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: 12 yo daughter

Middle: 10 yo daughter

Youngest: 8 yo son


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Just a thought….

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


You said…….

  • Denise How wonderful perfect place to be Happy days xx 29 Jul
  • Jennifer Hi there, I'm a new reader and I really like your blog. I love the idea of sitting and sewing in a meadow. It looks... 29 Jul
  • Becky oh that headress rocks! 28 Jul
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Time to read

8 year old son

10 year old daughter

12 year old daughter

Holiday reading for parents

(affiliated links - helping to fund this blog)

Time to smile

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

- J B S Haldane


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.

Here I am: sewing

sewing in the meadowHere I am, sewing in our meadow. Enjoying the natural light and the bumble bees visiting the flowers around me. The grass is shorter this year, but still the insects and wildlife make the most of this wild area. Usually I see damselflies and soldier beetles but maybe its too windy today.

Soon its time to go in. Next step in my sewing requires the sewing machine. A moment longer to breathe in the fresh air and watch a red dragonfly skim and dive over the long grass. Summer.

 “Here I am” Summer postcard. If you would like to join in, let me know.


Hippy Dinners

Hippy Dinners yoyoIf, and I’m not sure why I’d do this, but if I was to take a vote from friends (and my Eldest’s friends), then I think they’d all agree that I show some signs of being a hippy. Not a hipster. Just hippy tendencies. When I heard of the book “Hippy Dinners”, I guessed it would be my kind of book.

nasturtium headress(nasturtium headress)

I should make it clear that you don’t have to be a hippy to like it. It is written in the voice of a 7-11 year old girl, back in the 70s. More putting up with hippy parents than actually being one herself.

The family are incomers from London, living in North Wales. Anyone who has moved into a rural village will tell you that that alone will mark you out, let alone an alternative lifestyle. (Three generations before you are counted as anything but new comers, from my experience.) Add to that the embarrassment of having any kind of parents, and life can be tough for a child.

elderflower champagne(elderflower champagne)

Abbie introduces us to colourful welsh characters, in Hippy Dinners, as she builds strategies to traverse childhood, that I for one empathized with. She struggles to understand the adults around her and work out where she fits in. The contrast of her hippy parents, and their friends, to her Liverpool grandparents and her own friends with lace curtains, makes for funny reading.

1970s me

(me on left. back in the 70s)

Being a child of the 70s, I loved the references to the decade. I don’t remember being so traumatized by nylon clothes, but Newsround was a must. I do have vivid memories of people being dressed head to foot in one colour. Men in particular, and the comb overs. I remember donkey jackets and the hair flicks. The attitudes of the 70s are there to see and remind us to count our lucky stars that life has moved on.

cottage loaf

(homemade cottage loaf)

I liked her parents. I could see why they moved there and their ultimate decision at the end. I salute her mother for trying to feed wholesome food and to give Abbie and her sister a carefree childhood. Surrounded by natural beauty. Momentarily I even envied their 2CV car, until the reference to going round corners brought me back to earth. Oh boy. I remember that.

handkerchief skirt

(homemade handkerchief skirt)

Reading it did make me think about how I parent. There are times, ahem, when I’ve stop my children being part of the herd. They too have had homemade clothes, recycled and suffered homemade food in packed lunches, when others have plastic-wrapped, colourful delicacies. They too don’t have a gadget filled house or watch whatever is on TV. Feeling different due to their parent’s beliefs and principles, but I’m sure all children feel that for all kinds of reasons. (as I disappear off to soak some haricot beans, cut up an old skirt and puts soap pods in the washing machine)

spinning wheel(spinning in the kitchen)

I thoroughly enjoyed reading “Hippy Dinners”. It safely fits into my category for holiday reading. I always think that the sign of a good read is if I’m left thinking about it afterwards. Either the time or location could be changed, and the story would be just as true.  It looks at the challenging time of being a tween. A time when no one, including yourself, is quite sure if you’re old enough. A time of change. Coupled with the setting, I was reminded of “Cider With Rosie” and “On The Black Hill “.

In lavenderAs they disappear off, in the back of their dad’s Volvo, you’re left wondering if you will hear how the family fared on their next adventure. And whether her parents’ hippy nature survived the 80’s. Please say it did.

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of “Hippy Dinners” by Transworld Publishers for the purpose of reviewing it. All my views are honest and my own.


Raspberry picking

raspberries from PYOYesterday, we headed off to our local PYO. It’s the end of the season, but still rich pickings to find.

picking raspberries at PYOWe go each year. Not so much to pick bountiful baskets of fruit to store for the winter, but more for the experience. Outside. Fresh air. Beautiful views. Lots of mini beasts to spot. The fruit is almost an added bonus.

ladybird on raspberry leafAnd there were lots of mini-beasts. A large variety of ladybirds. Mostly red. Mostly only a few spots. Mostly natives. The children found brown froghoppers that clicked as they sprang. No photo (similar to these ones in our garden)

Lots of hoverflies and bumble bees. Plenty of wasps, attracted to the flowers and not yet attacking the fruit. As we left them, they left us.

picking raspberriesThere were plenty of raspberries to collect.

aj picking raspberries

a handful of raspberriesA handful of raspberries.

Then home. We made vanilla ice cream and meringues to go with the raspberries for our pudding that evening. Our kind of Eton Mess.

basket of raspberries PYO

Joining in with Fiona’s inspiring #CountryKids linky over at Coombe Mill.

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