starting over

There isn’t an easy way to say hey guess what we’re getting divorced and my ex has moved to Canada and I’m here with four children and a dog and a cat and a tank full of blooming tropical fish I don’t know how to look after, is there?

But there you go. Most of you know it, anyway, and if you didn’t, well, there you are. And yes, it’s horrible and hard work and scary and I’m excited at the same time. Life is starting again, and I like it.

But I was cleaning the kitchen today whilst doing eleven billion other things and dealing with my broken children, when I thought about this blog. It’s a pretty good metaphor for the way I am right now. It’s sitting here, all shiny and beautiful and nothing’s-changed-ish, and I don’t know what to do with it. And we move to our new house in Buckingham in less than two weeks, and I’m sitting in my house and it’s all shiny and beautiful and nothing’s-changed-ish. Because I’m a bit scared. Because when I start packing (or writing) it’s real. Properly real. And I don’t know how to fit a washing machine. Or put the bunk beds together. Or the children. I don’t know how to put them back together.

And I’m actually terribly untidy, and since July when I started living alone with the children I’ve been fighting against a sea of bits of paper and lego people and squeezy yogurt wrappers which sneak under the cushions and wine glasses and oh, help. And I don’t know how to fix the broken dishwasher, either. And there’s a million tons of paperwork and we forgot to put the bin out and my favourite chicken died the day my ex left for Canada and it’s really scary being a grown up. And this isn’t flowers and pretty and village life. But it’s real life. And it’s all I’ve got right now. You can keep me company whilst we start over, if you like.

chicken in red wine

I’m on my way back. It’s been a long old summer, with lots of changes for everyone, but I think I have found myself again in all of it. Have a lovely weekend, and I’ll be back with photographs and the usual ramblings next week.

NaNoWriMo 2011

It’s almost time. All over the world, people are starting to think about National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo.

Last November I started a book and wrote 50,000 words in one month. Scary stuff, and I spent the whole time in a words obsessed haze. So for anyone contemplating it this year, here are ten things I learned whilst doing NaNoWriMo.

It was worth it! An excerpt of Sealed with a Kiss reached no1 in the Harper Collins Authonomy chart for unsigned writers – have a look, you can read the first few chapters there. And a year (and an editor, and lots of twiddling with chapters and characters) on, I’ve had interest from agents and publishers, and I’m about to take a huge leap, inspired by my friend Melanie, and venture into the world of self publishing.

And if you’ve even wondered what NaNoWriMo looks like, here’s photographic evidence.

And this? This must be the best feeling in the world.

Happy writing. And good luck for NaNoWriMo 2011!

Corby Glen Sheep Fair

Apart from the first photo, which was taken by my lovely friend Elly, photographer extraordinaire and member of the Bourne Borderers Morris side, the rest of these are just camera snaps. But it was such a gorgeous day I want to remember it.





We drove to Lincolnshire on the spur of the moment yesterday to visit some very dear friends. There was much Morris, there was a samba band, there was whirling on the waltzers and eating melty ice cream in the baking hot October sunshine.

The beautiful tatter coats, blackened faces (a disguise which prevented the police from arresting them for begging) and colourful decorated hats are all part of the Border Morris tradition which dates back to the 1600s. Have a look at this link if you’d like to book the amazing Bourne Borderers to dance.


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)

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