Monday, 31 August 2009

List of events shops etc on the Blackbus On-Line-Festival

 

four seasons 017 (2)

    Welcome to the Blackbus Festival

The Biggest little green festival

      in the World………………………….

                                              AN ONLINE GUIDE BELOW

                              ………………………………………………………………………..

 

We hope you enjoy your stay with us below is a list of some off the things to do and see…

            Say Hi and grab a seat by the burner and tell us a wee bit about you

                         meet the gatekeeper she keeps us all in check

                                           Shops And Stalls

                    ………………………….. 

First here is a list off the stalls/shops where you can buy ,sell or

just wander around looking at the amazing arts and crafts

The Wool  Shop             A place to sell and buy all things sewn knitted woven etc

The Hardware Store      A place to sell and buy everything from wood burners to wind genny’s

The jewellery Shop       A place to sell and buy any an all jewellery

The Woodcraft  studio   A place to buy and sell all things made from wood

The pottery studio         A place to sell and buy all things to do with clay etc

The Artist Studio            A place to buy and sell all things to do with painting and photography

need help to set up a business then visit here

                                           

                                            Writers corner  

                                             ……………………………………….

Love story                       A place to share your love stories

Poetry corner                      A place to share poems you have written or read

Blogs                                A place to share with us all your blogs etc

 

 

                                                       Campaign groups

                     …………………………..

Warriors lodge                              A place to meet and discuss any serious issues and plan a fight 

Change the world wednesday’s     run by our good friend small and well worth a visit

Living off the grid                          learn how to escape the grid and live bill free

Campaign tent                               a place to share any campaigns

Smokers Palace                              a place to fight for the right to smoke

                                                    

                                                    

                                                         Scotland

                          …………………

Scots    a place to share everything that Scots have given the world

Highlander  everything to do with the highlands from news to where to stay

Highland Gems  The Dafthermits pictures and films from the highlands

                                                         Charity’s

                         ……………………..

Sod u cancer   a group that shares there journey with cancer

Charity group      Help us help them

                     Prayers and more

                 ………………………………….

Prayers group                  join us as we send out prayers

Remembrance group       a place to share pictures stories of lost loved ones

Revelations                     truth and revelation by a friend

 

            Meet some fellow Travellers 

                              …………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

Travellers               Meet some people that live in buses boats tents and much more

 

 

 

                                                     CINEMA 

                                                               ………………………………..

 

                                     A place to share all your films

 

Above all have fun and explore ,if you have any problems contact me or any of the admins for help.

tell your friends about us and come back often for a warm highland greeting…

main site is here

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Switch of the Mains join us all as we change the world

Switch The Mains Off the only way to make an immediate impact

Self powered homes and buildings the way of the future

so this week turn off the mains if not in the whole house then at least

one room and with solar etc generate light and power the tv etc for free

…………………………………………………….

The major problem facing us all at the moment is out total reliance on power supplied by huge energy companies we have been lead down a deadly dead end by their complete greed and disrespect of mother earth and all her beauty.

There is an abundance of power all around us from the sun to the wind ,the universe is pure energy.

in fact all of us are energy all living souls create power .it is only when we open our eyes and minds will we be free from the abusers the huge oil/power companies……..

For example A simple thing that came to me was the amount of energy created at say a school or a shopping arcade by that mass off people moving through it and how is the shop and school powered ,yes via the mains madness….complete madness

Why not simply install flooring that as you walk on it generates electricity and sends it to a power bank batteries etc (this technology is already here ) and thus by the fact of all those people moving about they will in fact generate the power to light up the very building they are using another public building off the grid

A public swimming bath could simple have small wave generators that send power to the power bank of the pool complex thus ,while everyone is enjoying the day they are in fact taking another building of the grid .so with added solar panels on their roofs and wind turbines not the huge great things we now see jumping up all over wrecking the countryside, but turbines that are blended into the building invisible generation

swim ,shop and walk to save the world ?

We all must come together and switch the mains of,tear down those ugly pylons and say no to the grid and the power companies

We must all start to take control off ,and responsibility for our own power generation via solar wind and the multitude of new technology at our finger tips if we only look beyond those companies and there eternal race for ever more profit.they show us endless tv ads telling US that they are changing nonsense

They still have the same mental block they think that the only way to supply energy is via some enormous grid with all the pylons endless cables and all the transport to keep the grid going .

