From darkness to light

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Today is the Winter Solstice, marking the shortest day of the year and the start of a new season. From this point on, daylight hours increase slowly towards Spring. I have captured a few lovely shots of the Winter sunlight (where there has been some!!). Weak, hesitant, fragile and delicate light... yet beautiful in all its frailty and presence. A light that calls for rest, reflection and renewal.

I am very aware of a part of me seeking hibernation, wanting to stay at home and curl up with a book or a magazine, needing more sleep... I feel pulled towards ...

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The force of nature

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Abigail, Barney, Clodagh and Desmond all visited us in Mid-Wales in the past month and these storms, one after the other with little respite in between, all brought with them much rain and high winds. Desmond, last weekend, was a beast: we have never experienced winds as high as these and for such a long time!

There was flooding in the Severn Valley below us and some main roads were impassable for a while as the rainwater travelled quickly down the hills to the valley where the river burst its banks. The drainage channels around our property quickly became fast-flowing ...

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Sheep

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Three months to the day since we moved here, we took our smallholding - and ourselves - through to a new phase: we have six sheep of our own. It is lovely to see them from the house; they bring new life and energy to our place.

They are Welsh Mountain ewes and we got them from a farm high up in the hills near Newtown who advertised them on a local Facebook group! How modern is that? It was good to see where they had come from and meet the farmer, a more personal approach to buying sheep than going down ...

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Past and present... old and new

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With the end of October approaching, the wheel of the year draws near Samhain - or All Saints or Halloween - and enters its darkest times between now and Midwinter. Certainly, the weather this week feels more wintery with gusty winds, noticeably less sunlight and dropping temperatures.

It is a time when the house becomes a warm and cosy sanctuary: I have made thick curtains for nearly all the windows and our woodburners are very efficient at keeping us warm. We are preparing the house – and ourselves - for winter! We have taken out the old Esse range cooker from the kitchen and ...

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First day of Autumn... some reflections

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Autumn begins today with the equinox marking a time in the year when day equals night. This is a time of balance before dark wins over light as we head towards the longer nights of Winter. There are many signs the new season is here: we have put extra layers on the bed; we have ordered a supply of logs; we are harvesting apples and organising their storage; we are tidying up the plants and taking away the last vestiges of their growth now turned to decay; I have picked a few figs and made little fig and almonds cakes ...

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One month on

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This last Bank Holiday weekend marked our first month here and we celebrated the occasion by sharing a bottle of Prosecco with Peter's parents who were our first guests. We also went to the local agricultural and horticultural show where locals show their best livestock and produce.

After only a month, we both feel at home here. We are enjoying the beautiful and quiet countryside, the amazing sunsets we like to capture on camera and making the house and gardens our own. A friend of mine, looking through the gallery of photos, said that I appeared to be "nesting ...

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The fullness of silence

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We are now into our third week here and are really enjoying our little bit of countryside. Being surrounded by nature as we are up here, is wonderful. There is something about being around green fields and trees that promotes well-being. It is now well researched and documented that being connected with nature has huge benefits to our physical and mental health and that modern, high-tech, nature-deficient can be harmful. My own experience is that being in nature is calming, healing, grounding and uplifting.

I have found a little spot in the garden where I like to sit and listen ...

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Our home is a haven for birds!

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It has been a glorious Summer's day up here in the hills of Mid-Wales. The wind chased the rain clouds that lingered earlier this morning and the rest of the day was dry, sunny and warm. I spent some time watching the many birds that visit our garden – blue tits, great tits, finches, sparrows, great spotted woodpeckers are frequent visitors - and those that are a bit further away – like red kites circling high in the sky.

In one of the sheds, I have found an enormous container, almost full of bird food (peanuts and seeds). I have been replenishing ...

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One week on

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It is now a week since we have arrived at our new home, a smallholding in the hills between Welshpool and Newtown in Mid-Wales. There are still unopened boxes here and there and we need more furniture to be able to put some of our things away. The chaos and upheaval of moving is still evident but we are settling into our new home.

I have made the kitchen and dining area as functional as possible and I am happy with the space. The kitchen is very rustic, not at all the fitted, sleek look of our previous one! I ...

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Bottling the taste of Summer

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There are many soft fruit bushes on the smallholding. I have found raspberries, alpine strawberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants. They seem very productive, obviously liking the soil and location.

On Friday, Peter picked nearly 4 kg of redcurrants before I had even arrived. Picked fruit does not wait so, despite us having just moved in, it needed preserving! I was going to make some jam but could not find my collection of empty jam jars amongst all the boxes yet to empty. So I decided to make some delicious redcurrant cordial. I have made this several times already as our single ...

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