Tuesday, 18 April 2023

A hot cup of tea.

 It was quite early when I decided to write a post today, but after making a cup of tea and feeding the cats, it's nearly time to get out and feed the livestock! 

For now though, I'm back in bed with my lovely Earl Grey, my beloved dogs beside me and the most beautiful view over my garden. It's so important to stop everything and take a minute to enjoy what we love in our lives. The last few years have been so hard physically and mentally that I often forget to stop and look at the beauty and the small magics that make it all so worthwhile.

My decision to stop the paid job has been so heavy on my shoulders and I've wasted a lot of time second guessing myself. I often look for signs that I'm on the right path and this week something big happened.  This winter has been a constant struggle getting enough firewood and after my woodpile at my other field, Tanglewood, was stolen I had and expensive time finding enough to keep the house warm. So when a tree surgeon turned up on my doorstep on Monday and offered me all of the wood that was being cleared from my neighbours property, I was totally stunned. I said yes and a little later he was back asking if I wanted the chippings from all of the branches. He was amused at my eagerness as it's considered waste and he was trying to convince me it was a good thing while I was inwardly jumping up and down! My son helped me to shift one of the biggest piles and I'm slowly getting the pathways through the potager laid out with all the gorgeous wood chips. 


I honestly feel that the universe is on my side and my decision to focus on making the farm work is a good one. I'd love to hear what you all think, although as yet, I'm still unable to reply to your comments. I'll get my tech savvy son to clean up my computer as technology is more than a bit beyond me for the most part, lol!

Thank you all for commenting, it means a lot to have you stop by and enjoy a cuppa with me 😍

Sunday, 16 April 2023

Very strange!

 For some reason Blogger is playing up and won't let me sign in to reply to your comments on my last post!

It seems that I can publish a new post, but not comment, so I'm sorry if it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not.

Thank you for your comments on my last post 💗

This week has not been the best, I've been working hard on getting the farm up together but I've had too many days away from my actual work, running erands and delivering plants to people on my FB group. I did however end up with some lovely alpaca fibre as a donation to the spinning guild. No one else came to the meeting so I snaffled the alpaca but still have a car full of wool for everyone else! Last year one of my spinning buddies died and her husband is slowly clearing out her craft room, hence the huge stash of wool.

Some friends have asked me to return to one of the local markets to sell my wool and jewellery, so maybe I might make a little money that way and I can also promote the farm and the products that I want to sell direct from the gate, like eggs and surplus veg and salads. My new poly tunnel goes up this week, so I can get planting and have a supply of foods to sell. 

My first clutch of ducklings (aka the raptors) are nearly 3 weeks old and doing really well. The second clutch was really successful with another 50% hatch rate, apparently that's good for a beginner! Only one of the goslings survived though, so maybe in the future I'll get it a companion. At the moment it's in with the tiny Pekins (aka the Buffys, as that's what was on TV when the first one hatched!) who love it deeply, we're calling her Hank (honk!) but we have no idea what sex she really is. She is very delicate though. I'll get a picture up and add it from my phone.

For next week I've totally cleared the diary so that I can focus on the business of actually making money!

Hugs to you all 💗

Thursday, 6 April 2023

A brand new start


My last post was just so negative and I can't have that on my blog. The last year has been hugely trying and there was a time when I was about to throw in the towel and head back to the UK. For financial reasons I've not been able to do that in a hurry and as time goes by I'm more settled and even content here. I won't be revisiting the situation that lead to me being here alone, it's time to move on and leave all of that behind me.

This year is proving to be as big a challenge as last year and it occurred to me a while back that I've not made an easy life for myself by becoming a farmer so late in life. I'm dealing with livestock and as I read on another blog, livestock often becomes deadstock! So far, I've managed to save my animals, but it's been hard and often traumatic.

I have successfully raised my first batch of ducklings, only 3 out of 6 survived the incubation process but I have more due to hatch this weekend so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I don't lose any. Fool that I am, I even have a couple of gosling eggs ready to hatch!

 I have no idea what the future holds for me now. It's very early in the morning and I can't sleep because my beloved horse Bo is sick with laminitis. He's currently at a friends field so that my own land can recover from a very wet winter. This means that I have less control over his condition and need to get him home as soon as he's able to make the walk along the lane.

