Emma Orbach, Welsh Hermit

The ever-invaluable blog, Hermitary, offers details of a Welsh Hermit, Emma Orbach, 58, “who lives in a hobbit-like off-the-grid house in the Welsh mountains. Says Orbach: “I don’t miss anything at all about what is normally called reality. The quality of life, in my view, is decreasing and everything is speeding up and becoming more stressful”” and provides a link to a short TV documentary about her: http://www.hermitary.com/films/2.html
Emma 1
She was also the subject of an extensive article in the (UK) “Daily Mail”: “So Mrs Bilbo, why DO you live like a Hobbit?: The Oxford graduate who’s lived for 13 years in a mud hut – and she really is away with the fairies”: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2261862/So-Mrs-Bilbo-DO-live-like-Hobbit–The-Oxford-graduate-whos-lived-13-years-mud-hut–really-away-fairies.html#ixzz2ef7RY6nV which includes some fascinating photographs.
Emma 2
“People don’t come a great deal grander than Emma Orbach. The daughter of a wealthy musician, she grew up in what she describes as ‘a rundown castle’.
Her parents sent her to one of the most expensive boarding schools in the country, where she was taught alongside the daughters of two foreign presidents.
Then it was off to Oxford to finish her education with a degree in Chinese. After such an auspicious start, Emma could have done virtually anything she’d wanted with her life.
So why choose this? For the past 13 years, Emma, a 58-year-old mother of three, has lived in a round mud hut at the bottom of a scrappy field in rural west Wales, a 15-minute walk from the nearest road…
It’s hard to know what to make of Emma. She is charming and well-meaning, certainly. But she’s also, occasionally, a little disingenuous.
When I asked her which Oxford college she attended, she affected not to remember, before hesitantly telling me it was St Hilda’s.
She also seemed not to know that the school she attended (St Mary’s, Ascot) was, and still is, very posh. But no matter.
The world is a better place for having people like Emma who challenge the views of the majority – even if she is also, quite literally, away with the fairies.
Emma 3
For a further article in the “Daily Mail” see http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2254397/Oxford-graduate-quit-mainstream-society-live-hobbit-style-existence-mud-hut-Welsh-hills.html

Emma, and her former husband, the art historian Julian Orbach, had originally established an alternative, self-sufficient community, Brithdir Mawr, in 1993 two or so miles from the Pembrokeshire coastal village of Newport. The community was split in 2001, and Emma took that part known as Tir Ysbrydol, also an alternative self-sufficient community.
For Brithdir Mawr, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brithdir_Mawr, http://www.thetablet.co.uk/article/6702 and http://www.brithdirmawr.co.uk/

For Tir Ysbrydol, see http://www.brithdirmawr.co.uk/ysbrydol.htm

Emma subsequently moved to a solitary eremitical life.

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