Friday, 19 March 2010

Season 2010 begins..

Anticipation is building now for a return to Clissett Wood after an almost 6 month break over winter. I find these 'in-between times' difficult because I'm not a woodland owner myself. I know I inject a vast amount of energy into Clissett as a volunteer cook and assistant to Gudrun over spring to autumn, but I feel rather dislocated from the full woodland cycle when these courses are not on. I know I should normally be doing a lot of coppicing or clearing work in the woods, and I'm not.

This winter I escaped to Italy, and spent 11 weeks in the Tuscan hills house-sitting. The hilltop I was living on was surrounded by woodland and oak valleys that have been abandoned by their owners. Nobody wants to manage them anymore. Ah, give it to me I say!

One day, I might get my own wood, and become the custodian of a slice of nature. After years and years of thinking about it, and being thwarted by the practicalities and expense of it, I don't know that I am any closer to this ever becoming a reality. So in the meantime, I'll enjoy all the things Clissett has to offer. (Picture from development week 2009)

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Walden - Chapter 11 by Henry David Thoreau

"No man ever followed his genius till it misled him...If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet scented herbs, is more elastic, more stary, more immortal, that is your success. All nature is your congratulation, and you have cause momentarily to bless yourself. The greatest gains and values are farthest from being appreciated. We easily come to doubt if they exist. We soon forget them. They are the highest reality."

Download a Zip file of the entire audiobook – 412MB
This is a free Librivox audio recording read by Gordon Mackenzie.

Bodging Milano

Shortly there will be 10 designers going back to nature at Clissett Wood...from 30th March to April 5th. With the help of Gudrun Leitz and her assistant Paul Moreton of Moreton Wood. Each will be making a greenwood chair in Gudrun’s outdoor workshop. They intend to get out of the studio, away from drawing boards, computer screens, and mechanised equipment into the hands-on world of the original country chair-makers working without electricity - with pole lathes, steam benders and hand tools. Then all the chairs get loaded up and taken over to the Furniture Fair in Milan which takes place 14th - 19th April 2010. The chairs will be exhibited with Designersblock at Spazio Revel, Milan.

The designers are,
Amos Marchant, Carl Clerkin, Chris Eckersley, Dave Green, Gareth Neal, Gitta Gschwendtner, Matthew Hilton, Rory Dodd, Suzanne Barnes, William Warren.

Are they going to work and live for a week in the woods of deepest Herefordshire at this time of year though - in this still very chilly weather..or will they be slipping back to the comfort of their well-designed B&B beds? I look forward to cooking for you all! Read more about their project here > Bodging-Milano