Jan 16

2014

Life on the Farm: The January of Beautiful Mornings

Hey you all. Happy New Year, even though it’s a bit late for that. I am back settled into my routine, and over the next week I am so excited to share with you everything about my 3 week trip to Japan over the holidays and also tell you about my writing schedule since so many of you have asked. But first I want to tell you about the incredible January we are having here on the farm. It’s completely different to the first month of last year when there was snow on the ground for much of the winter, and it was very, very cold...


Dec 03

2013

I am a huge fan of all that Todd Selby does – his photographs, his watercolors, his sense of design, the people and places he is attracted to, and his so-goofy-it’s-cool personality. He is creative and talented, and his style – as well as that of the people he photographs – is highly personal. A few years ago, after religiously reading his blog and combing every page of his first book, I found a business excuse to cold call Todd.  But what I was really hoping when I called him was that we’d chat on the phone and become friends. Which is exactly what has happened. Towards the end of our long phone call, he said. “Hey, what’s your house like?” I told him that I was moving to England and that I would send him some photos. Six months later, in July of 2012, a month after we had settled into our cottage, Todd was here on the farm paying us a visit. So here he was, running around the farm with a camera taking pictures of the barns, the garden, the treehouse, the cottage, the kids, us and all the animals. I was fascinated to watch him work. As a lover of photography myself I was amazed to see how shooting style differs so much from my own. He is spontaneous, quick, unselfconscious with his camera whereas I am always looking for the right angle and calculating in my composition. We have since kept in touch, calling each other occasionally for ideas or advice, and I am so glad to have such an inspiring new friend.


Nov 14

2013

Life on the Farm: Mourning Murphy

There is so much life on this farm that makes me happy. Every morning the hens are lined up on the bench outside the kitchen window, waiting for our leftover toast from breakfast. Then there are our twin black kittens. I still call them kittens, but they are now full-sized at 18 months old. They are so deferential to my kids’ treatment of them – last night Coco built Dizzy a hammock and made him spend the night in it and he obliged her – but then they go outside and they are both badass hunters...


Nov 13

2013

Life on the Farm: J. Crew Comes to Visit

This past weekend I returned home from a busy month filled with travel. Waiting for me on the kitchen table upon my arrival was the November J.Crew style guide with Christopher and Coco on the cover! I just couldn’t believe it. I knew they’d be in it, and that most of the pictures had been shot at the farm, but on the cover? Holy shit.

Here’s how it happened: Last June, Jenna Lyons – who is my friend as well as J. Crew president and creative director – wrote to me saying how much she loved my instagrams of life on our farm, and she wanted to know if J.Crew could shoot their autumn catalogue here. There would be lots of models, and she also hoped to casually include my family and me in a few shots. Sounded good to me. But then I got the dates. Zach and I would be in New York – I had a week full of publisher’s meetings lined up in the hope of selling my book, and Zach was signed up for camp. He had been looking forward to this time in our home city for months. I thought for just a minute and then decided I wouldn’t torture either one of us with a tough decision. We had made a commitment. We were going. I couldn’t imagine asking Zach to stay home for a photo shoot. So off we went. And what a time we had. ..


Nov 05

2013

Life on the Farm: Kitchen Garden Abundance

Last year I just kind of passively watched as the abundance of farm produce came and went with the summer and autumn seasons. I was too distracted by the move, settling the kids into school, finding a routine for myself, and updating our home to engage in any significant way with the vegetable garden or any of the trees – pear, apple, quince, elderflower, fig, blackberries – that the farm offered up. Granted, we didn’t actually have our own vegetable garden last year but on the farm there are two large ones maintained by other family members that I am always welcome to take from...


Sep 26

2013

Life on the Farm: Another September

In June of 2012, I announced to the world, or at least the fashion world, that I was taking a year off to go live on a farm in rural England. So here we are at the end of September 2013, and here I am. Still. People ask me from time to time when I am coming back or what my future plans are, and so I thought I’d let you all know what I’m up to.

For starters, I love it here. For more reasons than I can explain. But the main ones are the following: I have never been more clear about who I am and what is important to me...


Aug 03

2013

Life on the Farm: Sunset

As the days have been so long in the last few months, I’ve gotten in the habit of taking Ginger out for a walk after dinner. Just the two of us. It’s a lovely way to clear my head, digest my dinner, and enjoy the last of the evening light before settling in for the evening.

This field is called Middle Fairgreen, and it’s just next to our cottage. This was in May when the dandelions were everywhere, and the grass was still relatively short...

May 15

2013

Life on the Farm: Kaiser and Bang Bang

For all the animal joy that exists on the farm in every direction that you look – chickens, kittens and dogs on the lawn, pigs and horses in the stables, donkeys and more horses across the field – there is, unfortunately, also a good dose of animal heartache.

Late in the autumn, Coco lost one of her beloved pigs suddenly and without explanation. The twin Gloucestershire Old Spots had been her 10th birthday present the summer before last, and she fed them and cared for them all that first summer...



Apr 18

2013

Life on the Farm: Spring Babies!

With the abysmal spring weather we’ve been having in England, the one consolation is the overwhelming joy of meeting all the precious baby animals, both on our farm and on neighbouring ones. Just before the first of March my brother-in-law received 3 eight-week-old kunekune pigs to add to his existing 2 giant adult kunekunes. As soon as we opened their cages on the back of the pick-up we scooped them up into our arms and cuddled them. Delicious! It would be a short-lived pleasure though, as in just a week they were too heavy to lift and already too independent to seek human affection. Still, they’re heaven to look at. ..