In a short while I'll do the morning rounds of feeding and letting out the poultry, I have 5 chickens with another 2 joining them next week and at the moment just 3 breeding ducks, the parents of the 3 above. I enjoy my morning routine, it gives me a chance to walk around the farm and check out what needs to be done, fixed, cut back, or repaire. It's my quiet time when I feel grateful to live in such a beautiful place and it feels worth the stress and hard work and I realise I wouldn't go back to my old life even if I was paid a heap of money! 

Talking of money though, it would be good to have some as my income has dried up! I can't have the students here any more, they're just too difficult to deal with and I'm tired of parenting other people's children. They come to me to learn English, not manners, those, they should already have!

So, it's going to be quite an interesting process this year and I've decided to share it on my blog, what will work and what will be a disaster, I have no idea!

Saturday, 30 July 2022

Oh dear!

 I hope this doesn't offend anyone,but I'm really done with trying to please everyone. Those of you who know me will just laugh, I hope!

It's been a hectic few months trying to clear up the mess that my life had become. Physically and emotionally. When T moved out, he left so much rubbish behind, tools, rags that he called work clothes and a whole heap of junk cleared out from customers houses and dumped randomly around the property. If I'm honest, I'm still clearing up today! 

Then there are all the half finished jobs in the house that will need a professional to come in and put right! I can handle the decorating and finishing the trims around door frames, but I refuse to touch electrics, nope! I have an electrician coming next week to give me a quote and also someone to check on my leaky roof!

So why have I suddenly lost my cool? Because T still considers we're in a relationship and that he can drop by whenever he's lonely, another big nope! I've hardly seen him in the last couple of weeks because I've been laid up with Covid and it really hit me hard. It's been a very enlightening experience because I was just too sick to get off the sofa some days. I couldn't open my eyes and just had to lay still and listen to the TV or think. I did a lot of thinking!

When a person walks away from a relationship, it's not fair to try to keep a foot in the door. I tried to explain this to T but no, he simply can't understand my stand point and I'm worn out with trying to make it clear. My peace of mind is more important and I need to earn a salary to keep my farm together, which I can't do if I'm an emotional mess.

So, here I am drawing a line. I don't need another person in my life to make me whole. I'm the happiest I've ever been at the moment and I'm loving the quiet, simple life that I'm living. 

I know this is quite a personal post, and I don't often wear my heart on my sleeve, but in order to move on, I feel that I need to really be honest and true to myself.

Friday, 22 April 2022


 Yesterday was all planned out. Work in the Studio, a little gardening and walk the dogs before back to the studio.

Halfway through the morning, out of the blue, a friend contacted me and asked if I wanted to go to the animal feed shop. Now, if you know me at all, that's my idea of heaven, keep your shoes and clothes, lets go to the Agri shops!

I was reluctant to leave my latest necklace design, but suddenly thought that the rest of the week would see me catching up, so I agreed. I suspected that my friend had heard on the grapevine that I was suddenly single and did what good friends do, she stepped up but without fuss or asking anything personal.

She turned up with her partner in their big van and I rode shotgun. Well, we did a grand tour of wholesale farms and an enormous feed shop. I did ask if they sold live animals before going in because these days I'm feeling a bit broody for baby anythings, lol! Thankfully the answer was no.

The highlight and surprise of the trip was a visit to my dear friend R who manfully took on the care of my spoilt and noisy ewe Big Girl. It was clear from the start that Big Girl was in love with R but more importantly his ram who she instantly disappeared with!!! Some months later, Big Girl produced Little Girl who is nearly as big as her mama, already!

In return for taking on BG, R gave me the pick of his flock as many of them would be going for meat. As soon I spied a tiny, dainty little thing I had a name, Sweetpea. It's my own personal superstition that if I hear a name, then the animal is meant to be mine. She was due to arrive here in September but couldn't travel because she seemed to be in lamb!

