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KW-19 Full of the joys of spring.
Grumpy pirate, sunbeams and pigs in space
One of these days, I am going to get on with the primary function of the barracks - that thing that we are working towards now and have been for the last four years of this voluntary incarceration. To be useful. This has been a developing concept, and now that I think I finally have a grip on what it is, The Collapse Laboratory, I am desperately keen to be getting on with it.
But, first, I have to make the place liveable. I always figured that the best way to do this was the most essential and time-consuming stuff first. Creating living soil out of dead stones, making the potager and the vineyard, and somehow along the way, rescuing pigs.
On the fabric of the buildings, there are 6 cute and comfortable (though basic) bedrooms, some cooking facilities, and we have made great strides with the whole provision of water thing, but, disappointingly, this is still not done.
When the nice drain-unblocking men came and unblocked the drains, they said something along the lines of “The drains are blocked because of a dumbass design flaw which has gotten worse over time. They will block again”. Long story short, I now need to manually unblock the drains every week. I somehow need to conjure up some money for a power washer, to rinse them out (still every week, just not by gloved hand), but ultimately, there is an underground rebuild required.
The most useful thing you can do to support the barracks is to subscribe and get your people to subscribe. Ok. That’s two things.
On top of this, the ride-on lawnmower is dead again, and the cultivator / tiller is in the repair shop. The repair shop man took 10 weeks to fix something last time I took him a thing. Which, now I think about it, was the ride-on lawnmower and the current breakage might well have been due to him replacing the mower blade drive belt with one of the wrong size. The bastard.
I grew winter cover crops everywhere I could last year, in the knowledge that I could rotorvate them into the ground. Now I have to dig it all by hand, this just ended up making a lot of extra work for myself. It’s great for the soil to have a cover crop, of course, but you do have to be able to get rid of it again. Either by digging it in, or clearing it for the compost heap. Or feeding it to pigs.
In other words, the long slow steady process of things constantly getting better and easier, the uphill drive to an easy life, the downhill karting to a life of luxury, has been interrupted. It is starting to feel like this is to be the first year that was not easier than the previous year.
I have some volunteers here at the moment (they were introduced in the Friday “Barracks in Pictures” newsletter), so we are just about keeping on top of the mowing, but without the tiller, the vineyard is simply not getting planted this year.
Jobs for the week.
Finish the potatoes. I managed to do half of them last week, and am actually pleased enough with that. They are going in late, but I have to remind myself it’s still only just the middle of May. We will still get potatoes.
Sow at least half of the roots
Erect the bean poles. Because I can’t clear the ground quickly enough, I’ve sown a couple of hundred beans in modules. If we can get a load in the ground soon, then we’re good for beans as well.
Plan the potager greenhouse in CAD. This is the domain of Volunteer Pirate Theo. He can do that sort of magic.
Continue with sowing the pig field.
Mowing, unblocking drains, hauling drinking water, feeding pigs, raiding bins.
Recruit a cast for the TV show of The Barracks. Do you want to be on the tellybox? A production company is all signed up and committed to do a 30 minute programme on arte about the planning and execution of the Collapse Laboratory. But we need a cast. The Laboratory needs to go ahead this year, I can’t do it all by myself and if you would like to help out with the running of it and be part of this exciting TV production (which would mean being at the barracks for 2 or 3 shooting days over the summer), please don’t dilly dally, and get in touch straight away!
I’m sorry, I don’t even know what this newsletter is about this week. I usually have a theme or a topic in mind, but it seems like a messed up and depressing catalogue of horrors this time around. Which actually does describe my mind quite well, I guess. What I promised you with this digital epistle was a look behind the scenes of the barracks. Well, sometimes, it’s chaos. That’s what you get this week, I’m sorry.
The solution? Get the fuck on with it, you whinging pirate!
See you next week, and with much piratey love
Your Pirate Ben
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