potter.
I have been spreading a little of my Wild food knowledge down at the incredible Safari Britain, a Glamping/Yurt experience found nestled in the South downs, plenty of gathering, and lots of skinning rabbits for a dam fine stew….
Whilst the muggles have been at work, the roof has been done and forgotten: it was a complete, total and utter pain in the arse of a job, but one of those things you just cant do without, such as a warm loo seat or machine that goes “Ping”. Work has moved down a level, literally, to putting up the walls.
The walls have become a mish mash of salvaged garden sheds I have found “growing” in various parts of Sussex, and other pieces of recycled wood. I must mention, since forking out for the foundation wood the purse strings have remained tightly…knotted? I like a garden shed as much as the next man, but I have no intention of recreating a giant one up a tree, so whilst many of the walls are looking “sheddish” I am aiming to break up the lines and add a few natural features in the near future.
Working on walls at ground level is one thing, but 8-10 foot up is no laughing matter, had I the foresight to put in a small balcony, then things might have been different: this is living on the edge and yes, please leave your high vis and hard hat at the door because health & safety does go out the window…
Whilst I don’t boast as many “windowsh” as your average Amsterdam dwelling, I have got 5, four of which are huge and can be clipped to the roof rafters to give the place a little airing from stove smokery, smelly treehouse people and generally add a fantastic element to life in the British rainforest canopy.
Whilst everyday is full on (roughly 8am till 8pm), treehouses don’t build themselves and although there are times I curse having to wander up to the stockpile to search for the perfect piece or carry down more corrugated iron-everything has been transported in by hand. I couldn’t think of anything else I would rather be doing. So whilst there is much work afoot today, tomorrow will be different. There are moments of intense activity and then there are the moments we all long for and savour most deeply when they come along : reflection, relaxation and reading Robinson Crusoe at 8.30am with a steaming cup of coffee whilst a wood- burning stove billows and burns in the background.
Birdsong, barbecues and ball-ache are three thinsg that sum up the last week. It’s at times like these that the words of a wise man spring to mind: “Nothing worth having ever comes easy”. If you can remember that, the rest should fall in to place…hopefully! I think the thing I enjoy most about life down here is that it is virtually timeless. Light and dark are the only parameters; things are ready when they want to be ready, not when they should….