Family Travel

We live in a Mongolian tent now

13 March, 2014

So in a comic turn of events we now live in a yurt. Yep, one of those massive round tents that Mongolians thrash out their harsh lives in (and middle-class Londoners go glamping in. Hehe.) *


It is so beautiful. This circular canvas space, a rope you pull to reveal a sphere of blue sky in the ceiling, a bare wooden floor and rustic pot belly stove inside. It just makes me want to meditate. (Actually just being a mum makes me want to meditate.) (By “meditate” I mean “sleep loads” yeah.)

It is such an intense glimpse into self-sufficiency it should probably only be described in a Biblical way.

The yurt resideth in the glory of a citrus grove. (Officially they are Ugly Fruit. They taste amazing but they Sho Is U.G.L.Y – Tim picked one tonight that resembled, pretty much EXACTLY, a willy.)

There is a beast of the field; a cow from whom we gather the milk for our cup of tea. And tiny dinosaurs with wings. (Chickens, some people call them, but I know better.)

There is an abundance of vegetables that we yanketh out of the ground and devour for our Daily Bread.

The sun provideth our only energy and forgeteth the internets. (Pfft.)

We must release our bowels into the open pastures (kinda – outdoor compost loo, of which I am a MASSIVE fan.)


For more about how this came about you really MUST read my article, Barefoot and Happy, for Loved By Parents, whom I write for each month. It covers what on earth we are doing here and how we know Ramona is 100% Kiwi.

I’ve been involved in a couple of other cool projects lately, despite being a bazillion miles away.

New Mama pack is a brilliant, amazing package for a new mum that comes out of a woman’s own experience of feeling quite alone in those early days. Each week something PERFECT will drop into the New Mama’s inbox, be it a song, a video, and article – each item handcrafted by artists and writers and poets. I wrote one about how Parenthood is the real Change The World stuff. Instead of getting friends and family to buy loads of silly stuff for the Baby Shower, people could club together for this and make a beautiful difference in the life of a new mum. You will also see it advertised on the right hand side here, as I am a contributing affiliate so get a proportion of the money when you buy through this link.

Similarly, I am also advertising the Mindful Parenting Package because, Oh, My, Days, it is a true, proper, beautiful BARGAIN. Over 36 e-resources; ebooks, PDFs and audio books worth £500 are being sold for £30. A year’s subscription to Juno Magazine (great name, eh – I have an article in the Spring Issue) plus loads of books on babywearing, yoga, gender neutral parenting, natural birth, the commercialisation of babyhood – it is pretty much the attachment and gentle parents library and it is a mega deal.

(Sorry if this last bit sounded like a sales pitch, I am just WELL excited by those two resources and think they could generate a lot of peace in this world.)

So, yeah. That is kind of us at the moment. From Berty to Yurt-y. Hehehe.

PS- I shared a photo of the yurt on Facebook yesterday. And lots of people were like “Woo!” “Living the dream” and stuff. And I guess I wanted to just say that yep, we feel super lucky to be having this adventure, and sometimes pictures and my blogging does make it look like it is all just lush. I tend not to mention the things that go wrong because I don’t want it to be like “Woe is me, the stalk of the aubergine I just picked pricked my finger!” But in order to keep it real here is some stuff that wasn’t/ isn’t perfect: I had mastitis for the FOURTH time, Juno was teething REALLY BAD a couple of weeks ago and hasn’t slept for ages, despite having all the time in the world we struggle to be organised and get super frustrated with the mayhem that surrounds us, both the girls have colds, we spent loads of money on a car that was actually a smoker’s car and we are gutted, I am having really bad RSI in my wrist and thumb which scares me as writing is my living, lalalala, etc etc. *keeping it real fist bump*

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  • Justin 13 March, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Great post. I’d like to write more as it’s conjured up all sorts of thoughts and feelings. But perhaps I’ll leave that till when we see you next. Blessings on you guys. Jo has just had her first trip down mastitis lane. And as far as I can tell it’s not fun at all.

  • Joey Tibs 13 March, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    What a wonderful place to live in. I’m so excited to see other families travelling it gives me the courage to think maybe we can do it too! Looking forward to reading about your travels.