And this is the sight that greeted me in the field. My Sweetpea had twins <3 One is definitely a boy, but the tiny one might possibly be a girl, if it is, I'll take her too. I already heard the name Sprout, so fingers crossed :D

I was so exhausted when I finally got home and the animals were sooo pleased to see me but what a lovely day I had and I can still work in the garden today <3

I hope the weather is lovely for you all this weekend.xx

Wednesday, 20 April 2022


 Thank you dear friends for taking the time to message me. I was worried that my last post might be a bit of a buzz-kill, lol!

Not to be one to dwell on the negatives, I've been pulling myself up by my bootstraps! I have so much to be thankful for even if things didn't go quite as planned.

My mysterious illness of the last 4 weeks as gone just as suddenly as it came, so I'm putting it down to stress. My blood tests were inconclusive but I'll still check in with the doctor to be sure.

I have so many reasons to be grateful though <3

My daughter drew this little sketch of me with my kitten Jasper <3

My daughter, aka, the Moomin with Eclipse <3

A beautiful mobius scarf in all the colours of the chakras, made for me by my very dear friend who has literally held me up in the last few months <3

My funny but naughty sheep, they're not supposed to be here!

Or here, haha :D

The bigger black cat in the picture above is Jasper, all stretched out and ready to grab someone! He's just over 6months and longer and taller than Gigi, the other black cat. She's just a round dumpling, haha!

So this is a typical view of the farm, animals running amok while I try to pretend there's a kind of order to things. I did manage to sow 100 sweetcorn seeds and all of my peppers, tomatoes and aubergines have grown, so at least I have food to look forward to.

Hugs to you all.xx

Sunday, 17 April 2022

Disenfranchising Grief.

A quick google search gives this definition.  

'Disenfranchised grief is when your grieving doesn't fit in with your larger society's attitude about dealing with death and loss.'

This subject was raised on Instagram and has had me thinking for a few days and I wonder how many of us have caused someone to feel this way without meaning to? It's happened to me several times and if I'm honest it really sucks!

I'll give you an example; when you lose a beloved pet and someone says 'but it was only a cat or a dog'! Suddenly your grief has been completely undermined and not only do you have the loss to deal with but also now need to justify why you're struggling to come to terms with that loss. The grief has now been joined by guilt and so you hide your feelings and they burst out at the most inappropriate moments!

When my horse died, I honestly felt like I'd lost my anchor. He was my refuge when the real world was just too much to deal with. My children understood because they were still at that age when magic felt very real to them, and my horse was so very magical to be around.

But after a week of trying to grasp this loss, people would wonder why I was still so hurt. He'd been with me for over 20 years, through a couple of disastrous relationships and then during my marriage and raising my two young children. Raising children can be tough and my escape to visit my horse gave me the breathing space I needed.

Leaping forward to 15years after my horse died my children left home and once again I was devastated. I think it was worse because they both went back to England at the same time and I couldn't just pop in to visit them as the drive across France and then the ferry back to the UK is a 12hour journey. My grief was dismissed as 'empty nest syndrome', well yes it was but that term is so unhelpful as it conjures up images of hysterical women over reacting, much like the imagery surrounding the menopause!

It took over 2years to come to terms with that grief  and probably contributed to my relationship falling apart with T as I know that he can't cope with big displays of emotion and I was a hot mess!

I think the best way to avoid causing someone to feel disenfranchised grief is to simply ask them what they need. Not everyone wants their grief to be fixed, they probably just need time and for someone to listen to them, I know that's how I deal with it.

And what of me now and my future? I'm slowly getting things together here at the farm and worked so hard all of yesterday on the garden and the verge along the road. I want the farm to look beautiful as you approach and I'm slowly getting there. I'm paying for that today as I'm wiped out, but I still have a lot to do, maybe tomorrow.

I can't honestly say that compared to other situations in my life that I feel an awful lot of grief at the moment, instead it's been a slow unfurling of sadness. It will pass with time.

Hugs to you all.xx

Tuesday, 15 March 2022

More Cats!!!

 We didn't need any more cats and my limit was set at 10. For 2 years we've managed quite nicely at 9!

