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A book of tales, whispered by a fire. The sounds of the ocean, breathing a rhythm. The sparks, swaying to the tune. Dancing into the moonlit sky. Disappearing into its depth. The melodies of a life, meandering across a land, written in the stars.

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We’d finally reached the sea at sunset the evening before, racing excitedly in our little blue van across the dunes. The poor little truck only having one option, lurch rapidly forward or sink into the hungry sands. We pulled to a stop in the beautiful bay, gazed up at the arches and the sandy cove, declared it home number one and set up camp. The first of many moonlit bottles of wine guzzled and giggled beside a fire. It was to be a frame of twigs we’d gathered the afternoon previous by the road, tied to our roof as was to become another regular custom of our journey, the trusted green rope being a staple of our everyday diet of collect and consume. Of course our only consumption consisting of the bits of gold we declared of use. Like little magpies we foraged in the undergrowth, our mutual taste in what others discard being another one of the facets we managed to find such solace in each other.

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Upon that a roof of seaweed would be perched and a small chimney to stave off the cold, it being rather precariously and delicately balanced on the windswept arch, over the Pacific Sea. Quite if we’d managed to last a night on that arch can only be referenced by the harmless but altogether rather lucky escapes we were to make in the coming weeks.

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We collected amusement along our travels, in similar quantity to bits of old tin, or the old rusty tin tied to our roof added to their amusement. I guess we carried a harmless charm, which seems to have saved us along the way, our failures endearing, our enthusiasm inspiring. We tied our cargo to the roof, being careful not to worsen Mary’s wound, heading back to our clearing. A calmness took over and we began a simple frame, of a simple little house. Twigs tied and nailed together, the shape emerged as the sun began to set. I made a simple meal, William made a fire. Routines of comfort and practicality.

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The bedraggled looks, everything wet through. We escaped. A night away. Worried dreams. Still it rained. The morning, driving across the grey dirt roads. The house that floated away. Its home discarded from its innards across the lake. A piece of lace caught on a nail. The duvet floated nearby, the air caught beneath blowing balloons of printed flowers to the surface. Brightly knitted crochet dangled off a branch, a clump of white daisies bobbed across the oil like surface of the water. Its four proud legs had crushed along with our dreams. The fantasy of shelter, of waking in this house, stretching our arms in the morning mist. The fires we were to create to warm us. Little Oscar shivered. Damply by the water’s edge. A homeless puppy, on the green verge, of the dark lake.

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Digging her out, we tied her almost as before, but decided as such, she’d not welcomed us much.

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A house of flowers now towers, high in a long branch. The most magical place, in the land of Carlo, who welcomed us in. Words can’t describe, the land we had the pleasure to reside. The glint in his eye, and such wisdom within. His way of life first appearing grim, over time only built disgust, at how silly we are, all aims aimed so far. When the beauty of life, lies in but a smile. In a land and a sheep. A cow you eat when you need. A chicken that lays you an egg. A tomato. In season. Makes a lot more reason. Kill what you need and discard all your greed. Dear Carlo won’t judge, nor will he budge. If I could only be, a fraction of that man I did see.

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The winter chased us through the night, the dawn finally came. The sun spilling down the mountain, rushing to greet us. It burst in the house, like a dear and cherished friend.

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The north had beckoned for some time. The winter had been encroaching, snapping at our tails as we headed up the country. The arrival in the desert, its warmth bringing a new energy to our lives. The house and its surroundings provided us with the comfort and shelter we had craved. We stared at the stars as the fire slowly died, glancing tiredly at each other over the embers. The three months had drawn to a close. We curled up in bed and slept the deepest of sleeps.

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The end of the beginning...

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The Homes Project  

A Journey by William and Tony

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