Well, after a long hiatus I guess maybe it’s time to dust off my blogging boots and say a huge big thank you to everyone who nominated Tales from the Village to win the MAD awards best photography section.

It’s been a funny old summer, and it wasn’t until I sat at home last night (unfortunately I couldn’t make the awards) reading the live updates of the awards ceremony and looking back over the blog that I realised how much I’ve missed writing here and taking photographs of the things that make me happy. So I’m back. Hooray.

I’m off to dust off my camera. More later this weekend!


A broken laptop has meant an enforced break from the online world. It’s been quite peaceful, in a strange way. I hadn’t realised to what extent my fondness for Twitter and Facebook fed my news addiction. Right now I have no idea what’s going on in the world.


And I can’t upload photographs, either. So here I am on my phone, saying hello to my neglected blog and hoping that you are having a lovely summer.


Back soon!

this week I've been

Drinking gin and eating apples. Watching the world go by. Reliving my student days with a weekend away with friends I hadn’t seen for fifteen years, and staying up talking until 6am.

Visiting a dingy little venue in Bedford and seeing my favourite singer live:


Evan Dando from the Lemonheads, ambling onto the stage. One amp, one guitar, nothing more.


I stood at the front with Sandy Calico and it was magical. Magical and poignant, bringing back lots of memories and reminding me of my past. I’m in a strange limbo right now, halfway between one place and the other (still no house sale, mind you, so not really) and my heart aches.


And this month I’m in Handmade Living magazine as their featured blogger, which is lovely.


Oh, I’m homesick and I haven’t left yet. I’m sure it’s normal. Right now I can’t think of anything to say, except I’m going to miss everyone and everything so much.


Tales from the Village is no1!

(excuse me for a moment whilst I am unBritish and, er, stuff)

1 tales from the village
2 Life and style: Allotment blog |
3 The Patient Gardener’s Weblog
4 Ryan’s garden
5 Victoria’s backyard
6 Gardening Blog
7 An Artist’s Garden
8 otter farm blog
9 Veg Plotting
10 – blog
11 We Grow Our Own
12 Real Men Sow
14 Plantpassion
15 Hurtling Towards 60 and Beyond
17 Fennel and Fern
18 The Galloping Gardener
19 The Constant Gardener
20 Carrots and Kids

Ranking made by Wikio

That’s the Wikio blog chart for July. My little blog is No1, ahead of the Guardian and Observer! Excuse me whilst I go for a little lie down.

silent sunday


weekend bits and bobs

Pattern by Orla Kiely

This book arrived in the post this morning – Pattern, by Orla Kiely. It’s gorgeous, inside and out. I’ve been dying to get my hands on it and it is just as beautiful as I’d hoped. I’ve earmarked a sunny corner in the garden for later, and I’m going to sit down with a jug of iced tea (recipe here) and daydream about the look of our next house.

I’m thinking lots of bold prints and maybe some 1950s style wallpaper somewhere – I might have to take a few rolls of this one from the Little Greene Paint Company with me. I love it.

Better go and get cleaning – we’ve got viewings on the house even though it’s half term and most people are in holiday mode, so fingers crossed. Have a lovely weekend!


I have been tagged by lovely Josie at Sleep is for the Weak to help spread the word and get people to sign the petition for Save the Children here.

Here’s how it works…

1) Get your child to either draw or craft a self portrait of themselves now or in the future, perhaps imagining what they will look like or what they might do. Check out Red Ted Art’s self portrait post on some tips to get started!

2) Sign the Save the Children petition and share news of it with your friends.

3) Write a blog post about it as soon as possible, featuring your children’s pictures and perhaps how you made them together, and including info about Save the Children and the petition. We want as many people linked up AND signed up the petition by Sunday 29th May 2011

5) Tag 8 blogging friends to do the same – #passiton!

6) Come back and link up your posts, either here, or at Josie’s blog or over at Red Ted Art, so we can all see each other’s posts and if you have time, go and leave some comment love on each others posts! It’s a blog-hop link-up so you can even publish the list of entries on your blog too.

Here are my eight bloggers:

Heather at Home to Heather
Emily at More than Just a Mother
Cherry at Cherry Menlove
Nova at Cherished by Me
Becky at English Mum
Carol at Further South of Granada
Mary at Kyootycenter
Maxabella at Maxabella Loves.

Have fun. And don’t forget to sign the petition and #passiton!

and the winner of the teapot is…

(cut and pasted in a virtuous, straight from my laptop fashion!)

Congratulations to commenter no 44, Muddling Along. And thank you all for the billions of comments, which were really lovely and I promise I will reply to them later this weekend.


one year later – something for you

Tales from the Village is one year old this weekend, and it’s been a really lovely year for me. The title I chose was a bit of a misnomer, really, because it’s more tales from my garden. I’m sure that was a disappointment to the village gossips, who were hoping I was going to dish the dirt. But all good writers save the best details for their books, and whilst doing some final tidying of my first novel I already have plans for the second, and village life has given me lots of inspiration. Tee hee.

So to celebrate the first birthday of the blog, I decided to give something back.

A photograph of a teapot. I know, I’m too kind.

Not really, it’s a very lovely Cath Kidston Provence Rose teapot I bought yesterday, and it’s my little present to say thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing the blog with your friends.

I’m going to send this lovely shiny new teapot to someone who leaves a comment on this post. So go on, all of you, even those of you who read and never comment, because it seems scary – it’s not, I promise. Say hello, and I’ll number your comments and then put them into a magical randomising thingy and send one of you a present. Because I’m nice like that.

Unfortunately it would cost me about a million pounds to send a teapot overseas, so if you live outside the UK and your number comes up, I’ll send you this lovely (and rather less expensive to send) Cath Kidston Provence Rose double oven glove instead.

Exciting stuff! Have a lovely weekend, everyone.

To leave a comment: if you’re reading on the main page of Tales from the Village, you’ll see a little speech bubble up by the title of this post. Click on it, and scroll down to the bottom of the page. Fill in your name, your email address (this won’t be disclosed, don’t worry) and then write something in the box. ‘Give me a teapot’ will do, or ‘hello, I’m very shy and don’t comment on blogs’ (I spent years reading blogs and not commenting!). Then click the little box which confirms you’re not a horrible spam thing, and lo! a comment. It’s that simple.

And if you click ‘like’ on the little Facebook box to the right, or join the site using Google Friend Connect, or subscribe by email, that would be rather lovely, too.

Here’s to the next year, and the transformation from tales from the English countryside into something rather different.

- Rachael

House for Sale

4 bedrooms, detached, in desirable village in North Bucks, midway between Oxford and Milton Keynes.
Within the Royal Latin school catchment, complete with 100 foot garden.
Famous as the setting for Tales from the Village, the lovely blog you’re currently reading.

It’s official – the big ‘for sale’ sign is on the way. Do you want a little tour of the house? There’s nothing nicer than nosing around and looking at people’s houses, I think. I can’t wait to start house-hunting when we move.

This is the kitchen.

And the futility room (which long time readers will be impressed to see is now clutter free)

The sitting room, from two angles (it’s very big, and hard to fit into one photograph)

And the hall (there’s not much you can say about a hall, is there?)

Our bedroom (I wrote a book in here – it’s got good writing vibes)

The en suite shower room (all this photo uploading is taking ages, phew)

And the bedrooms:

And the bathroom:

And that’s it.

Spread the word, everyone. And keep your fingers crossed!

I’m off for a cup of tea in my spotless kitchen.

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