The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Eleventh Blog Anniversary!

Eleven years have passed since the very first post on this blog.

Looking back I can see that my involvement with the blog was an amazing journey. Filling my small world with new ideas, people and experiences. I travelled far beyond the kitchen table where I wrote each day. It was one of the greatest adventures that I have ever experienced.

When I sat down to write that first post I had no idea of that promising future. The slow switch from pottering along on auto pilot to gradually learning how to actually fly the plane.

And of course if you can fly that plane you need to choose where you want to go. And there’s the rub.
I realised that I was in a place that I didn’t want to be. I didn’t know where I wanted to go. I was completely lost.
So over four years ago I cut Danny loose, stopped blogging and hid away.

I missed Danny, missed the blog.

I must admit that I couldn’t find that pilot’s license for a while and drifted about feeling angry and sad.

The chickens gradually died off and I was left with just a lonely cockerel. The min pins died too. I took in an Olympian Mouser Cat that was finding it hard to find a forever home and he was quickly joined by two four year old dogs that needed care.

Oh the amazing power of animal therapy! We were all damaged and needed unconditional love.

So on this eleventh aniversary of the birth of the Cottage Smallholder blog I’d like to introduce you to two of my best friends – Fanny and Ruby. They are posing in their basket which is located on the human dog basket.

Hopefully you will hear more about them in the future as I am now going to start blogging again.

  Leave a reply


  1. Liz Fordham

    Sitting in my garden looking at what seems a mammoth task, I suddenly thought about a blog I used to follow and decided to google ‘stumbling self sufficiency’….. When I saw your post I almost did a happy dance… I’m so pleased you have decided to blog again, you have given me, and Im sure countless others, inspiration, advice and lots of knowledge…. I’m looking forward to following you on your new journey. Welcome back Fiona ?

  2. Welcome back Fiona!
    I was always hoping you’d pick up the blog again and have often checked in.
    I saw your recent article in Land love magazine (I Think) and it drew me back once again.
    Yours was the only blog I ever really followed.

  3. Great to see you are still about. Have often wondered what had happened to you. Today looked up a recipe for quince jelly, clicked on to your blog and was delighted to see you have been blogging again. Look after yourself and I look forward to following your mails again

    • Me, too, Fiona. I’ve been using your quince jelly recipe for years and thinking of you and wondering how you are every time I do. Made two batches last week from juice I put away last year, and harvested most of this year’s crop today. So I shall be getting out the recipe again soon. Thank you, and it’s good to have you back.

  4. Nicola Bott

    Hi Fiona I love your blog and really missed it. Hope you’re back now.

  5. Great news that you want to blog again Fiona. I use so many of your recipes and appreciate all the time you put into sharing them.

  6. So good to see this post!

    Blog on, Fiona, blog on.


  7. Samantha B

    Can’t believe I have just found your blog again after googling a recipe for apple chutney – that I have just made, by the way. Sat down at computer and thought I would catch up on your blog and have read your post that you have been away but now returning. I look forward to your future post while I catch up on some of your old ones for now. I used to be one of those who would follow a blog but never comment but I too am making life changes and will no longer be a lurker. Chutney tastes great and smells even better – looking forward to it maturing!!

  8. mandi warren

    you’re still on my favourites list and smiled when I clicked and saw something new glad you’re back if even every few months for an update x

  9. Steve Kendall

    I used to read and enjoy your blog until that time when it all stopped. For some unknown reason I decided to type ‘cottage smallholder’ into google just now and of course discovered that you’d begun again just a couple of weeks ago.

    As all the others have said, ‘welcome back’.

    Steve in Oxford

  10. Glad you’re back, looking forward to more country living tips & recipes!

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