Monday, January 9, 2012

Up date where we are now

So this is my first blog of 2012 and there have been loads and loads of changes. But all has worked out.

In my last post me and Adrian had chosen to follow our dream, so we relocated to a forest in Poland to build a homestead and become self sufficient. Since Adrian had lost his job in the recession that ripped through the Irish building industry in 2008. Our motto is you only have one life so you have to live it and follow your dream.

But after an extremely bad winter the worst I ever experienced, drainage problems on the land partly caused by the 4 feet of snow on the ground from early December to late march, this snow almost melted last reaming funds. Then my husband got job that gave the impression it paid a lot more than it did, yes but the employer never mentioned that the amount advertised was only paid after 20 years service. Exploited staff jump through hoops to get the advertised amount. Then a bank which had agreed to lend us the money before we even left Ireland to travel across Europe due to the uncertain economic climate then told us that they were not lending money based on the value of the land. This was such a shock to us as we were holding the letter the bank had sent us agreeing to lend the amount needed to finish the house, like they could have told us that a few months ago before the winter we could have made other plans. Unfortunaly that seems to be how business/life is done is Poland. People say one thing and do another. Oh yes did I mention allot of UFO ACTIVITY over our land and been mistaken for a KGB AGENT. A car that broke down every day, almost dying at least twice and some of the interesting and sad characters we met along the way. I will cover the above and much much more of the kozlowskis on tour 2010\11 plus the new things I learned, in up and coming blogs. Ok to start our Poland up date we drove across Europe in our trusty Mercedes This car has truly been the best car I ever owned. (RIP) We got to travel through a lot of European countries and experience the cultural differences. It was great to watch Adrian see firsthand some of Europe’s amazing countries and differences. As we drove on the tree lined French avenues in the direction of Paris we would of course be driving in a heat wave.

With the sun glaring through the wind screen of Mercedes making it even hotter. For those of you who don’t know what it’s like be stuck in a car for 24 hours a day in a heat wave it is just horrible and can be quite dangerous. After a week or so of this hot weather only getting hotter I finally caved in to heat exhaustion and is the sickest I ever was in my life. Basically just passed out. I was somewhere in Belgium in a petrol station sitting in some shade at a wooden table in the picnic area feeling very sick and faint.Adrian was attending to the car. Cleaning watering fuelling the car I must of looked like hungry because a good looking guy who had been sitting at a nearby table with some friends asked me something in a language I could understand, I was feeling so bad from the heat exhaustion and could hardly lift my head from the wooden picnic table just smiled at the guy and thought nothing more of it. A few moments the handsome guy returned with a foot long freshly made sub he had just purchased in the deli in the petrol station and a bottle of water he placed it on the table beside me. I was too weak to respond to him and explain I had heat exhaustion I was no way at all hungry but I couldn’t I just didn’t have the energy to string a sentence together. Let alone to someone who did was speaking a language I didn’t even recognisees, I just smiled and he smiled back. He and his equally good looking friends got in to a shiny new model Mercedes and beeped at me as they speed away.

When Adrian finally returned he was more that delighted with the tasty sub, I was too sick to eat anything other than an Ice pops for the next few days. The petrol stations and the truck rest stops of Europe have come to feel like home to us we have now driven so often through Europe. We even have our favourites you can tell alot about a country and its culture by the truck stops and petrol stations. Germany has the best truck stops in all of Europe not to mention the best roads.

Short videos of Kozlowskis 2010 to 2011 can be seen on our new you tube channel The truth of my life,

The photo on the current post is a quirkey petrol station we stoped in france it a snail burgar how french.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The World is not as I once thought.....

Since this is my first post of the year, Happy New Year to you all. Especially to all whom I have left behind in Ireland. I am sad for my fellow Countrymen who could have thought in 2002, things in Ireland would turn out the way they have. Well I did however as I looked around at the Celtic Tiger boom I was living in. I pushed my intuitions in to the back burner as nothing in the reality I was experiencing reflected what I was feeling. The country was awash with money, friends around me were making tons of money from their business buying up apartments all over the globe. Things could only get better that is what I believed at that time.

