applesteamdream


Christmas Smile

A deep breath is what it takes,

time to bake the Christmas cakes,

feel the cold of winters flakes,

a deep breath is all it takes.

A bright smile for all to see,

no cost involved as smiles are free,

the warmest gift from you to me,

the way our world shall always be.

A glass of wine to drink your health,

in your eyes I see loves wealth,

our love for each is never stealth.

Richard x

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Movement every day….

When we first started discussing the Applesteam dream, it all seemed like a pipedream, set somewhere in the future, in a land far far away…… As time passes, little by little, preparations are being made. The land is now sorted and all the legal stuff is signed off, and we are now in the process of learning about what we intend to build, and how we intend to live.

The Applesteam dream is now taking a turn towards thinking and planning the house, though construction won’t be for some time, the build will be here before we know it, so the next few years we have the luxury of fine tuning our home’s design.

It was my birthday the other week and two very dear friends, also in the process of planning major life changes and a new home, surprised me with some wonderful help towards our sustainable living….two books…..

Patio Produce

A wonderful book on growing things in small places, very surprised at some of the possibilities, can;t wait to get started. The second and most exciting for me is a book on foraging…

food for free

I have been talking about this idea for quite a bit of the summer and both myself and Richard are looking forward to our first free hedgerow lunch. I’ve got a few days away from the office, spending time with my parents this coming week and intend to spend some time digesting some of the information and tips in this book. Nettle soup and mixed weed salad here we come. Mmmm nettle bread…….that might work…

Tonight I am working on setting up a large lever arch file ready for inspiration, clippings and booklets to go in, so our build ideas are all together. By the time we’re ready to employ an architect to draw the official plans, from our own drwings, we’ll have all the relevant information to hand over to him ready to plan the build.
We’ve found lots of inspirational pictures on the internet of construction; design features; architectural detailing and layouts, but these will only be for inspiration as our home will be totally unique, a reflection of both of us. We are even reasearching some straw bale building courses at local colleges. If we manage to attend one before next summer, we may even do our own small workshop on the techniques next summer at a festival we attend.
Well, I must get on with the Applesteam Dream file now.
Ric
xx


Ireland


Just a few photos from our trip back home to Ireland, 40 years of growth is going to take a bit of clearing lol.



Ireland Trip

Well here we are one week away from our first trip together to Ireland. This will be the first time Ric will view our little piece of Ireland in person, the place where our dreams will be made, the place we will begin our new life on 29th Feb 2016 (subject to change, we may not be able to hold off that long). 

We have booked our stay at Dungiven Castle quite close to our plot in the beautifully wild countryside of Culnady. I know you might say this is a bit of a waste of resources but we did get it at a snip of normal price on Last Minute.com, and aswell it’s a very special time.

A full report will follow this visit with as many photos as possible. I think you will see how a straw bale construction will blend completely with the surroundings and sustainable living can be achieved. 

All the best, Richard 



Applesteam in Word

Applesteam

By the river, twenty yards to the other shore, high trees and grass of many shades fill my horizon,

A trickling stream on my left cascades to the river’s edge, like excited children running to join their parents. 

River bed clear to see, waters circle the smooth protruding rocks while sticklebacks scurry around their base jabbing about like darts.

Hypnotized by my view, a view 40 winters past, my memory paints a perfect picture.

I spin on my heals – leap and skip as my young legs once allowed towards my country house, whitewashed stone, small windowed but large is the door, hard to push.

Behind the door, I stand wide eyed in the dimly room, sunlight cast through each small window, sharp beams firing onto walls like lasers from an alien spaceship.

Cream enamel aga set to the right whitewashed wall, soot stained doors show its many years.

Branches of trees turned to carbon element, extracting energies.

I hear the vibration of a large pot bubbling on the stove, rattling like a constant passing train, the lid jiggling on top from which the applesteam escapes, filling the room with the sweet aroma of sugared boiling apples.

Already able to taste the crisp pastry’d pie in my mind.

I stand now, older, wiser, fatter, boiling my apples on a futuristic hob of black glass,

But still my mind casts to that place, as the Irish fields surrounded my simple life.

***

Richard



Hello and welcome to the Applesteam Dream

This blog is to chart the journey to our dream life in the beautiful countryside in Northern Ireland.

We have decided to build a new life along more ecological lines. The plan for the house will be developing over the next few years as we plan our future. The House itself we plan to build from straw bales with a timber framing. Once up and rendered, the straw forms an amazingly good insulation against heat in the summer and cold in the winter.

We also intend to generate as much of our own heating and electricity as possible, getting as close to carbon neutral as possible, hopefully we will become negative carbon, generating enough power to sell on.

We hope you’ll join us on our journey over the next few years as it develops.

Ric & Richard xx