The Country Living Magazine Fair is one of those rights of passage into Spring. The show is lovely – there are lambs to stroke and beautiful chickens to coo over, the food is very good and it is all decorated beautifully. This year there are even more talks, events, workshops and classes which adds a great element to the day. The best thing is discovering new exhibitors. Country Living put together the perfect mix of skilled craftspeople, talented designer-makers and passionate artisan producers. Mum and I have been regular visitors over the years with and without various children hanging off me. With all the boys in full time school now we went just the two of us and there was definitely an element of ‘ladies that lunch’ to our day!
As much as I love spending so much time in the van, sometimes you need your creature comforts around you to make you feel at home. These slippers are perfect for that. Whatever the weather; fresh out of the sea or wind blown up a mountain - these beauties warm me up a treat. See the full range at Women’s Sheepskin Slippers
I am writing this to wholeheartedly apologise for making your life more difficult on Sunday evening.
I travelled home on the Eurostar from Brussels to London on Sunday evening after saying goodbye to my husband who is working abroad. I then proceeded to board the Eurostar on my own with my three young children in tow.
In early February on a grey rainy afternoon we found ourselves trudging through the forest looking for a huge den to accommodate all 9 of us along with my (rather heavy) cast iron fondue set. This adventure is best not to be taken too seriously - you don’t want to go far carrying a cast iron fondue set and there is always the threat of the meths spilling out everywhere - but the hot bubbling reward at the end is worth it!
If you ever find yourself unsuccessfully trying to persuade your little people out the door into the great outdoors, you may need some geocaching in your life! Treasure hunting, orienteering, a secret quest and scampering around in the leaves with the thrill of the find around the corner – what’s not to like?
Strolling across the sand causeway to Burgh Island from the mainland is simply not good enough. You have to time it so that you wade knee deep through the water, otherwise where’s the fun in that? You will be rewarded with an island to explore, panoramic views to wow and then a pint and packet of crisps in a 700 year old pub. You could even get the sea tractor back to shore to complete the adventure.
An army of children all teamed up with the unrelenting task of stopping the stream of water meeting the sea. Dam building is just one of the attractions at this pretty little seaside Devonshire village. It boasts pastel cottages, 2 good pubs, a gallery, and 2 lovely sandy beaches complete with rockpools. Previously a fishing village now more famous for landing crabs and lobster, Hope Cove was once a favourite haunt for smugglers and still retains all the intimacy and charm of its characterful past.
Spring Equinox marks the point in the year when the hours of light and dark are equal – a time of balance. But from now on the daylight will gradually overcome the darkness – warmer, longer days are finally on their way! We like to celebrate by climbing up to the highest hill around, greeting the sun and hurling our eggs into the distance – then on for cake!
Retrospectively, buying an axe, sword and shield for three littles boys was not my finest moment. What came next was pretty brutal even by battle of Hastings standards! That aside we had a wonderful time exploring the battlefield and abbey. The one date in English history that everyone knows is 1066 and the battle that took place here moulded our country into what it is today. It’s the last foreign invasion this country has seen and is a rite of passage for any self-respecting Brit.
Catching those first glimpses of spring seems to come when we need them most. Just when we think the days can’t get any bleaker, that winter will last forever and the skies have permanently turned grey, along come the tiny glimmers. Peeking out under the debris of winter are snowdrops, aconites, daffodils, crocuses, primroses, hazel catkins dangling on bare branches, lambs frolicking in fields and birds chattering overhead. These beautiful delicate joys not only survive but thrive in these cold bleak conditions and we should follow their lead!
This weekend (28 - 30 January 2017) is the ‘Big Garden Birdwatch’ organised by the RSPB to help build a picture of garden wildlife across the UK. It’s not too late to register, you can go online at RSPB and download a free pack.
Mid-January makes it hard to get outside. The days for the most part are cold, grey and wet, so the thought of cider, warm apple crumble and shrieking with abandon to rid our trees of evil spirits made getting out all the easier!