Mar 24

2016

Life on the Farm: Our Charlotte’s Web Moment

F79A2031About once a month, I go out to the far field to check on the pigs. I know I should go more often – and don’t worry our groom feeds them and looks in on them daily so they are well looked-after – but they’ve been around for a long time now and I guess the novelty of them has worn down to a once a month attraction. Porky and Bacon (named by my kids obviously) originally belonged to my brother-in-law, but they lived in the yard across from our cottage so we got to know them well when they were babies. They escaped into our garden and often in to the house, and Zach did his first pig riding on them. They were exceptionally friendly little piggies.

F79A2008At one point, the pigs were moved up to the field next to my brother-in-law’s house but we still saw them almost daily while walking Ginger. Then one day we heard through the farm grapevine (as one does) that the pigs were being sent off to be made into sausages. Well Zach was not having that at all. ..


Oct 15

2015

Life on the Farm: The Pig Rider

My husband loves to tell people that he rode ponies as a kid,  but that once he got on a motorbike around age 15, he never rode a horse again until only recently. When my son Zach grows up I suspect he’ll tell a similar tale, but in his case it will be pigs that lured him away from horses. When Zach was 7, his uncle Charlie got two rather large KuneKune pigs. Knowing that Zach had a bad fall off his pony the year before and had shied away from horse riding since, Charlie had it in his head that Zach would find it more fun to ride the pigs! I thought it was a silly idea and didn’t give it much thought until one afternoon when Charlie turned up in our garden. ..


Feb 26

2014

Life on the Farm: More from The Selby

You all know I am such a huge fan of Todd Selby, and that he paid us a visit in the summer of 2012 when we first moved to England. Some of his photos ran in The Guardian last year and I posted them here. This week he posted his own edit of the pictures on his website. I loved seeing the additional pictures of our kids living out their farm life dreams, and Christopher was delighted that he included the more real, messier parts of the farm like the abandoned barns, the storage sheds and the compost pile...


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.


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. ..


Apr 11

2013

On the Road: Spring Break at The Pig Hotel

I’m laughing to myself while putting “Spring” in the title of this post because there is nothing Spring-like about England in the last few weeks. Yes, the weather has finally gotten me down. I made it through the winter just fine with the right outdoor clothes and a constant roaring fire in the living room. But now I am just over it. The kids have a three and a half week end-of-term break, and we thought we’d stay here so that our daughter Coco could catch up with her riding having been away in France for 12 weeks...


Jan 30

2013

Life on the Farm: SNOW!

When we first came back to England in January, I felt that the gloomy weather might finally get to me. It was grey, wet, and dark for the good part of every day. There had been so much novelty in the fall leading up to Christmas – blackberry season, apple season, the changing of the leaves, the first frost, the first hard frost – and now I just felt like everything was dead, and that it would be a while until new life emerged...


Apr 30

2012

Hello, again.

Hi there. I’m back! 

So, recently my family and I made the decision to spend a year on our farm in Oxfordshire, England. I am calling it my “creative sabbatical.” First on my agenda? To get my blog and up and running again. I also have ambitious writing plans for the next year, and you all will be the first to know about them as they unfold. In the meantime, here is a look at my future dwelling, all about which I will share when I arrive there at the end of June...