Seeing the same things every day can make it hard to see progress, and you tend to focus on the things that annoy you or the things that need fixing.
And make no mistake about it - there are plenty of little jobs around the house and land that need done.
- we lose soil around our foundation poles when we have heavy rain - and the last few weeks have see a huge increase in rainfall. My recurring dream state is waking up during our storm and out house has become a boat, floating off into the rice fields.
- talking of boats, we are beginning to feel like animals see us as a Noah’s Ark. We removed our second mouse, and have seen a third this week, while we’ve also had visits from a snake - a gorgeous golden tree snake - and a larger than usual lizard. There’s about a dozen geckos (or more) that are already in residence. The rains have also seen a big increase in birds, who see our house as the prefect shelter. We need to manage our animals or they will quickly take over.
- our water is good but not great. It looks like there is too much iron in the water and this will eventually cause issues, plus we collect rain water that then goes…. nowhere. In fact, it usually overflows the tank and then washes away soil so it is now a problem, rather than a solution.
Frustration can build as there is a never ending list of jobs to do and it can feel like we aren’t making any progress and then you stop. And you realize we’ve been here for just 2-3 months and remember placing a house in a field was never going to easy and smooth, and you‘d only learn things about the land by living in it.
The last couple of weekends we’ve spent a night away from the house, and it gives you a better appreciation of what you’ve done, and what you’ve got.
This weekend we were in Khon Kaen, the biggest regional city. It’s about a two hour drive away. Compared to Bangkok it’s by no means busy or big, but compared to where we are it felt big enough. Its not noisy and polluted like Bangkok, but despite that, the joy and relief of returning home yesterday was surprising. It was definitely good to be home.
It also let us see our garden in a new light, partly because we’d been away, and partly because the two days of straight rainfall had changed a few things. Like this.
a few of our sunflowers burst through - they are only a few cm high just now so they have a long way to go
It got me thinking about some photos we took when we moved in, and how it looks now. So here goes for a comparison.
First photos are from mid-July - about 10 weeks ago
We are making slow and steady progress, especially as we aren’t planting mature trees and plants. Given time we’ll look much more vibrant.
Photos from distance also miss out on some of the details, so here are a few more pics.
For today’s lunch