The Kitchen Garden Retreat on Airbnb is toddling along quite nicely. I have guests expected today so it is all set up and looking so beautiful. I will bake bread and leave a loaf on the counter and a small bottle of fresh milk in the tiny fridge to have with their coffee in the morning. 


Poppy is so funny. She knows that the top wire in this corner is not hot wired (this is my doorway).


She also knows that the bottom wires are electrified.  But she is not quite brave enough to touch the top one anyway. She frequently gets shocks from slobbering above the wires. In a month she will go to visit Manu for the winter and Molly will come in here with Sheila.  If the weather gets really terrible I can move them to the barn but I think the root cellar will be warmer in the long run.


Sheila being dainty and patient.


Last night,  as I did my night time rounds,  I could not find Tima and Tane – there was only the Bobby in the sunroom pen.   I finally tracked them down in Wai’s abandoned tin shack. All tucked up in the mountain of straw in there. I guess they did not like the calf after all.  Nomads. haos1-012

I locked Aunty Del into the waiting room last night with a bed of dry straw and will continue to do so every night in case she calves in the blowing cold. Her udder is still growing but really is a funny shape.   If she does have a calf in there I don’t want it born in the gathering cold. Plus Carlos throws very small calves and she is a very tall cow with quite a small udder so we will see how that pans out too. Baby may need help to find the teatso high up.


Mr Flowers (in this terrible shot below) is growing back his tail feathers. He watches me carefully when I am doling out the pig food, because he wants some, though Boo watches him just as carefully as he is the self-appointed guardian of the feed and does not want hi to steal from a bucket. There are rules apparently.

So what we can glimpse here, as he runs off, are the feathery green ends of the longest of his tail feathers. Next his body will begin work on the slightly shorter eye feathers and we will see them slowly forming and emerging above the feathery ones. haos1-007

It is a fascinating process seeing them literally growing out and downwards. His body knitting from the bottom up. By spring he will once again have a full head of hair.


He flees every time I reach for the camera. He does not like its big eye looking at him.  I was talking about the animals the other day to a friend of mine and she said some of those animals are so clever. I quipped “animals listen to their instincts that is what is clever”.  Then i thought about this and realised that this is quite true. Being able to act instantly on their instinct is very clever.

Maybe we should try to listen and smell using instinct and act only on our instincts over the course of a day and see where it takes us.  Often we argue with our own instincts. Though that internal discussion is what makes us human. I struggle most with recognising the instinct and actually bringing it up into conscious consideration at the time of the warning/information. Looking BACK I can often pick the manifestation of a primal instinct as a fleeting cognitive thought but this is in hindsight. I literally find the thought AFTER I have proven it with logic. The opposite of instinct.

Often this is to do with smell.  For example: when I smelled milk on Aunty Anna but was so sure she could not have had a calf without my knowledge that I only processed that smell as milk AFTER I saw the calf and was rethinking the episode.

Arrogance overcame instinct. Is instinct tied to humility?

Recognising predators, wolves in sheep’s clothing, is an important instinct to have at our disposal.

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves”. Matthew 7:15

I love that quote.

To hear our own instincts we need to live very deep and stay deeply connected with our wild selves.  The longer I work alone in the daytime the more this seems accessible to me.  I become wilder. Maybe this is why our instinctual selves are more aware in the night when it is dark and silent.  ‘Scared of the dark’ is a remnant of our wild selves.

Stay wild.

Narrow your own wild cat’s eyes, they are hiding in plain sight – behind your card sharp eyelids.

I hope you have a lovely day.

Love celi.

WEATHER: Cloudy and windy but still above freezing so we will call that “mild”. 

Saturday 10/28 20% / 0 in
Generally cloudy. Slight chance of a rain shower. High 43F. Winds WNW at 10 to 20 mph.

Saturday Night 10/28 10% / 0 in
Cloudy skies early, then partly cloudy after midnight. Low near 30F. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph.

7:19 am 5:53 pm
First Quarter, 55% visible 2:32 pm 12:04 am


39 Comments on “WILD YOU

  1. Ooh, The Women Who Run with the Wolves… that’s a book for you and the Library.

  2. I remember electric fences humming – I don’t know if modern ones still do that. I’m sure Poppy can sense the current, having experienced a shock. I wonder if they smell different to regular fence wire too. There’s definitely a smell when a Van der Graaff Generator discharges and a spark leaps the gap. I’m surprised Poppy hasn’t built herself a bridge 😉

  3. Just love your Airbnb! It looks so welcoming! A great retreat spot! We have thought about doing it with our garage apartment. The only problem I see is that we have a composting toilet there. Not sure how folks would accept that. We do have running water, hot and cold, a shower and everything else. It’s just the composting toilet I’m not sure about.

    • When something is listed on the airbnb site you write very truthfully about your room. Then the people who are happy to use a composting toilet will be the people who come because they know all about it. I think when listing if you are quite honest people cannot complain if something is not as they expected because you have tld them what to expect. Let me know if you are going to list the Coachroom and I will send you a recommendation from my site- I actually get $100 from airbnb if I do that! We can split it!! c

      • Great idea!!! And I love the term Coachroom! Much better than Garage Apartment! Although I don’t know if anyone will understand what it means! 🙂 I’ll have to explain that in the write-up too! 🙂

  4. The Retreat looks wonderfully calm and peaceful; I can imagine creativity flourishing there in that clean, pale light. I hope you have lovely guests who will leave as new friends.

