A journalist & photographer has been on site, working on a project to demonstrate alternative ways of living and working.
She's working from the angle that with the Italian economy being as it is, the suicide rate is increasing due to folk not being able to pay their bills or provide for their families. This isn't exclusive to Italy, it's on the rise in the UK and around the world as the cost of living reaches levels that the average wage simply can't support.
And so she's come to the Yard to show how it can be done. It's no news to anyone here that the lifestyle is cheap and economical, with a whole host of other benefits and drawbacks. But it's always refreshing to have someone else recognise that, someone with the want to put that message out there, particularly when it's done respectfully. So when she approached me, instead of our usual tactic of running the opposite direction, I wanted in. Especially given the mental health angle.
How folk here live and the attitudes of some people towards that is still a bit of sore wound, given that the battle to keep the homes and studios and the community is still ongoing. For some people the message that this lifestyle isn't just OK, but is actually beneficial on many, many levels may be 20 or 30 years too late. But at least folk are saying it and putting it out there, folk other than those who live it.
I've no idea which publication it's going into, we had a slight translation issue! (Aran's good but there's only so much a 6yo can manage). It may be some time before the benefits are felt, but I sincerely hope today's adventure helps someone - I know myself that I'd have appreciated someone reassuring me all those years ago.
ps/ edited this post to sound a little less ranty. There's been a lot going on this week, lots of things related to our situation, and it's all too easy to feel so very angry and defensive. And I don't want to be that angry and defensive person :)