My belief is that in the future every house and public building will be self sustaining thus doing away with all that cabling

imagine a world without those god awful pylons ,no more tankers travelling our oceans with millions of gallons of crude oil (ticking bombs) that have on many occasions gone off with huge consequences to the environment both animal and planet the true victims in those massive companies endless greed.

No more oil and gas refinery’s

And not to forget one off the main advantages to us all

NO more bills aye imagine never having to work to get money to pay some company to supply you with over priced energy …..

and what a gift to give our children a world cleaner and the countryside rid off all those eye sores our children will we free to explore more of this wonderful life free from the burden of bills

so take control

Turn your home into its very own power system buy solar, wind and above all be creative and we will leave behind a wonderful clean home called EARTH..

another benefit NO MORE WARS OVER OIL.

No country will ever be able to hold another country to ransom

look around us at nature she is telling us all the way ahead ….

as one electric company in my country says “the future is bright” and it will be even brighter without you greedy sods..

we must start to think different and not rely on the state or worse some company

love light and happiness

The Dafthermit

some useful links:

Bring about green

Tree hugger

How stuff works

living off grid

tips on how to it

living lightly

someone elses's journey off grid

Friday, 28 August 2009

Switch of the Mains

Switch The Mains Off the only way to make an immediate impact

Self powered homes and buildings the way of the future

so this week turn off the mains if not in the whole house then at least

one room and with solar etc generate light and power the tv etc for free

…………………………………………………….

The major problem facing us all at the moment is out total reliance on power supplied by huge energy companies we have been lead down a deadly dead end by their complete greed and disrespect of mother earth and all her beauty.

There is an abundance of power all around us from the sun to the wind ,the universe is pure energy.

in fact all of us are energy all living souls create power .it is only when we open our eyes and minds will we be free from the abusers the huge oil/power companies……..

For example A simple thing that came to me was the amount of energy created at say a school or a shopping arcade by that mass off people moving through it and how is the shop and school powered ,yes via the mains madness….complete madness

Why not simply install flooring that as you walk on it generates electricity and sends it to a power bank batteries etc (this technology is already here ) and thus by the fact of all those people moving about they will in fact generate the power to light up the very building they are using another public building off the grid

A public swimming bath could simple have small wave generators that send power to the power bank of the pool complex thus ,while everyone is enjoying the day they are in fact taking another building of the grid .so with added solar panels on their roofs and wind turbines not the huge great things we now see jumping up all over wrecking the countryside, but turbines that are blended into the building invisible generation

swim ,shop and walk to save the world ?

We all must come together and switch the mains of,tear down those ugly pylons and say no to the grid and the power companies

We must all start to take control off ,and responsibility for our own power generation via solar wind and the multitude of new technology at our finger tips if we only look beyond those companies and there eternal race for ever more profit.they show us endless tv ads telling US that they are changing nonsense

They still have the same mental block they think that the only way to supply energy is via some enormous grid with all the pylons endless cables and all the transport to keep the grid going .

My belief is that in the future every house and public building will be self sustaining thus doing away with all that cableling

imagine a world without those god awful pylons ,no more tankers travelling our oceans with millions of gallons of crude oil (ticking bombs) that have on many occasions gone off with huge consequences to the environment both animal and planet the true victims in those massive companies endless greed.

No more oil and gas refinery’s

And not to forget one off the main advantages to us all

NO more bills aye imagine never having to work to get money to pay some company to supply you with over priced energy …..

and what a gift to give our children a world cleaner and the countryside rid off all those eye sores our children will we free to explore more of this wonderful life free from the burden of bills

so take control

Turn your home into its very own power system buy solar, wind and above all be creative and we will leave behind a wonderful clean home called EARTH..

another benefit NO MORE WARS OVER OIL.

