Almost three years at Pod Castle!

25 Dec 2015, 10:25 a.m.
It's the night before Christmas, and in the flickering light of the fire -- wrapped up in the blanket I crocheted myself this winter and cradling a glass of our homemade plum liquor -- I feel like looking back on the events of the last few years that brought me to this place in life.

I always thought of myself as a city person, unable to live far away from metropolitan culture and comforts. Even three years ago I would have found it hard to see myself living up here! I don't miss the city nearly as much as I thought I would, though. We have an impressive herb garden and the contents of a first-rate library in the castle server room. With a bit of planning, we can conjure up a feast to rival any restaurant in Zurich. Maybe not any restaurant in London, but people aren't exactly flocking to eat in London these days either.

The benefits of our "new" home (after more than two years, it feels like I've lived here forever!), on the other hand, are many and obvious. Sinister and Dexter are both sleek and happy -- not only does it suit them to have lots of people around, so that they never have to wait for attention or play, but I think they supplement their diet with mice that wander in from the fields. We were so lucky to find that big stock of Dexter's meds in the vet's office on the way up! I suppose nearly everyone who got there before us was looking for the ketamine.

David is well, and the others too. I've been pleased by how well we work together: it was Linda and me who put together the water wheel, with a little help from Alex, but it was David who planned out the irrigation channels and started digging them. Similarly, he had a few bright ideas when we were constructing the solar panels that really made Suzy's and my work easier. Since we got electric light in the evenings, life in the castle has been way more productive! I think my SAD has got better, too. Still, of course it's nice to be in tune with the natural rhythms of the seasons, so maybe it's a good thing that the whole building isn't hooked up yet.

Apart from constructing the still, this year I've been less focussed on the technological side of life here and more on creature comforts. My biggest achievement was finally learning to crochet! Anna's biggest achievement was probably teaching me, after two years trying. Just as well I figured it out when I did, because we were starting to run out of wool. Apart from the blanket, I've also made new beekeeping veils for Jenny and Tom. It was hugely rewarding to try our very first homemade mead! Another useful effect: they're using up our stock of antihistamines much less quickly now they're not being stung in the face all the time.

In a few years' time, it'll be time to start teaching the children more formally and some sort of curriculum and rota will be necessary. Till then, we'll keep reading to them and letting them pick things up on their own. It's great that we can all pitch in to entertain, feed and mind them -- I always fancied being an auncle much more than a parent.

All in all, things have turned out pretty well for us here at Pod Castle. We should have moved up here years ago! Knowing how organized we all used to be, it's not totally surprising that it took a rather drastic incentive for us to actually do it, but then again, we couldn't exactly have afforded the land before then either. Dear castle mates, I'm so happy with how the last few years have gone, and I can't wait for the next ones!

Based on this prompt.