The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Elephant in a suitcase

Indian elephant

“How is the packing going and when are you actually leaving?”
Good friends are leaving tomorrow for three weeks of sun sand and sea. We are going to get intimate with their cat, rabbits, fish and chickens.

“I decided not to pack marmalade even though I had a jar kept for our holiday. But we’re taking a large pot of marmite. We’ve cut back on what we are taking but we do need to weigh our suitcases to check that they are within limits.”

K’s anticipation and marmalade is wonderful. I’d take both on holiday any time. Meanwhile, we’re relishing the remnants of a jar and planning a decent break.

Danny asked me this evening.
“If you had the choice of any destination, where would you choose?”

“I’d love to stay here for a whole week to play in the garden and decorate the kitchen.”
“I’d like an occasional day out, away from the cottage.”
“I’d like that too. Let’s go to Aldeburgh and eat fish and chips on the beach.”

So we are planning a simple holiday in a few weeks time. Our bulging suitcases are already packed with plans. Hours of gardening, easy carefree decorating and a few day trips. Our pal always includes a small white “lucky elephant” and we have a special one too thanks to D’s colleague, Vinutha, who is visiting from India.

Everyone needs a break.


  Leave a reply


  1. Jo @ LittleFfarm Dairy

    As you know, being a dairy farmer I never get a day off, so it’s lucky I do so adore our few hallowed acres. When I need to ‘get away from it all’ I take the dog for a god, vigorous walk along one of the beautiful local beaches to ‘blow away a few cobwebs’ or make my way up into the wildness of the Preseli Mountains.

    I count myself one of the most fortunate people on earth each time I walk between the Dairy Complex & the house, & see the sun bathing the autumn woodland which plunges down the valley to the mountains & the sea. Every day feels like a holiday when the weather’s good, no matter what troubles or toils there may be to cloud the horizon.

  2. When I was on limited time off from work, in the dim and distant past when I worked in a bank, I loved to be able to spend some time at home. School holidays give you plenty of time for both going away and staying at home. I must admit that although I had a great time on my much too short trip to France in September I have thoroughly enjoyed all the time I have had at home while I was signed off work. Great elephant by the way.

  3. My husband’s family owned a ground floor flat on Crag Path, Aldeburgh. We used to take our children there every summer – it was lovely and unspoilt. Hope you have a nice time.

  4. What a fantastic position to be in – you could go anywhere in the world in your dreams, but you choose to stay at home, THE best place in the world. This reminds me of my Aunt, who lives in a remote farmhouse at the top of a hill in Yorkshire. She goes out into the field, takes in a deep breath and says she is standing in the best place on earth. It brings a tear to my eye, as I agree with her – so many wonderful childhood memories of her farm.

    My husband is taking the half term week off work, so the four of us will spend the week at home, pottering around, going for cheap day trips out (annual National Trust membership was such a good idea!) and an overnight stop in Brighton to visit a friend. I really just can’t wait. My two girls (seven and five) are looking forward to seaweed hunting on the beach and a fish and chip supper!! Perfection. I really hope you enjoy your week off as much as we will.

  5. Wonderful idea – we have relatives nr. Southwold so know how pretty the area is. Also there is still the chance of having lovely sunny days.
    Loved the picture of the elephant.
    Regards to the MinPins and Mrs. Boss x

  6. samantha winter

    Hi Fi
    The East coast is so pretty, no need to go away and a few days at home is so relaxing.

  7. Jane aka:aromatic

    Best kind of holiday!! Stress free, relaxed, cheaper and all the comforts of home!!
    Jane xxx

  8. We’re also big fans of what hubby calls the Staycation 🙂

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