Friday, February 27, 2009

sorry for the suspense

She tore a ligament in her foot. She's on crutches and hobbling around, but still a big help with supper and of course lovely to have around. Gotta go faarrrm.

Oh PS last night at the pub there were dogs. Best pub night ever. I'll explain and post pics later!

Monday, February 23, 2009

If it was hard before...

It's about to get harder. I came in from the farm at ten past six and poked my head in the kitchen to find Donna limping around. I asked her what was wrong, and she said she fell on the stairs. She lifted her trouser leg and revealed a HUGE lump on her foot. It was so big I thought it was a joke, like she had stuffed a rolled up sock in her sock or something. So I gave her a double dose of Arnica, some ice, and an Arnica compress. Her "friend" Pete showed up (she was expecting him, I wasn't) and he called Alma (old lady/Anthroposophic nurse/matriarch of Botton) and Alma came and assessed the damage and eventually Pete took Donna to the hospital. Chances are, she broke her foot. Shit. Now what.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I sort of forgot to express any feelings about my current situation in my previous post. Basically, I'm the house mother. Everyone is coming to me with their problems and expecting them to be fixed, needing attention from me, the one at the head of the table. It seems Paule's seat at the dining table holds a certain amount of power. I'm receiving all the little phrases from Flips that she always seemed to reserve for Paule. Besides cooking lunch today and washing up after breakfast, Phil is actually more of a hinderance than a help. He antagonizes Anthony and bursts into a rousing chorus of "soggy sausage sandwhiches" (an Emily invention) on a regular basis. Donna is here for emergencies and to do the medicines, and she helps with things, but I have to be the one to start supper or do the store order or anything really because she doesn't know it needs to be done or how to do it, and Phil is just on another planet all together. I'm due in Rowan in a few minutes. I love that I can be so honest with Donna!! She knows about Andreas so I was like, hey is it cool if I go to Rowan? Sure. Okay I'll be time for breakfast! Laughter insues. So nice.

Sunset from the Woodwork Shop

Housemamma Mia

Whoa. Life.

After the Poole's left, I finished doing some chores around the house, then cooked a lunch of cabbage and spaghetti and carrot salad. Anthony came home around half past 11 freaking out and crying and I figured someone had told him off in the woodwork shop (a regular occurrence) but I eventually understood that he was furious about Nick and Paule leaving. He was totally confused and upset and I spent ten minutes placating him and trying to explain that Nick and Paule are only gone for a week and he will be taken care of in the meantime. Eventually he calmed down. Then we had lunch, then I washed up, then I gave Stephanie a bath and dried her hair, then I did my laundry, and then I had a bit of time to go for a walk. I stopped by Rowan to say hello to Ben and he and Andreas were just about to take a short drive to a nearby town to get some petrol for Andreas's motorcycle. So I came along and Ben and I went to the Co-op and got some vodka and Red Bull and wine and chewing gum. Andy had to milk when we got back, so Ben and I went up to the woodwork shop and he showed me some stuff he's working on and made me a gnarly candle holder in like ten minutes. There was an incredible sunset, and the colors were so undeniably anthroposophic, it looked like the eurethmy students' paintings.

I came home and Donna still hadn't come even though it was ten to six and we had told her to come late-afternoon. So I gave Felicity her bath, and then Donna arrived and helped me make supper and I showed her how we do things (every house is so different in the details, she basically learns anew every new house she sits) and Andreas came for supper as well. After supper the house was going to watch a film, but when I tried to set it up it wasn't working and we thought we were missing a cable, and the next thing I know Phil is shouting at me at the top of his lungs about which bloody cable I DO have and what sort of cable I still need! He was totally out of line and shouting like such a maniac!! Everyone was like whooaaaaaaaaa what the fuck Phil chill out. Eventually Donna found a button on the side of the TV, and it worked. I needed a shower, and also to chill out after this weird Phil-shouting thing. I just HATE being yelled at, no matter the circumstance; it makes me go all shaky and silent for a bit while I freak out in my head. Andreas watched the film (Handcock) with everyone while I showered, and we left around 10:30 to go to Rowan. I got absolutely trashed with one small vodka/redbull and conked out on a couch, only to wake up totally wired around 2:00. I heard Ben say at one point, "Oh look, Robin's asleep, now we can speak German!" I listened to them for a while, stuck in a half-sleep state. Slept at NBF, and woke up at 7:00 to walk home (in the daylight! It gets light around half six now!) and didn't go back to sleep. Made breakfast, ate breakfast. It was a glorious day outside, so after a bit of ironing and laundry work I borrowed Phils canteen, filled it with coffee (second cup of the day), borrowed Phil's backpack and hiked over to NBF. On the way I saw Ben sitting on the patio at Rowan, basking in the sunshine in his PJ's. We talked for a bit, then I went on my merry way. When I got to NBF, Andy was of COURSE still sleeping, but I eventually persuaded him to go hiking with me, disguising it as "walking," to make it easier to digest. We didn't go very far; we ended up sitting in a field drinking coffee and talking for a while and enjoying the lovely sunshine, and then going to our separate homes for lunch. My lunch is sitting in my belly and making me sleepy, so I must now have a nap.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Emily just left to go Amber for the week. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! The Poole's leave around ten, and I'm cooking lunch and looking after the house and being at large and in charge and I LOVE IT!! Ben called to invite me to go to Middlesborough with him around one, which would mean missing lunch and not giving Steph her bath, and I need to do the laundry and all that, so I said no. He was like come ooonnn and I said, "Hey dawg, I'm being responsible." So here's to a responsibility-filled week! Honestly I think I'll miss the Pooles a lot! Especially at meal times...Donna, the woman from the office who house-sits for the village, is really really nice, but actually too nice! David will show her one of his paintings and she's like "Ooo good job dear!" And Nick would be like, "That's rubbish David, my dead dog could do better!" The teasing in this house is what makes everything so funny! Ridicule is the key to a good laugh. But everyone loves Donna, and Pat Peirson, a friend of Paule's from Castleton, is coming to cook every morning, and she'll help me with the laundry too. Well, better get working!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Some Translations, for Fun

