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I have entirely lost track of time since Saturday when we lost an hour. We had just turned out our lights at home in solidarity with a global energy saving action for the hour between 8 and 9 when the phone rang. It was someone telling me that one of my most treasured friends had been found dead 3 hours earlier. This made sense of my restlessness that day. I had been here at the allotment and just couldn't settle to digging even though the sun was shining, so I cleaned out my shed instead. Then the weather became increasingly dismal, dark threatening clouds accompanied by a cold wind. I packed up early and went home to sit by a log fire. This particular friend had spent the last twenty years of his life living outside of four walls with increasingly little. This was his aim in fact, to live with nothing. He had no income, no running water (just a stream within walking distance), no electricity, no heating apart from a wood stove fashioned out of an old gas bottle, no clothes whenever possible and he cooked on a fire outside. He lived on what he could salvage from other people's scraps and supermarket skips and the occasional goodwill of some people who respected his lifestyle. For some of these years he was accompanied in this mission by a partner with whom he shared an intense and loving relationship which resulted in three children all born in their tiny bender (makeshift home). This friend will be sadly missed by many people who encountered him, maybe lived alongside him for a while or just, like me, visited him by way of retreat. In these moments of remembering one thing's for sure, there will always be laughter. When I saw him last I was describing my project here on the allotment to him. He had absolutely no problem understanding what I am doing here and the concept of 'becoming'. I owe so much to him (03/04/08).

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