Finally I have a couple of images of the barn to share with you all! It seems to have taken such a very long time to get this far but it feels oh so worth the wait. We still have a list of snagging items and plenty of longer term jobs on the list, but from the view out of the front door to the gorgeous bathroom (in which I have yet to indulge in a soak!) it all feels wonderful.
I have spent a lot of time over the last few weeks trying to think about how, when and where I work, and endeavouring to make a plan that will allow me to enjoy the barn as much as possible while keeping on top of family life and work, but without over complicating things and resulting in my feeling overwhelmed. It feels as though the overall plan is coming together and I am really looking forward to enjoying not only the workshops I have planned in Bristol, but expanding my network in order to offer some in North Somerset too in due course.
Meanwhile, I am thoroughly enjoying having chickens in our life again. The eight of them have such different looks and personalities, from Goldie who is bold and greedy as you like to Juno who looks a little pheasant-like, lays white eggs and is the more timid of the brood. I love discovering what they most enjoy eating and so far sweetcorn remains a favourite while carrots were clearly unwelcome! Capturing them on the camera was one of my goals today, but it has poured all day and they are looking bedraggled and grubby rather than fabulously feathery so I’ll share a selfie of my younger daughter and her chicken Athena taken in rather better weather.
I spent a day last week with a friend visiting RHS Malvern which was a real treat, the show gardens were just perfect and have given me lots of inspiration for the garden we plan to create here. I came away clutching many plant lists and notions of wood fired hot tubs, we saw one of these some years ago in Belgium and I must say that it’s quite an appealing idea, the downside being that one has to plan several hours in advance but I suppose that good things come to those who wait. I have such admiration for the gardeners and growers who are involved in shows such as Malvern, timing their plants and planting to perfection in unpredictable and often unfavourable conditions.
It’s easy to get carried away with things like garden designs though and I think it pays to remind myself that simplicity is key and what creates the calm surroundings that I so enjoy being in. It is the pottering and planting and getting my hands dirty that are so restorative and leave me feeling replenished and creative, so I encourage everyone to step outside and enjoy a few minutes in whatever space you may have.