Hello dear readers. It has been a while since I have shared a lot with you. December was a bit of a gloomy period for me. Of course, it is also the darkest month of the year, so that fits nicely. And 2020 was not an easy year for anyone. Not even for me. But good things are coming.
I took a vacation for the last week and a half of the year and did very little. Hanging out on the couch, stuffing my face with all kinds of things that aren’t good for me, playing stupid computer games and watching (fun) series. Finally saw The Boys, which made me laugh out loud several times. I was in need of cocooning and being a hermit, and so I did. Even on New Year’s Eve I was alone for the first time in my life. Boooooring … Living alone in a lockdown has an effect on you. I miss the spontaneity of just being able to go out for a beer with friends in the city, go to the cinema or go out for dinner. I miss concerts. I miss telling my story to people I can look in the eye. I miss the old life, probably just like you. But it is the way it is. I also kicked my energy drinks addiction, though.
Fortunately, it was wonderfully cozy in my house
A new year has begun and although the days are gray and gloomy, it feels like the light is on its way back to us. More light in the sky and in my mood. I have a lot to look forward to this year. My move to Olstergaard will be a life- changing experience. My own piece of land to create my edible dream garden, a completely new area to discover, and to leave the old behind me. Man, I’m so looking forward to it! So: chin up and shoulders straight.
Aart made a fantastic garden design for me and with the help of Linda, who is also helping my neighbor Marloes so well with her garden design, I made a start with the planting plan. We looked at which trees I would like to plant and where they can best be placed in the garden, and which types are suitable. Oh, what a joy to be doing this! I can’t wait to start planting my own trees. But it probably won’t be wise to do that until the end of this year; November/December is the best time for planting trees. Either way, the prospect is half the fun. Thank you for your help, dear Linda!
Next Tuesday I will travel to Vaassen where Esther and Arjan from Eetbaargoed.nl will help me further with the plan. I’m also very much looking forward to that meeting. On the way back I plan to stop by Tuinkassenwinkel.nl, which has a very nice shed/greenhouse combination that I would like to place in my garden. They have a show model in Nijkerk and I want to have a look at it. Fun, fun, fun!
Some of you asked me if I also plan to go off-grid in Olstergaard. Well, partly. I’ll take a water connection and I’ll hook my house up to the sewer. To be honest, after living off-grid for five years, I am really looking forward to always having clean water at my disposal. Although I would not have missed this experience for the world and it taught me to be very economical with water, I find being unable to shower at home in the spring for two months at a time to be a bit too primitive. ;)
Sewerage is being installed in Olstergaard, so you can just as easily hook on to it, I believe. You can still be careful about what you flush down the sink and below the line, I think you can be just as sustainable. That is assuming that the water board will use more and more ecologically responsible methods of water purification. I do want to continue to collect my rainwater, for use in the garden and in my pond. To that end, I will bury a water tank on my lot, probably under my veranda.
As far as electricity is concerned, most of the year I manage just fine with my three solar panels. Only now, in December and January, I need backup once a week on average. For this I use a generator, but I don’t want to do bother my neighbors in Olstergaard with the noise. Therefore, I will have a power connection installed in my shed, so that I can get backup power from there when necessary.
I felt a bit of a need for something new in work as well. Last year, I launched a whole new version of TinyFindy together with Marcel and made a Flemish edition of the online course “Your Tiny House – from dream to reality”. But that is now completed, and because (guest) lectures have been cancelled due to Covid, my days at present consist of laptop work only. I don’t know about you, but I just have to do new things regularly or else I get bored.
Luckily a new opportunity presented itself: Natasja Oosterloo from Groene Manieren and I are going to make a podcast! We worked together in December for the virtual course meeting for the online course and it went so well that Natasja suggested the idea of a podcast. Now, I must confess to you that I hardly ever listen to podcasts. But the idea still appealed to me. Yesterday we talked about it and … we’re going for it! I’m very excited about the idea; it will be so much fun! The big Tiny House podcast is coming. I will, of course, keep you informed!
And many more good things are coming. I will do a Masterclass for HetkanWel. The article about me and Tiny Houses from van MaatschapWij was one of the most read articles of 2020, and the members and followers of Triodos bank have chosen me as one of the “change agents” to follow in 2021. If that is not a good start to a New Year, then I don’t what is!
I realize that I am a blessed person who has many privileges. So, I really shouldn’t be whining – as my father would have said. He would have been right. And you dear reader, how do you keep yourself going in these crazy times? I hope you too can see the bright sides in your life, no matter how dark it can be at times. Some of you are struggling so, so hard. I’m very sorry. I hope the light breaks through for you soon. I wish you a wonderful year, full of love, happiness and health. Keep listening to your heart and following your dreams. Keep putting one foot in front of the other, step by step towards your goals. You’ll get there. Love! Marjolein.