mUD MOUNTAIN BLOG
Back in 2011, I found myself camping alone on a remote
Turkish hill. There was no power or water on the land.
It was the start of an adventure that profoundly changed
my beliefs about what is enjoyable, or possible...
How And Why It All Ended.
I never thought I'd leave Mud Mountain. I felt a deep connection with the earth and the wildlife of my space. Building my earthbag home was the single best thing I did. Living in it was exquisite. I’d assumed I’d be buried there.
So why did I leave? Those who’ve followed this blog a while now will have pieced together much of the story. Even so, some of it has slipped through net, usually due to a lack of time to write, and because so often we can only see the relevance of certain points on the path much further down the road.
Yes, in hindsight it all started with an eerie conversation with a tree I called the Wisdom carob, which told me to let go of it all. Though I remember quite clearly shaking my finger at the tree and saying, “Well it can all change, but I’m not letting go of my land. No way! Forget it!”
Two months later in February 2016 my neighbour bulldozed the plot directly next to me ready to build a small cabin in it. Not too bad by most people’s standards. But I was used to being lost in the wilds, out of sight from everyone. Mud Mountain was my secret world, and it felt like an invasion.
So that was the trigger. The initial shove. Yet that wasn’t all in truth, for there had been other issues welling up. They had collected silently below the surface over the years, like suppressed tears waiting for catharsis.
Though I loved my land and my area, there were issues I began to tire of coping with; dodging bullets from hapless hunters (some would be literally ten metres from my house and fire into my land unaware I was even there), hearing ancient pines being chain-sawed to the ground, seeing rare birds being shot and dogs being poisoned, and watching toxic pesticides being spread over every field in the name of controlling weeds or bugs. I wasn’t the only person around me who felt the same way, but we were an outgunned minority.
Then, just after the bulldozing in February, a friend of mine who was travelling around the Iberian Peninsula sent me a few adverts for plots of land for sale in Spain and Portugal. Beautiful, rolling plots with stone huts or cave houses. As I perused the internet, I noticed something inside me had changed. The Mediterranean was leaving me cold. Suddenly, without ever having interested me before, the entire Atlantic coast from Lagos to Orkney began to whisper to me. The ruggedness of the rocks. The waves. The pewter skies with their fiery sunsets...The Earth was speaking. I knew it.
It’s easy to talk of change. Exacting it is a little trickier. My home seemed to be embedded within me. How could I let it go? So I clung to it, procrastinated, until a few extraordinary events ripped my fingers from its earthy walls; a forest fire, a sick dog, an attempted coup. It seemed the land itself was ejecting me, throwing me out into the big wide world.
And the rest is history. I sold my mud home, and returned to England with my dog in tow.
Next I bought a van, and began travelling the Atlantic coast in search of a new space, a space where nature’s magic is felt and nurtured. And where mud homes can bloom. That quest for my new Eden - an 18 month odyssey that took me from the northern most tip of Scotland to the southern most toe of Portugal - was recorded in the On The Road series.
The road was far from straight of course. There were many ups and downs, twists and turns. My beautiful dog died. I am alone once more.
Yet after 18 months of van life (which I freely admit, I began to loathe), I finally found a new mud and stone world. It is beautiful. It is powerful. And I love it. You can follow my latest adventures as I single-handedly build a new off-grid world for myself, at the Earth Whispering Blog.
4/5/2017 02:59:11 pm
Dear Atulya, change requires bravery and you surely have it :) With "one foot in front of the other" you have inspired many people to come out of their boxes, at least in spirit if not physically possible due to life situations :)
4/5/2017 03:11:27 pm
Oh I remember Croatia as such a beautiful, virgin place. Yes, mass tourism really kills local habitat. No doubt about it. But it's still a big world. And much beauty and peace to be found, even in tiny old Europe, as I am learning.
5/5/2017 03:44:09 pm
I'm so thrilled you're writing again... I've been checking in regularly to see where you are at! Thank you for sharing your journey!
7/5/2017 09:01:30 pm
Last week I suddenly realised some people might not have seen the blog had moved to On The Road. I was right:) Thanks Luisa.
9/5/2017 01:28:48 pm
My pleasure! :)
10/5/2017 07:27:53 pm
I too fell in love with the Turkey of old! Its change along the coast of the med has changed the people as well as the land. I still visit regularly. I'm itching to travel further east to find the older Turkey........
12/5/2017 11:59:08 am
Hope you find it John.
10/5/2017 07:29:37 pm
That was a terrific write up of the events leading to your letting go of your home. I can really identify with you. Thanks for sharing this with us <3
12/5/2017 12:00:05 pm
Thanks Elayne and good luck with your own land sale. Looks gorgeous.
10/5/2017 08:06:59 pm
12/5/2017 12:00:56 pm
There are plenty of gems to be found, that's for sure.
11/5/2017 06:25:42 pm
Hi Atulya, I know how you felt. I had a nice secluded lot and then the adjoining lot was bulldozed and three rental properties set up. Now neighbors come and go. Some play loud music, some stole from my garden and another target practiced with rifles. the latest one has a free roaming dog that scared off all the wildlife we so enjoyed. I am not brave like you and too old to move (unless it is to a nursing home). I admire your courage and spirit. Please let us share you next mud home.
12/5/2017 12:04:13 pm
Oh it's so distressing. No idea how to avoid this stuff, other than buy an entire island. And even then... But yes, so many ideas for the new mud home.:)
6/10/2017 05:19:31 pm
I started to folow your blog recently, with great pleasure, and it felt so sad to read that you had to let it all go !! But I guess that's life, never think that something is for ever, cause nothing is ! Learning to let things go is one of the biggest lessons on earth. And listening to one's inner voice is another one, which you seem to be doing without much problem :)
6/10/2017 05:41:48 pm
Yes I agree. We must let go. It is useless, and destructive to cling. nothing is forever, and thank God! If it were, that would mean stasis. It's funny, because almost a year on, I am so very glad to have let it go. So many brand new possibilities and new relationships to begin. I will always be grateful to Mud Mountain for bringing me up. And even more grateful that she pushed me out into the world again:)
5/4/2018 12:39:31 pm
So sad to hear that all your hard work has gone to some one else and that you have left your little world behind. Life takes us on strange journeys (I call them adventures)
5/4/2018 11:59:45 pm
Thank you Ivan! If you want to see the latest exciting developments on my land hunt, they are here.http://www.themudhome.com/on-the-road
2/7/2020 12:05:35 pm
Hi, I think the post highlights this magical thing called ‘letting go’. The greatest moments happen when we’re not ‘in control’.
17/7/2021 09:11:13 am
13/8/2021 10:11:40 am
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Atulya K Bingham
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