Saturday, 31 January 2009

Movement & Energy

  • It has always amazed me how even a slight movement can change so much i guess this is what Feng Sui teaches us 
Last night i moved the bus in the yard and the energy swept in 
over the years i have often when feeling things getting on top of me just swung the caravan or whatever i happen to be living in at the time around
guess that is another reason i will never live in a "proper" home 

The truck failed her MOT on one brake but we will be putting her in again on monday or wednesday no rush so much to do 


Thursday, 29 January 2009

The Open Road calls and we will answer in 2 weeks

The last few weeks as you will know 
we have been busy getting our new Horsebox up and ready ,it is of for the MOT tomorrow so then it is just a wee bit of Road tax and it is all done.
So soon we will be hitting the open road and where we go is in the lap of the Gods even after all these years i get a wee bit nervous when we head of but i guess that is part of the fun not knowing and it soon passes as the road rolls bye 

I guess it is good to take risks and over the years myself and Mel have took many 
often parked up at a wonderful places pulling in £2,000 a month only to head of and be living on beans and toast for a while 

In the past we have walked away from everything we had many times to go and help someone  or other we both dont believe in possessions it is a powerful feeling to just walk away and watch the vultures picking at the abandoned gear 

i remeber once i met a young couple at a festival she was close to giving birth and the caravan they had was totally Knackered so i gave them mine and stayed in my truck for a few weeks till i got sorted good feeling

So in the next 2 weeks we will put ourselves out there and see were we end up only the gods know. for the next part of this wonderful trip called life 

In the past family and people we thought were friends would say things like you cant keep running as if we are running away from things WRONG we are running but running to life and what is coming love it

Over the many years of being on the road we have learned that true security comes from within not from some insurance company 

as an example of what i am talking about a wee story comes to mind 

The A-frame 


We were travelling down the A1 and everything was running smooth we had travelled 200 miles that day (down from inverness)in our the leyland truck and had a really beautiful trip ,we decided to head into berwick and see if we could get something to eat . we were just entering berwick when we both noticed in the wing mirror the caravan had decided to turn RIGHT as we were going LEFT the noise was horrendous as the caravan scrapped along the road and then came to a stop resting against the kerb we looked at each another then jumped out of the tuck and headed to the back to see what had happened.It took a second or two before i realised that the a frame had copletely snapped we looked at each another and just started to laugh .
i pulled the caravan so it was in line with the truck and we went back to the cab to have a fag... 
After about fifteen minutes i got back out and with the help of the chains and some rope managed to bodge it so the caravan was attached to the truck at least again
then we headed of into berwick at 5 miles an hour and my wee orange whirley light going (cool dude) 
we crept through the town then i noticed a sign for the local industrial estate and headed towards it when i pulled up at a roundabout i saw two coppers sitting in their car staring at us and thought here we go pulled over explain explain 
but no they let us go on probably to much paper work i guess anyway i found the industrial estate with outstanding views out onto the north see
and came to a halt well out the way
i pulled on the hand brake and felt relieved to have got us of the road and found somewhere we could decide what to do. 
Mel said she would sort a brew out and opened the door which was wipped from her hand the wind was roaring straight in from the sea and cold and i mean bloody cold we struggled to get to the caravan and mel made us both a brew and got the motley crew fed. 
I had been thinking what to do the Leyland was a flat bed but i had no ramps etc and it was 5 ft of the ground i decided to have a scrounge about and see if i could make some temporary ramps
after an hour wandering about looking in skips i managed to find some wood etc and set to building a set of ramps i had no whinch all i had was a set of whinch straps the type used to hold loads down on trucks . 
2hours later i was ready to start pulling the caravan up the ramps 2 inches at a time then chock the wheels and undo the straps then start again slowly the caravan started to move up the ramps then i turned round and mel was standing there with a fag asking if i was ok i guessed i grunted fine babe you get back into the cab the temperature had dropped well away and the ice was forming on my beard so mel got into the cab and crawled into the sleeping bag 
i smoked the fag then carried on after another 1 or 2 hours the caravan was on the top of the ramps centimeters from resting on the bed of the truck when the wind got up and started to swing the caravan and it slipped of the home made ramps and CRASHED back to the road..god god god .. 
I looked up the side of the truck and i could see mel struggling like hell trying to get out of the sleeping bag(she looked like a wee buttrerfly emerging from its slumber or maybe the cold was getting to me) 
I just started laughing so much and she eventually came running up to me and asked if i was ok i said i was fine but when she seen the caravan had fallen of the ramps onto the road she started crying
i held her and said it is ok babe and asked her to get me a fag and then set to getting the caravan onto the truck this time i got it smoothly and it seem quicker onto the flat bed and tied it firmly to the bed of the truck i was just about to jump down when the two coppers i had seen earlier pulled up and asked there ususal questions i realised they thought i was stealing it i was in mood for their bollocks and just said if i was going to steal a caravan it wouldn't be this pile of shite and they headed of. 
I checked the ropes and jumped into the cab and started it up after a about 1/2 hr it started to warm up and we headed of to find the food we had originally came to town for ....