So back in September on a return trip to the supermarket, T spotted two little creatures running beside a very busy road, not far from the motorway, we screeched to halt and I dived out of the car. I grabbed one as it shimied up a telephone pole! I can't describe the pain as those tiny needle teeth sunk into my fingers! The biting stopped once the kitten was inside my coat and I managed to put her into an empty wine box! The other had vanished but I went back 30 minutes later with my two adult children who were visiting. We crept quietly across the grass verge and under a hedge were two black kittens, fast asleep. I'm still angry with myself to this day that I didn't try harder, but I only managed to grab one of the kittens, the other fled across the field and into a chicken farm! I think I was successful with this kitten because it was so malnourised and covered in fleas and ticks.

They lived in a cat carrier for some weeks and then moved into the house in one of those animal play pens. Slowly they became tame, but it took a lot of patience and when my daughter returned again for another visit, she helped me. The black and white is the little girl, Eclipse and she was clearly too young to be taken from her mama as she sucks her little blanket before eating or drinking anything. I often had feed her, while the boy, Jasper, has turned into my little shadow. I love them both so much and through the last few difficult months they have brought me so much laughter and comfort.

So, I'm not really alone on this crazy farm, although it was a very strange feeling this morning to think that these quiet days are here now until the students start arriving to learn English.

Tuesday, 8 March 2022


 I can't promise to become a good blogger again as everytime I announce 'I'm back' than another spanner gets thrown into the works!

I'm living the farm life and that means early-ish starts and exhausted finishes! Yesterday, I cleared away the old hay and stacked and covered 60 bales of fresh hay for the horses, alone.

                                                    This picture is so bitter sweet for me.

It would seem that when my dear man and I made our plans to live on a farm, he kind of expected it to be all Darling Buds of May instead of mud, muck and back breaking work. 

Now, don't think he didn't know what caring for animals is like, after all, four of the seven horses are his!

Sadly, I had to sell the goats before Christmas as they were getting out of control and I didn't have the strength to be constantly catching them and repairing fences. It seems that they've gone to a good home but I really do miss Roxy, the mama goat.

I made a video of the kids arriving in the world on my youtube channel, Wildewood Farm. I can't watch it now, it's just too sad.

So what does the future hold for me now? Well, no more surprises I hope for a long time! I've sorted my finances so that my outgoings are minimal as I always wanted to move towards a self-sufficient lifestyle and now I can put it into practice. I'm working hard at my art and have started making jewellery and recently fell in love with book binding. I have plenty to occupy my time and my many animals keep me very amused, so I have plenty to blog about, if I can find the time to write it.

Hugs to all my blogging friends and hopefully, I'll be back with another post soon.

Tuesday, 7 December 2021




 It's 4.30am here in Brittany and Sleep is eluding me. It has done for many months and I can only sleep if I take tablets, which of course is horrible and leaves me dead headed in the morning!

Perhaps I should give in and become a night owl! I'm in the studio which used to be our Gite, and it's warm and cosy and of course I have internet here. My wooden studio is lovely in the summer and I felt guilty moving all my things into this lovely new space but I really need somewhere to work.

I'm currently wrestling with a new version of a favourite painting I did many years ago. When I can, I'll upload a picture of the new one. All of my previous work was on my trusty laptop which died suddenly before I could save the hard drive. Apparently I can rescue the work but the laptop is currently in the UK! What a mess!

So I'm creating new work at the last minute for an exhibition on Thursday! It's a good thing I can't sleep maybe, lol.

I've tried leaving messages on some blogs but for some reason it's not all going to plan so if you get a random message, it's likely to be me.xx

Saturday, 31 July 2021

Thinking out loud.


Last year, a visitor to our farm took a series of photographs and made up a little book for us. I was over the moon and so happy with how it all looks and to see our achievements in print is something very special.

Life has changed so much for us since moving to France and the world outside our bubble has changed as people struggle to come to grips with everything that's happened. It's not just the virus we're all facing together, it's the realisation that Climate change issues are very real and important and we can't keep our heads in the sand forever. Some people though are determined to do that and of course, that's their right but it's going to get them in the end! I wonder how many people have completely changed their lives in view of the last year and a half?

