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. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Veronica

    Thank you for your encouragement and good wishes. Much appreciated.

    Hi Sally

    I think Jaquie Lawson’s site is fab! It’s got me out of a lot of scrapes. Hope all is well in Italy.

    Hi Miriam

    Thank you for your wise words. I was spinning out of control – I can see that now. Writing and communicating on the blog has kept me sane through these past months, a real focus for the day. Also, even though we are leading a very isolated existence I feel that I have a lot of friends all over the world.

    Good to hear about the abundance. Reassuring.

    Hello Willo

    How good to hear from you.

    You are going into spring as we are drifting towards winter. Love the description of watching the birds on the lake.

    Weeding can become addictive, beware!

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