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Spotlight on downsizer member Mochyn

written by Nell Merionwen

Every month the spotlight will shine upon a different member of downsizer, and show how the site has touched their lives.



2. Location

On the side of a hill in Montgomeryshire.

3. Could you tell us how do you make a living

Knitting, spinning, living off the old chap.

4. Could you tell us a little something about your home

Home is a tiny game-keeper's cottage with woods behind and fields in front where we grow flowers, fruit & veg.

5. How did you find

Tahir poached me from River Cottage.

6. Has downsizer inspired a life change

Not so much a change, more of an increase in what I was already doing. We had kept nothing bigger than a hamster before we came here 11 years ago but DS helped to give us the confidence to branch out into ducks, hens and pigs. We've reduced to just the poultry now though.

7. What is your main objective to maintain a sustainable life

We try to use as little of the planets irreplaceable resources by growing as much as we can of our food and buying as locally as possible. That applies to food and to everything else. We also recycle whatever we can, although we try not to bring any more packaging etc. than is really necessary. If we have something we no longer need it goes on to Freegle and we get as much as possible of what we need from there too, helping to reduce the need for landfill. Whatever we have to buy there are considerations: Firstly distance travelled, then conditions for the producers, then is it organically produced. It means shopping takes a long time, but I think it's worth doing.

8. Does downsizer help you achieve this

Yes. I try on DS first if I need something or want to give something away and if I can trade with other DSers I'm happy.

9. Which parts of downsizer do you visit most often (not including the forum)

I most often use the forum, but I also use the traders list and the recipe section. I look at articles too: I think I use almost the whole site!

10. Which parts of the forum do you visit most often

Probably chat, then Make it Yourself...

11. Do you feel there is room for improvement with you own downsizing and if so how will you implement this

I just keep trying to be as ethical as I can.

12. Has downsizer led to any new hobbies and/or skills

Too many to list! Every time I see a post or an article on how to do something I haven't done I want to have a go...

13. Have you attended any skill shares or gatherings? If so did you learn anything

I go to quite a few. I love them: I don;t see many people in my daily life and it's lovely to meet up with similarly minded people.

14. Have you felt you have shared skills already known to yourself

Yup: I've even written articles for the site.

15. Do you have any anecdotes of stories relating to downsizer you would like to share

Not in public!

16. How do you feel the site is most helpful/inspirational?

The range of topics is boundless. I feel (and think may others do too) that one can ask just about any question and get a sensible answer. Even the old chap now says "Have you asked on DS?"

17. Have you made any "real life" friends or colleagues via downsizer

Many. Some of them I now consider my best friends.

Over the years DS has really helped me. As I've said, I see very few people during the day: it's usually just the postie (most days), the cats and birds and the old chap. The feeling of community here helps when I have bad days. The smallholding life can be a little isolated!

To anyone new to the site who reads this I would say that it's really worth sifting through the post, articles and so on. There's some genuine gold in there. And some marvellous people.

Next month's spotlight will be upon member sally_in_wales.