As I head into a week off, I'll be thinking more and more about our future and how we move ahead. We need to be earning an income but I still don't want to rent out our Gite to lots of different people. The reasons are varied, and the virus gave me time to really think about how I feel about having strangers in my space. I'm a solitary person by nature and although I like to see people and chat occassionally, my home is my refuge and I like to be very private and quiet. Having students here has drained me in ways that I struggle to explain without sounding so anti-social! However, the bills must be paid and the animals cared for, so my thinking cap will be on as I plan next year. Thankfully the students have covered our finances for the winter and T is earning enough for our weekly expenses, so all is good for now 😍

Friday, 30 July 2021


I managed to get a bit of sketching done yesterday as my student was tired & needed a quiet afternoon. I have a friend who is going into hospital this week so I drew a very quick sketch of a wolf for her as she loves them so much. Boy am I out of practice!!!

We've been making cordage from nettles this week and it's a lot of work but really quite addictive.  I'll be making more over the weekend once I have some time to myself.

The student leaves later today & I'm keen to get on with some neglected tasks. The garden needs tidying & I need to make some shelters for the chickens so that they can free range again without being picked off by the buzzard!!! He's only taken one of my girls but that hasn't stopped him from returning to try for the others!!!

I also have some jewellery to make as I'll be getting back to selling my products online soon & I have a couple of Christmas markets to plan for. Have a lovely weekend everyone 😍


Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Thank you.

 Thank you to everyone for the lovely welcome back. I'm so looking forward to getting back into blogging again and reading about everyone's adventures since my break. 

At the moment I have another French student staying with me, so my time is dictated by the activities I must do to help them with their English. Most of the students want to play with the horses or do crafts which is good for me as I still get to do a little of my work. Yesterday we tried weaving with nettles. It was great fun but hard on my arthritic knuckles!!! I'll definitely do more, but maybe try spinning instead of using the twist method.

I'll be back with more news and hopefully some pictures, I hope I can navigate the new blogger layout better than last time :D

Have a lovely day all <3

Sunday, 25 July 2021

I'm back!

 I've missed you all so much, dear friends in Blogland and I've decided to come back to the fold. 


Life here has been so crazy and busy and I've  often taken on far more than I could handle. I've had a major burnout but sometimes that's what we need to step back and see the actual reality of a situation.

Since moving to France, my life has changed so much and in many wonderful ways, but also, it's been hard and painful and this blog, my safe little page, is the only place that I feel comfortable sharing my stories, without judgement or harsh comments from others.

I'm ready to be the story teller again and share my adventures with you if you want to join me. It doesn't matter if you comment or not, this is my diary for myself, first and foremost. But if you do want to say hello then I would be glad of your company <3

Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Christmas 2020

 Well, what a freaking year it's been! I'm so glad that it's nearly over, but to be honest, we've had a really easy ride compared to so many people. This is not me being smug and patting myself on the back, oh no, I'm seriously counting my blessings when our finances ground to a shuddering halt and life looked very dire in the shadow of Brexit! However, we have our health and our animals continue to slog on, costing a fortune but bringing so much happiness, mostly!!!

We added to our animal family this year with the sheep and then last week the final piece fell into place when we collected our two little goats <3 They travelled in the back of my car, just like the sheep :D

I do not know what is going on with blogger, but uploading pictures has changed and editing is different, so I'm one step closer to just moving over to Youtube, despite my previous disastrous attempts!!!  Ah well, hopefully, this is Fleur and Roxy in their paddock!

Fleur is the light golden colour and Roxy is dark brown. They are both Golden Guernsey but Roxy may have some Alpine in there, breeding over here is a bit relaxed!

So now we are pretty much on the road to being self reliant, as the older of the two goats, Roxy is hopefully with kid which will mean milk for us from the end of April and of course cheese and butter and maybe a little surplus for making soap.

I made some gifts for my children in the UK and they were sent via a friend returning to live in the UK. I'm so grateful to them as none of my other gifts reached their destination, a combination of French system and Covid shutting down the uk postal services! My daughter called her Faery 'Fern' and my son was very happy with his Totoro :D

So my business plans are ticking along but due to the painful process of Brexit, who knows how I'll be affected. I'm not dwelling on that!

I would like to wish you all a prosperous New Year and one filled with good health and safety <3