For my first post of the new year, I’ve got the next installment of the Bloggers at Home series – and this time it’s something a little bit different. I met the lovely Lucy of Lulastic and the Hippyshake over Twitter and blogland a few years ago, and was drawn to her thrifty, eco-friendly, natural-parenting way of living immensely; we finally met in London for tea and cake, and have been friends ever since. Her blog Lulastic is one of my favourites; full of helpful gentle parenting advice, beautiful photographs and pieces on activism, it’s a constant source of inspiration and reassurance. Last year, Lucy and her lovely family moved all the way around the world to New Zealand, where they now live in an amazing yurt – and today I’m lucky enough to be able to give you a mini-tour of their beautiful home.
We have lived in a yurt for ten months now. I heard last night that the mind is a ‘discounting muscle’ – it’s a survival technique, that we minimalise big things over time in order to cope. For example, when we used to live in the treacherous jungle, if we spent our whole time being blown away by the incredible fragrance of the blossom, we would be less aware of the lions stalking us.
So in theory, we should have spent about a week going, “Ooohh! Wow! We live in a beautiful yurt!” Then another week going, “Ahh, yeah, the yurt is pretty cool.” And then, by the third week, it should be, “Blablala, yurt shmurt.”
But do you know what? Every morning that I wake up in our crazy harem bed (see our bed here > http://lulastic.co.uk/yurt-life/yurt-life-step-bedroom-waggles-eyebrows/) and see the sun oozing in through the canvas, and feel the fresh air on my cheeks I think, “Oooohh! Wow, we live in a beautiful yurt!”
Here are some things we like about it:
Our yurt is plonked in the middle of an orange orchard, and it really feels like we’re living in the midst of nature. This comes with a fair share of bugs in the bed – I woke up with a praying mantis on my face last summer. (Read more on the insect life here > http://lulastic.co.uk/parenting/life-inside-yurt/) But it means we spend a lot of time high on natures endorphins.
The roundness of the yurt makes it feel kind of sacred. Tthere must be information about this, and if I was a less lazy person, I’d look it up, but I can’t be bothered. Living in round spaces must connect with some deep, intuitive part of our minds. Sounds weird, I know. But it’s how I feel. DON’T DENY ME MY FEELINGS, GODAMMIT.
I read about this idea of ‘democratic architecture’ the other day. Inner city, three-bedroom, brick houses (why yes, we did used to own one just like that!) are out of reach for soooo many people. A simple wood and canvas structure like the yurt is the opposite – a very affordable option. I love that changing our lifestyle means we can spend so much time with our children, we explore so much more than we used to, and we all talk each others heads off.
We are off the grid. We do have solar but it isn’t the same as having an overabundance of electricity. No WiFi means I am spending an inordinate amount of time reading novels and crafting. It is insane, I am cranking through a book every two days at the moment. (Yet I still don’t have a good system of returning them to the library in time. They love me and my fines. I’m basically keeping them afloat. What an act of public service.)
People often think of living in a yurt being a really simple sort of life. And yes, in some ways it is. It would be more so if I wasn’t still completely addicted to charity shopping. Ah, more porcelain birds? Sure, we have room for them! Another set of dominos? Why, certainly! A massive Victorian typewriter? HAUL IT IN, BABY!
So yes, it is a pretty magical, cheap and simple way of life. We love it. Insects on our faces is the small price we pay for a life under canvas.
Huge thanks to Lucy for taking the time to photograph her lovely home and send over her thoughts. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter, and check out Lulastic and the Hippyshake here.
I did mention in the title of this post that there was going to be an exciting announcement; for anyone who already knows Lucy, you’ll know that as well as working on Lulastic, she also writes a second blog called Wonderthrift. Just as well written and photographed as the first, Wonderthrift is a daily lifestyle blog packed full of tips and inspiration on ways to live more ethically, sustainably and frugally, and covers topics such as crafts, food and beauty – and I’m incredibly excited and honoured to announce that Lucy and I have joined forces and are now going to co-write the blog together. Eeeek! To read more (and to see a rather large picture of my smiling face) head over to Wonderthrift now. Watch this space!