Last weekend I had an amazing time at an Off Grid Living conference organised by Rachel Shiamh in West Wales. Rachel was the perfect host and hosted the event in her beautiful straw bale house. I went there wanting to find out more about what the reality is living off the grid and came back feeling very inspired.
Everybody that give a presentation or talk at the event left me with a thought, inspiration or feeling that made me want to pack my bags and do it right there and then!!
Rachel told us the beautiful story of how she ended up living off grid in the location she is and it made me realise that when it is perfect you’ll know, people will come to help and even if the planners aren’t instantly with you someone will help you get them on side.
After Rachel a wonderful inspiring lady called ‘Judy of the Woods’ told us about her life and her adventure (not sure if adventure is the right term but it fits for me!) Her talk was amazing, what she had accomplished on her own was jaw dropping and it left me thinking ‘Learn as you go and get through the disasters as they appear’ Judy also started by saying ‘It all takes time but time is going to pass anyway’ so why not do something productive with it! I also loved one saying Judy mentioned that her mum used to say ‘ There’s no bad weather only bad clothes’.
Celtic Sustainables give a talk about rainwater harvesting and they talked about scary stuff such as Legionnaires’ disease….Never spray rainwater!!
In the afternoon there was a very manly discussion about batteries and even though most of it was over my head I understood that batteries are your lifeline. I can’t quite remember all the figures and do’s and don’t apart from hug it, love it and I think a good sprinkle of fairy dust and magic helps.
After the testosterone died down a bit there was a beautiful discussion about water and the life inside of it, Note to self: Look into schauberger water wizard.
On the Sunday Tony Wrench give a talk about his roundhouse and everything clicked into place. I love the design of the roundhouse, I love that it is the opposite of everything you think of. His house is magical and blends in with nature which is exactly how it should be. Tony also told us how he is working with authorities on planning advise and how he has managed to get the rule changed from 75% of your income needs to come from the land to 75% of your basic needs, three cheers for Tony!! It’s great to know that the government are now coming to people like Tony for advice and they are starting to change…well at least here in Wales http://wales.gov.uk/docs/desh/policy/100722tan6en.pdf
We then had an interesting talk about compost toilets from Gwenda which made me think about poo and pee far more that I ever perviously had, but everyone should! It doesn’t just go away when we flush it, it goes somewhere and not always where we would like to think. We should all take responsibility for our own waste.
Mike Godsell then give a talk about his watermill that was very moving, you could clearly see how his life and thought process had changed and how he now had a deep connection with his land and water and all of the wildfire within it. He also told us that the government had completed a survey to find out how much energy all of the disused mills in the UK could produce and it turns out that they could produce the same as a new nuclear power station!! Why aren’t they going ahead with in? Yes it would cost money but there would be no new builds and they would be using renewable energy. I wonder how many disused mills there are in Wales and if we could target WAG with this initiative?
Brian also give a talk about all kinds of gadgets and energy and apparently I need to dig out my physics books again and look up: watts=volts x amp
It was a magical weekend everybody that attended shared knowledge and passion for the land. I wanted to rush home downsize all of my belongings into a couple of boxes hand my notice in and do it there and then. But sadly I couldn’t I went back to work on the Monday morning like a good girl but knowing in the back of my mind I now know what I want to do and I definitely want to stay in Wales to do it. So I’m now busy researching and planning the next chapter of my life…
I will leave you with a beautiful quote that Judy mentioned:
“Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.”
A big thank you to everybody who was involved in the magical weekend, love to you all x