Thursday, July 21, 2005

Cold Comfort Farm

the pirate in, oh, about 1975, at cold comfort farm

some of our loyal readers expressed an interest in "cold comfort farm" so here is a brief explanation of how we came to use that name, and a hint of the history of the place.

in 1969 my first wife and i lived in london, and watched, on the telly as they say, a dramatization of a novel called "cold comfort farm." it was hilarious. we got the book and read it. we joked often about the characters.

in 1971, or close enough, we bought ten acres of redwoods with a very dilapidated house. we made it livable, which included having a septic system installed and reroofing the house. a pony came with the property. an ornery pony. we gave him away. there was a chicken coop. we got chickens.

my wife had a sign made, for my birthday, with "cold comfort farm" in fancy script and a border of flowers. i built a post with a cross piece. i put it where our driveway left the road and hung the sign on it. by and by, though not due to the sign, our place became a minor way station on the san francisco/arcata hippie highway. we had a stream of interesting visitors, most interesting in a good way, some in a not-such-good way.

off in the woods there was a cozy little opening where my brother (an actual sibling, not a hippie "brother") and his girlfriend would camp when they visited. other people also began to camp there when visiting. one of the rather strange but very industrious and kind visitors asked if he could build a small dome there and we said ok. he scrounged lumber and built a hexagonal platform and then a hexagonal dome or yurt on it. he lived there for a while and moved on. many others spent longer or shorter times there.

the yurt, not being sturdy enough to survive after its plastic cover disintegrated, crumpled after several years. a newcomer then built a more substantial little cabin on the still sturdy platform and lived in it for a while.

still later i rebuilt the big house, making it larger and much nicer, and sold it and moved further out. another story for another time.

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