The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Happy Birthday Cottage Smallholder

iris in spring pondI wasn’t planning a party for the Cottage Smallholder’s first birthday but I did poke my nose into the barn and discovered a bottle of champagne lurking on the shelves. Hidden away in balmier times. So I slipped it into the fridge.

My mum also asked me to choose a present for the blog when I was doing her weekly shop. The blog chose a carton of mixed olives from the olive bar. Champagne and really good olives are perfect presents for this one year old.

It has been an amazing year. We are interested in self sufficiency in the broadest possible terms. Having been carefree and self employed for most of my adult life I realised that I probably needed to invest in a future when I might not be able to work but would like to enjoy the good things in life. Most sensible people retire on a private pension and then tend their garden, take up hang gliding and become an expert on the lifecycle of the cyclamen.

Stuff that. If I retire I want to have years of experience behind me. I want to have decent produce, wine, honey, fruit and veg to be able to barter and enjoy the good things in life. Already the best part of every day is pulling on my Wellingtons in the morning and walking down the garden with Inca to check that the chickens are content.

I am happy to share my discoveries and have found that so many people want to share too. Blogging has had a wonderful impact on our lives. Each night I write my post and fly from our kitchen table to undiscovered realms of fellow bloggers and so often find great tips, new friendships and sometimes amazing dreams.

So what with practicing for my retirement and working full time, my life is pretty busy. Danny worked out that after one year and 365 posts, I have written the equivalent of two books. I most enjoyed writing How I learnt to cook (part one) and Anyone for tennis?. Danny’s favourite posts are Essex girls and What do you want for Christmas?

So Happy Birthday young blog, you have transformed our lives.

  Leave a reply


  1. Happy Birthday!!!!!!

  2. Hi F & D, I´m being very naughty as decided I wouldn´t blog while we´re away. However, just logged on to mine and couldn´t help a sneaky peak at a few others. HAPPY BLOG BIRTHDAY!

    We´re having a fantastic time. We may even extend it a little. We have no set plans, just loose ones and we´re feeling free and happy! We´ve now reached Spain – weather and food ALL wonderful!

    Amanda x

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Celia,

    Thanks for dropping by. It was a great birthday. Mrs B and the keets are fine, see the next post!

    Hi Rosemary,

    Your birthday wishes are much appreciated. Thank you for leaving a comment.

    Hi Michelle,

    So glad that you like this space. Thanks for dropping by.

    Hi Sara,

    Thanks for dropping by (blog wise). We are loving the Interblog Guinea Fowl Breeding event too. So pleased that you enjoy reading the blog.

    Hi Notaproperfarmer,

    Thank you so much for the positive feedback. Much appreciated!

    Hi Tammy,

    Thanks for your good wishes. I hope this blog never really grows up.

    Hi Leanne,

    Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. Now that the blog is one it seems to have a life of its own.

  4. happy birthday from us (me and my blog!) too!

    one year- a great achievement! well done!


  5. Hope this is the first of many!!

  6. notaproperfarmer

    Happy Birthday Blog.

    It’s one of a few that inspired me. I love it.

    Here’s to another year.

  7. farmingfriends

    Hi Fiona, Danny, Mrs Boss, the keets and your dogs. (Hope I didn’t forget anyone!)
    Happy birthday to your blog. I think it is fabulous and now have my sister hooked on reading it too. I loved reading your How I learnt to cook story – it had me in stitches. I also love wandering through your garden when you open the cottage gate. Your kitchen recipes are always great and if I didn’t spend so much time on the computer I would be able to try a few more!
    Doing the Interblog guinea fowl project brought me great joy and I hope a new set of friends. Keep writing and I’ll keep reading. Happy Blog Birthday. Enjoy the Champagne and olives.
    Sara from farmingfriends

  8. Michelle

    Congratulations! You’ve created a very nice space here, may your blog ideas always be plentiful!

  9. Rosemary

    Happy Birthday.I love your blog !! Long may it continue.

  10. Happy Birthday Cottage Smallholder!!!!!

    enjoy your well deserved champagne and olives!

    PS: is Mrs Boss still enjoying motherhood? or are the keets getting under her feet?

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