I thought it might be nice to attempt to convey Felicity's speech. Here are a few common phrases.

"How likka wa?" > "How's the little one (Selma, the granddaughter)"

"Ah mekka ahs," > "I'll ask someone else."

"Moalik," > "Good morning."

"Ugh, is like a misery," > "It's miserable outside."

"Ah you billy," > "Are you being silly?"

"Days Tuesday." > "Today is Tuesday." Flips loves to tell us what day of the week it is, and sometime's it's really helpful! Also she'll tell you where she's going for lunch and supper; she goes out for meals a lot, visiting friends in other houses.

"Fide." > "Fine."

"Thas mah bottom woman!!" Self-explanitory: Flip-flops loves having her bottom smacked, and no matter the gender of the person doing it, this is phrase.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Not a Rave Review

But I don't suck. They don't want to send me back. I met with Paule, Claire, Justin, Magdalena and Paul Abel (representing the foundation year people) at High Farm for my review. Paul had a sheet with some basic questions on it, and frankly I was terrified because I didn't know what to say about my difficulties with Paule! I wasn't sure how honest I should be or how honest she was going to be about her feelings towards me, so I felt pretty awkward. When asked about difficulties I said that it took a while for Paule and I to get sued to each other due to personality differences, and that in the beginning I made a lot of mistakes and bad judgments but I learned from them. Paule said that I had a lot to digest when I came here and it has been a slow process for me to be settled in. I agreed. Both Magda and Justin had nothing but great things to say, and both feel they can give me big responsibilities and sure about it. Justin also praised me for asking questions about things and having an awareness of when things aren't right either with the villagers or something on the farm. We talked about my wrist and how the physical side of farming has been difficult, but Justin said we'll just work around it (the wrist problem) until it gets better. He also said I'm a keen milker and I have a very good relationship with all the villagers. Woot. Paule also said that I'm very good with the villagers in the house and I've taken on Stephanie quite a bit and been very dilligent with her teeth brushing, so much so in fact, that the dentist has been extremely pleased with the improvement in her gum health. Woot again.

But then there was the horribly awkward and scary part where Paule said that I never take initiative in the house, for example, I never go into the laundry and hang up some clothes. She also said that I made it very clear from the beginning that I worked so hard in my workshops I was too tired to do any work in the house. And I thought--HEY! I never said that! If she were ever to ask me to do something I would certainly do it without protest! AND I seem to recall a certain Saturday afternoon I spent cleaning the kitchen windows and then the floor-to-ceiling windows in the entryway which were so beyond dirty I worked for over an hour. But I didn't say anything to defend myself. I just sat there, mortified. Luckily, Claire is my heroine and savior and came to my rescue with a cheerful "soooo what you're saying is, you'd like some more help in the house, and Robin from what I understand, it would be helpful to you if Paule would vocalize this need more often." Or something like that. I had talked about how I suck at active listening and I'm trying really hard to get better at it and be more aware of things but I do really just need her to say, "hey it would be really great if you could ___" So it was really awkward but I think very good. In the end we all agreed that we feel confident giving me solo responsibility at times. Honestly I thought Paule was gonna say "actually no I don't think she's responsible enough," but she didn't. So now I have to go to co-worker supper and foundation course shtuffs.
Onward and upward.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sweet Love