Since 2002 I have learned to trust my intuition and recognise what is important in life. It is a long process to evolve from being a Celtic Tiger cub to hopefully where I plan to go which is to get back to nature back to mother earth to what really gives us life, the air we breathe the food we eat. To get connected to life which I believe was what was lacking with the Celtic Tiger cubs of my generation. If you are interested in following where this journey is taking me, follow my blog and watch, my upcoming you tube videos. (The link to Kozlowski channel is at the bottom of page)As you know this blog and the videos is not going to be in any way professional it will just be me capturing the reality of the experience we are having on our journey to get back to mother earth so I apologise in advance for the bad camera work bad English and bad language.
This is what I believe to be reality now, things in Ireland and the rest of the world will never be the same again, and I believe that many people won’t make it through this transition of humanity. There is no point telling the band to keep playing while the ship sinks in to frozen water leading all to their murky end. That is what is happening when the world governments keep pumping fake non existing money in to the economy. It’s just the band playing the same song in the sinking major economies of the western world. Start building your life raft now; you might stand a chance at surviving.

No matter how bad your situation is there is always something you can do to save yourself. All is not lost as long as you are still breathing. So take a stand look for your life raft. I do not at all recommend what I am doing as a life raft as what works for one person more than likely will not work for another. Carve out a path that suits you. Do everything you can to become self sufficient as possible in your current situation.
This year 2011, I am planning on becoming self sufficient as my situation will allow me to be. I had wanted to start up a homestead and was hoping to get a few more years work to pay for this life style but the recession in Ireland hit very hard and fast. I found myself with very little time, having to jump out of the sinking Titanic that Ireland is becoming. I had to jump and swim for it. So now I find myself in a situation of very little money and I mean very little. In a foreign country, language barrier different culture little chance at this time of been able to earn a living. I am clinging to the timber frame of an Idea that has become my life raft.
I have had many people tell me I was crazy to consider what I was planning on doing. Moving to Poland was considered by some to be a completely MAD idea. Here is some of the question I was asked,
Why would you move to a country where there is such a low standard of living and such poor pay? Why would I not stay living in the lovely house I was living in Dublin and what would become of little business that I had worked so hard to create? I was even told the global economic cris did not even exist and was just merely media hype. (Tell that to all the young people who can’t get work and the millions worldwide losing their homes) Why not just live it up on social welfare I was asked?
I had two friends who were so disgusted by my decision they have not spoken to me since I told them of my plan. (I wonder what they think now 3 years on with the way the Irish economy went, also they were both financially secure so maybe not touched by the recession) I really thought people would have been happier for me taking the chance of living my dream. I mean it’s not like my dad’s friends daughter who after years of studying at a top university in the UK, she went off to the bush and married a tribe leader; he also had other wife’s. She now lives in a mud hut and her tribe leader husband spends six months away each year hunting. Just where in the hell do some people think Poland is I know in places it can be described as rural and backward? Why not watch my videos and find out what it is like you might be surprised.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

July July my favourite month

I Love July. My birthday is in July the weather is usually good and strawberrys are so tasty in july. My awasume husband made me a strawberry cake, wasn'nt that so sweet. He is a great husband and I had a wonderful birthday Thank you darling. What wasn't so good about my birthday was that my network disconnected my phone, yeah I handed in my 30 day notice and I knew that my service was up in july how ever I still expected to be albe to recieve phone calls so I woke up on my birthday and was wondering why no one had contact me to say happy birthday. It was until my wonderful friend sheila called up to my house to give me a lovely birthday gift. Seila told me she had been trying to get throungh to me all morning to make things worse we were of on a weekend away so I hadn't time to call to the phone shop to get the phone fixed until Monday.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

My Dream Homestead

To me home having a homestead means a simple life on the land, the land supplying all the food. The feeling of been self sufficient and not relying on the big chain stores as I am now for my food I would find so liberating and fulfilling as well. Could you imagine preparing a dinner for your loved ones and knowing that the food on the plate was fresh organic and loving grown by you.

As I have said in an earlier post (just passing through) the location of my dream house has to be in a forest. Some people like to live near the sea some like to live in the mountains but desire to live in a tick dense forest. The house I would build would be a small bungalow eco friendly green off grid house. Designed to a simplistic way completely self sufficient and maintained with solar and wind energy. I would make good use of the land available to grow all our food requirements.

I have drawn a rough sketch of how I would manage the land.

I would grow anything up to 100 types of vegetables but the main ones I would eat more regularly would be
v Artichoke
v Lettuce
v Peppers
v Broccoli
v Cabbage
v Carrots
v Celery
v Corn
v Cucumber
v Garlic
v Fiery Hot Peppers
v Spinach
v Onion
v Pea
v Potato
v Squash
v Tomato
v Spring onion

v Strawberries
v Blackberries
v Apples
v Pears
v Plums
Chickens for Eggs and Meat
Goats for Milk and Chesses
And of course Mushrooms from the surrounding forest

This is my dream and I hope I can create this life style very soon.

