One of the first things we needed to do was find the land. So we decided to order some yurts, instead.

FLASHFORWARD: I know this is all historic stuff and a blog is probably supposed to be about what’s going on Right Now, but I thought you’d be interested to know how and why we got to where we are today. Besides, Right Now, the project is largely waiting for permissions, as we’ll get onto later. And Right Now Right Now, I’m sitting on a train that was built for people even smaller than me, pulling out of Preston Park station. Which we’ll get onto later, too. END OF FLASHFORWARD

We’d decided to live in a four-yurt structure: a 24-foot living space for lounging, dining and kitchening, 18-foot bedrooms for us and the kids, and a 12-foot bathyurt that will look something like this, from Yurtworks in Cornwall:

We’d also decided to have three 18-foot yurts and another 12-foot bathyurt for eco-minded guests.

So we needed a lot of yurts.

A few hours’ googling revealed two local yurt makers: Future Roots in Stanmer Park, and the Yurtshop in Hastings. Not wanting to miss the chance to keep our yurt miles to the minimum, we started in Stanmer. (If you haven’t been, check out the hill behind Stanmer House – especially if you have a rug, a picnic, a dog and/or some kids.)

The Future Roots workshop is tucked away at the top of the park, near Stanmer Organics and the Brighton Earthship. They have a rustic 24-foot yurt on site and everything you need to make a yurt: ash for coppicing, water, a box of matches (dry) an assortment of benches (some improvised), and a few simple tools.

They also have a genuine passion for yurts.

Although Matt and Mark had decided not to make any yurts for a while, wanting to concentrate on their yurt-building courses, they loved the Big Green Idea and were happy to make our home. We loved their attitude, their ideas and their craftsmanship. So they got the job.

Or half of it. We still needed yurts for our guests.

To the Yurtshop!

And there’s something you don’t write every day.

With a little help from our mobile phones (how much quieter the world must have been before they were invented – how much noisier the world will be in the future), we found Matt and Chris’ seriously impressive yurt-building operation, just outside Hastings. (Do all yurt-building teams include a Matt? When I was a musician, most bands had a Steve – I could have put an excellent band together called “Steve” – but then, I wouldn’t have been in it.)

Again, the level of finish and attitude was exactly what we were looking for, and we plumped for the Kyrgyz-style yurts made from coppiced ash. Yurtshop also offers yurts in sawn timber but, for us, straight edges don’t do it. We want to see the wood as it has grown. It has a beautiful, organic quality we want to wake up to every day – and why should it be any different for our guests? So they got the job, too.

Now all we needed to do was everything else.

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