All posts tagged: life


It’s been a rough week for my business. On Tuesday, I took the decision to let my organic certification expire. Currently, I’m certified under EU standards, and it’s not clear that this would continue if the UK is no longer a member of the EU. I need these standards to export organic materials to my EU customers, but I have no idea if this will be possible by the end of the month. As my invoice for another year of certification was due this week, I had to make a decision. Not the one I wanted, but what can I do? I was supposed to let my landlord know if I’d be renewing my lease by the first of November last year which shouldn’t have been a problem as the negotiations with the EU were to have finished in October. When that deadline passed with no deal reached, my landlord generously extended my break clause to the first of February. But when that day came and went, he had no choice but to start advertising …

My Year in Review

I’ve never been big on New Year. Coming on the heels of Christmas, it’s a boring affair for those us who don’t drink or stay up past 10pm on a school night. I can’t be bothered with the trappings of starting over because doing so insinuates I’ve failed, and that’s not a positive way to go forward. So no grand resolutions for me. Instead, I like to look back at the successes of the previous year which is no small feat considering the spectre of Brexit was constantly hanging overhead. Even so, I did accomplish a few things. I gave up eating meat. It wasn’t a conscious decision, but it happened anyway. I’d been eating less and less and then one day it was about as appetising as a plate of squirming worms. Not eating meat has changed the way I view the world, and it’s pushed me to try to do a bit better in other areas. I don’t think veganism is for me, but I do think I can get by with a …

Where We Belong

Last week a noisy flock of low-flying geese passed over my house while I was in the garden. ‘How nice for you,’ I thought. ‘Leaving Brexit Britain. Hope they let you back in next Spring.’ How ridiculous. Of course the geese can return. They can go where they like, live harmoniously in their temporary accommodation, and be off to the next place without a thought. They belong where they choose to be. If they find the conditions of their present situation hostile, they can leave for another – no documents, no passport, no problem. I never thought I’d be so envious of geese. The society I grew up in was deeply religious (I’m not), rabidly patriotic (which skeeves me out on so many levels), and rigidly structured (nope). I was made to stand and pledge allegiance to a flag every morning in school. I also had to say grace before I was allowed to eat lunch. Boys were allowed to chase me on the playground, but I wasn’t allowed to chase back because that wasn’t …

Down, But Not Out

I’ve neglected my blog for the past few weeks. Brexit Blues and middle-age health woes are to blame, and I’m fairly certain the former lead to the latter. Less than six months to go and I have no idea if I can trade past March of next year. Do I stockpile? Do I wind down? Do I renew the lease on my premises? What do I tell my employees? My customers? It’s no wonder I’ve not felt my best. But even in this rather dark time, I’ve been enjoying things I’m looking forward to sharing here. I’ve tried some fabulous new vegan meat substitutes; bought a beautiful dress from an ethical designer; and discovered a glass water bottle I love. I will post reviews on all of these soon.    

Learning Baritone Ukulele

Back in January 2014, at the ripe old age of 46, I decide to learn to play ukulele.  I’d read that learning a musical instrument could help ward off dementia, and with my short-term memory fading quickly, I went to the music shop and bought a little concert ukulele, and within a few hours, I was hooked.  Seriously hooked.  I quickly graduated to the warmer tones of a tenor ukulele, and a few months later, a baritone. I rarely play anything other than baritone these days, and while I’m not sure it’s helped my failing memory, it has made me a much happier person.  As I am completely self-taught, there is a great satisfaction in having learned something by myself with only my own enthusiasm and the love of the instrument to keep me going. The first thing I did was teach myself six chords – G, C, Am, F, Em, and D.  You’d be surprised how many songs you can play with these.  I then downloaded a program called iRehearse which – and I say …


I do not enjoy marking time, but my brain seems to love it.  No matter how hard I try, I can’t get past ‘a year ago today’ or ‘this time last year,’ and it’s especially hard in June. So I’m off to stare at sand and sea for a couple of days.  It is true that salt water (in many forms) has a restorative effect.


I believe the secret to good food photography is to take the picture before hoovering up the dish.  I hadn’t had oysters in about seven years, and I’m not a food photographer. They were amazing!