Tuesday, 18 October 2016


My annual tradition inspired many years ago by Hula Seventy to put together a list capturing things I'd like to do during my forty-second year before I reach forty-three *sobs at how old I'm getting*
  1. Practice yoga each week
  2. Stay at Ty Donkey in Wales 
  3. Plant a kitchen garden
  4. Make a Galette des Rois 
  5. Press our apples & make apple juice
  6. Runaway with the circus 
  7. Take the youngest horse riding 
  8. Visit my aunty's grave even though I find it hard 
  9. Make a scarecrow
  10. Weave a blanket 
  11. Take the boys ice skating 
  12. Learn to identify umbellifers 
  13. Make sloe gin
  14. Swim under a Welsh waterfall 
  15. Organise an outdoor cinema night 
  16. Plant a bean tipi
  17. Visit Harp Cottage in Wales
  18. Make a toy whale out of an old pair of jeans
  19. Catch a snowflake 
  20. Learn to play the ukelele 
  21. Stargaze 
  22. Make an owl box from an old tea chest
  23. Go paddleboarding  
  24. Grow dark dahlias 
  25. Film a series of campfire conversations with people that inspire me
  26. Rejoin the library and read more books
  27. Make a gingerbread house 
  28. Carve a wooden spoon 
  29. Declutter the house properly! 
  30. Enjoy my edible seed collection from The New Almanac
  31. Go camping in the bell tent 
  32. Read Romeo & Juliet with my eldest and hope I remember it from my schooldays and can impart some wisdom (may have to resort to Baz Lurhmanns film)
  33. Visit the Pig Hotel & have a treatment in the potting shed
  34. Watch the final series of Mad Men 
  35. Volunteer my time for a good cause 
  36. Make an honesty shop
  37. Get away from it all at Top of Lane Cottage 
  38. Bake a loaf of bread each week 
  39. Illustrate some of our favourite walks 
  40. Go for an adventure on a steam train
  41. Make snow lollies 
  42. Don't look back, keep moving forwards 

Thursday, 13 October 2016


I am so excited to share with you an interview I recently did with the fabulous Lia Leendertz, who you may recognise from her columns in The Guardian, Telegraph, Simple Things magazine or the many books she has authored. I hate being in front of the camera but I seized the opportunity to give it a go when Lia recently visited me for lunch. My good friend Anne-Marie Randall shot the film and her daughter, currently reading film studies at Uni edited it - although she did note the amount of times I say "um" and I think she removed them all too! I hadn't realised that my son was in the frame and he does steal the show somewhat as you watch and wonder what he's going to do next!

Anyway the reason I thought it would be good to film our campfire conversation is that Lia is currently crowd funding a new book called The New Almanac and truthfully it's the book I wish I had written. It will cover seasons, information about tides for example, recipes and lore and it will be fab. She has had great support, even from the great Nigel Slater, but needs your support to reach her target which she's not far away from at all!

There are great rewards for those that pledge their support from signed first editions, a cut flower and an edible garden club and gorgeous art prints to an allotment party in 2017 that I will be helping out at and styling, along with Mark Diacono who will be making cocktails and Clare Thompson of Five O'Clock Apron who will be making some delicious food.

Do take a look at Lia's The New Almanac page it's a lovely community she's building through shared interests and I'm delighted to support this fab new venture and offer you 5% discount off the rewards if you quote bradshaw16.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016


Our new shepherds hut has recently arrived and found a home in a secluded glade at the end of our campsite. It was crafted by a local blacksmith at Cherington Forge near Tetbury and even has a handmade woodburning stove inside.

We have been busy getting it ready, furnishing and decorating the interior and I thought you'd like a little preview of what we've done so far?

I chose Little Greene Paint to paint the interior of the hut choosing floor paint in Lamp Black #228 and the walls and ceiling with intelligent matt emulsion in Fescue #231.

The bedding is a linen bed set from H&M, although despite buying a double duvet set, it only came with one pillow case and no sheet which I thought a shame but really like the natural colour.

As the hut is small we chose a drop leaf table from Ikea to maximise the space and added two school stools and a vintage Ercol chair by the stove that I found on eBay, complete with Ikea sheepskin.

I accessorised the interiors with a small wooden shelf unit from Domestic Science in Tetbury and old copies of The Countryman and biological prints from the Malthouse Emporium in Stroud.

A bit more painting and then it should be finished all being well.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016


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


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


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


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 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...