Parenting, unschooling, yurt life


26 February, 2015

I was making dinner yesterday and Ramona came in and was like “What you up to Mum?” and I said “Making a pie” and she took a good look inside my bowl and went “Worst. Pie. Ever.”

So… we do sort of, obviously, overuse that “Ever” thing rather a lot. But, truly, this is the


You know how we moved to New Zealand for this sort of wild and free and outdoorsy life? And then we kept looking and looking for a bit of land to put our roots down? And then couldn’t find anywhere and it felt like things just weren’t really going to plan?

 Well, meanwhile, we were living in our yurt on an organic farm and learning an awful amount about farming and living sustainably, and how not to dye the chickens bright pink, and also making firm friends with the other families that live here. One of the families has a brood of children, and they unschool too, and we share many other values, and they have also been looking for a forever home. About halfway through last year we realised that we could, and should, do all of this together. 

 And then, exactly one year to the day that Tim and I moved here we looked at this piece of land on a river, in one of the North Island’s most spectacular spots, the Karangahake Gorge.

The local water feature

 And we were like; Woah. This is the one! It was ticking all the boxes we’d given up on – having a river to swim in, lots of forest, lots of flat, affordable. It is surrounded by Conservation Land, and a swing bridge from the corner of the property takes you over the river into some forest and small mountain ranges hundreds of miles big.

It's hard to capture - but here is a snap

It’s hard to capture – but here is a snap

So we bought it! Halfsies, with our friends. And today it goes unconditional! And we move there in the Spring! 

 It is funny though, this community living thing. It is like being heavily pregnant, when everyone wants to tell you their horrible – death defying birth stories, with all the gore and fears. And you are all “You are telling me this because ….. ?????” 

 When people hear we are going to be sharing this Dingly Dell they tell me about their best friends who bought together and then one of them chopped the other’s ear off, or that community that internally combusted due to communal mouldy potatoes. 

 I’m absolutely not denying it is hard, sharing life like this. We know so, so many people dream of it and it doesn’t work out. We realise it could well not last forever. But we are really committed to the idea, to bringing our children up in a tribe, to working together to live as sustainable life as possible, so we are going to really try and live this dream.

 (And at least we’ll never look back and wish we’d been more bold.)

 So YIKES AND YAY!!!!! We are planning now, and dreaming, and THIS SHIZZELMCNIZZEL JUST GOT REAL!

 (PS, I haven’t forgotten about the Social Justice and Parenting Series thingy it is just quite heavy and so I’ll be taking more frivolous breaks in between them…) 

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  • Sonya Cisco 26 February, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    Yay! Congratulations!

  • zehra 26 February, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    first of all, congratulations!!!!!! second, this made me shed a few tears! I’m so happy for you, for the dream, the ideals and the beautiful life you are providing your children with. you’re far from camberwell now Dorothy. lots of love xxx

  • Lissa 26 February, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Congratulations!! What wonderful news.
    You really are living the dream ♥
    Already looking forwards to your posts with the new place (which looks stunning) coming together.

  • Jem 26 February, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    That’s amazing! Congratulations and best of luck 🙂

  • Jo Latif 26 February, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    Soo exciting!! Can’t wait to see it!

  • Domestic Goddesque 26 February, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    What marvellous news! I am so excited for you all as you begin the newest in your many adventures. I may even get to call in and see for myself this Christmas!

  • Amy Harris 26 February, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    YESSSSS THIS IS AMAZING NEWS!!! Everyone at the Well will be so so excited to hear that our family across the globe is pursueing this dream too so you are not alone in this adventure! This is how we are meant to live yyaaaaaaaaayy!! BIG LOVE anD BLESSINGS <3 xx

  • ThaliaKR 26 February, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    Such exciting news! Can’t wait to see the dream unfold. xx

  • Eline @ Pasta & Patchwork 27 February, 2015 at 1:24 am

    Oh wow yay, that is such amazing news! Only you know what you are capable of, and if you think communal living is right for you then go for it. But you knew that, and it’s going to be great.

  • Heather Deeming 27 February, 2015 at 2:50 am

    Ah I love this so much. How exciting! Can’t wait to follow along with this new adventure.

  • Chrissy Chittenden 27 February, 2015 at 2:58 am

    I am so unbelievably jealous of you. You have no idea!

  • Molly 27 February, 2015 at 3:31 am

    Huge congratulations! Such exciting news – you’re going to be creating the most wonderful memories for your girls to grow up with. What scenery! x

  • ali 27 February, 2015 at 5:07 am

    You know I actually prefer these posts about your new life than I do all the other posts about parenting, feminism, so on, that you write.
    Its like you have a sudden injection of genuine excitement.
    I find it so much more interesting! Its new, brave, real and exciting.
    Congratulations. Im looking forward to hearing how it all works out And seeing the photos.

  • Julie 27 February, 2015 at 6:18 am

    Wonderful news! Lucky you, it looks absolutely beautiful. And why shouldn’t it work out? Judging from the pics, it’s not as if you’re going to be living on top of each other! Wow, I’m jealous x

  • Sian 27 February, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Yaaay!! Woo-hoo!!!! So excited for you!!!! Fantastic, brilliant,awesome news!!!!! Totally over-using the exclamation marks!! Will stop now! But it’s so hard because I’m just so happy for you. See, now, that last bit doesn’t look right without an exclamation mark. It looks almost sarcastic. And it’s anything but sarcastic! Done it again. Anyway, well done and congratulations!

  • Lluisa 27 February, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Congratulations!!!! Love and Light for the beginning of this new journey <3
    My best wishes!

    Lluisa xx

  • Sharon Pickles 27 February, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Incredible! What a wonderful life you are building for your family. Not many of us have the courage to take the plunge into wild and new exciting things as you have done; enjoy every moment 🙂

  • Samantha Mertler 1 March, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    OMG!!!!!!!!! I am sooooooooooooooo excited for youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.

  • Momma Monks 2 March, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Wow! this is such an amazing experience. I’m very happy to know that there are people out there
    who want to share their life with other human beings in such a powerful way. We tend to want to isolate ourselves because it’s easier then dealing with the complications that arise from sharing our space, but what we miss out on is so much joy and personal growth. Congratulations! I look forward to reading about your new adventures to come.

  • Suzanne3ChildrenandIt 5 March, 2015 at 5:21 am

    Woah. Look at that amazing countryside! Don’t listen to the nay-sayers, it’s a cross between jealousy and total misunderstanding of what you’re about. We’re all different and that what makes us special. Yay for you!

  • Mammasaurus 6 March, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    AMAZING news ! Such wonderful adventures ahead for you x