The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

New horizons

campanulaI drove into Newmarket this evening with that tingle on the skin from a day working in the sun. I’m painting the outside of a bungalow in a sleepy road on the outskirts of Newmarket. A lovely mellow place where I’m entertained by the kind couple and their cats. Endless cups of tea to fuel my work. Perfect.

And there’s the view. Built on a hill, the bungalow sits in a large plot set between two horizontal parallel rows of houses. So it looks across an unseen road to the paddocks of a stud. These fields rise on the other side of a natural valley. In the spring there are mares and foals. Today there were cattle, resting in a group under the shade of trees in the sunny afternoon. When I left this evening, they were up and grazing like animals on a child’s farm set. Distant, contented beasts munching the green grass under a pinkish blue sky.

I love the sunny days that September sometimes brings. These days are such a fillip, despite the chilly mornings and the accelerated sunset at dusk. Last October there were many moments when I looked up and noticed that the sky was a cloudless Mediterranean azure blue.

Hopefully this year will be the same as I have a backlog of jobs that have been waiting patiently for a break in the weather. 

Today we moved The Cottage Smallholder site to our own virtual server.  Many apologies for the intermission in service. We hoped the migration would be fast but Danny is still battling with the remaining glitches.

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  1. plumsource

    phew indeed! I felt a strange sense of isolation when the message came up “site disabled”. I wanted to ask all my fellow CS fans “what’s happened??” but couldn’t think how to reach them or you?? Panic over! Welcome back, glad ur with us again x

  2. Could someone please tell me what those flowers are? Very pretty

  3. phew, welcome back! Just thought I’d mention that the RSS feed doesn’t seem to be working, but perhaps Danny’s still working that one out …

  4. So glad you’re back – I was really worried yesterday and imagining all sorts of things!
    You were my first blog and are an absolute favourite. x

  5. Be still my beating heart! you are one of my ‘go to’ blogs, I read it before the news!! Sad individual am I not. I am so pleased to see you back.

    One bit of knowledge I can give you is about squash and pumpkin, if you use a VERY WEAK solution of bleach mixed with water, and you wipe the skins, once a month in you veg store, it will stop any spores and it going off and rotting. Dry after with a teatowel. I got this trick from the Italian neighbours. They are prolific growers and ravioli made with squash is a delicacy when Mrs Italy makes it!

    Glad you are back!!!!

  6. Oh Glad to have you back online Fiona. I too need my daily fix. 🙂

  7. magic cochin

    Oh – spoke too soon!!! I still can’t access CS except via a link to specific posting eg p=821

    ???? Celia

  8. magic cochin

    Oh… that might explain why I get a message saying ‘site disabled’ when I try the find CS! I spotted a link on Domestic Goddess in Training saying there was a recent CS post and here I am!!!!

    What a blissful place to work when the weather’s good. Our garden lacks a great view and we envy the houses in the village that have gardens looking out across the rolling fields.


  9. I totally agree! (with casalba)I discovered your site whilst googling for a chutney recipe back in the Spring, a period of ‘lean pickings’. (I found the banana chutney recipe posted by Kate). I’ve been addicted ever since & have always meant to leave a comment to say Thank You. I was quite alarmed to have difficulty finding you yesterday – pleased to see you back!

  10. …and grazing like animals on a child’s farm set.

    I really couldn’t do without my daily fix of The Cottage Smallholder! How you did it, I’ve got no idea, but I’m so glad you did. Welcome back.

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