No country will ever be able to hold another country to ransom

look around us at nature she is telling us all the way ahead ….

as one electric company in my country says “the future is bright” and it will be even brighter without you greedy sods..

we must start to think different and not rely on the state or worse some company

love light and happiness

The Dafthermit

Monday, 24 August 2009

Change the world Wednesdays by our friend Small


more from Small a dear friend :

come on over and together we will all change the world one step at a time not only for us but for our children:



Welcome to Change The World Wednesday (CTWW)! If you're new to our weekly challenges, click on our brand new, beautiful logo above for a little information on how this weekly event works.

By the way, as I mentioned in an earlier post (but it's definitely worth mentioning again), our lovely new logo came to us compliments of "Art Ist" at One A Day. I'm a bit prejudice but ... I think his creations are fabulous ... so if you have a minute, stop by his place. Thanks, "Art"!

Last week's challenge was terrific! As I traveled around the blogosphere, I read many wonderful posts on recycling and composting. If you haven't already done so, I highly recommend that you take a moment and do a little reading. Congratulations to our Honor Society for a job well done! Now, here they are:

Tony Beach at http://twitter.com/tonybeach and at http://entrepreneursocialnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/08/smallfootprints.html and at http://www.retaggr.com/Page/TwitterOnlineSystem

Harveyavatar at http://beingandquirckiness.blogspot.com/

Sinclair at http://naturewithme.blogspot.com/2009/08/change-world-wednesday_19.html and at http://sharingourgifts.blogspot.com/2009/08/change-world-wednesday_19.html

Sharon at http://www.treschicdesigns.artfire.com and at http://www.jewelrytreschic.etsy.com and at http://artisanjewelrydesigners.ning.com/profile/SharonHightower

Cindygeenotes at http://dragyourfeet.wordpress.com/2009/08/20/small-footprint-gentle-hand/

The Wayland Springs Cook at http://waylandcook.blogspot.com/2009/08/compost-for-change-world-wednesday.html and at http://waylandcook.blogspot.com/2009/08/honor-soceity-for-cange-world.html

The Dafthermit at http://dafthermit.ning.com/ and at http://theblackbuscompany.blogspot.com/2009/08/change-world-wednesdays-by-our-friend.html

Connie Mishali at http://seewhykinsman.blogspot.com/2009/08/change-world-challenge.html

TC at http://livesmartbook.blogspot.com/2009/08/recycling-made-easy-with-earth911com.html and at the BlogCatalog Group he started here: http://www.blogcatalog.com/group/change-the-world

Green Gal at http://greenbeangal.blogspot.com/

Brian at http://the-new-author.blogspot.com/

Harmony at http://harmonytravel.blogspot.com/2009/08/welcome-to-my-world.html

S. Engelmohr at http://sengelmohr.blogspot.com/2009/08/recycled-items-in-your-home.html and from last week's challenge: http://sengelmohr.blogspot.com/2009/08/change-world-wednesday-this-week-i-want.html

Joe Todd at http://www.myqualitytime.net/2009/08/change-world-wednesday-time-to-start.html (I also hear that Joe put CTWW on his facebook page so if you're a facebook member, look him up there).

Annie Kelley at http://akannie.wordpress.com/2009/08/21/august-20-2009/

Elizabeth Barrette at http://gaiatribe.geekuniversalis.com/2009/08/20/how-to-shrink-your-garbage/

Eemilla at http://eemilla.wordpress.com/2009/08/19/clean-and-green/ (for last week's challenge).

Sober White Women at http://thoughtsofasoberwhitewomen.blogspot.com/

Dora Renee' Wilkerson at http://y2k-hippie.blogspot.com/

EcoGrrl at http://ecogrrlnetwork.blogspot.com/

Ken at http://www.thegreenapartmentblog.com/apartment-recycling/

Harripao at http://blogodril.blogspot.com/2009/08/change-world-wednesday-and-karinda.html

Kate at http://holdfastseeker.blogspot.com/2009/08/one-thing-for-planet-compost.html

Rewinn at http://rewinn.blogspot.com/2009/08/carbon-neutral-book-shipping.html

It might just be me but ... I think our Honor Society is growing and the articles are getting better! Thanks to everyone who participated.

Okay ... are you ready for another? Here you go:

This week's challenge comes from one of our new bloggy friends, Millenniumhealth, at ... well ... Millenniumhealth. It's an easy activity and once again shows us that small actions matter ... especially when we all do them. Here it is:

This week, put your computer to sleep or set it to hibernate when it's not in use. If you need help in doing this, check out these sites:

Use Standby and Hibernate

Manually Put Your Computer Into Hibernation

Or ...

