Amanda Launchbury-Rainey

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since Feb 11, 2018
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Retired teacher reforming a house with 1 acre at 'La Vida Verde', VirĂ­s, Lugo province. Currently under water, working on the Atlantis model of homesteading.
Galicia, Spain
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Recent posts by Amanda Launchbury-Rainey

Jocelyn Campbell wrote:I know this is perhaps a bit OT, and this kind of paint isn't the most eco thing, but I thought these mandala stones were quite beautiful.

I think it is fine to use the odd bit of un-eco stuff where the result gladdens the heart and lifts the spirits. What beautiful stones. I would love to have some of these on a shelf - when I have a house with shelves!
1 week ago

C.C. Castro wrote:Wow I love this thread about rocks! So many great ideas.
I'm building a labyrinth from rocks on my property. Only have the center "rose" done so far. It's about 40 feet diameter right now. Should be about 100 feet when completed, which will take years.

This is stunning! Please keep us updated on progress!
1 week ago
All our rocks are granite picked from the fields. All buildings here, apart from new, are built from the stone with huge thick walls. That makes for good insulation, radiant walls but very poor mobile reception!

My larder or pantry should stay at an even temperature with walls several feet thick, also the pigs in the old bodega. The builders have had to dig out the stone floor of the old animal pens on the ground floor to cope with the fact that all the rain from the hamlet runs under the house. I am using some of the stone around the hugel sun scoop to hold up the edges and to absorb the heat of the sun to enable us to grow citrus along the front edge. Then more is being used by Roy and our Workawayer,  Mark, to establish a safer edge to the pond while at the same time allowing habitat for the abundant wildlife in the pond and a shelf for the ducks to rest and for some aquatic plants.  The pond was dug to cover the hugelbed behind in which all the old, rotting wood from the house is buried. The stones are not cemented but partially filled with mud so I can plant bits and bobs in the crevases.  We still have mountains of stone from the house where a dividing wall fell in (about 3 foot thick and running top to bottom, you can imagine) plus more to come out from downstairs. We will be using it to stage drystone walling courses for many years to come!

Quick note on our soil - because of the granite bedrock and endless rain, the dirt is mostly sandy with little substance. I have talked about hugelkulture with locals and they think I'm mad, but on seeing me shredding coppiced branches for chips, our postlady asked me why I was doing it because the Gallegos (locals) always bury their branches - you know mujer- to add carbon! There's  nothing new under the Sun!

1 week ago
Beautiful! I love the rounded stones.
1 week ago
I thought this was such an interesting use of woodchips from one of the most interesting couples.

1 week ago
Our house was built ariund a rock, as are many houses here. We are at the top of 3 river canyons and are surrounded by huge boulders. The builders have been chipping away at the one in the corner of our to-be kitchen.  The last pick is of a lovely big stick insect I came across when clearing brambles from the stone walls surrounding our property.
1 week ago

Is it crocheted? I love the ripples and the color combinations.

Thank you! It is knitted and you see many examples in period dramas if you happen to be a fan.  They are knitted shawls, the centre is knitted from one point, widening to the widest diagonal, then back to the 4th point, then the edging knitted arou d the perimeter.  They were knitted on the go, with the wool in an apron pocket and the bulk of the work tucked under the arm, in that way women could walk around and use that time productively. I, and most serious knitters, always have a piece with me to work on on car journeys, waiting for appointments, or just to justify watching dvds back to back instead of doing housework....
The ripples are an old pattern, called by many names, but  I know it as old shale or feather and fan.
Have a look at some of the photos on this page - I'm not sure I would wear my handknitted shawls when gutting fish!
1 week ago
I always take a full jar of petrol/ oil mix with me when strimming so I dont gave to go back to refuel.  Stops me from using the excuse for a tea break which jyst prolongs the task. I always walk the dogs past the village rubbish bins and take any rubbish with me to save taking it out later. I get my hysband to bring me tea in bed so I can browse permies before getting up to walk the pooches. That's my fav time saver!
2 weeks ago
I remember laughing my socks off at this Ted Talk on composting leaves...very funny but very useful! I now have a regular supply of coffe grounds and leaves.

2 weeks ago
Rather than turning up the thermostat or putting another log on the fire, how about making lap quilts.  This one is based on the Shetland Hap Shawl and is snuggly cosy and could also make a lovely Christmas pressie.  Pop along to your local charity shop, buy some knitted jumpers, unravel and off you go!

2 weeks ago