Luke Seal started the year with 1p. His goal: to end up with something worth more than one penny by 2012.

Things went very well, very fast. He swapped the penny for some fish, some fish for a guitar, a guitar for a bike, the bike for £50, the cash for 10 square metres of Bulgaria and the land for a custom-made metal object.

Which is where we came in.

Readers of our website will know that, this year, guests will enjoy the luxury of a solar shower. Not some knocked-up arrangement using an old cast-iron radiator, a length of hose encased in plastic bottles or a dustbin painted black. Nor one of those hanging bags that leave your hair smelling like plastic and break before the end of the week. No no. We’re going for a professionally made shower where the temperature can be controlled. (People wanting the more rustic experience can always pour a bucket of water over their heads. We just think they should have a choice.)

And even though most of our guests know each other very well, our new shower needs a cubicle.

Years ago, Her Outdoors designed a cubicle in the shape of a snail shell; it just needs to be held together by a custom-made metal object, like this:


Jumping on the idea like a small child on a trampoline, we proposed a week at écovallée in exchange for the custom-made object and, turning down a valuable wedding cake at the very last minute, Luke said Yes! Our object will be made by corner-of-a-field-in-Bulgaria owner Darren of Darad Fabrications in Atherstone and, if all goes to plan, brought down by friends at the end of the summer.

Our week in a yurt has since been exchanged for a portrait of a man who lost millions of pennies, made out of pennies, by artist Adrian Firth. For more details, take a look at Luke’s superbly written blog here