Three weeks in.


Three weeks in and we are settling into the yurt. We await the return of the builders to get our running water plumbed into some taps and a shower. We are living between the house and the yurt, plus the shed and the car, all of which has offered some particular challenges. Is the washing down at the house when I have time to put it in the washing machine? Or is it in the yurt still? Where is the wheelbarrow? Where are your school shoes? Your PE kit?

What about some lunch now, I think.  I have bread and a breadboard, plates and cheese. But no breadknife or cutlery, it’s all in the house kitchen from being washed up last night.  I am walking a lot more up and down the lovely track.


The children are coping well with the complete upside-down-ness of our routine, such as it was. They have a better memory than me for where things are, providing they have paid attention in the first place….


We are currently running two stoves – the Rayburn in the house to keep some heating going and to provide hot water for baths, showers and washing up – and the woodburner in the yurt. Our wood consumption has doubled and we are reluctantly supplementing with smokeless fuel to keep enough heat going in both places. This has become more focussed since our wood delivery man’s log splitter has broken. We don’t really know when our next delivery will be and this week I shall be tackling The Pile Of Seasoned Logs with the chainsaw. I will definitely wear my magic boots and trousers as I rather like having both legs and both feet.


The weather has been wild and varied.  We’ve had torrential rain and hail, cold easterly winds (which blow right at the yurt doorway), hoar frosts and icy puddles.  Even the yurt roof iced over one night.



Most nights I get up in disguise as the fire angel…. I poke and reload the stove to keep it going thought the night. Last night though, I was so tired I slept right through the night and the fire was out when I woke up. It was pretty chilly in here while we were waiting for the stove to get going. At times like these, I am deeply grateful for my electric blanket. Well, I think we can have a little luxury here and there.


What’s really good is that when the woodburner is going, it gets very toasty in here. We’ve been in t-shirts inside while there has been ice outside.


And when the wind blows hard (as it has done in the last month) the sounds the yurt makes vary, depending on direction. We are quite sheltered here being at the bottom of the valley but at night you can hear the wind roaring across the valley. The sounds changes, different kinds of wind have different sounds. In a few months I will have figured out which way the wind is blowing from the sound it makes.


Sometimes the gusts blow around the yurt, circling, then giving a quick beating before vanishing. Sometimes it’s all from one side, making the roof poles and trellis creak. The other night it blew so hard the whole structure shifted suddenly and briefly, knocking a pan lid (hanging from an s-hook on the trellis) onto the floor. It was so loud it even woke gigman up!

I find I am enjoying lying awake for a little while after my 4am fire angel duties, listening to the rumbling of the river and the roar of the winds, the owls hooting and the foxes crying. We’ve lived here 10 years but having never lived in the field it’s a different ballgame. I’m creating a whole new sound library in my head.





  1. It’s so beautifully captured in the prose and the photos. I get a real sense of what winter is like there reading and seeing this. Delightful to see this post. Inside the yurt looks so cozy and warm, insularity at it’s best, minimalism at it’s best. You are a good fire angel to keep that fire going all night.

  2. Oh, you dear fire angel.
    It’s lovely to have this update, this glimpse, into your life right now.
    I rather like that you’re growing a sound library in your head. ..

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