Sunday, August 30, 2009

It didn't just happen though.

Having finally posted something on this new blog which I started a while back, I thought I should fill in some gaps, because it takes many little steps to get to where one wants to be. So although it might look like these things simply happen, a lot goes into making it happen.

Someone once made the most insulting comment to me ever imaginable. She said, "yes, but you were lucky". She was referring to the life we've created here in Canada. In saying this, she negated all the hard work we put into creating what we have. It helps that Canada is a land of endless opportunities, where almost anything is possible if one has a positive outlook and is ready to make a go of things.

It's the same with The Seagull Republic. One doesn't decide to build on a site that is boat-access only and entirely off-the-grid without putting a heap of research and learning into it. Even so, I'm sure we're about to embark on a huge learning experience as the years unfold.

We informally divided up the task: Nev focused on boats, docks and techincal stuff. I'm sure there's more, but since I had more time, this is kinda how it went. I focused on alternative energy sources and sent him on a course to cover the technical aspects of PVCs once we had established this was definitely going to be in the mix. I spent hours looking at sustainable building, sending him info to look at while I was studying interior design, LEED and green building. We both looked at umpteen everyday items in a new light, from septic issues to water tanks to refrigerators and everything else inbetween. I gave him a book on building green homes which covered cordwood, cob and other methods, one on micro-hydro, and a subscription to Cottage Magazine, which has been an absolute treasure trove of information as well as a great directory of where to buy things. Everytime I have stolen the books away to pore over them myself!

I started growing vegetables (sans pesticides, of course) to see whether we could indeed become more self-sufficient. I'm not sure we picked the right spot for this, because not only will be competing with the deer for the fruits of our labours, but there is very little soil on Boulder Point in general. So it'll be raised beds or containers, and this is probably not enough to make us self-sufficient. I hope Nev will catch lots of fish.

How people did this without the internet is beyond me.

The absolute worst part of the journey is knowing we'll have a cabin, but not knowing when. We have the furniture, the cups and dishes and crockery we need. I even made a quilt for the bed, stored lovingly in my studio till then... in the meantime everything is in the basement and the garage and our cars are still parked outside (not great in the winter).

Once we'd bought on Cortes, we bought books on the history of the area and the charts, soaking up stories on early settler families and how places we've yet to fully discover came to be.

It's all part of the journey, but in the meantime we need to get to a point where we can enjoy The Seagull Republic a little and explore the area. So far, each trip has been a quick one or a working holiday. But it'll be worth it.

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