  • Katie 13 March, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    Well this looks like a real adventure. I am really looking forward to hearing and seeing more about the new abode and lifestyle! Hoping the mastitis and the prickly aubergines back off!

  • ThaliaKR 14 March, 2014 at 12:07 am

    1. Juno!!! Look at that GRIN!
    2. Mastitis!? What the hell? I think the universe has lost count – you are not due for any more of that nonsense for, well, ever again. So sorry to hear that.
    3. Gutted for you about the car 🙁 And the other various daily-life-grizzle stuff. It can all just press down, can’t it.
    4. ‘From Berty to Yurt-y’ = genius 🙂
    5. Let’s talk RSI sometime. So sorry it is in existence and in your life.
    6. Enjoy the new season!

  • Mrs_scholes 14 March, 2014 at 4:01 am

    Obvious really, but have you been to a physio and got some wrist splints for the RSI? I am a sign language interpreter and it was scary getting RSI when using my hands is my living too. The splints are a pain in the bum. Ever need to, for example, wash your hands? After changing a nappy or going to the loo, several times a day? Take ’em off and put ’em on again. And again. And again.

    BUT I only wear them for typing or driving, and the difference is massive, and I have kept working as well as everything else. I am really sorry you have it as it sucks. But I hope you can find something that works to help sort it out.


  • Eumaeus 14 March, 2014 at 6:54 am

    Ain’t nothing wrong with living in a yurt. Yours looks stylish enough. We lived in one in Mongolia this winter for a month. Proper phraseology: Mogolian ger (гэр). Yurt is the Russian word for гэр. And I think proper credit and phraseology is due to the Mongols. Keeping it real, Chingis Khaan style.

  • otilia 14 March, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Like I said before. This will be like living the dream for my husband, Your kids are so lucky to have parents like you. I mean just look how happy your little one looks.
    And yes i bet it sucks the mastitis and the teething 🙁 I had mastitis three times with my second two. Why doest it happen ? i mean boobs should be used to it already! Anyway looking forward to read about your adventure!
    PS: I hope someday i will live in yurt!

  • LondonHeather 14 March, 2014 at 8:31 am

    What an incredible home! And an amazing experience to live/work on a farm – hard work yes, but really life-giving too. So sorry to hear about the rough stuff you’ve been going through – hope the mastitis/rsi ease soon, and that Juno remembers the wonders of sleep, too.

    Bless you as you seek out your tribe in your new home.
    Heather x

    PS – I was a little sad that there was no pic of the Ugly Fruit, tee hee!

  • Lilybett 14 March, 2014 at 10:32 am

    That doorframe and floor are amazing. Hope you have lots of warm snuggly blankets and thick socks for the NZ winter.

  • Sam Millar 14 March, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    I love it, and I love that you’re keeping it real!! And oh my!!! That smile, those eyes, such joy and depth, and spark!!! What a treasure!

  • Katy Beale 17 March, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Gosh, look at that gorgeous smile from Juno! Lovely. I’ve never met her but still want to give her a cuddle 🙂

    And HOW POSH is your yurt? (sounds like a new TV show! Ha.) Wooden floors? Totally fancy. Looks like a lovely place to live.

  • Katy Beale 17 March, 2014 at 11:54 am

    p.s. is RSI from blogging on a phone??

  • Jenni 19 March, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Woah, when did Juno change from a baby into a little girl.? Amazing to see, and as for that yurt it does look rather splendid. Happy days, hope the RSI is nothing serious x

  • Tasha Batsford 19 March, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    FINALLY someone who agrees with me about chickens!!!

    We used to rescue battery hens back in the UK and when we picked them up, all nekkid and stubble rash-y they looked EXACTLY like little dinosaurs.

    They even have that cold lizard stare that somehow seems to get masked when they have feathers. And sharks.


  • Debra 24 July, 2014 at 5:48 am

    I have just found you via Close Enough to Kiss and am loving your work 🙂 Now I’m frantically reading all your back articles to work out the Kiwi connection as I’m a Kiwi who moved to the UK in 2000 🙂 Just had to drop in and suggest you look up Dr Sarno in regards to your RSI. My partner and I both work in IT and met at a specialist clinic in India where we had gone in desperation. The clinic didn’t help but Dr Sarno’s books on the mind/body connection did. My partner is now fully cured and I’m most of the way there.