When my friend Shaun visited he made a comment: “I’ve really enjoyed visiting, not only you – the Little Baobab feels like somewhere that will be a big part of my future too – I can’t wait to see how it develops each year”. Actually, what he said was far more eloquent, but we were half way through a bottle of Claymore, so I’ve forgotten the exact words.
I was really happy with the sentiment. Although I may not have communicated this through these ramblings, I want the Little Baobab to be not only our home, but a place for friends, family and like minded people to rest, retreat, create and enjoy. That’s always been part of my vision. Whether you want to relax, sit on the beach, learn French, drum or dance, go trekking, get involved in an eco or a community project, we’ve got it covered.
A decade or so ago, I was sat in a bar on the shores of Lake Malawi chatting to a bloke from London who had left the rat race and built a lodge that was employing and supporting half the local village. After a few beers, he let it slip that I could buy my own island in Mozambique for around ten grand sterling. Well, this was at a point when I had some money as I’d been working as an expat for four years and then received a chunky redundancy pay packet. It was one of those comments I wish I’d never heard – from that point on I started dreaming of how I could develop an island. In the end I took the “sensible” decision and went home to buy a house and get a job. And then I always dreamt of what might have been.
The house in Brighton was a fine home – it felt “right” from the first moment I saw it and subsequently everyone remarked on how good it felt, in much the same way people are telling me now about the Little Baobab. This time I get to design and build the house from scratch and therefore have the responsibility of making it feel right.
After weeks sporting a biro, a tape measure and some scraps of paper I have finally designed our main house. Shaun also reminded me of an earlier comment by his friend, a fine arts graduate. After perusing my photos she pointed out a common theme of circles and rounded edges in my images – one of those things that I was totally unaware of.
And now I live in a round house and the new house will be equally circular.