Monday, 26 January 2009

Sunshine & Nods

not a very good picture but just to show you Jane the snow is till here in the mountains we are praying to the snow god's that it will stay for your visit xx
Home Sweet home for another couple of weeks Thanks for all your Help Roy our friend 
one of two mobiles thankyou so much Jane they are now hanging in the bus and the horsebox xx
Hand made gift for Mel From Jane:

Another beautiful sunny but  cold morning at the Muir ,and with the internet going about as fast as a bandy one legged hedgehog i decided to jump on the bike and head to the shop always such an enjoyable cycle ride with everyone you pass either smiling or nodding as you pass and always with a warm highland greeting  to get a few wee supplies in to keep us going ,I recommend any one wanting to lose weight to buy a truck we have both lost over a stone but i guess when the horsebox has been paid we will be having a huge highland feast .

I got an email from a friend Caroline in America she had done a wee story about us and we read it with both our mouths wide open you can see it at :

also when Mel opened the door our postie well wee Hamish had left our mail on a plank of wood by the door it was a parcel with some presents for Mels fiftieth birthday on wednesday from our friend Jane and a belated Xmas present

Jane hand made all the amazings gifts more of her wonderful work can be see at :

Sunday, 25 January 2009

If you were a far of Alien would you go on a 2 week vacation to Earth

No !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You have travelled far of distances see Stars born and die, learnt to travel faster than the speed of light cured all ilness's  
wonders that us as humans can't even imagine as yet 
colours shapes etc so much beauty 

you pull up the lever and gently land in some open ground next to an ancient oak tree with golden autumn leaves falling on mother earth such a beautiful blue and green Jewel spinning in eternal space your spirit soars

WAAAALLLOP parking ticket you cant land that thing here £60 ticket
have you got a licence for that thing

how long are you going to be ,have you got a job 

Positive Depression

                                                   Positive depression

I have as you will know suffered (as is said) from depression throughout my life.
i have always shied away from drugs to help through those times of depression, scared in case i got hooked on them.
I have always believed the answer is in our own spirit 
Last night the expression Positive Depression came to me and it was like a wee light shinning in my almost empty head.

I believe that if you are fully human then it is inevitable you will get depressed living on mother earth with all the horrible things that go on
but as people we are told agh pull your socks up etc etc 
when ever things have got to me i have always looked at myself as weak, inadiquate we are taught to brush our feelings away 
I believe that if something upsets you you should rejoice that you have feelings and not look at it as a fault i heard a story of a joung kid in Derby he was on a tall building getting ready to kill himself 
the crowd were jeering at him shouting all sorts of hatred ,anyway the policeman that had went to help him said he almost grabbed his hand and was going to come down when someone shouted "stop waisting tax payers money"
the policeman said the kid pulled back and jumped to his Death

