500 Year Vision

Take pleasure from walking lightly on this Earth

Czech toys


The woman whose patterns I am looking into has a shop here:


They are really very typically Czech, by which I mean interesting and a little quirky. It reminds me of the work of Denisa Grimmova – who produced a beautiful series of scenes in old fashioned tv set boxes. Funny, very human, monsters sitting down to tea together. They were installed in a bar in Prague for a while, but the last time I went there, they were gone. Shame, as I don’t have any pictures of them even & haven’t found any info on the web yet.

I’ve just had a quick look on Ebay. Hand made soft toys are not selling at a premium there, probably because lots of people can make them. Though, if she is prepared to make some toys from reclaimed materials, I could try putting something through to see how it goes. I doubt they would sell for as high a prices as they are in her shop. The toy patterns are selling, however, especially those with a seasonal theme – so at the moment Halloween theme toy patterns have a lot of bids on them. It might worth a try?

To be continued

English weather getting under my skin


I am feeling somewhat overwhelmed with the sheer scale of what we need to do here. And… worried that we have had such a poor experience of finding people who are willing to even quote for the work we need. I am still waiting for a quote for the heat pump from, well, every single company we have talked to about it. Nobody has said ‘I’m sorry, we’ve just got too much work on at the moment, so we can’t quote for anything at the moment.’ They’ve simply left and not bothered to contact us or return our calls.

So, the roof is leaking, meaning that the supporting joists are getting wet in all this rain, meaning that they will be weakened, and if there is heavy snow fall again, we may have it collapse. That thought scares me. As does facing a winter without a central heating system. We have a limited store of wood. Will we freeze to death in our bed?  Read the rest of this entry »

Apple mountain



Next autumn, when we have water, and heating, and a kitchen, I will make Cider. Nový Mlýn is host to dozens of apple trees, and I have been slow to get acquainted with them, almost too late in some cases.

My feeble excuse is that the garden was so overgrown that I couldn’t tell they were falling from the trees. Now, after a few days of hard graft the lawn (we call it jokingly) is a little more under control. I have not mastered the scythe but at least understand the principle. Our neighbour came round again today and demonstrated that it needs to be close to the ground at all times, not waved about like an oar. Now, I have uncovered a tonne of apples, and roughly sorted them into usable or compostable.

So… in the orchard we have Read the rest of this entry »

Cider making


Just found a site with instructions on how to make cider.

The barns of Novy Mlyn used to be a starch factory. They grew potatoes, pressed them… etc.

The valley in which Novy Mlyn sits is full of apple trees. When we were there a couple of weeks ago, there were windfall apples everywhere. Czech’s don’t have a cider drink. Perhaps we could make one. All this would be a lot easier if the barns hadn’t fallen on the equipment, so we’ve no idea what’s there, and what can be salvaged and used as a cider press.

I just wish I was there this morning so that I could poke about, and try and work out what’s what.

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