Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Settling In

Whoa. It's done. I'm out, and it feels good. Yesterday morning was really awkward and horrible. I packed after breakfast and tried to avoid Paule as much as possible and think of something to say to her as I left. Eventually everything was ready to go and Sebastian and Lan (Eurethmy student who cooks in Bracken) and Paule and I were in the kitchen and I was like, "Okay, so that's it....by Paule.." I walked over to give her a hug and she sternly put out her hand and said "Actually I don't want a hug from you. You are leaving us in a mess." So I shook her hand a little and said, "And I am really sorry about that," and she said, "well not really, but okay." And I turned around and left. Sebastian drove me and my stuff to Tourmaline in the pouring rain. Upon entering and seeing Kathryn (my new housemother), I knew things would be fine here. She has a completely different vibe about her, much more open and motherly. We lugged my bags up to the loft where I'll be living; a nice little space with potential to be even nicer. But man is it small! Also there seems to be a bit of a moth problem. I need to spend some time cleaning it this weekend. Ruaridh (rory) is fine so far, and I think I can deal with his mood swings just fine. The villagers are so independent compared to Bracken, it's amazing. We just had help-yourself breakfast and it was so great. Because we still eat together, which is good. Walking to the food centre now takes about a minute, and going to Honey Bee takes 15...so my day is a bit turned around, but I got back at 6:06 last night after milking, which means I'm getting really efficient with milking and getting home in time for supper shouldn't be a problem. Okay, 8 minutes to 9. Time to get ready. I'll put up some pictures soon.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Move on Up

I finally know how it ends! The whole plan, start to finish. On Monday I move to Tourmaline, a house in the centre of the village complete with a dog, three villagers and a housefather with a temper...and Lisa! The choleric mood swings of the housefather will be challenging, but I think I can handle men's attitude problems more than womens....I seem to be more intimidated by a woman, and with a guy I get all woman-power self-righteous stand-up-for-myself and am able to express my discomfort more freely. Anyway, I'm looking forward to settling in there. It's a tiny loft space, but it's only temporary, and I've always been a fan of small spaces anyway. I was feeling like I might be a bit useless since there are only three villagers and now four co-workers, but the houseparents are going away for a week and they needed someone to help Lisa--so here I am! Also I'll get a bit more opportunity to cook, and probably with Lisa and a bit more help and encouragement...the few times I had to cook in Bracken I was basically on my own. I will continue to work on the farm, it'll just be a long walk home at the end of the day and I'll be very late for supper. Oh! Tourmaline has 'help yourself' breakfast every day. How awesome is that!?
This morning Lucy, the housemother in Hall North, came into the food centre and asked if I would like to come for a meal next Thursday. I've never even been in Hall North and I love going to other houses for meals, so I said sure that would be great. I'd never really spoken to her before, so I was sort of suprised. A bit later Jane Balls came in and told me the master plan! I will live in Tourmaline for a bit. Lucy and her husband Jonas (J=Y) are moving to Rock House in mid-April, getting settled, and then going on holiday in the beginning of May. When they return, I will move to Rock House and be their co-worker! Rock House is supposedly one of hte most beautiful houses in the village. I've never been in it, but it's really incredible on the outside. The villagers in Hall North are alright, and I think there's only three of them...one guy, Michael, is always yelling, "Where are YOU going? What are YOU doing? Where are YOU working today?" when he sees people on the footpath; Jean Fraser is a "small lady" (Down's sydrome) who loves pink and chocolate and jewelry; and Simon is an avid cook and generally sweet guy. Anyway, I gotta go, but that's the big news! It feels good to have things come into place.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Dropped the other Shoe

I went into the laundry to take my clothes off the line. Paule was folding tea towels. She told me that she had a conversation with the house parents in Tourmaline, and that's where I will move for a few weeks. I will have to move again soon. I said okay, sighed and said I hope I'm doing the right thing. We got into the deep stuff then. She said she thinks I hold a grudge against her for that first incident where she freaked out. I said that's not true at all. I said we've just never been meeting on the same level, just missing a beat and not connecting right. She said, "When you move, you take yourself with you, and really you are not an easy person, it's not just me," or something like that. I hate that she keeps saying things like that. I consider myself a very easy person! I don't hold grudges, I'm flexible, empathetic, gregarious, and a bunch of other nice things and what the hell, my workshop masters seem to recognize this, and she doesn't. She said every time she corrects me for something or gives me a criticism, I get upset, and she said it in a way that made it sounds like my reaction is unreasonable. I should have told her that maybe she should change her approach, but I didn't. I told her I'm intimidated by her, and she said, well maybe so, but it's not like my work improves if she's not around. Whatever.
She wasn't sure when the move will happen. We talked about how we tell the villagers, and I said Claire suggested we just tell everyone at a meal that I will be moving to a different house. Paule then said, "I think we should be honest though, and just tell them that actually you don't like living here." I was like whoaaa hold on no way. I once again told her that I don't want to label this experience as an unhappy one and we shouldn't say I don't like it here. I said we should say I'm moving to experience a different house, which isn't untrue by any means. She said she'd think about it. Whatever.

I'm going horseback riding with Micky in 15 minutes. I'll keep you all posted on the move.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

If You're Reading This

Can you just hollaback with a comment so I know I'm not just talking to myself?

Also, I just watched Australia and HOLY CRAP I HAVEN'T CRIED THAT MUCH SINCE I SAW KING KING. Also, things in the house are so fine right now it feels weird to be moving. But there is still the undertone of uncomfortable-ness for me, and it will be a relief to be rid of that feeling. I still have no idea where they'll put me, and if my work will change or not. Should find out by next week.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Moving Out

I'm moving to a different house. Nothing in the works yet, but it's been established. Nothing crazy happened, just a few conversations with Paule that made it clear to me that things have not improved, and we tried our best but it's just not working. All the houses have co-workers, so I'm not sure where I'll end up, and it might mean that I leave Honey Bee and work somewhere else, which would suck big time, and also Luis might leave to go do the bio-dynamic farm training in Germany...in 20 days. He hasn't told Justin and Tracey yet, he just found out three days ago that the training program wants him to come, but he would need to leave in 20 days. Anyway, big things are shifting. We'll see...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Six Months

Monday was my six-month anniversary! I can't tell if it feels like a long time or nothing at all. Anyway, I didn't give a lot of detail about last week because I was running around so much and didn't have chance. So here are some pictures!

Carnival was Tuesday night--AMAZING! I have never seen such incredible costumes! The theme was "Fancy Dress," which basically means dress however you want and look as crazy as possible. Most of the men dressed as women.

This is Max. He and another dog were hanging out at the pub while their owners downed a pint or two. He sat patiently on his stool until his owner was thoroughly engaged in conversation, then hopped down and came to join me while my people were out for a smoke. They came back inside and Lukas was like, "The dog took my seat!"

There was a party at the back of the dale hut Saturday night. Nice setting, nice people, but it wasn't thrilling. Slept on the floor by the fire, beautiful in the morning. I mean the weather, not me.

Okay that's it for now. I'm late for work.