Allowing yourself to feel positively depressed is GOOD and let your spirit heal its self ,we live on an amazing planet that has so much to show us as yet.
 but we must slow down to learn the lessons
if you hurt your back you are given a pill to mask the pain so you can carry on madness 
why not allow your body the time to heal (but the loan needs paying so many things to do take the pill)

I would rather sit with someone who feels the pain of life than some shallow plastic Zombie
I feel that i have a balance in life i cry i laugh i see the stunning beauty in nature i FEEL PAIN and i thank god i feel it 

Do Dolphins & Whales have a pension Scheme


I often think of Dolphins and whales true travellers of our earth 
what they think as they pop they heads out of the ocean and look at man 
Oceans that they have travelled for a millenium from the birthing spots of Miami up the western coast to Alaska 
the things they have seen ,so much noise so many buildings so much death 
then they gently roll over and slip effortlessly under the waves to depths and places we only get a brief glimpse of on some nature programme or other

We have so much to learn.....                                  

Saturday, 24 January 2009

10 Reasons to be Happy

I thought i would make a wee list why myself and Mel are happy in these troubled times

1. Mel has got through 4 lots of cancer (and she is Still here to annoy me )

2. Free to wonder

3. Happy with the simple things in life

4. We have learned to slow down and see the amazing beauty all around be it a wee insect or the stars glowing in the night sky 

5.we have been and are each anothers rock through the tough times 

6. Switched of the tele (and the radio is going soon)

7. Few Bills

8.No Mortgage or loans

9.Fresh mountain streams


This Country is in a Depression it's OFFICIAL

I am sittting here in my wee bus ,having spent most of the night organising the horsebox etc fitting solar and some extra batteries (grab the free power as i drive)
I have for many years listened to radio four ,but i must admit that if i hear "this country is in an offical depression "  once more then the radio will be flying out the window to the nearest BIN

For years people have partied and borrowed like there was no tomorrow now we have to sit and listen to them moan about the debt they have encurred ,I'm sorry but some of us are NOT in Debt and i feel Happy and i know plenty other people that are happy to be alive and still travelling this wonderful planet 

I read a post this morning about someone moaning that they don't have enough money for heating etc etc 
and they added at the end that roll on Sep as they will be having another baby in  Sept
 bloody hell that will help 

bloody mad or is it just Me ...

anyways the sun is out so chainsaw in hand i'm off to clear a load of wood for Roy which will help him as he could do with the extra room ,and will keep the burner going 




Friday, 23 January 2009

Coffee with the Hermit: I Need Some Help Here...

Coffee with the Hermit: I Need Some Help Here...

Stig o the Dump

NO,No I don't care if it's your Fiftieth birthday next week 
What do you mean "where's the horsebox"
Let's see you sort that out with your toolbox ha              MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN..........
Told you Andy the bridge was to LOW..

Well we have been in the yard for nearly a week and i know it's not for everyone, but the fun of wondering around and salvaging little bits and pieces that otherwise would have gone to waste 
sheer bliss in my book 
I have almost finished with the floor and we have been really lucky as the boards underneath are in excellent condition so with a wee bit of sanding and some bees wax they will look really good 
we are of on wednesday to mot her and get her taxed 
It has been so good to be amongst the highlanders again so friendly and warm 
We now have enough wood to see us right through the rest of the winter and no money would be accepted amazing 
I love the pace of life in the mountains and look forward in the next week or so to getting out and about with the camera
some pictures of our play ground

Thursday, 22 January 2009

New Bed (Let's hope it's strong enough Jane)

                                Finished job with solar lights fitted and candle all ready 

Woke up to some lovely highland sunshine streaming into the window ,so after 20 cups of coffee we set to to build a new bed for our friend Jane's visit hope it's big enough
Tomorrow it is back to the horsebox 

Ray hits the water again

This is our friend Ray's boat ,he has had it out of the water to have a 10 foot extention fitted and has now had her lowered back into the water and with a new paint job is now ready to travel the canals of England once again

