The last couple of weeks have had their downs and ups.

One down was a meeting at the Chamber of Commerce, which started well. The very knowledgeable and energetic woman said this should be easy enough – a yurt camp on our own land. Several phone calls later, she left us with a very familiar look on her face – a kind of resignation meets bewilderment, crossed with a well-it’s-to-be-expected – and the words: Bon Courage.

Good luck.

Another down was a further trip to the Social Services. You may remember, we have completed many, many pieces of paper with a view to having some kind of housing benefit. I’m on the dole. You’d think we’d be entitled. (I know I did.) But it seems the system is still hung up on the money I earned as a self-employed person in the first six months of 2007. We “don’t have the right”, the woman said. “It’ll be different in January.”

“I’ll be going self-employed to open the campsite,” I said.

“Don’t do that!” came the reply. “You’ll lose all your rights.”

It’s complicated. Many things are.

On very big up was a very generous donation from an anonymous source that will allow us to complete work on the Shack before winter. Which meant we could buy a load of wood and put that up:

And buy a load of tiles and put them up too:

You’ll see our bedroom yurt in the background which has also gone up, so we can put down the adobe floor which needs a couple of weeks to dry before we can move into that.