    • It is beautiful light – but the airbnb people only come to stay not to be friends – I leave then strictly alone so they have their privacy – some like to walk about the farm which is nice but not always

  5. I love your thoughts about instinct and humility and intelligence all knotted together. I also love that airbnb. What beautiful light. x

    • It is an interesting thought – as though we think we might know more about instinct. Women particularly should listen to their instincts and run when it says run. No stopping to do a deal and try and get something from the encounter – just get OUT – fast! The moment the instinct alarms go off. c

      • This is another thing I am getting better at with age, but I think I’ve always been blessed with good o stints…haven’t failed me yet.

  6. Wonder what the piggies fascination with the tin shack is? Must feel cozy and safe I suppose 🙂 Enjoy your B&B visitors. Laura

  7. In the book Blink, Malcolm Gladwell argues that instinct is good if your hind-brain is an expert on the situation and bad if your hind-brain isn’t. But it’s tricky to know what your brain is an expert on.

    Racial Prejudice is arguably an instinct programmed by tons of external inputs by TV, Movies, New media, advertising, etc. It’s the hind brain taking in lots of things without logic and putting them into a category and then reacting with that information in various situations. It takes your logic to recognize that the hind brain made a bad assumption on too many bad inputs.

    On the other hand your particular brain is an expert on the likely behavior of pigs in certain situations. Your brain knows that information because the source of it’s learning was your direct experience. Trust your hind-brain on the things it really does know. You know those animals.

      • I don’t think we can control the impressions that get directed INTO the subconscious brain. I think it’s just back there sucking information in and putting it into categories. Although, don’t quote me on that. I think the only control we have is when that information comes back out. We have to examine our emotional “gut” reactions for some evidence unless we are dealing in something we have a lot of direct experience in. In those situations your gut is often smarter than your rational brain.

        • It was the conscious filtering of these external(extraneous) inputs you mentioned to which I was actually referring: of “TV, movies, news media, advertising, etc”. We must first make use of ALL of our senses, in combination with critical thinking – to differentiate between fact and fiction – before deciding how (or even whether) to use the information being offered. You wouldn’t blithely walk out into the street without looking first or ignore the truck you hear approaching just because the walk light says you can; so why should we accept everything we’re told as being factual? Pharmaceutical(chemical) companies want to sell their products; Politicians have a responsibility to their allies/sponsors; Corporations to their shareholders. Who stands to gain from the information you’re being fed?
          Hearing what’s being said – and what it really means – are not necessarily “visible to the naked eye”… It’s important to know that the price on the screen includes the cost* (+taxes, shipping & handling; )

        • You’ll see in the comment just added that (in my opinion) a healthy dose of realism(scepticism) is good for the mix.
          So many people believe what they hear without even giving it a second’s thought… Ignorance and fear are the enemy of rational thinking and knowledge. Or perhaps I should say that rational thinking and knowledge are the weapons against ignorance and fear?

          • Oh I agree. Wholeheartedly. I wish people were more rational and that we held business and politics to a higher standard in that regard.

            The science shows that while we are conscious we are all absorbing information without giving it much thought. You pass as many as a hundred advertisements a week on the road. Can you name them, did you think about them? Not really. It’s just background. But your subconscious processed them into broad categories for you anyway.

            You watch TV. The criminals in your favorite police drama are mostly black men, but you don’t think much about it because that’s the way it’s always shown. You don’t question it, we are involved in the drama, not in questioning the choice of background criminals. I The subconscious brain processes that as reality, but is it? No. It’s a TV drama.

            The rational brain needs to be the skeptic on the thoughts the subconscious brain processes. Confirmation bias is rife inside ourselves.

  8. Great post (as usual). I would love to stay at your airB&B…if I ever get the money to travel…where in general are you located?
    Great musings – really makes you think.
    I also love that piece of scripture…so true. hehehe

  9. Oh, such VERY good advise, Celi!
    Run first, ask questions later; ’cause arguing with that warning in the back of your head is invariably a mistake ):
    “Listening to our gut” puts a totally different spin on Confucius’ “Wise is the man who heeds his own advise” ; )
    And y’know, the more I think about it, there are just so many phrases from the past with this bit of advise buried inside… Talk about being in the eye of the beholder!

  10. A life’s lesson learnt late! My parents taught me logic first and foremost . . . am glad that age has led me to trust pretty well-honed instincts . . . some things just feel right for me then and there . . . .

  11. Your Airbnb looks lovely and thank you for being so honest about it. We are big fans of staying in Airbnbs, here in US and abroad. The latest being the worst yet, and disappointingly so-in England (Greenwich), but we will soldier on. I would stay in yours should I come all the way down from Wisconsin. Thanks for the always interesting posts.

  12. You know this post on being “wild” really hit home with me. Thanks to the wild things I have been fortunate to connect with (and become a wild mother) I feel very much at home with my wild self and instinct. I love when I read here that even domestic creatures tap into instinct just as they would in the wild.

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