Well done my friend and loads of love to lil bob

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Splinters and Blisters

Well after two days of hammering my knuckles and pulling countless splinters out from under my fingernails
I am nearly there with the floor .
We have now decided to keep the blackbus and carry on living in it ,and have the horsebox for getting supplies and it will also double up as an extra room for visitors 
Now all i have to do is build a bed in the bus ready for when Jane our friend from wales comes in two weeks 
We have been given tons of wood free to keep the burner going and have running water pure luxury 
I have put up a link to our friend Roys yard as he gets a lot of horseboxes and thought it would be good to have it there for anyone wishing to hit the road 

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Old friend new home

CCTV onboard so i can keep an eye on Mel burning the toast or even that the caravan is still behind us 

We called round to see a friend that we haven't seen for over 12 years,and before i knew it we were parked up in the back of the yard having just bought a horsebox,so for the next 3 weeks we will be flat out chancing over 

Blank sheet 
Oven and sink fitted two less jobs 
                                                           wee ladder to the bed in the sky

New home

New home
Originally uploaded by ANDY & MEL LOWE
We have just bought this old wagon ready to convert it
Mel fell in love ,so it looks like a busy few weeks getting ready

Wow so much simpler ,stick a caravan on the back 
and of we go 

Friday, 16 January 2009

Loch Ness & Beyond

Looking out of the window in the morning i noticed that the truck spares unit had STRICKLY TRADE ONLY emblazed over the signs
I thought agh well i would go over and ask them if they could tell me were i could go to get the exhaust .
i pushed the door open and walked in god it was massive people running here and there but out of the corner of my eye i could see a bloke signal to me so i headed to his counter and said that i realised it was trade only but could he guide me to someone who could help
Turned out he was a bus enthusiast and explained if i ever need help to deal with him
So after a few minutes i left with a brand new pipe and clamps.
A few hours later and the pipe was fitted and we waited till the rush hour had passed then headed to tesco to get some supplies and fuel
After Mel had got all the shopping in we got the trolley and loaded the jerry cans in it and headed over to the garage with a few odd stares
we filled them and after another run with trolley for some water we were all done.
Then it was time to head out of the city and along the road by the side of Loch ness but every parkup i pulled into had a sign NO OVERNIGHT PARKING
but luckily we found ONE with the sign that someone had covered with a couple of bin liners
so dived in got the burner going and settled down to an evening meal while listening to the waves on the loch roll up and onto the shore pure magic.
The next day we headed for Dingwall and decided to take the road to beauly up and over the hill and see if we could find a quiet spot for a few days

I sat on the step of the bus with my morning cup of coffee and looking down to the shore of Loch Ness i could see Chloe one of our wee cats walking along the edge of the water ocassionaly stopping to lap up some water she is always happy to be near some water and watching her always reminds me of the nature programm's
with lions at the watering hole

She walks about with so much spirit

So after driving a couple of miles down the A82 we turned right onto the A83 passing through Milton

Turning of the road we hit a 15% climb up the A833 which seemed to go on for 1 to 2 miles but the old girl climbed steadily
and with no trouble climbed to the summit
we headed of in search of our new spot to parkup for a few days

Mel noticed a lovely little pull in on the right and we slowly came to a halt in Glen convinth with steep hills all around and a small fast flowing burn to the right

We had no phone signal, tv (not that we watch it to often ) and i only managed to find two radio stations BLISS

