Ok so with the diploma so far I've been working myself up quite a bit and getting rather anxious and stressed about things, and then not really getting much done, and then seeing other people's work and thinking "oh my god their work is so much better than mine I need to step up!", and then getting more worked up, and wondering if I'm even doing things right, and YADA YADA YADA YADA. BORING! Absolutely self defeating cycle of negativity that is not useful in the slightest!

I've got my day flow now from project 3 which is mapping out my day in the aim of becoming more productive. Fantastic! One of the tasks each day is to "Do something I have been avoiding"... such as tackling various projects on the diploma!

I've worked out a nice way to get out of my cycle of negativity - just start doing stuff. In the life design I had done all of the stages up to the Design stage. Before I started the design I was thinking "AHHH HAVE I DONE ENOUGH SO FAR? IS THIS GOOD? IS THIS WHAT IM SUPPOSED TO BE DOING?!" etc. Then I was confused as to what I was even going to design and how I would go about designing it. So I just opened up VUE and started doing stuff. First was a quick brainstorm about whatever came into my head. Then I started a new page and just mapped out a flow diagram of my own take on "getting things done" based on the observations and analysis that I had done so far. Then I figured that, since I work well in structured settings and also since there are loads of things that I want to try and squeeze in - that it would be good to create a flow diagram for my day. And there we have the Day Flow! These are my designs now. Nothing fancy, nothing terribly complex, but if I follow them (as I have been) then they will increase my productivity massively! Which is the whole aim in the first place. Fantastic. So in future when I'm feeling stunted and stuck - JUST DO SOMETHING! Mind maps are handy. Brain splurt. 

Moving on to the garden design, and I've been feeling quite stunted on that front too. I'm worried that I haven't made enough observations of the garden to make serious changes. So while I make further observations, I am planting some annuals around the place. This stacks functions, since I'm still learning a lot of the basics about food growing - but also spending plenty of time out in the garden observing whats going on around me. Digging around has taught me lots about the types of soil we have, different pests, weeds etc. All good stuff! Many Permaculturists say you should observe for at least a year before you do a design - so I'm doing this while obtaining a yield of food. Yay!

It seems that I am quite justified in taking this approach, and also that I have had a lapse in my information gathering process! I was out in the garden talking to my mum earlier, when I noticed that we have a well grown hawthorn in one of the sunnier areas of the garden, by the patio. Excitement ensued as I pondered the possibilities of grafting some fruiting stock on, perhaps a medlar. Conveniently, this is the area that I was intending to grow a forest garden - so the established root stock was great news! There is also a crab apple on that section that I will graft onto. This is all great work towards my "Incredible Edible Appleton" guerilla gardening project - as with my newly developed grafting skills I will be able to do some guerilla grafting onto the abundance of local hawthorn and crab apples! 

I've also had a block for a while about how on earth I'm going to make raised beds! I've not really done anything of the sort before. I made a bird box recently, and that applying that standard of carpentry to the construction of raised beds is worrying! But anyway, I had the idea of constructing keyhole beds with a cascading path along the slope. It seems good in my head, so I'm going to draw it out to see how it looks on paper. 

Ooops! I just had a bright idea to go on justfortheloveofit.com to ask if anyone could give me a hand building raised beds. I ended up sending a rallying call to everyone within 25 miles to come together and start a Transition Town movement! EPIC! 

So that's things for the moment. I sort of got distracted. 

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