Typically, if you're already doing the first part of the challenge, I ask you to write about it on your blog. This week, however, we're going to do something different. If you are already in the habit of putting your computer to sleep or turning it off when you're not using it, look around your home and identify one other "sneaky" area that uses electricity. Come back here and, in the comments section, tell us what it is and how you'll either eliminate it or reduce it.

So ... what do you think? Are you up for it? Need a little more motivation? Well, our friend Thomas, over at Renewables At Home, has written something just for you. It's called "Don't Pee In The Hallway" ... I'm sure you'll enjoy it!

Don't forget ... CTWW now offers you a bunch of ways to promote your site and raise your rankings in the blogosphere. Check out our Tips and Ideas HERE for details.

That's it for this week! Thanks, everyone!

WE'RE CHANGING THE WORLD ... ONE CHALLENGE AT A TIME




Rather than give you a green living tip today, I'm going to do a little housekeeping ... I'm going to tell you about a few changes to Reduce Footprints ... and more specifically, our weekly Change The World Wednesday (CTWW) challenges.

We have a brand new logo for CTWW. "Art Ist" from One A Day ... a brilliant, lovely, stunning, outstanding, fabulous ... did I say brilliant blog (and yes I'm biased) ... designed something new for us. Here it is:











Isn't it fabulous? You'll find this logo on my sidebar and clicking it will lead you to the official CTWW rules and a list of current and past challenges. If you'd like to cut and paste this logo and use it on your site or in a post ... please do.

If you are a member of Twitter, and would like to tweet about our challenges (which I hope you will), please include the hashtag #ctww (this is a change to the previous, long #changetheworldwed tag).

TC, who started the BlogCatalog group Change The World, suggests that everyone cut and paste the "Honor Society", along with links, and a link to Reduce Footprints into a post on their blog. He tells me that doing so will increase everyone's ranking on Goggle, Yahoo, etc. It's another way that we can promote ourselves and each other while walking gently on the earth.

It was suggested to me that I copyright CTWW and ... this blog. So I have done so. I still encourage everyone to cut, paste and share the information presented here ... nothing should actually change for our readers. I just wanted to ensure that I'll always be able to use this idea.

If you have an idea for future challenges, please send them to me at reducefootprints@gmail.com. If I use your idea, you'll get credit with a link to your site.

I think that's it!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

As always ... I would love to hear from you!


Posted by Small Footprints at 9:45 AM 10 comments Links to this post
Labels: Change The World Wednesdays, CTWW

THE IDEA BEHIND THE CHALLENGE

What if a whole lot of people did the same "green" activity during the same time period? Would we have a positive impact on the environment? I believe we would! That's the simple concept behind Change The World Wednesdays (CTWW). Each week a new challenge will be posted, here on Reduce Footprints ... something which is easy to do and when done "en masse" will have a positive effect on the earth. It's the idea that when a lot of little actions are joined together ... the impact can be huge. We hope to take a huge step towards saving the earth.


RULES

We call them "rules" but actually, there are no rules ... only suggestions to make this activity successful:

  • Commit to the activity by leaving a comment agreeing to participate in the challenge.

  • Pass the word ... talk about it, email your friends and family, and/or blog about it.


THE CURRENT CHALLENGE

Reduce the size of the trash bin by recycling and/or composting



PREVIOUS CHALLENGES (in chronological order)

Eco-friendly cleansers

Meatless meals

Make a craft using recycled/repurposed materials

Reuse by donating to a charity

No spending diet

Leave the car at home

CFLs and LEDs

Local foods

Plastic bags

Short showers


A FEW TIPS AND IDEAS

  • Have fun! These challenges are designed to teach us something and push us a little ... to challenge us to try something new. But, in the process, there's nothing saying we can't have a little fun. So embrace CTWW and have fun!

  • Write a post about the current challenge, let us know you did by leaving a comment, and your article will get stumbled.

  • Get your blog/site some visibility. When you leave a comment, agreeing to participate in the challenge, you'll be added to the next week's "Honor Society". Your name and a link to your site will be posted, hopefully bringing you new readers.