We have had no signal for the last few days but we are back and i will get back to you all

andy& mel xx

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Moonlight and Chinese

the parkup in Inverness next to DINGBRO'S truck spares
With everything tatted down we headed out of Slochd onto the A9 and doon the road to Inverness.
I stopped at nearly every layby to check the bus but i didn't have to worry she ran like a dream, apart from the Exhaust blowing which sounded like an artilery barrage was coming down the road .
As we approached Inverness Mel shouted "Tescos on the left " so at the next exit we pulled of the main road
 and went in search of Tesco's with us making a joint list of goodies we pulled into the carpark and tucked in at the far corner
 With everything checked we grabbed the wallet and headed across the desserted carparkup (should have been a hint)
Still discussing which goodies to head for first 
Mel went to push the door LOCKED ohh B*llocks (Sunday early closing how many times had we been caught out like that)
So when we composed ourselves we headed back to the bus mouth still dribbling from the thought of the goodies we had thought were within our grasp 
Never mind babe we will find a garage then i noticed some far of flashing lights what's that when we had walked a few more yards 
the lights started to spell Harry Ramsdens Fish & Chips so with the smile returning  to mels wee face we headed of up the hill.
The smell of vinegar drifted down the 1/4 mile to us and we started to make up our order fish supper no chicken no sausages and as we got closer the siliva was in full flow dribbling down the two hermits faces 
and with a smile i grabbed the door LOCKED when we looked at the sign we had missed it by 5 minutes so with a shrug as if we didn't care we headed back to the bus 
Beans on toast on the menu .....
After that  dissapointment we pulled out of Tesco and headed of down the a9
 when i saw the  sign for the industrial estate we slowly approached the roundabout 
when Mel shouted GARAGE GARAGE and i headed down to the left exit and pulled up in the entrance .
We were almost into full sprint (well more like a fast shuffle to the door) ready for it to be closed but no OPEN OPEN its Open 
we flew in before the person behind the counter could change her mind ..
I went outside as mel wondered about the garage like a wee kid all excited 
I lit a fag at the side of the garage when i noticed a Chinese was still open so i headed inside to tell mel 
the lady behind the counter was really welcoming either that or she was enjoying watching this crazy hermit in her red jumpsuit and wellies dashing about from one shelf to shelf.
I asked her if she Knew where the Scrapyard was and as soon as she said Evertan i remembered from years back the yard 
So we headed out and round the corner to the chinese again another happy smilie person behind the corner so i got talking asking if he knew somewhere close by we could park up in the bus 
He smiled and said if i wanted to i could park the bus infront of the shop 
amazing ,but when i said i was after an exhaust for the bus he gave me directions to a Truck spares place and it was only 500 yds down the road with ample parking 
So we pulled into the yard and settled down to a lovely hot chineese knowing i would be able to fix the exhaust properly at last ,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Reduce Footprints: In the News ... Recycling

Reduce Footprints: In the News ... Recycling

Roughing It ?

Roughing It ...this simple phrase i hear time and time again usually from someone looking down their nose at me  

All i say is compared to living in a house with or without a mortgage with neighbours you dont like ,concrete concrete everywhere street lights eternally on ,rubbish noise sirens etc etc unable to see the night sky and breathe the fresh air ,can't cross the road traffic traffic water from taps you dont know whats in it (then they make you pay)

i ask you who is really roughing it ,but as always if i say that i am greeted with a blank stare ,but dont look down on me ,i have fresh air, pure mountain water and i am able to see stars you only dream of in the city my friend  i sit with nature and dream 

This Is My Home ,I know it is only a bus( rudeness and selfishness)

                                            Emergency button NOT help yourself button  .  
It has been a busy day getting ready to head further north tinkering with the bus so crossed fingers it will be an uneventful wee journey.
I emailed a friend yesterday and told her we had had no rain four four weeks and what happens the heavens opened and it has not stopped , full on gales with the taste of the not to far of ocean lashing against the side of the bus which was a blessing as i was able to fill a couple of barrels and fill the bus water system right up again.
So i guess if we need rain i email Rima..
I have been a bit fed up with the selfiness of some people  and the total rudeness that is displyed by some people .
Only today as i was opening the internal door someone opened the outside door and just walked in .They were so lucky that i managed to hole Dylan back but two of them ran when they seen him moaning about i should keeep the dogs under better control gits..
After i TOLD the sod that you just can't walk into someone's home i ushered him out and asked what they wanted 
They were gypsy's and after the usual 3,000 questions 
ie will you sell the bus 
will you sell the dog etc etc 
they buggered of and we returned to our peaceful life..
anyway enough moaning it is time to hit the road ...................................

