The ‘Hippy stuff’ category:

Beard update

March 17th, 2012

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Me & my beard

I’ve never had such a big beard. You may remember that on my birthday last year I shaved my beard off completely. Well this year I’m doing the opposite and growing it to be as big as possible… before trimming it back to normal on my birthday.

To me, my beard is a symbol of my freedom from the social structure I was a part of before we started our adventure. I’ve had a beard for many years; I started using one during my first office job as a way of not having to shave every day, so even then there was an element of furry rebellion to it. Nowadays it doesn’t matter what I look like; I have nobody I need to pretend I’m not me to. So scruffy clothes, unkempt hair and a ridiculous beard are all fine since they make no difference to anything any more. (Except a big beard is incredibly hot and the weather’s getting quite warm so it is making a difference to my every day comfort).

Last year I realised that without a beard I look like a cross between Thom Yorke from Radiohead and Gail from Coronation Street. I shall therefore always have a beard, not, as I like to think, as a symbol of freedom but more to hide my hideous face.


Have you ever hugged a tree in earnest?

January 27th, 2012

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I hadn’t, until today.

Since we’re nearing the end of January I thought it about time to take down our Christmas lights that were stylishly wrapped around a tree at the front of the house. During the removal process I found myself with my arms around the trunk of the tree and I thought to myself, “Do those people people call tree huggers actually hug trees? And if they do, I wonder what it’s like.”

There was no-one around so I gave the tree a hug. Its trunk is covered in moss so it was nice and soft. I stayed there for a little while, attempting to determine whether or not I could sense any sort of spiritual connection with the tree, letting my mind empty as I pricked up my psychic ears.

I’m sorry to report nothing unusual happened other than I later found a small spider in my hair.

My obsession with ‘stuff’: I need to give it up

December 11th, 2010

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“Wouldn’t it be nice to take lots of photos of whatever project we’re working on – looking after the vegetable garden, building a tree house, visiting somewhere exciting – and post them here on the blog. I’m going to need a new camera.”

This was my thought process.

I do have a lovely camera but it’s a big DSLR, so wanting a pocket one to make it much easier to photograph everything makes sense, right? I even have an old pocket camera, but that’s really old and not up to the job. No, no, it’s fine, buying a new one is a good idea.

So I spent a couple of weeks researching, reading reviews, deciding which shiny new camera I should get. I went onto Amazon and placed my order for a new Pentax Optio RS1000, the latest 14MP version of my very old 3MP Pentax Optio S. A few days later it arrived and it was glorious. A few days later I uploaded the photos and videos to my computer.

And it’s at this point that the reality of what I’d done revealed itself to me.

The photos were disappointing, the quality wasn’t anything special. The videos hadn’t captured the sound, instead there was a crackling noise; the camera was faulty.

I dug out my old pocket camera and took a few photos, uploaded them to my computer, and compared them to those from my new purchase. The old camera took significantly nicer photos. [I tend not to print my photos, rather put them online, so don’t need mega megapixels]. Luckily the new camera was faulty so I returned it and got a refund.

What had I done? Why had I bought a new camera? How had I convinced myself that I needed one when I actually had a perfectly good one languishing unused in a drawer? I’d fallen for the consumerist brainwashing we’re all subject to. It’s scarily easy to fall for it, to be absolutely certain that we do need the latest *INSERT PRODUCT NAME HERE* but will it improve our life? Will it improve it even a tiny amount? Would your old one do just as well?

I don’t have the answers, and I am certainly not immune to wanting stuff as this post attests. However, I’m going to try to remember this episode the next time I start trying to convince myself that I need something new.