As promised in this post, the new solar shower went in this year. Made by Nobel in Greece, with some parts from Italy, guests now have hot water at any time of day or night.

solar shower

The last remaining big project is now the road through the woods to the car park behind the Play Yurt. Which will almost certainly be finished this year…

Every now and then, I like to bring you a minute (or so) from écovallée. Here’s a video I shot yesterday, on my reasonably priced phone, from the hammock outside Mustardseed…

I thought I’d done another lesson on “truc” and “bidule”, but actually those were from a comment by Leon on Lesson 3 back in the heady days of 2014.

Moving swiftly on, here’s my word of the moment: “Mec” (pron: “Meck”).

It means “guy” or “bloke” in English (or “chap” if you’re of a certain age) and – like “bidule”, “truc” and “machin” – when you’ve heard it once, you’ll hear it all the time. Use it, and you may get raised eyebrows from people impressed with your slang. But be careful, or you’ll quickly get lost in a sea of “machins”.

Here’s écovallée at 4pm yesterday, when we officially opened for the season.

yurt camp

It’s a terrible shot, taken with a bad camera on a reasonably priced phone. But cloud cover was very handy with the amount of walking around carrying things that had to be done before our first guests arrived.

The forecast for the rest of the week is mostly sunny, with daytime temperatures in the low 20s. Looks like they picked a good week for it.

Here’s this year’s Peaseblossom frame up on the platform, before the cover went back on.

For new readers, it’s an 18-foot Kyrgyz-style coppiced chestnut yurt. Sleeps four very comfortably. The floor is locally sourced pine. Very comfortable on the foot. It gets furnished with comfy beds, duvets and all that stuff you don’t want to carry with you on holiday.

yurt up

It sits in mixed woodland of sweet chestnut, hawthorne, wild service, oak and hornbeam, and overlooks a grassy valley onto more woodland that has, for some reason, a fair amount of pine.

Just down the hill (as you can see in the previous posts) is the solar shower and compost toilet. Out of shot, to the right, is a canvas-covered kitchen and eating area shared with an identical yurt. There’s one other yurt way away to the left, with its own kitchen. That one’s a 12-footer perfect for two, or two and a bit. There’s also another 12-foot yurt off to the right and down the hill, but that’s just for playing in. Hence the sand pit and play area behind.

First guests of the season arrive tomorrow. And the écovallée summer begins…

We didn’t get the yurt onto the platform tonight. This is how far I got with the platform by about 8.30pm.

yurt platform 2

Trimming the boards took longer than I thought, but that edge is 18 metres in a straight line and quite a bit of it’s down the grain. Still can’t work out how it ended up too large, but it’s finally the right size.

By this time tomorrow, everything should be in place – including a new Lovely Thing in the compost toilet I’ve told you nothing about. It’s all coming together.

Here’s the platform at 13h45 the way I wanted it to be at 11h00.

yurt platform 1

Still on schedule but a few things to do before the yurt can go on it. Like trim the whole circle,’cos it’s too big, sand and seal the front door, mop the floor (no small job, that), add the edge, and fetch the yurt from the tractor shed.

But first, some coffee.

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