Just a quick Goodbye to Wayne the game Keeper i enjoyed our chat , Andrew the coal man and Frank the estated manager   until the next time ......

Friday, 9 January 2009

On Reflection

Still on the theme of water ,i was going through the pictures and nearly through this one away 
I just love the way photography lets you play 
Posted by Picasa

No Taps Here

We were running out of water as it hasn't rained for weeks ,so getting the old trusty steed out (well my wee bike) i headed of to find a spring that wasn't frozen
You learn the true value of water as you pedal up hill with 5 gallons in the trailer ,but so worth it when you come across sites like THIS ..

The Hermitage: The Orchard Tales and the Orchard Toils of the First Few Days of Two Thousand and Nine ...

The Hermitage: The Orchard Tales and the Orchard Toils of the First Few Days of Two Thousand and Nine ...

our two friends Rima & Tui  well worth a visit ...

an email from them enjoying their new life on the road 

The Hermitage

The Orchard Tales and the Orchard Toils of the First Few Days of Two Thousand and Nine ...

Posted: 09 Jan 2009 08:06 AM CST

AS THE OWL in the barn hoots and stirs himself for a night of hunting I sit here in the Bedford a few yards from him, warm and dry with nostrilsfull of harissa-spiced chickpeas almost ready to eat and connected via a little plastic thingamyjig to the whole world outside this orchard. The people in that whole world are amid such different experiences and live in an alphabet'sworth of different dwellings, and yet they all share the same need and yearning for warmth and home.

In these last few weeks I have learnt to think quite differently about those warm home comforts which we never really give a second thought. Living in a wooden vehicle parked in a field means that nothing comes in or out of our home unless we physically bring it about. Water must be collected from somewhere (at present a tap for watering flowers by gravestones in the churchyard down the lane), and waste water emptied. And warmth too must be collected ... we have spent much of our time since being here walking with rucksack and saw to nearby forests to find fallen branches and bring them home in great quantities so as to keep ourselves warm. This, I know, sounds romantic and perhaps a little obvious... but actually finding enough dry, uninhabited wood and carrying it back again is a constant occupation of ours in this cold weather. We have been lucky down here in this southern foot of England to escape rainclouds, but instead the sky has brought us thin blankets of snow and frosts that freeze last night's bathwater to crackling.

So we bought some bags of coal to augment the logs and it burned hot and fierce for two days. Then the stove began to smoke.. and not just out of the chimney. It smoked from the door, from the all the seals and bolt holes and from the collars at each flue joint. We coughed and coughed and opened windows. Freezing cold with streaming eyes we realised the stove couldn't be used any more. So for the next two days we had a fire outdoors, where the smoke could escape. We watched the stars and made hot water bottles to warm the twoquilted bed which we ran to as the embers died. The next evening the gas ran out! So that night we cooked dinner and boiled hotwaterbottle water on the outdoor fire and in the morning (after heating a precarious cupful of water for tea on an upturned camping-gas heater) I trekked out to find a new calor gas bottle while Tui stayed at home and dismantled the fire and re-fire-cemented all the joints before putting it back together again. I won't go into long boring detail about my day of gas hunting except to say that it wasn't unlike Frodo's journey to Mount Doom, but with more disappointments and train cancellations and refusals of busdrivers to take me due to "hazardous chemicals". A final arm-achingly arduous trek brought me back to a delightfully warm and smokefree Bedford! Our home is wonderful, but with no fire it is very much less so.. and in these modern days of central heating, it is no longer appreciated how very important warmth in the winter is. The next day we cleaned the chimney and found that the coal had left such a thick black sooty residue that there had been only a couple of centimetres of air left for the smoke to escape. Now we burn just wood and little nuggets of smokeless fuel.

