A yurt in it's home land, Kyrgyzstan

A yurt in it's home land, Kyrgyzstan



Day 1   

Today I left Cardiff at 9am and drove to Ampney St Peter, Gloucestershire to start a week of work experience with a difference. I will be staying in a yurt for the week as a guinea pig for my boss and to see if it is bearable to sleep in one in the, frankly still freezing, weather conditions of late March in Britain.

Nick Gibbs is the editor-in-chief of Freshwood Publishing which publishes British Woodworking and Living Woods. When I asked him why I would be staying in a yurt he said “Cos I thought it would be funny.” Luckily for him I’ve got a good sense of humour and I am a country bumpkin at heart so I’m not adverse to a bit of rough living.

As I pulled up to the house at 11am (bear in mind it is a Sunday and not many placements will start on a Sunday) I was still feeling fluffy from Friday night’s end of term excesses. But the yurt man (Paul) had just arrived and so it was straight to work.  

The yurt frame is built using three interlocking wall sections, roof poles and a roof crown. Then a canvas skirt and roof cover are used to create the shelter. This design is based on the Kyrgyzstan model, which has steep sides to allow rainwater to run off more efficiently (I may well be thankful of this function by the end of the week). 

Numerous different knots were required to fit everything together securely, but luckily Paul is pretty expert and I took to it like a duck to water so the yurt was up within the hour.

A slice of locally made coffee and walnut cake (my favourite) and a cup of tea to celebrate and then we got down to making it homely inside.

Home sweet home: a lot hinges on this wood-burning stove

Home sweet home: a lot hinges on this wood-burning stove

As you can see it didn’t take much to make my humble abode a little more comfortable and the wood-burning stove should make it nice and toasty.

On that note, I better go and stoke it up, otherwise getting to sleep tonight may be a little tough. I’ll let you know how I get on: apparently yurts act as great amplifiers of even the smallest noises, so I’ve got the earplugs at the ready.

Wish me luck!