  • Copy each week's list of Honorees along with a link to Reduce Footprints and paste it into a post on your blog. If we all do this, our blog rankings will go up.

  • Passing the word is easy ... if you are a Twitter member, tweet about CTWW using the hashtag #ctww

  • Join BlogCatalog's group Change The World


WE'RE CHANGING THE WORLD ...
ONE CHALLENGE AT A TIME
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Now ... our Honor Society:

Angie Ledbetter at http://angie-ledbetter.blogspot.com/

Harmony at http://harmonytravel.blogspot.com/

The Laughing Idiot at http://goofygardener.blogspot.com/2009/07/light-bulbs-change-world-wednesday.html

Melissa at http://greenbeangal.blogspot.com/

TC at http://livesmartbook.blogspot.com/2009/07/change-world.html

Sinclair at http://sharingourgifts.blogspot.com/2009/07/change-world-wednesday.html AND AT http://naturewithme.blogspot.com/2009/07/change-world-wednesday.html

Elizabeth Barrette at http://ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com/686062.html

IB at http://idiotsstew.blogspot.com/

Joanne at http://joannedemaio.blogspot.com/

Chicamom85 at http://chicamom85.blogspot.com/2009/07/change-world-wednesday.html

MeganRebekah at http://meganrebekahblogs.blogspot.com/

EcoGrrl at http://ecogrrlnetwork.blogspot.com/

Eemilla at http://eemilla.wordpress.com/

KiwiRiverman - The Writer at http://worldofcae.blogspot.com/2009/06/new-eco-light-bulbs-contain-mercury-how.html

Kate at http://holdfastseeker.blogspot.com/

Heather at http://www.earthpromise.com/blog/2009/07/03/change-the-world-wednesday/

CoyotePrime at http://coyoteprime-runningcauseicantfly.blogspot.com/2009/07/change-world-with-small-footprints.html

Brian at http://www.eazycheezy.net/

The Happy Couple at http://www.cooking4carnivores.com/

GigiSxm at http://adventuresingigi.blogspot.com/2009/07/change-world-wednesdays.html

Aid Renegade at http://www.aid-renegade.com/

Ellie Great at http://elliegreat.blogspot.com/

Harri Pao at http://blogodril.blogspot.com/2009/07/what-would-happen-if-you-install-led.html

Okay ... are you ready for a new challenge? Here you go:

For one full day this week, don't use (or ride in) a car. That's right ... leave the car at home and either walk, ride a bicycle or take public transportation (or even ... stay home). One full day ... 24 hours ... no car.


OR ... if you are already car free, write a post about not using a car. Include such topics as how to make it work, drawbacks and solutions, and why it's better for the environment.


What do you think? Can you do it?

We're changing the world ... one challenge at a time!

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Saturday, 22 August 2009

“HOPE”


“HOPE”

Heavens mouth
As a single little droplet of golden blue water falls,
From the black leaden clouds high in the night sky
To land gently on the EARTH high in the mighty rocky mountains
And then in time form a mighty bubbling pure river.
That stretches to a far off ocean.

So one day soon love,light & happiness will form an unstoppable golden river
That will fill an ocean here on this wonderful planet we all call

………………………………MOTHER EARTH ……………………..

Love ,light and happiness the Dafthermit

Friday, 21 August 2009

The Blackbus Festival The biggest Little Green Festival On Line

Collages1

I have set up a wee online festival a green way to come together and share our crafts shop or sit and chat save fuel visit the Blackbus Festival and a warm welcome awaits ..

