Welcome to our blog.

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

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.

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Just a thought….

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



Thank you….

  • Notmyyearoff Love that photo - the bee actually looks like he's opening the rose up to get into it! 28 Jun
  • Val We have a strong affection for 'humbly bumbles' and the poppies look gorgeous. A lovely post! 27 Jun
  • Neesie Busy busy bee...I watched and photographed a busy bee visiting a peony in my garden and it went into the petals around the outside. Until... 27 Jun
  • S.L.O.A.H. I always love poppies - beautiful and poignant in equal measure; perfect for a Sunday photo. #MMBC 27 Jun
  • Meals and Makes Lovely photos. The poppy is beautiful, its nice to capture them on camera, I don't take enough photos of our garden.#MMBC 26 Jun
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Time to smile

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

- J B S Haldane

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In the wild patch

Each year, we leave areas in our garden untamed. Other wild areas border the woodland behind us, providing a corridor for the wildlife. Inviting mini-beasts in. More than we knew existed.

Cardinal beetle

The grass grows tall. Perfect for flying insects to land on. While a slight movement of the grass gives away something winding its way through. A frog, a toad or maybe a mouse. Once a newt. Sit still for long enough and you spot something making the most of the wild areas. I’ll find a child lying on their tummy, waiting for it to appear.

One thing I’ve noticed is that not only does it attract insects and other small creatures, but also children. A cry will go up that a slow worm has been spotted and children will appear from no where. Torn away from screens, in some cases.

They can’t wait to hold a slow worm.

Sometimes I worry that phones and screens are taking more and more of their time, when we’re at home. We restrict the time, but is it enough? Then I remember hearing them discuss the different ids of plants, or the life cycle of the ladybird, and I think that maybe I shouldn’t be so concerned. Like nature, they will find the balance.

(They all turned up separately to join in the roost count last week. We counted 151 bats coming out of our attic.)

ladybird larvae

So if we keep leaving the grass to grow, then I reckon the children will carry on finding nature more interesting than a screen, even if it’s not for long each time.

Still tempting them to discover more.

blackbird egg shell

This evening, I sat watching a gold crest in our yew tree.  Trying to take a photo. My nine year old joined me and asked what I was doing. I explained.

“Ah. That’s the one who sounds like your sewing machine. Where is it?”

I really shouldn’t worry.

(not a wild area)


Country Kids

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If there is one expression I have used more than most this week, it’s this one about believing. If there is one role as a parent that I’ve played this week, it is support.

It has been exam week for the older two. I am acutely aware that this time next year, our household will be consumed by GCSE anxiety. This year is a fore-runner. Preparation not just for the candidate, but also for the rest of the family.

(Keep your head down, and make as little noise as possible, and you may keep your head, little ones.)

Knowing my eldest, I’m pretty sure I will not be using the expression cool as a cucumber, this time next year. Not that I’d want to. Has to be a certain bite where exams are concerned. I hope she will see that believing in herself this year, helped her to perform her best.

(first cucumber from the green house this week)

Believing in oneself has been repeated so many times, this week.

Youngest has not escaped. He had his first cricket match. The unknown worried him. So did letting his team down. In the end, he did well and I had a proud parent moment.

He also had sports day. Last year he broke a school record, by a long shot. This year he felt he had to defend it. I think there was a bit of competition among his peers, running up to the day. It was making him nervous. He wasn’t sure if he could do it. Time for him to believe in himself. He did it and he won again. By a long shot! Another proud moment for me.

As a result of focusing on supporting my brood, I don’t seem to have made time to sew much.

My rose dress is cut out and the stay stitching is in place. Next step is the zip. I’m always a bit apprehensive of sewing zips, which is probably another reason, this project has stalled. Zips have to look neat. Especially one at the back, where it is on show. I can be exceedingly tough with myself when it comes to the finish of clothes I make.

I need to believe in myself too.

With the pause in sewing, I have started the inevitable selection of my next project. Searching through my stash of fabric to match with patterns I have sitting on my desk. Always slightly worrying as I’ve been known to jump excitedly straight on to the next before I’ve resumed sewing the current sewing mission.

I can do that zip. I really can.

It seems that my message did get through to the children. Results have started to come back. Encouraging ones.

Next week will not be a run of the mill week. New experiences for the older two. Looking through my tool box of parenting skills, I wonder which I’ll be using the most next week.


The Reading Residence
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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.

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