Thursday, February 23, 2012

10 Things I Can't Live Without: Wild Acre

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!


  1. Jane - thank you so very much for the invite to chat at your lovely gaff here, feel very chuffed to say the least. Such a fun series, I love seeing what things make people tick, and I love that your ability to get people together has spread so brilliantly to your blog here. xx

  2. Such an inviting list--I have been out of sorts, and reading this made me feel better.

  3. Dog? What dog? I didn't know Belinda had a dog. Who IS that little sleepy face? does it like gardening?
    Those sky photos she takes are always transporting. What a good list.

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  5. Oh how I love this list! Thanks Jane for the introduction, Wild Acre has a new fan.

  6. Another great list. That sky photo is gorgeous!

  7. I am becoming addicted to these lists. Each one I read I find myself saying, oh, me too. Thanks! Bonnie

  8. Belinda, No thank you for all the words and work you put into your list. I am dabbing a bit of Smith's rosebud salve on my lips as we speak!

    Jen, Good,hope that feeling lasted through the day.

    Shelley, I know i laugh out loud every time I see his(?) picture.
    What can it be made of?

    Denise,I tried admiring my sky as I waited for the bus this morning but overhead wires ruined my view.

    Amelia, She's a treasure.

    Karin, I know. Her photos are amazing.

    Bonnie, me too!

  9. Thanks for introducing me to Belinda all those months ago. I love her list, but no real surprises - all her loves are in her blog! Great series. xo

  10. Hi Jane

    I am heading over to read Belinda's post and become a follower

    I adore her dog, how precious. I must try some of that Twinings tea, I hope it is available stateside.


  11. what a nice list! I am a fan of her blog.

  12. With each list I realise just how many things I would find it difficult to live without! It seems it is the little things that make our lives complete.Jane I am so enjoying this series. xx J

  13. Jane you are a doll.

    Belinda..this is totally fab. About nbr 3. I nearly spat out my tea as me too I have this issue! At least when we are 80 our lips will be fabulous!!! I love your writing so please keep it up. There is a book in you yet my dear.

    Great post girls for the start of the weekend..Sinead x

  14. Another lovely post Jane! The first thing I will do tomorrow is to see if I can find the Twinings rose tea :-)

    Happy weekend!

    Much love,

    Madelief x

  15. belinda what a lovely list. as lovely as you and your home and garden. there are so many commonalities between us all isn't there?