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Karl Thompson

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since Mar 15, 2015
I'm currently married to my job teaching Sociology full time in best marketed sixth form in England. I spend a day or two a week on my allotment/ reading about Permaculture. The grand plan is to buy a wreck or a field somewhere in 2018-19 and transition to a low impact, off grid lifestyle, once I've got a tad more wad to play with.
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Recent posts by Karl Thompson

Katy Whitby-last wrote:Does it need to be Surrey or would East Anglia be any good?

Has to be Surrey or neighbouring county so I can get to work. Thanks for thinking of me though!
5 years ago

Steve Farmer wrote:plenty of unused land/bankrupt and abandoned building projects in spain/canary islands. Lots of people are living in caves or building pallet shacks and not getting hassled, cheap to live and eat, near the sea, some places a bit dry for farming. always the possibility you're going to get evicted at short notice, but if you're mobile and half expecting it then you just move on.

Thanks Steve, it's something I hadn't considered - I will look into it!

5 years ago
Hi David, actually there probably is about as much chance of my getting a serious offer as my winning the lottery!

Moving abroad is the long term plan, and I could potentially do some tutoring online to bring in a small income. I just need a bit more wad first as I want to be secure rather than having to worry about money. You know the deal I imagine: two or three more years working now means only having to do paid work two days a week rather than three in the future, it's just a matter of balance.

I'm thinking about either Ireland or Portugal. Hadn't considered France, but I'm open minded.

What you're doing in France looks like fun. I'm not too far off transitioning, just need to hold on for a few more years....
5 years ago

A small parcel of land in a peaceful area where I can put up my 16ft Yurt and small off-grid solar energy system. At the moment, I’d prefer this to be in the South East of the UK so I can maintain my current job.

What I want
1/8th to 1 acre of land
To be self-sufficient-ish
Based in the SE so I can earn some £££
Some other people on the same trip to work with

What I can offer
The company of my-self, part-time
Permaculture skills – Doing up yer land
30 000 of her majesty’s pounds
Dry wit and enormous doses of cynicism.

The land I have in mind would either have sufficient room for me to start establishing a water harvesting/ food growing/ waste disposal system using Permaculture methods, or be close to a personal or collective project which is already involved in establishing such a system. I’d actually prefer to be working on projects with a range of other people, I just want my living arrangements to be private, because I like a bit of space to myself some of the time.

I only actually need the tiniest space for my yurt (an 1/8th of an acre would do) but in my wildest dreams this tiny space would be in the middle of a few acres of land with sufficient room to establish a few fruit trees (although unfortunately I might not be around long enough to help harvest them!), a raised bed system, and with sufficient woodland nearby for me to able to source fuel for my (innovative) portable rocket mass heater, and somewhere for me to build a compost toilet, naturally.

Of course if all of this is already established, or in the process of being established, then that would be just fabulous, but I’m just as happy to plonk myself in a bare-field and start from scratch. I’m also happy to go much smaller-scale too. 1/8th of an acre would be enough for me to start establishing a Permaculture basic-needs system. In other words, if you’ve got a big one, I’d be happy to pitch-up in your back garden. Also if you’ve got a suitable caravan then you’d save me half day of putting up my yurt.

PS I don’t mind irritating Nimby dog walkers while in the process of doing this. I’ve been through a special blessing-ceremony especially designed to ward off attacks by those wielding tightly rolled up copies of the Daily Mail. I also have every faith that even Daily Mail readers can be reformed (although in fairness maybe their wealth will need to be forcibly removed first).


I’m sure we can negotiate but to kick off proceedings….

Ideally – No money changes hands. You just let me put up my yurt on your land and let me work on it – which I’m happy to do for free. Hours of work to be negotiated. I’m thinking a figure of 10 hours a week in exchange for living on your land is fair, well not fair - but a level of extraction of surplus value which I can put up with.

Less Ideally – If it’s an ideal setting and you’re happy for me to do less work than 10 hours a week, then I’m prepared to pay some rent.

Fantasy Realm – You allow me to live on your land for free, and pay me to work your land as well.

Super-Fantasy Realm

You sell me some land. I’ve got £30K kicking about that I’m willing to sink into the perfect piece of land, although I’m well aware of how little that gets you in the SE of England and how rarely such small parcels of land come up for sale (hence the advert, it’s too depressing searching and coming up with nothing).

Why I want to do this in the South East

Frankly I’m sick of paying mortgage-interest on my flat in Surrey and I’d like to sell up and buy outright in another part of the country to stop paying money to a bank which is doing nothing to earn it. However, I can only afford to do this in another part of the country, and I don’t want to quit my current job just yet, so I’m left with the option of squatting on someone’s land. Rent around where I live is just an insult. Fortunately I’ve just always fancied squatting some land and living in a yurt, for decades actually, so it seems sensible to give it ago.

Future Plans – Also give me a buzz if this sounds of interest….

In 2020 (ish) I’ll either be quitting work for good, or starting a ‘gap decade’ during which I’ll travel around Europe with a van and a yurt to visit and stay at some of the many interesting looking Permaculture projects that are evolving in numerous places, so if you’re reading this and you’ve got somewhere that you think might be a medium or long-term (anything from a few months to ten years) possibility for sighting my yurt in the not-too-distant future then do get in touch, as It would be nice to start networking and planning my grand-tour now.

Contact me via twitter if you can make my dreams come true… realsociology (on twitter)

P.S. Technically I don’t actually own a yurt or have any real Permaculture skills as yet (bar having gone on one Introduction to Permaculture weekend), but picking up both is in the medium-term plan, and if I get any decent responses to this ad, then I’ll just accelerate said plan.
5 years ago

Joanna Sheldon wrote:Anyone out there from the SE, near Hastings? I'm an American in the UK, wanting to build a rocket mass stove for my small (8' x 12' / 2.5m x 3.5m) greenhouse. Would love to sit down at the kitchen table with someone with a similar interest and work out some drawings for it. Am thinking of using ceramic pipe for the burn chamber and clay pipe to send the gasses around (up one side and down the side of the central path.

- Hi - I'm new to the forum but have been 'lurking' for months - I'd love to help out with a roket stove build - although I'm a total novice (I live in a flat in Surrey so I couldn't use one) - - that might be of interest to you - run by the guy that did an article on them in PM a while back - probably not exactly what you want but should be of interest.

5 years ago
This looks like an amazing opportunity. I'd jump at the chance if I was in the USA. An acre of agricultural land around where I live in the UK would cost upwards of $30 000, and you'd have zero, (and I mean zero, as in no chance whatsoever under UK planning law) of actually building anything on it. I'm having to make do with a miserly 30*150 strip on my local allotment. Would anyone like to marry me so I can jack in my day job, emigrate over to Montana permanently and get involved in yer proper big scale Permaculture? I'm quite a catch, GSOH.
6 years ago