Village Life

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Very early this morning we woke to this beautiful scene.

Our sleepy village, view from our window.

Heavy snow fell through the early hours, covering our village (and most of the UK) in a white blanket.

I don’t like snow. Yes it’s pretty to look at, but for me the novelty soon wears off.

Buried veg beds

The roofing to the walk-in chicken runs need attention, well, they need completely replacing to be fair and weight bearing snow really didn’t help matters, but we managed to clear most of it off the sheeting before it turns to ice and completely buckles the structures. This all took quite a bit of time today and our toes and fingers were really throbbing. The chickens were very suspicious of the snow and dull white sky, choosing to spend time inside the coops, sulking.

However, at least one member of the garden smallholding enjoyed it…..

Terrible photo of one very happy German Shepherd!

She loved every moment of the snow, she’s sprawled out on the sofa snoring now.


Foraging Walks

We really enjoy our dog walks through the beautiful countryside surrounding the village.

dog walking

At this time of year the hedgerows have so much to offer, so our dog walks have turned into foraging walks.

german shepherd

Miss B doesn’t mind, she comes along too.

Haws, the fruit of the hawthorn
Haws, the fruit of the hawthorn


You'll find wild blackberries growing almost anywhere, these are right by the roadside

You’ll find wild blackberries growing almost anywhere. The sprawling, spiteful plants are a nuisance, but try to remember what they offer late summer.


I couldn't believe how many elderberries we found in just one area!
Elderberries heavy with juice

Syrups, jams, sauces, gin, wine, cordials and jellies are some of the things I will attempt to make with our free food, I plan to squirrel away foraged loveliness to the larder for Christmas.

Sloes, the fruit of the Blackthorn

Hazelnuts are also in season now and a great find for the forager, most probably green at the moment (but still delicious) but you could always leave some to ripen in a bowl and eat them at Christmas if you prefer. There’s a place we know of, so I guess Miss B would like to go foraging for hazels soon.


Happy Birthday Jason


Our German Shepherd dog Jason turns 4 today. He is an amazing family dog, true to his form and loyal companion.

Happy Birthday Jason x


Daft Rabbit and Defender Of Chooks

As we have mentioned before, we have two pet rabbits here. One is a black and white Dutch called Niki, my (Karen) favourite breed of rabbit for their lovely nature, and an agouti Dwarf Lop called Edge who is a daft as a brush, whatever that means. Edge is our daughters pet and she looks after him very well ensuring all his daily needs are met. We feel this is a great way for children to learn the responsibility of owning and caring for an animal.

We have kept numerous rabbits here for many years and can honestly say have never had a rabbit quite like Edge before, he is truely unique. Not only does this rabbit think he is a cat, or human or both, he actually adores our daughter in the sense that he follows her everywhere, loves to be cuddled, handled, brushed and stroked, never once has he displayed any type of aggression or distress. Of course our daughter is very responsible and looks after him well, but even so the bond between them is magical. Edge has no fear either of our rather large German Shepherd dog who roams the garden smallholding. Edge would rather lick our dog on the nose than run away, he really is that daft!

Onto our German Shepherd dog. He is 3 years old now and he has been a part of our family since he was a tiny puppy. Looking back at his puppy photos its hard to believe he was once so small! We have nicknamed him ‘Defender Of Chooks’ because he chased a fox away that crept out of some shrubs in daylight to get a closer look at our hens. It was a pure heart-in-your-mouth moment that was over in seconds, our dog saw to that and we have not had another daylight visit since. Clever fox.