Tuesday, 13 September 2016

SLOE SUNDAY


One of the fruits that I enjoy picking each Autumn is the sloe, the fruit from the blackthorn tree. Blackthorn is, as its name suggests, very dark and thorny, but watch out, a prick from its thorns can result in infection due to the bacteria that grows on them.

It is tradition to pick the sloes after the first frosts, but some years we get such late frosts that don't arrive whilst the fruit is ripe. So to cheat I pick sloes when they start to ripen and put them in the freezer to imitate a frost.

This Sunday we picked a few that were almost ripe, but I'll be checking out my favourite bushes around the rugby field over the next few weeks ready to make gin for Christmas gifts!

Thursday, 8 September 2016

AUTUMN ADJUSTMENTS


The youngest has started school! How ironic now I have time during the day that I now wave goodbye to him at the school gates, I feel as if I have missed his most precious years and that hurts. I am also coming to terms with my change in career and lifestyle, over the summer we've been so busy there really has been no time to think or sleep for that matter, but this first week with them all back at school I am for the first time feeling the impact of the changes as we try to create a new family rhythm. 

One of the things that I am enjoying most is our walk to school, across an English countryside that is so idyllic it's as if it's a scene from Lark Rise to Candleford. Hearing tawny owls calling to each other in the day, sitting under the most majestic and ancient oak tree and picking blackberries to fuel our climb up the hill. I hope I still enjoy it when it's raining and cold! 

Monday, 15 August 2016

WE'VE GOT CHICKENS


Son number two wanted chickens as part of his 'conditions' of moving to the pub. It seemed like a natural request and after having two a few years ago and with a whole field at our disposal I quite fancied the idea of a flock too.

He has great ambitions of selling eggs and a bit like Roald Dahl's farmers, Boggis, Bunce & Bean in Fantastic Mr. Fox the boys now have ten chickens between them, two chicken houses and an electric fence to keep any unwanted visitors at bay!

After an eventful day where I managed to get loads of things wrong, I retreated to the field to watch these funny little birds enjoy their dust baths and hopefully find a little solace from my sense of failure.

The chickens have only been here a few days but some of them are already laying us an egg a day, which is brilliant, but this evening we've seen a fox so I just hope we can manage to keep them safe.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

SUMMER MANIFESTO


It's already the first of August and we haven't planned our summer at all! But maybe that's a good thing as sometimes it's just good to go with the flow, here's a few things that it would be fab to do if we get the chance, but only if!


  • learn to identify butterflies 
  • make rafts to race along the river
  • cook on a campfire 
  • organise an outdoor cinema evening
  • wild swim 
  • decorate our new shepherds hut 
  • runaway with the circus
  • pick blackberries and make hedgerow jam
  • plan our kitchen garden 
  • welcome our chickens 
  • play crazy golf
  • host a snail race 
  • catch some trout for tea 
  • make homemade ice cream  
  • learn how to paddle board 

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

PUB LIFE






































I have neglected this blog for a long while, and whilst you'd be forgiven for thinking that I'd given up on writing it, those of you that also hang out on Instagram will have seen glimpses into what has been keeping me busy and away from this blog for so long!

My husband and I have taken over The Daneway pub, in one of the most beautiful Cotswold Valleys and have upped sticks and moved here with the boys. We even had a royal reception with HRH The Prince of Wales here in our pub garden last week, it wasn't for us but for Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust who were celebrating the opening of their new nature reserve behind the pub!


It really has been quite a whirlwind! Learning about running a pub, launching our own business and moving house has really been quite something.


People ask whether it's something we've always wanted to do and in truth it isn't, pubs are notoriously tricky beasts, you work long hours and staffing is a nightmare in rural places. But this pub is something really rather special. Owned by family run Wadworth Brewery it was built as three separate cottages in the 1700's for the navvies who built the now disused canal. It sits nestled between three nature reserves and comes with a big field that I'm turning into my kitchen garden and a campsite, where we'll soon be siting a shepherds hut.


Our aim is to keep it simple and serve family friendly seasonal pub grub without pretensions.


We have been overwhelmed with the support we've received from family and friends and local businesses. The lovely Herbert family, who run Hobbs House Bakery brought us an epic present a giant lardy cake - it was absolutely delicious! Julie and Steve who have just taken over Miserden Nursery planted up some amazing hanging baskets for us and helped us hang them.


It's definitely a challenge living above the business there really is no switching off, but we are loving it and the boys have so much space to roam and have the freedom they need.


We have loads of ideas and plans going forwards and this bank holiday we're launching our first Cotswold Cider, Sausage and Snail Racing festival! 


I'll try and blog a bit more often and if you're ever in this part of the world, do pop in and say hi!

Saturday, 4 June 2016

30 DAYS WILD


30 Days Wild is a fun awareness raising campaign run across the UK by The Wildlife Trusts a charity that works to protect local wildlife and wild places. The idea is that you get outside and do something wild every day, it could be eating your sandwiches outside in your lunch break, going for a walk, making elderflower champagne or having a snail race.

The hashtag #30dayswild is being used across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and already there are thousands of people taking part and sharing their love of nature and the outdoors. It's free and easy to take part and by signing up you receive a wall chart and random acts of wildness cards to inspire your every day wild activities.

Monday, 30 May 2016

THE MAGIC OF FAIRY LIGHTS


I posted a picture of our treehouse last week on Instagram and the lovely folks at Lights 4 Fun asked if they could send me something to add a little magic to it after I left a cheeky reply on their comment! So just a few days later we received a lovely package containing these white LED festoon lights, so the boys decided that they'd eat their supper in it as they made it so magical. I can't wait for a summer full of fairy lights and you can even buy battery packs so we can take them camping, they'll look perfect in the bell tent!
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