The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Happy Easter

Posted in Easter | 7 comments

Happy Easter

When Easter is early, it’s rare that we have good weather. But what is good weather? We need rain so badly in the east of England that four days of rain were good for me. I just feel a bit sorry for those who took an Easter trip somewhere in the UK, hoping for sunshine. Twenty years ago I moved into the cottage and my mother and I spent the holiday here. Easter was early that year too but the weather was sunny. We worked in the garden and guzzled hot cross buns at tea time. Back then we had to share my meagre selection of gardening tools so...

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Happy Easter

Posted in Easter | 10 comments

Happy Easter

I can never work out whether I prefer the Christmas holiday to the Easter break. Christmas, snuggling in front of a roaring log fire, Christmas stockings and making surprise presents. The carol services that always move me to tears. The indulgence, the feasting and the guilt – is anyone that I know sitting alone? A psychiatrist friend confided last Christmas that this period is a very busy time for his profession. Hopes and dreams can so easily be smashed. So many of us are seduced by the commercial dream and then left forlorn – it’s...

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You still have time to make an Easter Tree!

Posted in crafts, Easter | 6 comments

You still have time to make an Easter Tree!

Some years we skip having a Christmas tree but we always have a living Easter tree, since we were introduced to them a few years ago. An Easter tree is such a vibrant symbol of new life and hope for the forthcoming year. An Easter tree can be made from anything. Wire coat hangers, twiddly twisted willow branches even a pieces of string slung across a wall. The main point is to create something where you can hang things that are special to you. In fact, until I discovered that you could have a living Easter tree – I’d spotted carved...

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Easter

Posted in Bees, Cottage tales, Easter | 19 comments

Easter

I much prefer Easter to Christmas. There isn’t the same pressure, generally the sun is shining and there is true evidence of spring. The daffodils are out, the tulips and bluebells are just a breath away from flowering. The new leaves on the trees are that bright, squeaky clean spring green. The birds wake me early. Singing to attract a mate for the summer. We have hung fat balls on the rose bush outside the kitchen window and marvel at the succession of birds that visit, wary and fleetingly to feed. Our pond is full of frog spawn as the...

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Flowers from the garden: March 2010

Posted in Easter | 18 comments

Flowers from the garden: March 2010

  Inca came home this afternoon. Svelte and so much better. Fingers crossed that the steroids work – she’s back in a months time for anoither spinal tap to see how things are progressing. Thank you for all your support which has bouyed us up over the past week.   I celebrated by putting up our Easter Tree. We’ve had one for the past two years now. The idea is that you cut twigs in bud and gradually over the Easter holiday the leaves appear. I usually just give the beech hedging a bit of a haircut to make our tree. But I’m a...

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The Easter morning bear

Posted in Easter | 15 comments

The Easter morning bear

When we were small children my mum always gave us cardboard eggs on Easter Day, which we opened to reveal a present. I’m sure that we must have been given chocolate eggs too but it’s the cardboard ones that have stayed in my memory. One year she made small bears for my sister and I. They lay curled in the cardboard egg shells. The bears had boot button eyes and were made of brown furry bear material. I was enchanted. As a special treat we were allowed to take the bears to church with us. I walked with my bear sitting in my pocket with his...

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Easter Trees

Posted in Easter | 11 comments

Easter Trees

I don’t have a long family tradition of making Easter Trees. Occasionally, over the past few years I’ve seen them in clients’ houses and been intrigued. Finally the blog Finding Simplicity gave  me the nudge last year and we enjoyed the tree so much that we’ve made one again this year. The tradition is far simpler than the Christmas tree one. You can use any sort of twiggy growth for the tree. If you didn’t need it to last long and need to make an off the cuff tree Forsythia would be ideal (as it is already in flower). We followed...

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Easter Claus

Posted in Easter | 8 comments

Easter Claus

Emily (nearly eleven) sat back in her chair and announced. “Christians – the ones that practise Christianity and go to church – consider Easter to be more important than Christmas.” “Yes, I think that they do,” replied my friend Clare from the depths of the kitchen. “The egg is a symbol of rebirth. I like Easter eggs but actually prefer Christmas as there is Santa Claus.” For the first year ever D and I agreed not to buy each other Easter eggs. I must admit my heart dropped when he suggested the...

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