As many of you may know we no longer run a Bed and Breakfast and have embarked upon a new radical project called the Red House Project at Atelier 88 Galicia
Looking out this morning onto dappled green in the early sunshine, the mist still hangs over the nearby Rio Sor. There are wild horses in the field, and evidence of wild boar snuffling at the edges of the track. The Chestnut, Oak and Willow trees are rapidly coming into leaf, and the birds are going about their spring business. As much as we want to sit and admire the view, there’s wood to cut, and fires to prepare before breakfast.
That, in essence, is our philosophy, to return as best as one can to a simpler life. To eschew where possible the things that have taken us to the brink of disaster, the seas of plastic we watched literally bobbing up and down in the sea off Jakarta, the discarded waste from the tourist industry on Bali.
Yes, we are privileged, we acknowledge that. We are fortunate to be able to have choices, but with this privilege, our choices must be in keeping with our actions toward the living Earth. I must clarify that in the scale of privilege we are like everyone, a pawn of the society we inhabit, its politics, its relentlessly dangerous pursuit of capital. If you don’t have an income you will struggle. Yet many of us still have the choice to change things for the better. We can still make positive decisions, we can still make a difference, but we need action now.
So let’s all of us make a difference, let’s live as we profess we should live, lets whenever possible return to a more symbiotic relationship with the natural world.
So what are we doing here at The Red House?
To begin with, it is not easy to set out to find a path that addresses those problems that face us all each day. Plastic is ubiquitous, you cannot buy vegetables in our local supermercado with putting them in plastic. The meat counters one day disappeared and a new chilled leviathan of plastic-wrapped meats appeared, no doubt saving on staff. Everything you buy is covered in the stuff, dog, cat food, and as we all know much more. There may be many ways to approach this, but it’s David and Goliath, and Goliath is still stalking the aisles.
With two large fields and other areas of hard labour we are but two, and despite our tenacity, we cannot keep pace with the demands, so would you like to come and pitch in, and be part of this project in return for bed and board? Workshare is not new and it has the benefit of being a kind of barter. Do you have the skills to offer? Want to work and have access to our print studio, our numerous walks and painting classes? If so, this might be something that resonates with you.
Because of the nature of how we are living, The Red House is also a place to come if you want to learn how to cook on a wood-fired stove (Esse Ironheart) and learn how to bake bread in a traditional Galician bread oven. Having run an organic smallholding in the UK, it’s such a joy to have the chance to keep livestock again. Our Finca is almost five acres all of which need a whole load of TLC given to it as it’s been badly neglected over the years. One of our crazier ideas is to plow the land ourselves with horse and plow. We are serious about this and are currently on the search for a horse that Lottie can work with over the next few months. it’s a huge job but she’s up for the challenge.
We want The Red House to be somewhere that people can visit because they share similar values. We want it to be somewhere that is inclusive rather than exclusive. This new venture will appeal to those that want to walk a gentler path, away from the noise and pollution, away from the fast pace and stress of daily life. You will stay as family and friends. No frills but hopefully enjoyable and you will be well looked after and well-fed. If on the other hand you don’t feel you have the stamina for digging the veg patch or hedging, and you just want to do the art courses, the can provide our course prices separately.
We live 15 minutes from the nearest beach and 20 minutes from the nearest surfing beach. The nearest bar is a 10 minute drive and our village shop is 20 minutes away.
What are our classes going to be like on our new project?
Galicia is not a part of Spain that many people first think of, its usually sunshine and beaches with fish and chips. Here we have a stunning, unspoiled coastline, beautiful sandy beaches, the best mariscos, and pulpo you will find anywhere. The sunshine is manageable, there are walks, kayaking, surfing, riding, it is truly a green and pleasant land here in the North.
Our classes will encompass the wonderful natural world that surrounds us here, the Rio Sor and its walks, refugios and off the beaten track possibilities for painters, printmakers, and writers, it is one of the many gifts that we have here on our doorstep.
Galicia is well-known for its walking trails. It’s Proud of its Celtic tradition and rich in music, myth, and folklore. The famous Camino, pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela weaves way through this verdant undulating and wildland in the most North-Western part of Spain in the A Coruña province. The local ports traditionally provided a starting point for what is called the English route (Camino Inglés), yes you guessed it, us Brits found a short cut to salvation!
Walking in nature, painting, being one with the world, painting, drawing, making artist books, and printmaking or combinations of these in one-off original monoprints. Whether you have been making art for a long time, just starting, always wanted too, this is the place to be.
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O Barqueiro from opposite beach