Circling in the airspace of the Monts d’Arrées in Finistère, people and places keep calling me in to land, but when I send out the feelers either feasibility is called into question or insurmountable delays keep me airborne. 

You’ve got my back, you who have so generously donated to my fundraiser. Thank you so much. It’s still ongoing.

I continue to ready myself, now selling the old familiar Mercedes that no-one in the vicinity will work on to replace it with a common or garden local car that shouldn’t have done the same mileage as a 1980s Merc, but which heroically has, and which while unfamiliar to me in its (skin-crawling, if you’re electrosensitive) electronics, is familiar to all nearby mechanics. A painful step in the wrong direction for a more autonomous and petrolless life, but necessary right now. (Join the herd, Eloïse: outliers get picked off, and Luddites haven’t beaten capitalism yet. Oh, but we will, Eloïse, we will!) 

I’m in temporary accommodation (still) and the home-purchase is slooooooower than sloooooooooow cloth, so my Anglo-Saxon capitalist oppressor the Protestant Work Ethic (damnit, my grandparents were all Catholics, so we got the guilt as well) is frothing at the mouth and suffering identity crises left, right and centre. (Zeitgeist?) When I’ve news, I will update you. Meantime, though overall progress feels thwarted, activity is even more frenzied than ever.

Said work ethic oppressor is teeming with business plans and amassing knowledge of tax regimes, but also of peasant farmer rights – for those are the only official terms that will cover such mavericks designing land-based micro-livelihood, and here we’re a marginally less endangered species. ‘Paysan’, from which ‘peasant’ and ‘pagan’ both derive since it means literally ‘of the land’, doesn’t have the same class connotations in French, where farmers are far better respected and protected than in the UK. However, *existing* farmers are protected far, far better than newbie would-be micro-farmers of the kaleidoscopic organic-and-better agricultural revolution (that is, millions more farms, hundreds of times smaller, with much greater diversity of both produce and wildlife, as an answer to many of our social and most of our economic and ecological problems).

Which leads me to introduce my beautiful new organic market gardening friends, Elisabeth and Rémi, professional farmers who met on the modern world’s first sail freighter revival where Rémi skippered the engineless tallship. They’re cultured, travelled, megabrain smallholders from Michigan and somewhere in the Atlantic/Caribbean, respectively, and are setting up a homestead with their polytunnels and animals in a field and facing all the usual battles: ethical farming, just like craft, education, healthcare or anything else that isn’t Gates, Zuckerberg, Musk, Bezos, Jobs or Oil, is esentially unviable in markets with a capitalist monetary system, and especially unviable (and unecological) if you can’t live on the same land that you farm. But if our species is to survive at all, this frugal, small-scale, low-impact, agriculture simply must persist. Gradually more post-industrials are recognising that.

Anyway, Elisabeth and Rémi and I have been spending much fruitful time together, at work and at lunch (‘when in France…’). Especially, I’ve been learning a lot about plant science and plant farming whilst Elisabeth is learning a lot about weaving. (She’s my third student, but the first to begin working alongside me as I test an apprentice-style teaching model. One of my many business plans involves teaching weaving, in case you’re interested in a residential course sometime?) 

In one of our collaborative exchanges they gave me a hand with my latest photoshoot, both in front of and behind the camera (Rémi kindly volunteered his near-professional photography skills in exchange for some labour of mine on their land). Thanks to their brilliance, we had a Boudicea of a day at Carantec, between the Bay of Morlaix and Roscoff on the NW coast of Brittany, France – as you can see below.

The ‘Wintry Blues’ and ‘Bright Sea’ batches of scarves, snugs and cowls are for sale in my shop as of now, with no price increase again this year: as ever they may feel expensive to buy, but, especially with my recession price freeze, they are still cheaper than heating your home – both economically and ecologically. We CAN compete with the oil giants, HA!


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