Month: October, 2013

wild food

we’ve been finding mushrooms and wild carrots and eating dandelions and i’m becoming excited about foraging in the english countryside. this website is a great resource for everything to do with foraging…



i am in a house full of bookshelves full of books i have never read and i am in heaven. i’m currently racing through the little house on the prairie books before we leave here on friday.

making things

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a quick little notebook i made the other day… after a long period of feeling completely uncreative the italian sunshine and some free time have got me back into the swing of things… this took me about 10 minutes with some scrap paper, some scissors and a bit of thread.

sunday song

this is so, so beautiful. it sounds like magic under the sea.

panem et circenses

before leaving england i was tired of food and tired of cooking, but living with families on farms, eating their wonderful fresh food i feel ready to start cooking and being excited by food again. especially making things from scratch like bread, cheese and yoghurt.¬†on our farm in bulgaria we ate freshly baked soda bread every day for lunch – it was beautiful and delicious and really easy to make. the blog 100 loaves of solitude is only increasing my desire to experiment with bread, it is a funny and well written blog full of interesting bread recipes that look achievable…


i have had a long term love affair with the shakespeare and company bookshop in paris and used to dream of living and working there, but dismissed it as a silly dream. looking at these photographs on rookie has rekindled my dream and i’m now wondering if it could be a possibility…

both photographs by molly detkar, from rookie mag

forever learning

one of the main reasons i wanted to volunteer in europe was to learn. in the six months since i left england i feel that i have learnt more practical knowledge than i would have done in six years at home. its interesting to see how people live their lives and my ideas on farming and smallholdings are changing and evolving all the time from seeing how other peoples work. on one farm in particular i learnt how i would definitely not do things. their self sufficiency revolved around being able to eat lots of meat twice a day and it was scary to see the amount of fuel that this kind of lifestyle uses up. however, we did learn how to make rope in the most traditional and non-fuel consuming way. here is a bad diagram of their handmade machine:

here is a better video of a more professional machine:

before sunrise

i finally watched this film last night and it was truly beautiful.

future future

this interview of veterok, a bookbinder from finland, is both interesting and heartening. i always find it nice to see successful bookbinders (i know that there are plenty) because sometimes it seems like a faraway dream to me.

the woodman’s cottage

we are working on building a beautiful straw bale house in the italian mountains and it reminds me of one of the first and most wonderful straw bale houses that i ever saw (on tv). kevin mccloud is such a wonder.