The Art of Doing Nothing

Jungle Journal

The Art of Doing Nothing

We are still here. Living a mostly peaceful life in our fabulous wee house in this beautiful Mexican jungle. It is difficult to comprehend sometimes. How did this happen? It was never in any great life plan. We never dreamt of this outcome.

This level of mostly peace was never in any grand plan.

As it gets hotter we inevitably get slower. The air is getting thicker and my wanderings around our jungle pretty much always result in delightful puddles of sweat and the need to stay still for a while afterwards. Although there is always something to do, there are growing numbers of opportunities to stop, take a breath and avoid filling the space with endless nonsense from our laptops or phones. The ability to be still and untethered by life is both a challenge and a blessing. It’s not so easy being inactive. It’s not useful to judge oneself lazy or unproductive but it often feels like that. If you call it meditation it’s much more socially acceptable to do bugger all. We are getting better at it. Doing absolutely nothing. Just being. Guilt free. Takes practice.

Mausetrappe a master of relaxing

We are now living far enough away from the treehouse that we have taken our eye off the vanilla. It was an abundant year last year so we are not expecting too much this time around. We have seen evidence that we have missed a few flowers which have remained un-pollinated. There are even fewer flowers appearing than expected so we might have a fallow year. In anticipation we have taken cuttings of the mother plant and are attempting to introduce new growth on a number of trees around the new house. They are effectively air orchids requiring no soil. We have them hanging from the knarly Copomo trees around the house. It would be great to have vanilla babies.

Luca hanging out in jungle as Jake takes a trip to LA to see a girl

There is a now a famous end of season event on the local calendar. We are invited once again to join around a hundred friends who gather earlyish and are bused to the marina where we all embark on a cruise boat catamaran for a day on the water. Free food and an open bar is provided. The cost of the whole event is very generously covered by our friends who have gifted this day out to the community for the past few years. A great chance to catch up with everyone and keep the bar staff fully employed all day while practicing doing nothing on a boat.

The pool has not had much attention recently. We haven’t had it clean and ready for use for a long while. It takes a heap of chemicals to keep it clear and constant attention to remove all the drowned leaves, dust and occasional beasts. As it has to be baking hot to persuade Canadians, with an aversion to cool water, to get wet so the actual days of pool use are very few. We spend more time cleaning the bloody thing than using it. It is decided that we will transform our existing set up to a natural organic version. We will add the correct balance of plants to do all the work for us. It might end up  more like swimming in a lake or river than a pristine gleaming tiled pool but it’s maintenance free and ready to go at any time the need takes us. There are a number of options. We have had a few folk (that claim expertise) out to have a look. They have all offered to help us, for a price.  We are considering our options.

Stunning new murals have appeared in the town square

It’s very early but we have had some rain. Not the rain that smashes us and tears away roads and trees. This rain came for an hour and left with the dust beautifully suppressed. It’s been noticeably more humid in the past few weeks so this is welcome.  It’s just a taste but it’s the first we have had for six months. The weather sages are predicting a very hot summer with the El Nino affect hitting us later in the year. So more heat than usual and more storms forecast.  That’ll be fun.

Uninvited house guest

There is an all-night party organised at a posh event space on the beach in Punta Mita which is but a taxi ride away. It’s another fundraiser for the Mayan Warrior which is the extraordinary Burning Man art car that is fully stocked with mind bending lasers and sound weapons. Tickets are purchased and a series of reasonably appropriate costumes are created in anticipation.

Friends of ours in town have had the nightmare of waking up to find their dog had died in the night. The grumpy old twat had been with them for very many years. His age finally caught up with him. He is already missed madly. We offer to bury him in the jungle and that is arranged very quickly. We bring him from a freezer in town to a quiet, beautiful area where they dig a hole and collect a good pile of large stones. We lay him to rest in a glorious arrangement of jungle flowers and rocks. We then conduct a reasonably respectful wake to honour him.  Born on the streets of Compton and buried in a Mexican jungle. Not a bad life. RIP Grocerito.

We hear rumours that the Mayan Warrior has caught fire and is no longer. It takes a while but we verify that at some point on the journey to Punta Mita a fire broke out and completely destroyed the entire structure and all their laser and sound equipment. The party is still going ahead but that is the last of the infamous Mayan Warrior. That will mean a big chunk of sky is forever without lasers and a heap more dust undisturbed by dancing.  

A dubious group assembles to paint up and pimp themselves. A taxi is booked and we head South. Despite the absence of its’ star attraction, the party is well run and a large group of us spend the night surrounded by light & sound before gathering on the beach for sunrise. A grand farewell.

The sea is warm again and waves are rising. The sunsets are showing off and life is taking a new pace. The past few months we have had a load of our folk passing through and staying around for a while. The jungle has been full at times. We do like having our favorite idiots staying and playing here. We also like it when they bugger off and it’s quiet again. It’s been a while. This is the first time since October that we have been out here by ourselves.  The balance between doing things and releasing oneself to peace and calm is just about perfect right now. We try and balance knocking things off the to-do list interspersed with periods of more doing nothing practice.

Final touches : Wood staining, sanding and varnishing many doors and many shelves

All the building and moving around and other more pressing stuff have distracted us from growing things. The gardens we have previously attempted to fill with good stuff have been left feral and most are barren of anything except the usual mix of normal jungly growth. We do discover a few healthy looking pineapples and even a few wild tomatoes. We even discover a tree with a good amount of satsuma oranges. Our own attempts at creating food have been poor this year. The exception is Thomas, our heirloom tomato plant, grown from a seed. It sits just outside the front door so we remember to throw water at it. Tom is doing well. We are excited to see a small green lonely tomatina appear. First of very many we hope.

So BBC world news reminds us that the island we left six years ago is getting itself a new king. Charles is getting his fancy hat and it’s an excuse to have an end of season get together. There only needs to be the merest hint of an excuse to dress up a little here so the decision to host a Kings & Anarchists Coronation pool party takes things to a new level. We bring together head costumes, beverages, food and a DJ deck . Over the course of a splendid afternoon many strange anarchists are joined in the pool by a stranger troupe of Kings. God save the King or indeed stuff the monarchy. You choose.

  • Beave

    Secret Walls sticker is on Pams (Canadian) laptop used by Emma (Welsh) . Both are the pair behind Freak Baby and live here now. Emma in Brighton UK for next few months if you close. Happy to put you two in touch. You are both perfectly daft as a brush. Yes, yes yes shuffle your tiny arse Mexico-wards for a month or two. Have some pretty cool art for you to get your bits into.

  • Dennis

    Good one. True. it sometimes takes some work to do nothing. Before air conditioning we probably all took more siestas and moved more slowly. About half the people where I live end up filling in the pools they built because they are too much work. You look like you have a good balance going on there.

  • Abi Fantastic

    Amazzzzzing! Always LOVE reading your updates!
    I MUST get my little arse over there sooooon!

    And I have to ask…who is the DJ with the ‘Secret Walls’ sticker on her laptop? As that was my friend Krishna’s event in my home town Bournemouth…bloody small world xx


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