The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Still laid up – a typical day


Photo: Inca lounging on my bed

Photo: Inca lounging on my bed

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 generally it’s the soft snores of the Min Pins. This morning the sound of light rain.

The open window freshens the room but can be a bit of a menace after the Min Pins have decided that it’s time to move from under the soundproof duvet and loll on the bed waiting for breakfast. They are super alert to any sound. People gossiping at our gate will set them off.

By 07:00 I’m tired and generally sleep until the Min Pins alert me to the arrival of the postman at 10:00. After this ritual it’s breakfast time for humans and animals. I take some mixed bird seed with me when I go down to the chicken run in the morning. This means that I always get a warm welcome. I scatter this at both ends of the run well away from the door so I can nip in to top up their water and feed fountains. The restaurant is open 24-7 in the Cottage Smallholder chicken reserve.

After all this activity I return to bed until midday chez Min Pins. In the afternoon I might do a bit of gentle gardening or preserving or cooking – with lots of rests and cups of tea in between. At the moment I’m constructing winter cloches for the carrots, peas and broad beans. Slow satisfying work.

Then it’s back to bed to rest before supper. This meal takes place at the kitchen table beside the wood burning stove and it’s the time that we both relax and chat whilst the well fed Min Pins snooze at our feet.

I’m in bed well before 9.30 pm with a hottie and a good book. At the moment it’s Grow Your Own Vegetables by Joy Larkcom. With John gone I’ve so much to learn and this is the best gardening book in my library packed with lots of information from planting plans (feed the family to gourmet) to getting the very best out of your plot all the year round. I feel very blessed that I have this time for learning.

It’s a quiet life but each day I’m getting a little bit better. It’s strange but my dreams are becoming more and more vivid perhaps to balance such a simple rounded life.

  Leave a reply


  1. Greetings again from Down Under Fiona, I am glad you feel you are still improving though Progress takes her own sweet time. I was thinking of you this morning as I too took my time in getting into the day.
    It is Spring here and my favourite month of the year. There are so many flowers to bring into the house and my feathered friends are busy with raising their families in our eves and sheds.. Sitting in bed I look out my window over the meadows to the lake where with the help of binoculars I can keep an eye on the progress of the cygnets and watch the Swamp Harrier cruising for dinner.
    I find it easier dealing with an energy short fall in the colder months. At this time of year I am too prone to over doing it in my endless dance with the weeds!

  2. Dear Fiona,

    it takes a long time for our body to give up on us and let us become ill. Most of us pay no heed of the signs – we are always rushing around with “more important” things to do than take proper care of our health.

    When it comes to recovery, it is only right to accept that it will take an equally long time for our body to heal. I am persuaded it takes much less longer for us to heal than it took us to loose our health – but because we are so attentive to anything that happens during recovery, it seems to take forever ! Aren’t we daft…

    Nothing happens for no reason. The time you need to recover is also proving very important in organising this site, organising you household, being around the dogs – they appreciate it enormously.

    Enjoy your healing time without any guilt. Your words are probably healing the problems of many who come here for help. We are all sending thanks and good wishes in return and this also helps mend you !

    On the finantial front – you will always have abundance enough in your life. Perhaps not in the shape you would like, but it will be around you all the same.

    I wish you a proper recovery and may it leave good memories of your time around the house. Keep writing !

  3. I hadn’t realised you were still not well. Like the other people who have commented, I’m glad that you fill your days doing the things you love.

    I’m going to send you an e-card. You introduced me to these a while ago. As the post is rubbish here and as Christmas is creeping up, I used your new search engine and found your post easily. I’m now also a member of the Jacquie Lawrence e-card thingamy. Very best wishes, Sally

  4. veronica

    Hi Fiona

    Your comment that being laid up for so long is a positive experience is proof positive of the optimistic outloook you bring to life, even in adversity! It would be very easy to feel down after so long, especially when you are someone who leads an active life. So I’m glad you are able to focus on the good things. And I hope you are up and about soon.

  5. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Carole

    Diana Mossop’s remedies are very powerful – definitely worth checking out. Thanks for dropping by.

    Hello SallyC

    Thanks for your good wishes.

    Hi Joanna

    I’m resolved to go with the flow – this enforced period of rest has made me revaluate a lot of things. So all in all has been quite a positive experience.

    Hi Wendy

    Thanks for your kind thoughts. I do miss my mum and our shopping trips. She can’t drive anymore and it’s difficult for me to get over there now. She knows that I’m gradually getting better and that’s the main thing.

    Hello Cathy

    Thank you for such a positive and caring comment. Much appreciated.

  6. I read this and felt glad that you’re really doing what one must in order to heal. You are resting. You are re-prioritizing things. You are trying to accomplish reasonable things that bring you pleasure. You’re very sane, and I am so glad.

    It takes a long time for us to heal sometimes.

    What you write about your life and garden helps heal me. The minutia matters deeply, and you are so great about celebrating what is present right now in your life.

    Carry on, fine spirit! You give me hope.

  7. So glad that you are able to combine lots of the things you really love doing, with the periods of rest that you need. I was thinking about your Mother the other day – she must worry a lot about you and wish for a full recovery as we all do. x

  8. Glad to hear your feeling better and glad you are getting something positive out of the enforced rest. Pray you get some strength back soon though

  9. It sounds enviably idyllic Fiona ~ if it was your free choice and not enforced because of ill health! But I’m glad you say you feel a little better each day, and hope you’re soon completely recovered. SallyC

  10. hi fiona sorry youre still not well glad youre still doing youre blog though i look forward to it daughter has been prescribed 2 remedies of diana mossop by her homneopath for her thyroid im interested as i have thyroid problems to.hope youre up and about soon.carole

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags are not allowed.

2,254,426 Spambots Blocked by Simple Comments

Copyright © 2006-2023 Cottage Smallholder      Our Privacy Policy      Advertise on Cottage Smallholder

Skip to toolbar