converging

IMG_0614 (800x600)Looking at my posts for the last few weeks you’d think I did nothing but run and go on holiday. Not true, of course, although I have done quite a bit of both of those things lately. The marathon is less than three weeks away now, and I did my last long run (20 miles!) on Thursday, so I’ll be posting pictures of that soon.

In the meantime, let me tell you about the National Permaculture Convergence I went to at the weekend.

I shared back in May that I’d started a Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design, and I thought a lot about whether to write about that here or elsewhere. I set up another blog, and wrote a few posts, but while it’s nice to have everything collected together, it somehow doesn’t feel quite right to have it separate – especially as a lot of what I’m writing about there is the same as I’m writing about here. So, for now, expect to here more about that in this space.

IMG_0616 (800x600)I met many lovely people at the convergence, and was privileged to be able to see two women do their diploma accreditation presentations (one of them being Jan Martin, and do pop over and see her beautiful crocheted blanket!) They were very different, and both were very different to how I will probably do mine.

The food was all organic and mostly local, and unlike many mass catering events we had leftovers carried over to the next meal. Every meal had pudding. Tea was half price (50p) if you took your own mug rather than using a paper one. We were all asked to bring our own crockery and cutlery, and trugs of (hot, clean, soapy) water were provided for us to wash them in after each meal.

IMG_0620 (800x600)I like that more homegrown way of thinking about events.

I thought a lot about the fact that I’d driven there, and not offered a lift through the liftshare website. I justified it to myself saying that I need space at events like that, and so didn’t want to share a dormitory (I had a bed in the back of the car). I ran 20 miles the day before, and didn’t want to be tied to a timetable (and in fact, I was so tired I did set off four hours late). What price sanity?

Several people have told me I was brave to go on my own to an event like that, and that they wouldn’t have done it. It never occurred to me not to go. A full programme of workshops, shared meals, quiet spaces to retreat to, all meant I was never bored, and the organisers encouraged everyone to talk to people they didn’t know.

I worked behind the bar, and spent many hours discussing gardening, work, crochet, reading, and chickens. I made bird feeders from pine cones and fat. We also talked about research, and running events, and other things that felt oddly like ‘work’ but in a field, surrounded by trees.

I was surprised (and secretly pleased) to find many other people have done diploma projects about sorting out the ‘stuff’ in their houses…

I bought new books, and passed on old magazines, and came home full of enthusiasm and plans (and cake, as usual). There’s a gathering of diploma students in November, and I want to get at least one more project underway by then…

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4 Responses to converging

  1. It was lovely to meet you… and discover that I am already a follower of you blog (brain like a sieve!) Sometime soon, there should be a blog post about my diploma accreditation, but life is currently getting in the way of writing! Good luck with your diploma – it’s an interesting experience.

    • Thanks, lovely to meet you too! Feeling like there’s too much thinking and not enough doing at the minute, but I’m sure that’ll change in time. I’m aiming to finish in 2 years too – my PhD took 8 years in total with one thing and another (!) and I don’t think I could handle a repeat of that drawn out experience!!

      • Part of the design of my diploma involved identifying the things that I didn’t want to repeat from my PhD! As a result I wrote it up as I went along, rather than leaving the whole thing to the end… an approach that I heartily recommend!

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