In all these days of tending to our daily basic needs, neither of us has had time to create anything. I have begun but not finished a drawing by daylight, which begins to fade around half past three. We have bought a little generator to power laptops, a phone charger and a desk lamp, and now at long last have the internet too. Soon we'll be more established and I'll be able to reponen my shop and begin making clocks again. Town is not far away and my family is much nearer by than before, so we have had lovely days walking between the sunlit appletree stakes, and drinking cups of tea.

We have felt very much more outdoors than you do inside the walls of a house. Nature is right there. You don't have to go out into it, you are already there. It affects you more directly for good or ill. I have weathered cheeks, twig-scratched arms and dirt beneath my fingernails. The skies are beautiful and the blackbirds tiptoe their little threetoed birdfeet across our roof in the mornings. It is freezing in the night when we climb down from the luton bed and run outside to wee; and the low sun and the cracking of forest underfoot and the smell of woodsmoke from the chimney make our hearts soar.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

New Home

Found a lovely home today while wondering in the woods,me thinks it will take a bit to convince Mel to go for it .
No more insurance mot or fuel 

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

New Purely Picture Blog By The Dafthermit

I decided to start a blog with only pictures that i have took since last spring 2008 when i first took up photography .I hope you pop over for a wee visit

Monday, 5 January 2009

Life In A Drop

A couple of shots i got today walking through  the woods ,I love to watch droplets of water form and gently roll to the end of a small branch ,the joy of capturing this wee thing after it's journey of untold miles form in front of the camera then allow you to see it form a soft diamond and reflect the surrounding country in it before gently dropping to mother earth to carry on its endless wonderous journey through time ..

Some of our other homes

I came across some old photos of other homes we have wondered around in 
this first one is a Leyland Leopard with some of my wood craft out front 

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A wee film about us on STVs the HOUR SHOW click on STV logo to see the film

A wee film about us on STVs the HOUR SHOW click on STV logo to see the film
Andy the Daft Hermit lives 45 minutes outside Inverness with his wife Mel in an old bus parked in a layby. This current home of theirs is the longest they have ever stayed in one spot. “I’ve been travelling now 25 years,” said Andy Lowe. “Mel’s been travelling 15. One of the reasons we’ve come and stayed up here is because of Mel’s health. I wanted to bring her to the mountains for fresh air and clean water and just a slower pace of life.” Mel has had breast cancer twice, skin cancer once, and for three years believed she had bone cancer after being wrongly diagnosed. Andy’s belief in the restorative powers of the north made them pack up ‘The Black Bus’ that they live in and cross the border into Scotland. New Highland home for hermit couple Andy and Mel “I think we both believe in trying to get to a more simple way of life,” said Andy, “but it’s strange for us because we are sort of hermits, or we like to live separate, but it’s not being anti-social… it’s just the way we are that allows us to be creative.” Andy first began travelling when he left the army. Fed up with bureaucracy he packed a rucksack and left for France and has been travelling ever since. By investing any money the couple have earned into solar panels and wind generators they now live a self-sustaining existence, without electric bills, and collect rain water “straight from Heaven”. “It’s not easy,” said Mel. “There might be time when there might not be enough facilities around, but you always find a way, you know?” Rather than rejecting technology, Andy blogs about his travels online and collaborates with artists from around the world via his ‘Scratchy Heid Film Studio’, which he runs from a static trailer next to the couple’s bus. He explained his philosophy: “My belief is that if you can go through life and you drop dead and you’ve got a balance there that slightly outweighs the good than the bad, you’ve done alright. “Yesterday, with what Mel’s been through with the cancer and all that, I had a woman on one of my sites there that thanked me for the writing, for the positive things, and to me that’s worth everything. You can keep your millions, we’re not interested. That is what we do.” To check out Andy’s artwork and video projects check out his website. MORE FROM THE NORTH

Loch Ness film festival

Loch Ness film festival
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