I'm pretty sure you all know Belinda from Wild Acre. If not you're in for a treat.
From my first visit I was totally bowled over by her words and her photos, her garden, her house/barn. When we Americans dream of lfe in the English countryside I'm sure it's her life we fantasize about..
Just to turn your eyes even greener, it turns out she can cook, bake and decorate as well as she can turn a phrase or plant a bulb.
If you are new be sure to backtrack to her weekly gardening seminars and you might want to get her recipe for plum cake.
10 things I can't live without? Excluding family, friends, unabridged works of W.S. etc, here are the little pleasures and treats that makes life at the Acre that much more lovely. In no particular order:
1. Flowers. flowers. flowers. joy givers all and I love them in the garden and in jugs, bottles and vases in the house. I love that my flowers are air mile and chemical free, and I also enjoy the simple truth that all that beauty wouldn't be there if I hadn't put them in the earth with my bare hands - it is just such a brilliant feeling. I miss them in January. sniff.
2. Twinings rose tea. So delicious and refreshing. Hands up, I'm addicted and get ratty if I run out.
3. Lip balm, another mild addiction, my favourite is Smith's rose bud salve in a tube, but honestly the rose and almond oil vaseline in a tin will do, and even Boot's spearmint balm is far better than nothing. If I set off on a winter walk, and realise I have forgotten to put some on, I have been known to turn back. I may need help on this one.
4. A decent haircut and eyebrow shape, the two things that make me feel like I am making an effort to look nice. I feel a bit ragged if these two are missing. Shallow, don't say it!
5. A dog in the family. Haven't looked back, such sweet company, makes me walk every day.
6. A good book, getting lost in a world and set of relationships that exist between the pages of a great story, it is the best isn't it? Half of what I think I have learn't from stories.
7. Making stuff with my hands, if I stop they get itchy. Discovering silversmithing has been the most wonderful creative adventure.
8. Big skies. To see a big sky and distant horizon puts almost any woe in its place, or at least in perspective. A big skyscape means freedom to me.
9. Open fires in winter, or outside on cool summer nights - I am a total fan of firelight, infact it makes winter bearable. I like candles but I need proper fires.
10. Writing. I wish I was better at it, but it has always, in one form or another, been the way I sort out my thoughts and explore ideas. I remember reading the phrase, "...gargoyled by grief," by Jeanette Winterson and thinking, I WISH I had thought of that, I wish I could combine words in such an original way that the energy of them exposes the kernal of thoughts and feelings the way she does. Still do.
...and I still haven't mentioned Paris, breakfast in bed, home made bread or music!