Welcome to our blog.

..... We craft
..... We garden
..... We explore
..... Nature inspired

Three children *** Two dogs *** Two parents *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That's us!

We've been blogging since January 2010.


Eldest: 13 yo daughter

Middle: 11 yo daughter

Youngest: 9 yo son

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Just a thought….

"A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe."


Love reading your comments

  • Stephanie That does look like a lovely place to go, I love the little hide to look out of. 30 Jun
  • Bear and Cardigan I found your blog and this lovely letter from he heart from your comment on my letter. I feel the same. That all votes count... 30 Jun
  • Karen What a great find! Love how enthusiastic your kids got over s tree house. Hope you find your flower 28 Jun
  • Kate Holmes Great to hear how you got on and lovely pictures. Commenting for myself and on behalf of BritMums and thanking you for taking part 27 Jun
  • Fiona - Coombe Mill I'm fascinated by the goatsbeard seed heads. I would have just thought it was a dandelion head. I will be wondering which it is I'm... 27 Jun
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Time to read

9 year old son

11 year old daughter

13 year old daughter

Reading together

Craft Mother

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Time to smile

"God has an inordinate fondness for stars and beetles."

- J B S Haldane

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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.

Dear Daughter: About Democracy

kitchen woodbox no 54 The Farmers Wife sampler quilt Dear daughter box

Dear Daughter

As I stitched this block, my thoughts were elsewhere. Once finished, I was almost surprised to find the finished quilt block in my hands. Unusual for me, as the repetitive process of knitting or sewing usually takes my mind away from subjects that are troubling me, giving me perspective. It didn’t this time. My fingers are so used to the motion that they carried on. Leaving my mind elsewhere. Stunned.

kitchen woodbox no 54 The Farmers Wife sampler quilt Dear daughterLike many in the UK, I have been reminded how democracy works, especially where a referendum is concerned. The majority wins. Every vote counts. The end result may not sit well, but at the same time I am thankful that I live in a part of the world that allows everyone to vote.

The decision is going to take some time to digest. I spent the impressionable younger years of my life immersed in other European countries and cultures. While holding onto the appreciation for my own nationality, my concept of boundaries between these countries is ….. absent…no maybe, minimal is a better description.

When I look back to these times, I remember only an overwhelming atmosphere of welcome. A wish to whole-heartedly invite you in and help, if they could. Amazing experiences. Unexpected and delightful. Not from all, but enough. In the process, I guess, I became a little more European. Less willing to acknowledge boundaries between people. For this experience, I am truly thankful.

In return, I have opened my heart to overseas visitors and welcomed them, because that is how it works. We work together.

Now, I know that we are still living in a European country. We can’t simply pick up our isles and wade off through the oceans to another location. (Although if we do, could we choose somewhere with a lower rainfall and slightly warmer and more reliable summers) We are still European. It’s just that the UK have opted to interact on our own terms. How easy this will be, I really don’t know. Less welcoming as a nation, maybe. Less able to be there when we are most needed. More than likely. And vice versa.

Something tells me that it does not change how we will greet and be greeted by our European neighbours. After the intial shock at least.

While the referendum outcome is not binding, I don’t think anyone believes that everything is going to stay exactly the same. Uncertainty alone will bring change.

I’m not going to get into the big question here about whether this referendum should have happened at all. It did. That cannot be changed.

kitchen woodbox no 54 The Farmers Wife sampler quilt Dear daughter and dog head planter

Returning to the point of my letter. Democracy has happened. We live in a country where people can vote and it does make a difference. People who spend time deciding, have as much right to vote as those that flipped a coin, and everyone between these two extremes. It doesn’t matter how the voter reached their decisions, everyone eligible has the chance to vote. (Unless they forget to register)

I don’t usually let on to you how I vote. I try and provide you with a balanced view in our discussions. Trying to show all angles, so you can decide. Exposing the truth behind some of the sound bites. Teaching you to question and not accept at face value.

You haven’t yet reached the age where you can enter the polling station for the first time, but I hope I am showing you how to make a decision. Your own decision.  A well thought out opinion which means that you will not regret a single vote you cast.

As ever

Your loving Mother

The quilt block in no 54 “The Kitchen Woodbox” from the Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt. This is part of my Dear Daughter quilt project. One quilt block for one letter, until I’m ready to hand over the finished quilt to my daughter.

Sharing. Good idea.

One big dandelion

goats beard seed headA couple of weekends ago, we headed out for a walk at Ham Wall. It’s a RSPB nature reserve which is an old family favourite. I forgot my camera, so the photos are all taken with my phone.

They’ve added a much needed bigger car park and a new hide. The children could not wait to try out the new vantage point. Being on stilts, it looks out over an area that was more difficult for the shorter members of the family to see. Must have felt like a whole new area to them.

ham wall hide

They then hit on the idea that the new hide would make a fabulous tree house. I can see their point. Plans were hatched. Corners were designated. As ever, it was interesting to hear what their priorities were for the space!

ham wall hide BAnd what did we see? Good point. After all we were hoping to see some birds on our walk. There were hen harriers, little egrets and great egrets, grebes, storks and more. I even caught sight of the tell tale flash of blue, as a kingfisher whizzed passed. Dragonflies aplenty.

Ham Wall walkI think my favourite find had to be the goatsbeard seed head. A first for me. It looks like a huge dandelion seed head. The seeds can be blown in the same way. The flowers close at midday, giving the plant another common name of go-to-bed-at-noon. We only saw the seed heads, so I’m now on a mission to see the flowers.

Joining in with #CountryKids linky

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Sharing. Good idea.

Enjoy More Water Challenge – ask a tween/teen

I’m always on the look out for novel ideas to encourage my children (and me) to eat healthy food, drink plenty of water and keep fit. Looking for ways to create good healthy habits.

My children are fairly active. Over the years, they’ve tried more sports and activities than I can list. Different and diverse, as you might imagine, but I can always be sure that as soon as it ends, they will be expecting something to eat and drink.

water bottles

As a result, I’ve amassed a fair few re-usable water bottles. This is just a few. I probably should thin them down.

Some more popular than others. There are ones for hot drinks for cold days. Ones with freezer packs or insulation for hot days. There are ones we don’t mind losing, and then there are others that are favourites. One for every occasion and that is the trick. If you want children to take a drink bottle with them, AND use it, they need to like it.

maze at Mark

Right. That covers it.

Or does it? What about home? Apart from meal times and elevenses, it’s left up to the children to help themselves to drinks. And I’m not convinced that they are really using their water bottles at school.

I’m not convinced that they are drinking enough water in the day, which kind of worries me. If they are in the habit at home, hopefully it will be second nature for them to be drinking enough at school. After all how alert will they be in class if they are dehydrated.

So I asked them for some ideas to improve the habit of reaching for their water bottles. If I want my tweens and teens to buy into an idea, and be enthusiastic about it, then asking them for ideas is the single best way to do it.

How can I encourage you to drink more water?

ideas too

Right. I can see they are thinking about it, but….

….what can I do to encourage you?


Well that’s a few ideas to be going on with. Time to put them in action.


This post is an entry for BritMums #EnjoyMoreWater Challenge, sponsored by Robinsons”.

(After years of trying other cordial, we’ve finally settled on Robinsons and it is truly the only one we buy. The new handy sized bottles have made it more fun to try out some of the other flavours.

Yep. I had got stuck in the mud over the flavour I was buying!)

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Sharing. Good idea.