Thomas Keyes is an artist, gardener and agricultural labourer based on the Black Isle who was searching for something like Dark Mountain and was relieved to discover that other people had already done most of the hard work. The best ever refusal of work and a chat in a pub led to involvement in the project. Flitting between foraging food and making buckskins from roadkill to comparing car insurance and getting the kids chips because it’s easier, he’s still trying to navigate the mid-apocalyptic world.
Many fascinating themes have emerged through Dark Mountain both in the books and in the background, particularly the work of Ivan Illich and his views on how Europe has been shaped by Christianity. This has finally led Thomas, who has never lived more than a few miles from a Celtic Church monastic site and spends a lot of time making parchment, designing celtic knotwork, growing herbs and reading, to finally visit one, only to discover more than a little appreciation for the set up. This sums up the Dark Mountain experience of digging into the depths of what’s been right in front of you all along.