Rob Lockwood at the HoBB Project House

Kudo under constructionI have just spent one week at The HoBB, working on various projects with other residents, and these experiences have incorporated a dimension which has not been present in many of my other *wwoofing experiences (or at least not to the same extent).
This dimension concerns the need to incorporate our own individuality into our everyday lives – and not just in a peripheral manner, but ‘within the roots’ of that which determines the shape of our day-to-day lives.

With many other environments, which may be compared with The HoBB, the sheer weight of ‘practical necessity’ often makes it difficult to create a truly fertile environment, in which every person’s individuality is given the air which it needs to breathe. But life at the Hobb seemed to provide a healthy contrast to this – and on each day of my short visit it almost felt like there was some kind of intangible and unfamiliar presence reaching out to grab hold of something within me and drag it out into the open !!

Unfortunately, I am not accustomed to this presence, in this particular form, and this lack of familiarity meant that within the space of one week I only had the opportunity to shake hands and exchange a few winks with it !! But this was sufficient encouragement for me to make some modest contributions to life at The Hobb – which involved some kind of personal creativity and expression from myself.

For example, I was engaged in the creative process of producing some decorative cement tiles – and in other environments this would have made me feel like I was doing something non-essential or even indulgent. But the environment at The HoBB made me feel that by applying myself to this activity I was simply responding to another basic human need – and it seems to me that within the context of a short, one-week visit The HoBB put me in touch with this basic truth in a way which was particularly effective and liberating. And I think that this is the best way of summarising my visit to the HoBB.

Posted by Rob Lockwood

* Wwoof (

Kiersten Broderick at the HoBB

Model of traditional Radnorshire Elf HouseIf we had taken a snapshot of the HoBB Gardens and Project House ‘pre-Kiersten’ this year, it would have looked as though a storm had hit it. Two winter storms had hit it.

Kiersten discovered the HoBB through the international help exchange site whilst in Australia and we were her first stop on a year long journey through Europe – lucky us.

Little did we know that Kiersten would apply herself so fully and in so many ways. Here’s a snapshot of a few of the things that are now ticked and finished at the HoBB Gardens ready for Spring visitors, and all thanks to Kiersten:

· Constructed a small retaining stone wall around the base of the Robin Hill Bird Table – and fixed the table slats so they stop drooping in wet weather.
· Planted out last year’s plant cuttings including the first silver birch on the Central Path between Hay Bod and Yule Fir
· Landscaped around the Oak Spring
· Erected fencing around our Yarra – a young eucalyptus tree planted at 45 degrees on the Kelpie Path close to Tea Tree.
· Replaced hinges on letter box by Holly Gate
· Walked Tuppence Dog up onto the Beacon and Knucklas Castle Mound
· Cleared out dead undergrowth alongside the Wood Bod on the Geas Path
· Weaved willows to enlarge the Nest on the Circle and Ygdrasil Path.
· Pruned along the Kelpie Path at Ylem
· Helped in the HoBB kitchen: cooked dinner (great lasagne), washed dishes etc.
· Lit fires (in the fire place!)
· Helped with the weekly shopping at Harry Tuffins
· Sat for Grant’s portrait painting study.
· Created model of a Traditional Radnorshire Elf house (See Picture above)
· Visited W.H. Smith book museum in Newtown and unexpectedly stumbled across a Monet in Newtown’s modern art gallery.
· Circled the floodlit Ludlow castle
· Explored Knighton
· Navigated her way through Birmingham with a small, old map

Next European stop for Kiersten Broderick will be Paris, as she continues her ‘Grand Tour’ of Europe. She will be revisiting the UK during her year tour and plans to call back here to see the HoBB Gardens in full bloom.

Thanks again Kiersten for all your help at the HoBB.

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Waves ~~~~~~~~~ <+))))))))>< ~~~ Grant