We are mum, Andi (old enough to know better) and teenagers Jack and Harry (young enough to have no clue), we are undecided about what we are doing next. So we are taking time out, it’s a kind of gap year, because gap years are about deciding what you want, about working out who you are, before you move on to your next step in life.
We are doing this on an off grid hill farm in Portugal, we are surrounded by cork forest and our nearest neighbours are on the next hill, the nearest tarmac road is 4 km away.
It’s a conscious chance to re-connect, explore, relax and hopefully not kill each other, or ourselves accidentally. It’s a year of lets work together as a team, collecting firewood, watching wildlife, growing our own food, taking care of hens, laughing, sharing dreams. It’s also space, space to play music as loud as we want, wear what we want, have a go at stuff like painting and woodwork and writing, and I have to go now because I’m the designated responsible adult for this adventure and the tree my son is currently climbing is really quite tall.
So. Just a few bruises later, and another hen’s egg found (tucked into base of the tall tree), we are getting through another morning..
So here we are in a small rammed earth traditional farmer’s cottage, with solar power and water pumped from our very own spring, four very free ranging chickens and our uninvited but now loved and here to stay cats, and in the cork oak forest that stretches as far as we can see are wild boar, genets, otters and martens and so much more.
It’s exciting and sometimes a little terrifying.