500 Year Vision

Take pleasure from walking lightly on this Earth

Chynov fire brigade – first class service


So… we’re just sitting down after the fire crew have left.

To dry the plaster going on in the new kitchen/dining room we lit the old boiler fire.  A while later the chimney set light.

Ironically, sweeping the chimneys was something that I had asked our previous builder to arrange for us before we came out to visit Novy Mlyn before we lived over here. It didn’t happen. I didn’t think about it… one of those someday soon jobs.

So, when I went up to the attic to see what was going on there were flames coming out of the access hatch. Mike et al put out the old boiler fire & Zdenek called the fire service, then we used wet blankets to block up all the access points we could find for air to get into the chimney.

When the fire service arrived they carried sand up onto the roof and threw it down the chimney. It did cross my mind that we could walk away from the house at that point. Leave Novy Mlyn and the problems there contained and simply walk away into the forest – it was strangely calming. The fire is now out, but the fire inspector said that the chimneys hadn’t been cleaned for many, many years. We need to get them all swept and inspected before we can light the fires again.  There is a risk of reignition over the next two or three days because of the heat still in the chimney.

George – last seen on the 5th September 2008


Our gorgeous cat, George, has gone missing.  He ran away while we were away in the UK. We are all very sad. Pavouk, in particular, is pining. We are devastated at the loss of such a fine character.

So that our lives are not completely dominated by computer work (such as our project for language learners), all four of us normally go for a walk together in the forest every evening. Once, while out walking, both cats decided to explore the hunter’s cabin (essentially a shed on long sticks with a window). I was lucky to get a picture of George actually looking out of the window of the cabin. What a fine hunter he is. 

I have put up posters in the local villages, but people don’t seem to care very much about cats here. Our last builder expressed surprise when we told him we planned to bring our cats over from the UK – “Why don’t you just get them put down and get new ones here”. The single most unappealing Czech habit I have come across is that if a cat is run down on the road, nobody will stop to remove the body.

I really, really hope that George found new owners, and more than that, I hope he will find his way home some time. But the snow will be here soon – he’s running out of time.

Life isn’t the same with just the three of us.

Rock Bog – how to make an effective low flush female friendly urinal


Make your own Rock Bog, it will save loads of water and is really simple, and best of all free.

Convert one of your toilets into a Rock Bog by putting one or two large stones in the bottom of the pan, then reducing the amount of water in the flush with stones or bricks so that you have just a 1 or 2 litre flush.

Why? You’ll have a super efficient liquid only loo which can be used by men AND women (no not so mellow yellow splash back for the ladies). You will save water and money AND it will look nice (a Zen garden in your loo!).

A free idea for you from Bog – the accessible eco bathroom Read the rest of this entry »

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