Showing posts from April, 2017

Try not to be weird

Snow’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Forget pure and white, it’s filthy. And I’m allergic to it, which is not good for someone living in the sub-arctic.

Snow contains a huge amount of mould and dust which it collects from the atmosphere as it forms. Throughout March, sun returns to the Yukon and the snow begins to evaporate by a process called sublimation and releases all this crap into the air.

Which is why I get hay fever in early spring despite the plants still being frozen stiff. By the time the snow is melting, I feel like someone’s hit me in the face with a brick.

We are in London currently and our flat backs onto a small nature reserve. There is hardly a building in view when the trees are in leaf and birdsong ripples through the windows from dawn to dusk. If it weren’t for those rowdy parakeets (see footnote) screeching their heads off at all hours, it would be a bucolic idyll.

An idyll for someone who doesn’t get hay fever, that is. For me, those marvellous Chestnu…

Escape to the Wild (Woolwich style)

(Lou, London)

Bloody hell, we live in a totally amazing place! Woolwich! No, of course I mean the Yukon but Woolwich is not without its merits. (The shopping’s better, that’s for sure.)

We’ve returned to the UK for a few months over the summer and have the luxury of all mod cons including a DVD player. We’ve been able to watch the film we did for Channel 4, Escape to the Wild, broadcast in Britain this February. (Watch the film here if you're in the UK.)

Friends who’ve seen it commented on the scenery. We said, “yeah, yeah, it’s nice.” And it is.  We get a real eyeful of the splendour when we are “up top” in the mountains.

Flying out by helicopter this spring gave us a glimpse of the massive extent of wilderness that surrounds us.

But seeing our home on screen was a shock.
“Oh my God, is that where we live?”
We looked at the screen, looked at each other, looked at the screen again. How the fuck have we failed to notice quite how astounding the landscape is?
Even on the pokey L…

Off grid in London

(Lou, London)

Thanks to our charming tenants, we have been able to continue our off grid “wild living” in the depths of SE London. Here’s a tip to anyone considering renting their flat out- be a total bastard from start to finish of the tenancy.

After falling for a story about the couple having a rough pregnancy, we let them off two months of their contract as long as they left the flat in good condition.

What a joy it was to be on my hands and knees scrubbing the toilet before we unpacked our suitcases, after 3 solid days of travel, whilst Neil ran the hoover round. I’m quite happy to live in my own filth in a cabin on the Yukon but not other people’s, thank you.

And how exciting to know we have an invitation to a social engagement this spring already! Yes, a summons to appear in court because they didn't pay the council tax. Just the excuse I needed to buy a new jacket and hat.

We also had the comfort of being able to continue our simple off-grid lifestyle. They’d taken the meter ke…