I've got a sign I just pinned on the kitchen pin board that says 'This entitles the holder to one goat.'
"It's like the ultimate Oxfam gift," said my friend Mark as he gave it to me and I hopped whooping around the kitchen and hugging him. "You're like the only friend I have - probably the only friend I'll ever have, actually - who I can actually give an actual goat to."
This means I have to Do It. I'm moving to Wales this Autumn. We're buying a place and seeing who wants to chip in and stick something like a woodland or something on the side. I was thinking about making some kind of local goat co-op so we can share the strains and the gains of goat keeping.
And now I have a goat token. So I Have To.
I am delighted.
I'm going to call my first milking nanny goat 'Mark.'
I'm just home from a lovely weekend with Limina people at the beautiful Quadrangle in Kent.
We've been talking about how we want to live.
Frank Forencich is a Stanford-trained biologist and play specialist.
Looking at indigenous wisdom from around the world, he says, the 'Mind Body Spirit' trinity has missed its other half:
'Land, Tribe, Ancestors.'
The yearning for connection with Land and Tribe that I feel is so widely shared, it seems.
One important thing came out of the weekend for me.
The notion of plant where you stand.
I've been slowly developing the idea of an intentional blended community and visitor place where people can try out practical skills and a blended lifestyle.
Wrong thinking, I realise.
If lots of the people with a strong orientation towards nurturing healthy connections with land and tribe all exodus from our existing communities, what will happen?
Plant where you stand, our conversations seemed to conclude.
I'm going to move somewhere quite small.
See who in the local community wants to start a goat co-op.
Embed it rather than separate it.
That's where I'm doing.
Lean into the cracks. Nestle and nestle into the concrete forms we've inherited until they soften and open into new structures that support new ways of life.
I'm excited about Limina. It's got a good feeling to it. It's perhaps the main place for people who share this yearning to connect, inspire, enable, challenge and support each other. That's certainly what happened this weekend.
Thanks to Dan for sending me a link to this incredible ted talk by Isabel Allende.
"I need mavericks," she says, "dissidents, adventurers, outsiders and rebels, who ask questions, bend the rules, and take risks.... Nice people with common sense do not make interesting characters. They only make good former spouses."
Thanks to Charlie for sending this BBC iPlayer link. The Rev Peter Owen-Jones tries to give up his "addiction to money" and develop a "simple life" (haybales, sheep etc) following the teachings of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology.
(If he puts you off a bit in the beginning, stick with him, gets quite adorable by the end.)
I yearn for a rural lifestyle, getting earth under my fingernails and putting funny-looking delicious veg straight from the earth onto the table. I'd like to get my honey from bee hives rather than squeezy bottles, my milk, yoghurt and cheese from a goat rather than plastic packets that I throw away.
I also love my laptop, my work, my feeling of being plugged into the city.
I am trying to find my way towards a lifestyle that blends self sufficiency with participation in the formal economy. The blog comes with me all the way.