Foraging with Taste the Wild [Read me!]
And the Winner is…... [Read me!]
Bivouac Loves….Curious Handmade… [Read me!]
Jane Corbett Makes Bivouacs Spring Time Wishes... [Read me!]
A day Woodland Printmaking at Hackfall! [Read me!]
Story Corner [Read me!]
Becky Doggett posted this on 12th Jun 2012
Here at Bivouac we offer massages for guests and locals alike on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The lovely lady from leeds who provides them is called Jo and we thought it was about time we shared her with you, just so you could see how great she is and get a better idea of the massage she provides and the ethos behind her work!
Q: First things first, tell us what made you become a massage therapist.
I trained over a decade ago but it wasn’t until I moved to Yorkshire that I took the opportunity to change careers. I’ve enjoyed the other jobs I’ve had but always knew I’d return to massage eventually.
There’s a Chinese proverb that goes ‘Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.’ It makes sense to me that when we’re relaxed and replenished we are the best version of ourselves. We’re more patient, more generous and better able to take advantage of the opportunities that come our way.
Rather than being somewhere to go to retreat from the world, massage can act as a touchstone to help us navigate our way back to that feeling of peace in our day to day life.
Q: What style of massage do you offer to our Bivouac guests?
I practice a massage style called Lomi Lomi. It originates in Hawaii and is characterised by long flowing strokes. It’s very relaxing and also allows for deeper muscle work - it’s the best of both worlds!
Q: What do you use to massage?
I use fairly traded organic coconut oil from Shea Butter Cottage. They source their ingredients directly from farmers, producers and community projects and donate to workers co-operatives to pay for health insurance and build facilities like toilets. All their products are vegan-friendly too which is an added bonus.
Q: What’s the best thing about your job?
I love thinking of ways to make my clients feel treated. I heat my massage table before appointments, warm up my massage oil and wash clients feet with hot cloths.
Q: Tell us a bit about how you got involved with Bivouac.
We met on Twitter. They wanted a chef, so I offered to massage instead. I came up for a visit on a wet and windy November evening and fell in love with the place and it’s people.
At that point the site was still a work in progress, and there was lots of mud. I came back again in spring for their volunteer weekend - I was tasked with painting the shack walls and furniture - so I got to see how things were taking shaped before it opened. I’m so proud of how Bivouac has turned out. It’s gorgeous!
Q: What’s the best thing about working at Bivouac?
I love being surrounded by nature. Being able to walk out of the massage room onto the hilltop and see for miles across the valley is incredible.
Q: If any of our guests are thinking of booking a massage and would like to find out more, where should they look?
There’s more details about massage at Bivouac on their website. They can also take a look at my own website, friend me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.
I’m currently available at Bivouac on Wednesdays and Saturdays and it’s best to book ahead to make sure that there are appointment times available.
Q: Over to you for the last word ...
There’s a poem by Miller Williams called ‘The Ways We Touch’ which I hold as my manifesto.
‘Have compassion for everyone you meet
even if they don’t want it. What seems conceit,
bad manners, or cynicism is always a sign
of things no ears have heard, no eyes have seen.
You do not know what wars are going on
down there where the spirit meets the bone.’
Heres a few helpful links if you like what you’ve read…
Becky Doggett posted this on 10th Jun 2012
Just occasionally, amidst all the dodgy Beatles cover versions and taped backing music, you come across a busker who’s so good you have to stop and listen!
We are very lucky to be able to put on FREE gig up here at Bivouac with Cambridgeshire singer-songwriter Tom Copson. His Debut album ‘Woven’ was released on Monday 4th June and this summer he will be performing at Hop Farm, Cambridge Folk Festival and Secret Garden Party festivals. So book a place as space is limited or make an evening of it and book a table if you want to experience dinner at our quirky cafe as well!
The bar will be open all evening and we know it will be a fantastic night of good food, good music and brilliant company! Check out the video to hear for your self how amazing the music will be and call 01765 535 020 for more information or to book.
Becky Doggett posted this on 16th Jan 2012
Whilst getting our next newsletter ready to send out, I spent some time chatting to the guys working on the Shacks. We did a little Q&A for the newsletter to give people an insight into the building of the Shacks and while we were chatting away Andy mentioned he had a smallholding back in Sussex that he and his partner started five years ago. Their approach to it and what they have achieved is really interesting and so I thought I would share it with you!
Andy and Kate call it microholding because the plot of land they have is so small. They wanted to have their own workshop and grow their own veg so five years ago they bought a house and transformed the garden. It was the first time either of them had attempted something like this, but with a lot of common sense and some gardening know how they have created a successful site for organic food production.
They have tried to make their small holding have a low environmental impact and re-use and recycle where possible. The electric fence which keeps the pigs in is powered by a second hand solar panel, they collect rainwater from all their roofs and have used coppiced sweet chestnut for various structures around their garden.
Currently they grow a range of vegetables year round, have a selection of different fruit trees and bushes, keep former battery chickens and quail for eggs and have started breeding pigs for meat. The majority of the food they eat has come from their own hard work and the only produce that they need to buy from the local store is flour, bread and oil!
As they both have jobs that take them away from their smallholding for short periods of time they have designed it to be a low input system. The chicken run is completely fox proof and is set up so the chickens don’t have to be shut in at night, but can let themselves in and out. They grow their vegetables hard which takes more time but means they need less attention and in Andy’s opinion taste better too!
Any smallholding will need attention though and in April and May Andy and Kate are at their busiest sowing and planting, keeping birds away and picking slugs off their plants. I asked Andy when his favorite time of year was, June and July was his answer, when the gardens rammed full of produce ready to be eaten. The winter months were less rewarding as the root veg which is associated with this time of year such as carrots, parsnips and squash, take more work and are less fun.
In November 2011 they won Smallholder of the Year, an award given out by country smallholding magazine and Kate has gone on to write articles for them. They also make a range of products such as table lamps, wine racks and outdoor furniture from reclaimed wood in their workshop to sell. If you are interested in finding out more about them why not look them up on the permaculture association website:
or have a look at the fantastic things they make in their workshop:
Becky Doggett posted this on 03rd Jan 2012
Its the New Year and its back down to business here at Bivouac Swinton! Everything is really starting to take shape and we’re feeling incredible excited about this next chapter.
Although a few Christmas dreams may have been disappointed by the lack of snow, here at Bivouac there is an audible sigh of relief that the white stuff hasn’t made much of an appearance - allowing work to carry on!
With the fourth Shack frame raised and standing in what has to be my favourite place, the Shack team are making good progress. Not content with all the amazing building thats going on for the project, they’ve also been busy on their days off building their caravans impressive porches to provide them with a barrier of sorts against the mud. The array of materials and items used is a testament to the resourcefulness and imagination these guys have. Makes me smile every time I walk past!
The Yurt bases are moving forward too and we are getting our first Yurt next week. I’m sure we’ll be posting up pictures of our new arrival in no time at all. The doors and windows are in place around most of the reception and cafe area and the painting of the internals is starting this week.
If you would like more in-depth news about whats happening on site or want to find out more about the people involved in making this happen, why not sign up for our newsletter? Just click on the ‘Our Newsletter’ button at the bottom of the page and fill in your details.