Hello! As this is my first piece to share with you all on Parent Tribe I thought I would offer a brief rundown of what got us from there to here, ‘us’ being myself (Clare) my husband Andy, and our two sons Tom (7) and Oscar (2). ‘There’ being when I first started a blog back in 2012 and ‘here’ being a straw bale house which we built ourselves on our farm in central Portugal.

Back in 2012 we were living in a damp (mouldy) and draughty (freezing cold) old cottage in Porthcurno, a tiny little village by the sea at the very most western tip of Cornwall, just a mile from lands end. At this point we had been making Sioux Tipis for just over 3 years and had found ourselves visiting all manner of places throughout the country delivering them and setting up for festivals and weddings, resulting in us finding ourselves in all manner of bizarre situations which I wanted to record for Tom, our then 3 year old to one day be able to look back over and see what his earlier years of life were like. We were just about to be moving for the summer from our brick built house with (most) mod-cons to a canvas bell tent on a tipi campsite which we had set up on a friends farm and were running for the six week holidays…no electricity, no running water and only flames and coals to cook on. Months before, when it was in the planning stage we dreamed of sunny balmy days, sitting in the long grass playing frisbee and enjoying seeing families frolicking in the distant hills, what an adventure!! However in the days leading up to the move it all felt increasingly ominous, and rightly so, this was ‘us’ after all! You can read more about what happened on this particular ‘adventure’ and the many others which followed with equally bizarre twists and turns (like the time we decided to drive four Tipis with poles to southern Italy, via Monaco, in the middle of winter and using a less than reliable VW transporter van with a small child, and two dogs squished in for good measure) on our blog page A TIPIcal Day https://atipicalday.wordpress.com/2012/07/

Our blog brings you right up to when we found our new home, which is where we live now in central Portugal and started building a straw bale house, having started with nothing (and finding ourselves again living temporarily in a bell tent only this time in the heat of the Portuguese summer with a then 3 week old baby, no electricity and no water).

I am pleased to say we still make Tipis, against all odds we are still very much together, we didn’t kill each other and are settled in Portugal. We love our home, we have two wonderful healthy boys who we still home educate and are about to embark on another adventure by putting our farm, Hidden Valley (formerly known as Enchanted Acres), up for sale next month and hopefully moving a few miles around the corner to another one which has more land, and two beautiful granite barns which would need completely renovating from floor to roof.

As you will see if you read the blog posts which happened between ‘there’ and ‘here’ we are a family who attract the bizarre. Calamity is never far away. We find ourselves in the most ridiculous situations, completely unwittingly, and now with five dogs and a cat in tow to go with the two children, the tipi business and a whole host of other ‘projects’ underway, life is more of a whirlwind than ever.

I will be writing about our latest adventures, peppered with other events and musings that have happened along the way during the last year. I always try and write from the heart and with utter honestly, this journey can be hard and our ability to make a simple task into an entire day long comedy will hopefully make those of you reading feel incredibly organised and like you have really got your life firmly in grip…and if not, then read, knowing we are right there with you 🙂

I look forward to sharing this journey with you!