The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


This past year

Posted in Cottage tales | 31 comments

This past year

  Three years ago when I explained my first “save money blog challenge” to my mum – not to buy cut flowers for a year – her response was immediate. “But this is terrible. You love flowers. Why would you want to stop buying them?” This was the toughest challenge. Far harder than cutting our weekly shopping bills by 50%. I did plant extra perennials in the garden and gradually came to love the gentle look of these. Home grown flowers have far more life and charm than the rather stiff offerings from florists and supermarkets....

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All’s well that ends well

Posted in Cottage tales | 25 comments

All’s well that ends well

  In my late twenties I took a post graduate teaching degree. My subjects were Drama and English (subjects that I’d studied at University). I did my post grad year at Goldsmith’s College in London. The majority of the course consisted of placements in London secondary schools. One of the schools that I was sent to was in Blackheath. On my first day I was given two classes to teach. The first was described to me by their teacher as “Intelligent bubbly kids. Great fun to work with.” The second classes teacher looked grave. “These are...

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Yesterday marked six months of being laid up

Posted in Cottage tales | 20 comments

Yesterday marked six months of being laid up

  It’s been a strange life changing experience. My life was always a rush in the past. It was busy, stressful with very little time to pause and think. I was happy but, looking back now, I realise that I wasn’t content. I was running too hard to keep up. And keep up with what? I have no idea when I think about it. All I can remember is the pressure. There are new pressures now. Finding ways of making a living from home is the main one. I had no idea when I doubled the size of the kitchen garden slowly over last summer that I would be...

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Still laid up – a typical day

Posted in Cottage tales | 11 comments

Still laid up – a typical day

  As I go to bed very early I tend to wake up earlier too. Now the clocks have gone back it’s about 05:00 when I creep downstairs to make a giant mug of tea. Back in bed with the dogs I fire up the laptop and potter onto the blog to see what’s happened when I was asleep. For the next couple of hours I check the stats, answer emails and comments and review the articles that are coming up from past years. Then I start to write the post for the day. It’s a quiet, gentle time. The window is open so I can hear the occasional car but...

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