Crazy busy day. Made breakfast, had 20 minutes to myself in which I attempted to sleep while Emily periodically knocked on my door, then took Emily to the church service, which was boring. I didn't fall asleep though, because I had to be hyper-aware of Em the whole time. She sneezed and got snot all over her hands and I didn't have a tissue for her and I couldn't really get up and go get one, so she just wiped it all over her hands....classy. Home for 45 minutes (shower/stare out the window) then off to the hall to help prep for Sweet Love, the Eurethmy students' valentine's day fundraiser. I came a bit too late and ended up with half a bowl of soup and a piece of cheese for lunch. The entire afternoon I was running around setting things up, and then MCing with Marc Antoine and being all on-stage and hammy and "thank you all SO much for coming you all look SO beautiful!!" Got home at 5:45 and had a five-minute cry in my big comfy chair( not really sure why, just needed to let it out I guess) prepared supper with Paule and then ate and then came up here to my room to write this. I was going to go to bed but I just realized I didn't iron my clothes. Bollocks. Also Andreas went to the Grange (another Camphill place near Stroud) for a week-long course in Astrology for his farm training. In his absence I vow to go cigarette alcohol gluten and chocolate free. The dude smokes like a friggin chimney and I admit I am weak willed and have taken to smoking somewhat regularly. I still never feel like I need them or crave them or anything, so a solid week without them should be easy. Just a good way to strengthen my will. Honestly the chocolate part will be harder. Okay, laundry time. Night.

Oh! I almost forgot: Nick and Paule's son Sebastian is here for six weeks, and after this coming week they're all going to France (the whole family, so Ben and Lisa's house parents as well), so Donna, one of the office ladies and house-sitter extraordinaire will come and stay with us. And best of all, Emily will go live in another house for the week, so we'll be FREEEEE!! Paule told me yesterday that on April 19th Emily will leave Botton for good. They've given her parents a legal two months-notice kind of thing, essentially expelling her from the village because we jsut can't handle her. So come April 19th, Paule and I will be free from our little ball and chain. Phew.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


We went to the pub.

We hung out at Ben's.

We went back to the pub.

And took entertaining macro shots.

Then we had a going-away party for Jan and Yongju.

Oh, and it snowed a lot.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Sorry for the lack of update, the internet never works when I want it to.

So how am I. Good question. I think the basic answer is...tired. I'm sure my wonderful mother has told practically everyone, as she tends to do (it's okay mommy I think it's cute), but I suppose it's time to go officially blog-public and say that Andreas and I have been dating for like...two months. I never said anything on the blog cuz, well, that's awkward, but in order for you to understand why I'm so friggin tired all the time, you kind of need to know that. He lives in New Botton Farm, on the other side of the village, and because we have to be all stealthy and not let the villagers see me sneaking out of his house, I have to get up at 5:30 and walk home three or four times a week. And of course I don't get to sleep until 11:30 (at the earliest) regardless of where I sleep.

On top of being tired, I'm getting fat. OK I know you're all rolling your eyes and saying YEAH RIGHT, but seriously, I think eating meat somehow gave me a fat ass and quadrupled the size of my muffin tops. I don't fit into my jeans properly and I can't even begin to get into my shorts. So that's not exactly a self-esteem booster. I'm going back to being a veg and cutting down on chocolate.

I realize this is becoming a litanny of complaints, but I also have a sprained tendon in my left hand/wrist, and my wrists continue to feel (and sound) as if they're made of peanut brittle. The doc is sending me a brace; it should be here by tomorrow.

Let's see, anything positive? Ummmm. Oh one of the cows calved, but she rejected it. It's a female shorthorn, so she'll stay at Honey Bee Nest and eventually join the herd. She's the most beautiful calf I've ever seen; she almost looks like a fawn! She's a rusty chocolate colour with a white triangle on her forhead, and in the middle of the triangle is a red circle.
Another nice thing is that Lisa Marie comes to work with us on the farm three days a week now. She wants to do the farm training but she'd been working in the press every afternoon and going insane with it. Ben is also leaving the press to work on a farm--the workshop master in the press is a nutjob.

My review is coming up soon, and I'm scared. It's still hard to put a finger on how Paule feels about me. I think things are better and we're getting along and she's being looser and more talkative but then she's telling me to wash out the sink properly (after I'd wiped down everything and just forgotten to rise the basin) and then I forget to put some apples away after making apple puree and she's all "Finish the job properly, it's not finished until it's finished!" and shit like that. I just hate how these little things seem like a big deal to her. Okay, so someone put out the wrong number of plates for supper--who cares!!?? It's not stressful!! But she's heaving a big sigh and making a snippy comment about it and I'm like COME ON why is this a problem, have some perspective! At the same time I have SO much freaking respect for this woman. She's amazing! She's been doing this for so long and she must be SO tired, but she just keeps going!
Anyway, it's definitely time for sleeping. I was in bed this morning with a headache, probably from lack of sleep.