A well travelled dinner platter

Hello friends it has been almost two months since my last post. I have no idea where the time went to I want to find the time to write a daily blog and I find it a useful tool in keeping track of my thoughts writing helps me stay honest and in connection with what is going on in my life. What I am saying is the reason I blog is a selfish one, but I do hope that some readers may be able to relate to what I going through in my life.

So here is what is going on at the moment in my life...........................................................................

A well travelled dinner platter

As today as I do every day I cooked dinner for myself and my husband. I made my famous tuna pasta, with a salad and a jar of pickles and homemade strawberry cake. After we dinner we were so stuffed we sat and talked about how tasty it was. I mentioned to my husband that I when I lived in Italy food always tasted so good due to the fresh local food grown produce in Tuscany. The vegetables and fruit were unbelievable juicy and delouisously tasty. Upon this statement we decided to check where our dinner had come from. So here is the list of where our dinner plate originated from.
Olive oil from Brazil
Garlic from Bulgaria
Onions from Germany
Mushrooms from Belgium
Tin of chopped tomatoes from Italy
Tuna from the Pacific Ocean
Cheese was packaged in the UK for Tesco it did not say where it was imported from
Jar of pickles from India
Pasta from Denmark
Lettuce form keelings north county Dublin
Tomatoes from UK
Strawberries hand picked fresh by myself and husband on a farm in north county Dub
Cream was Premier so I am guessing that came from an Irish farm.
Sponge cake made homemade by husband
I had tap water to drink and my husband had red spring lemonade from Ireland.
We had a bowl of nuts on the table again it said packaged in Poland for Tesco but I am not sure what country they originated from
So needless to say we were amazed to see that our dinner had come from almost every condor of the earth. We were so shocked as we don’t know what the regulations in these countries are when it comes to food growing processing packing and transportation. When was the food picked and packed? Where chemicals used on the food? Are they gm modified? At the moment I feel helpless about this situation as Ireland is in a recession. I have a very limited food budget and make my few Euros stench as far as possible. I can just afford the cheapest food which is usually own brand labels.
I can only tell you that I am dreaming of the day when I can live on the land and be self sufficient grow all our food. So I could know exactly what I am putting on to the dinner plate and in to my mouth and my husband’s mouth. I feel since I am the cook in my house it is my responsibility to ensure I know how my food was grownand exactly how fresh it is. I am counting the days to having my own homestead

