The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Pushkin. The cat who couldn’t be placed

Posted in Cottage tales | 12 comments

Pushkin. The cat who couldn’t be placed

Pushkin relaxing in the sitting room “We just haven’t been able to place him. He doesn’t settle. And then we thought of you. The only person we know that is laid back enough to deal with him?”It was the lady from the cat rescue centre. I was rather flattered. Had never thought of myself as laid back. So I said OK. I did want a cat. The mouse war in the cottage was never ending. I hated killing them and think that the humane traps are cruel. The large and rather beautiful tabby cat arrived with an amount of luggage that...

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Sunday walks

Posted in Cottage tales | 20 comments

Sunday walks

At boarding school Sunday walks were compulsory. My memory is filled with images of gumboots, mud, mist and slightly damp tweediness. I hated them – they were worse than the ghastly sports. Even in summer it seemed like winter. But now I look forward to Sunday walks with my dogs. We venture further and mooch for longer. New landscape, smells and joie de vivre for us all. During the week we step out in the village – there are a couple of trails here where the dogs can kick up their heels and run free but by the end of the week I...

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Eleventh Blog Anniversary!

Posted in Cottage tales | 63 comments

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...

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Hope – the little hen with a big personality

Posted in Chickens, Cottage tales | 25 comments

Hope – the little hen with a big personality

The last post that I made on the blog was about Hope – a favourite hen. She didn’t jump in my arms when I approached. She kept her distance. She knew that she was special. There was something in the strut of that diminutive bird. Just a few weeks ago I was estimating her age as I watched her pecking her corn. She must have been at least six or seven years old but she was still out in the run looking superb and doing her own thing. Once in a while she still laid a small white egg –  they were the sweetest and best eggs that I’ve...

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A quick update on me

Posted in Cottage tales | 52 comments

A quick update on me

I sat down and worked out that for at least half of my adult life – having passed the magical ‘adult’ age of 21 – I’ve spent exactly half of my adult life living alone. That’s actually 19 years. So I’m not a stranger to that solo state. There are benefits. At home you can be horrifyingly selfish. Watch trashy TV. Eat sandwiches for every meal. Never have to get that resigned nod when you want to buy something. Not brush your hair unless you’re going out. And of course there’s the flip side. No longer part of a team when two...

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February 14th – Valentine’s Day

Posted in Cottage tales | 54 comments

February 14th – Valentine’s Day

February 14th. It’s a big day as it celebrates love. Traditionally it was the day when your special partner andor secret admirers espoused love and beyond. Now it has blossomed to include every sort of love. Perhaps the Min Pins are now carefully positioning their muddy paw prints on cards as my fingers fly across the keyboard. At my grim boarding school there were really pretty girls that used to receive several cards on Valentine’s day. I can still hear their shrieks now as they ripped open the envelopes and honed into the messages. My...

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A quick update on me

Posted in Cottage tales | 28 comments

A quick update on me

I sat down and worked out that for at least half of my adult life – having passed the magical ‘adult’ age of 21 – I’ve spent exactly half of my adult life living alone. That’s 19 years. So I’m not a stranger to that solo state. There are benefits. At home you can be horrifyingly selfish. Watch trashy TV. Eat sandwiches for every meal. Never have to get that resigned nod when you want to buy something. Not brush your hair unless you’re going out. And of course there’s the flip side. No longer part of a team when two people to...

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The snow dog

Posted in Cottage tales | 11 comments

The snow dog

Do you remember that I mentioned that I was selling my vast lead toy collection? We suddenly needed to raise money fast on a monthly basis to repay an outstanding debt. And we did it, working together, we paid off that debt over the five month designated period. I can’t tell you the relief when I finally paid the last instalment in early December. We were free! I am continuing to sell my collection – it is very large – but I’m buying as well. Adding to my core collection and selling on the other pieces. I’ve discovered that I enjoy...

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