Already the festival at the bus has welcomed over 90 people in three days and we now have some amazing people aboard so if you sew knit paint carve juggle etc etc then pop over without using a gallon of fuel

I promise you we have no police helicopters etc buzzing us so again saving fuel

The Online Festival has now got:

A poetry corner: http://dafthermit.ning.com/group/poetry a place to share your love of poetry

Pottery Studios : http://dafthermit.ning.com/group/potteryshop

Hardware Shop : http://dafthermit.ning.com/group/hardwareshop woodburners wind gennys etc…

Wool Shop :http://dafthermit.ning.com/group/woolshop if you sew kni t weave etc then this is the place to show of your wonderful craft

Picture Gallery : http://dafthermit.ning.com/group/paintingsphotographyshop a place to sell and buy art

Jewellery Shops : http://dafthermit.ning.com/group/jewelleryshop some amazing craftspeople

much much more coming so why not come aboard the Blackbus Festival the biggest little green online festival in the world

love peace and light to all

save journey

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Touching The Stars

Collages

Waking up and slowly pulling the duvet back i could just make out in the light it was a little after 2.30 am.
Everyone aboard was fast asleep and lying there with a fag i smiled as i could see Wilkie our cat snuggled up in his usual place next to the burner it always amazes me that we haven’t as yet found him melted to it one morning .
Chloe our other cat was lying on the chair next to the cooker all four legs heading in different directions and a gentle purr proclaiming complete contentment with life.
Dylan and Custard our two dogs were nestled together on their chair ,Custard letting out the occasional little yelp as he chases a huge bar of dreamy chocolate round and round the moors in his dreams.
Dylan with his head resting on Custard was just gently breathing almost in unison with Mel together it brought a smile to this old daft hermit …
I got up and after making myself a coffee headed outside ,it was completely dark except for the gentle  pink light next to the bus door..
Heading to the back of the bus i couldn’t see except a few feet in front of me but slowly i headed to my favourite wee rock and after lighting up another fag i sipped my coffee and slowly let my eyes adjust to the dim light ..
To me it is so good to be out in the moors when all around is complete quiet then as your eyes adjust so your ears a tune to the surrounding countryside and from the  small hill of to my right i could make out at least five deer gently rumbling there conversation to one another
then as i sipped at my drink i could hear a couple of ducks landing on the loch and after some  brief but noisy chatter they settled on the water and headed off in search of food ..
The wee burn now came drifting to my ears and i listened as it made  its timeless coarse to the loch …..
High in the sky no stars were visible under a thick multi coloured blanket of slowly moving cloud ,
then a few drops of rain fell from them and landed by the rock
and at first they seemed to dance as if trying to encourage each another to get back up into the sky and the cloud that had just gave birth to them ,but quickly realising they had ended their watery fall from the sky ,
decided to huddle together and form a dark puddle which rapidly grew as other droplets ended their earthward journey.
Lying back in the long grass with it gently caressing my face the contentment i had seen in Chloe my wee cat washed over my whole body and a feeling off blissful eternity washed my very heart ..
Then two crows flew close bye and after circling decided to land but a few feet from me their loud conversation filled the glen then slowly even they  seemed to settle an enjoy this wondrous night here high in the wonderful Scottish highlands..
Then the rain eased and looking up at the sky i could see a break in the clouds forming and then the first star of the night emerged quickly followed by another then another and with the thought of future human journeys to the stars filling my mind i gently laid back down in the grass and stretching my arm skyward i touched one of the stars with my finger tip and drifted of in a highland dream …………………………



Love peace and light to all xxx




Friday, 7 August 2009

Lifting the Skirt of civilization a Time to retreat (aye that’s a wee bit of dirt between my toes!!!!!!!)

The last few days have struck home once again.. how DAFT i really am….

A few things have happened over the last few days which have really brought me to my senses and once again i find myself retreating arms held firmly to my sides and now i look after my family and that is it ……

I have been debating with myself as to if i should shut down all the sites i am on as well as my accounts

I have not yet found the answer to that ..

I shocks me how easily so called civilized people as they stand there a smile on their face and yet hatred bubbling under the made up exterior can believe it is NOT visible

People talk to me and believe that they are far better people than us simply because we live in a bus and have a wee bit off dirt between our toes..

I guess the thing is that they also belief that i am so thick that i can’t understand their blunted questions…. and remarks !!!!!

I have always been a person that will try to help anyone along the road of life

but from now on this old daft hermit is retreating from all the falseness and hatred that seems to prevail in this so called civilized society …

loyalty ,respect ,trust just three little words that seem to be dismissed as old fashioned thoughts

we are getting ready to head further away from people and towards OUR simple but beautiful way of life ,time to get back to the wonderful beauty that surrounds us ….

a hurt and sad hermit……………………………………………………………..

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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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