Friday, April 2, 2010

Only Passing Through

It has been my dream to buy a piece of land and create a self sufficient lifestyle, to get out of the rat race and live in the country side. Since I am a born and bred city girl I would desire a location close enough to a big city, in case of emergencies, to be close to good hospitals. To have on hand the buzz of city life if so desired.
The ideal place for me to have my dream homestead would be in a deep dark forest. This desire is a result of the experiences I have had from my childhood of living on a magical tree lined avenue. Having grown up on a double tree lined avenue I equate the feeling of going home, to travelling through a tree made tunnel.
With the trees tick heavy green leaved branches, creating a ceiling over head .Protecting all passing below from rain showers while still allowing the rays of sun to travel through the leaves lighting the way home.
This tree made tunnel I travelled throughout my childhood, to get to my little house with the red door, was always so alive. The smells of the season, rustle of the trees in the wind,the birds that lived in the trees, to personality and rugged charter of each tree, that had stood the test of time and tunnelled home safely generations of my family before me. My great grandparents, grandparent’s aunt’s uncle’s cousins second cousin’s parents and brothers and sisters. I wonder how many times the generations before me walked the tree caved avenue, did they know each tree the way I did, each lump and bump and did they watch the birds nesting and going about their business.
Did the generations before me play like me, games under the trees, collect the leaves, trace the leaves, paint the leaves, put the leaves between the pages of book to hopping to make the leaves last forever?. Will the generations after do what I did, pick bark of the tree, have names for the trees, and even make leave perfume from the mighty trees. Were the generations before me affected by changing seasons as I was, did they have a favourite? Was the impressive constant colour changing canvass of the tree tops as life changing and dramatic for them as for me?
Living under mighty trees provides a constanct changing landscape right outside the window. The changing colours of the autumn, the fall of the first autumn leave. To a mountain of leaves piled up on the foot path. Mountains created by neighbours kindly brushing up the leaves into a neatly stacked large pile against the trees. Generously the tidy neighbour ‘s who unwittingly created entertainment for children on their way home from school. Children trampled crunched kicked rolled and hid from parents in the no longer neatly piled leaves. I used to wonder was brushing the autumn leaves in a meat pile just before school came out just the adults way of playing with the leaves to. How I wish one last time I could clear the path in front of the house with the red door.
Did the generations before me enjoy as much as I did the beautiful bare branches of winter, at last making visible the birds’ nests, no longer hidden in the foliage, spring buds which quickly changed to a massive leave lined ceiling sheltering all that travel underneath.
I no longer live on the avenue. I dream a bigger dream of a home in a timeless forest, a long way from what I had as a child.
My desire is leave the city, on a tree lined avenue drive a short distance but still deep enough in to a forest to question what century you are in. A forest so deep and dark so alive with animals birds insects and plant life, a forest that when you walk through it, you feel a slight tinge of fear ripple through your body as if you know the forest is watching you. An all knowing forest and the forest knows that I know it knows it will be still there long after I am dead and gone. I am only passing through.
My dream is to live in a deep dark all humbling forest. I would like a home where the only way, in and out of the house is to travel right through the forest. How much life would each tree sustain in the forest I want to know and see on a daily basis the animals the forest trees provide protection too. I wonder like my great grandparents where the pioneers of their generation, taking the brave steps, uprooting sticks and moving to a double tree lined Avenue. The Avenue that my great-grandparents moved to is still protecting generations of their family to this day.
Will I be a pioneer of my family will I create a legacy of life under the canapy of the forest will generations after me be affected by my decision based on a childhood experience of living on a tree lined avenue. Will having a childhood in the deep dark forest inspire decisions in future generations of my family? They way I was as a child forever changed by life under trees. For now on the generations to come will have a lot more than a double tree lined avenue to protect them. The generations to come will live under the canopy of a forest so deep and so old it dates back to the 13 century. Will the generations know and love the trees the way I did. What legacy will I leave behind or ??????????????????

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dying to be car free

It has been my dream for many years, to be car free. The cost of petrol, road tax, parking fees, clamping, nct, Insurance and the big one for me repairs to the car can end up costing me more than I can afford, Leaving me working to support my car. Caught in a vicious cycle of needing the car to get work to and almost all the money I earn going back into the car.
For many years I had a love affair with Fiat car. The reasons for this were I loved Italy.
Italy is still today one of my favourite countries. To me a Fiat is a cheeky car with Italian charm,easy on petrol cheap on tax and insurance. What I saved on tax and petrol was lost on the cars I owned, as I spent more time down at the garage getting bits that fell of the car put back on. The exhaust never liked my Fiat Punto it tried to escape from me every 3 months or so, the Irish Roads didn’t help my relationship with the exhaust either. Then there was the fiat battery that must of met all of the AA men working in Dublin. The AA rang me to say that they would not come out if I called them regarding a battery again as I had called them out so often.
I often joked that Fiat stood for Fix It Again Tomorrow. I just want to clarify that I love Fiat I am a super big fan and my problems with my cars was more due to the fact I could only afford old bangers of cars. If I took a road trip I would often have ensure there was a friend driving behind me just in case the car sized up. For no reason my cinquecento would just stop without warning if I was driving it for any length of time. Even with all the troubles the car gave me the security of a car was worth the trouble. I was always so happy to see my car just sitting waiting for me when I finished work like a welcoming old friend. Although I love the freedom a car gives plus all the benefits it brought to my life. I feel in a way the more I use the car the closer to dying I become. Over the years I walked less and less and gradually piled on the pounds. No exercise driving to work and sitting all day in work lead me to a sedentary life style. This is not good I have high cholesterol I am unfit. This lazy sedentary life style a car can create is slowly killing me.
I am happy to report that in 2009 I sold my Fiat punto. Now just we have one car in the house my husband takes the car to work as he works on building sites, he can be called from site throughout the day and has bring heavy building tools with him. Which means we are totaly car free but car lite.Instead of having two cars we share one in the evening to do shopping and on the weekend we don’t use the car we bike or walk everywhere so that is our contibirtaion to going car lite. Benifts of car lite are great, helping me to get active, helping our finances as we are only paying for only one car now and also it’s a little bit better for the environment.
So everybody’s happy.