Feng Shui is now a thing-in-itself

Small Reproduction Chinese SignYo !,

This sign depicts the Chinese characters for “Feng Shui”. We designed, carved and painted it in the HoBB toolbod and left it hanging outside to age for six seasons and more reasons.

By allowing nature the time it needs, we create works that looks as though they have existed a lifetime. This progressive system of design allows us the joy of witnessing growth and is not for those liking a quick fix.

A lot of books and television programmes promote these instant ‘make-overs’ for interiors, gardens and lifestyles. At the end of a few hectic days, you can be instantly themed into anything but this is too touch and go. Getting the balance on life and culturing a great environment around your lifestyle takes a profound effort not a shallow surface treatment.

Many assume that they can invoke a Feng Shui spirit, or that a total stranger can apply a set pattern of Feng Shui rules to their personal living space so as to make it ‘better at providing advantages’ . This is too often the way of westernised Feng Shui, hinged firmly around the commercial wish to shift ever more merchandise. We recently popped into some shops around Glastonbury (UK) and discovered, ever there, Feng Shui shops that invalidate their own principles by stacking clutter in corners and fragmenting their energies with inept shelving and gaudy graphics. Somehow, it seems like an act of infidelity to ‘sell’ in a manner that betrays the cause.

We all need space and the time we spend creating places where energy simply flows and is not blocked should be filled with intuitive joy. The best way forward is to re-evaluate your own stuff rather than to get in more or different clutter. Being a consumer will always be a balancing act. Sellers will always say that we need something they produce.

By sorting through what needs to be kept and what you can re-cycle elsewhere, you clarify more than the space around you. I was on one of my sort-outs the day I made the sign above. It was made from a special piece of green oak – an off-cut that never made it into the wood stove. Either the grain or the feel of it made me put it on one side. I had produced a similar sign to this for indoor use using well matured ancient oak so I took a break from sorting out the tools and marked out the sign for Feng Shui on its surface. A few hours later and this sign was cut, carved, treated and hanging outside – on one of the big HoBB oak trees as a thank you to Nature itself.

~~~~~~~~~~ <+))))))))>< ~~~ waves from Grant

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 www.helpx.net 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.

Helping others around the World is a unique way of seeing and experiencing the Planet ‘off the tourist trail’.
Find out MORE at www.helpx.net

If you are travelling the Planet and are into Organic farming, join www.wwoof.org for places to stay.

And if when travelling you just need to find a place to crash out for a night or two then check out www.couchsurfing.com

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