Welcome to our blog.

….. We make
….. We explore
….. We nuture

Three children *** One big, grey dog *** Two parents *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That’s us!

We’ve been blogging since January 2010.

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Just a thought….

“A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe.”


Thank you….

  • mummy here and here Ooo this look really fab and would make Christmas treats X. #mmbc 20 Nov
  • Kim Carberry I love the sound of these. I don't think I've ever had sausage and mango rolls. #MMBC 20 Nov
  • Carol I understand the fight to use less plastic and try to avoid buying veggies in plastic. Better for us healthwise and better for the planet.... 20 Nov
  • Sarah Christie Its so great to see teens working os hard isn't it? I am glad the revision is over for now but it was worth it.... 19 Nov
  • Christine @afamilyday Back in the 1990s I took a ferry from Jordan to Egypt. Lunch was served in polystyrene plastic containers which almost everyone (not me!) threw... 18 Nov
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Debs Random Writings


One of my big aims is to reduce the amount of single-use plastic we use as a family, but, oh my, it is tricky. Just as you eliminate one type, another sneaks in. For goodness sake! I ordered a pumpkin this week, with my shopping, and, for the first time, it arrived in its own plastic bag. Really?

Shakes head in despair.

On a positive, it’s been great to see the news focus on plastic, in the last few days. Raising awareness. Showing how it breaks down and is ingested by the smallest marine creatures, even seven miles down.


So what have I done this week to cut down on plastic? I know I’m unlikely to eradicate all plastic, but even small changes make a difference to how much I throw away and the demand I create for more plastic in the future.

I’ve upped my baking. There are no biscuits wrapped in plastic or puddings in plastic tubs, but there has been a plentiful supply of homemade apple pies, pumpkin pies and raspberry muffins. I’ve made both pumpkin and vegetable soup too.

It may sound like a little change, but it has made me think that I can cut down even more. Revisiting the way I source our food is the key, but even better, the children have been talking about it. Rather than expected crisps, they’ve even come home asking for a mug of soup instead.


Paddington Bear 2 came out at the cinema last weekend. We couldn’t wait. Absolutely loved the movie and lots of chatting about how it compares to the books. Books dug out and enjoyed again. Do you ever grow out of Paddington Bear? They are one set of books that I never tired of reading as part of our bedtime routine when the children were younger. A sure sign of a childhood classic.

Festive Making

I’ve picked up my needles and started on a fresh batch of mistletoe. Seems to have become a tradition for me. Announcing the start of the Christmas season by knitting mistletoe. It’s OK. I have a licence.

I formally open the time of festive talking and making. Please help yourself to a turkey and mango sausage rolls or two.

Click, click click.

(Jack Frost revisited this morning.)

One last revisit, has been helping older Teen with her revision. She has her mocks before the end of term. I’ll admit, I have been bowled over by her approach to her revision. She is putting in the time. Even extra time at school. I’m impressed at how the school is making it such a positive time for them all and guiding them. I’m sure we were left to fend for ourselves, with the words “perform well, or else” ringing in our ears.

Anyway, I have absolutely enjoyed discussing her English texts with the older Teen. We have had some fabulous discussions, reminding me how much I loved the subject. Although now she is wondering if she should be considering doing English Lit and Maths as A’Levels. (Finally my enthusiasm for maths has rubbed off on her.)

She has to choose just three subjects. We were down to four choices. Now it looks more like six to be whittled down to the three. Ever feel like you make things worse by helping sometimes?

So that was my week. Not much new, but revisiting much loved joys.  Joining in with #wotw. How was your week?

The Reading Residence
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Turkey and Mango Sausage Rolls

One of my favourite light meals to make, over the Christmas holidays, is sausage and mango rolls. They can be made using just four ingredients. Quick and easy, plus great to snack on as we watch a movie. Everyone loves them and I can enjoy the film too, rather than being stuck in the kitchen. Making me a very happy person too. Win-win. Instant jig on the spot time.

Then a few weeks ago, I bought a pack of turkey sausages. Just to try out. I thought they might be an alternative for sausage meat, if I removed the skins. It worked. This might also work with chopped up, left-over turkey too. In just over a month, I’ll be so glad I thought of this idea. I’ll have enough turkey leftovers to make a dozen batches of these finger sized snacks.

In the meantime, I can use turkey sausagemeat. Want to know how I made turkey and mango sausage rolls? Continue reading

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December babies

I have a theory. I’ll admit it’s still being tested, but I think you can spot an adult born in December a mile off. I’m excluding children in this theory, as they infuriatingly can throw an anomaly into the results, but grown-ups are easier to spot. They will be the ones that are just that little bit more excited about Christmas than everyone else around them. I have noticed, that they are likely to display certain similar behaviours too.

There are exceptions, of course, and my results should be viewed with caution, as there are flaws. For a start, my test sample is restricted, mainly to the UK, with evidence from the rest of Europe, the US and Canada.

Also, my testing is dubious as it is more anecdotal. Based totally on those moments when I find myself saying “I knew you were a December baby!” Putting aside my woolly test criteria, I think I have a strong enough case to attract investment for further research.

Here are ten ways to spot a December birthday:

1. They wear their Christmas jumpers with glee. A serious, unabashed bounce in their step, as they act like walking adverts for the season. They were literally born to wear a reindeer jumper with candy canes down the sleeves. They will have been wearing socks, with robins on them, from before 1st December.

2. They’ll start humming seasonal songs, even before the Halloween cobweb decorations have attracted their own cobwebs. Forgive them. They may not realise, but it is hard programmed into their DNA. It was probably the first music they heard.

3. They are the ones that instigated booking up the restaurant for the office Christmas bash soon after the summer holiday. They may claim that the best places book up quickly. This is not the real reason. They are just too excited to wait any longer.

Continue reading

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There have been cases when people lifted my photos and words, and used them without credit to me or asking permission first. Using them for their own commercial gain. I have now added a level of security to deter people from doing this. Apologies to people who do play nicely. If you would like to use any of my photos, please contact me.

Copyright notice:

All my words and photos are copyrighted to me. They cannot be used for commercial benefit by anyone else. If you would like to use any of them, then please ask me first and don't just take. Written permission only. Don't pass my words, photos or ideas off as your own. It's not nice.