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Life in the Woods

Walden is perhaps the most influential book I’ve never read. Thoreau’s tale of life in the woods was introduced to me while I was still in my teens via the film Dead Poets Society. Even then it struck a chord. “I went into the woods because I wanted to live deliberately… to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life…and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” I like to think I’ve been sucking that marrow all my life, balancing studies and career with plenty of simple pleasures – food, friends, songs, travel. Read more

The Rosemary Experiment

Since I began my journey towards self-sufficiency I have become more and more aware of waste, whether it’s water, energy or food. I hate seeing even small amounts of leftover food going to waste, even if I don’t have an immediate use for it. I will put it into an appropriate container in the fridge or pantry and try to use it within a few days. Read more

Evening Waltz

A low evening sun over fields of golden grasses. Lithe ladies sway and bend, bathed in long shadows and rich autumn colours. The sky is clear, the air silent, but somehow I hear music. A waltz, I think. Slow and smooth, it is the perfect soundtrack for these dancing girls. I walk through the fields, soothed by the warm glow of the sun and the rhythmic movement of the wheat, and wonder if perhaps there was something “unusual” about those mushrooms I picked this morning. Read more

Thai Chicken Curry [Recipe]

I love Thai food. It is a feast for the senses – fragrant and aromatic with a heady mix of spices, a touch of heat and a balance of flavour across sweet, sour, salty and savoury (umami) . It is vibrant and colourful, with fresh vegetables and herbs just as important as the meat or fish component. And it uses a variety of textures, from crunchy vegetables to soft meat and sticky rice. Read more


It’s almost three years since we set off on our tour of Europe and I still love looking back through the photos. This was taken in Rioja, one of the most scenic places we passed through. This was one of the many occasions when we appreciated the fact that our camper van was dark green. We could park in stunning locations and blend into our surroundings. We were not a disturbance, but instead were in harmony with our environment. If we ever replace the van (and we hope to), we will get something very similar. Read more

Growing Veg 2016/#2 – Seedlings & Herbs

This year I have vowed to provide more regular updates on my vegetable growing endeavours. Last year I had some great successes and took millions of photos, but was so busy actually doing it I hardly got round to writing about it. To take the pressure off, this year I will write shorter posts more frequently. Some might contain only a few words and photos, just to show you how things are progressing. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep that going, even when the growing season kicks off in earnest. Read more

Murder at the Pool Party

Morgan sighed. This was not the bachelor party he’d had in mind. Or stag party, as some people call them. Why on earth would a crow want to go to a stag party? He had envisioned a more subdued gathering, perhaps a nice meal with a few close friends followed by a few pints at the local – nothing too crazy. Instead he was surrounded by a bunch of whooping, splashing, pool-bombing hooligans. He wasn’t even sure he knew everyone. Who the hell was that guy with the big, shiny wings? Bloody show-off. Read more