Sunday Morning

After my rather grey post on a grey day bemoaning the greyness that February can be… sunshine!  Sunday morning really was all about the sun and it was so warm there was no need for coats as I strapped Arty to my back and set off with Minnie to walk to the North Notts Ploughing Match (held, confusingly, not in North Nottinghamshire, but our little village in South Yorkshire – although admittedly, close to the border).

I don’t know much about tractors.  They haven’t really factored heavily in my life (save for them being a regular sight motoring back and forth on the roads around here).  However, Arty is a big fan (well, of anything with a motor really) and so, going along for a nosey was a natural choice, bearing in mind it was being held a short walk from our home.  There were all sorts of tractors on display, from the modern, to the vintage and, also demonstrations of pre-tractor days, with a small number of heavy horses, what I think were mules and two very lovely Fjord horses.

We paused and ate some homemade cake before trundling back home to get some bits done in the garden.  What a difference a bit of sun makes!

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Weleda

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When not pottering in the garden or running around after children and chickens, I work as a Wellbeing Advisor in the Doncaster area demonstrating the wonderful ethical, organic and natural skincare range from Weleda.

I have used their Calendula Nappy Change Cream* for over a decade and their Arnica Bumps and Bruises salve for near the same.

Founded in 1921 by Austrian philosopher, Rudolf Steiner; Dutch doctor, Ita Wegman and Oskar Shmiedel, a German chemist and pharmacist; Weleda is represented in over fifty countries over five continents and has won numerous awards (twenty two in the first quarter of 2016 alone).

Weleda’s anthroposophical approach, that considers the body, mind and spirit as a whole system with the potential to heal itself, means that rather than seeking to mask a problem (such as dry skin) by treating its symptoms,  Weleda seeks to stimulate the body’s natural healing ability, restoring its natural balance.

Weleda’s approach seeks to improve and heal your skin in a series of steps and as a Wellbeing Advisor, I look to work with you on any particular problems you may have with your skin (and can refer you for more specialised support and help, should you need it).  This support is free – I want to help you find the best products for use on yours and your family’s skin that avoids harmful chemicals.

Wellbeing Events

I offer free consultations and mini facials with no obligation either on a 1:1 basis or in groups as a Wellbeing Event.  Events can be as simple as a small gathering of friends in your own home, or more organised groups such as Parent & Child groups, WI, or any other group of people who may be interested in learning more about caring for theirs (and their family’s) skin.  There is no obligation to buy – rather I hope that you will enjoy the opportunity to try various products and also have a bit of a pamper of a mini facial – but should you and any guests wish to purchase any products, as a thank you for hosting a Wellbeing Event the host receives 15% of the total sales over £150.00 in free Weleda products, plus the host and any guests can take advantage of additional exclusive offers only available through Wellbeing Advisors.  I’m also happy to help with fundraising activities and events.

I invite you to have a look at the recent brochure and contact me if you would like more information about current offers or any of the product range and/or would like to book either a 1:1 consultation or Wellbeing Event.

In addition you can contact and/or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

I look forward to hearing from you!

  • * Multi-award winning, see for yourself in the Baby brochure (including some lovely products for mums-to-be)

12 Months of Nature :: April 2016

blue_tit

It’s been a very unusual month – from brilliant sunshine, warmth and sunbathing one week, to snow, hail and thunderstorms the next.  Of course I remember there being snow in April before and last frost dates are in May for this part of the country, but even so, as someone who generally has to walk daily from this village to the next to take my youngest daughter to nursery, I’ve been a tad miffed at snow in the last days of April (plus I never know what to put on – I leave the house in sunshine  and sunglasses and return in a torrent of sleet – and as a prescription glasses weather, I imagine I look rather odd, my sunglasses still in situ under glowering, swirling grey clouds).

As we walk to nursery, we pause along the way to notice the changes in nature that are happening all around us. Sometimes I’ll give her the camera and she’ll take some photos of her own (the dandelion and blossom), giving a child’s-eye view of the world.  She picks red and white dead nettle and we talk about the differences between them and the various stinging nettles we see growing.  We note the heart-shaped seed pods on shepherd’s purse, the differing speedwells, the celandines under the trees and she picks flowers to take into nursery to tell them what she has seen on her way.  We talk about the daffodils fading and passing, making way for the first poppies (just hatching from their hairy cases a couple of days ago) and how the blossom that is scattering across the trees will become fruit (and the anticipation of cherries to come, although there is other blossom to be seen).

Sometimes there are particular surprises.  She always thought that ladybirds are red, but by chance we found a yellow one, its markings more merged than spots and we talked about how there are many other kinds of ladybirds and that, by chance, she will come across more, in time.

We’ve seen the first swallows of the year and even a deer, breaking from cover as we approached the bridge between the villages.  It was a little way off and I doubt bothered by us as it galloped from cover across shorter grass and towards the trees beyond.  I’d have loved to get a photo of it, but I’m just not fast enough!

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pheasant

There are a lot of pheasants about – this one close by the side of the road (and the brick wall in the background is the wall of a house, its drive just out of shot to the right).  Being so close, even Arty noticed it and hung out of the side of his pushchair to get a better look.

sparrowhawk

I also see a couple of regular sparrowhawks, one a frequent visitor to my garden (where it sits on the back fence or on our, currently empty, coop) and another usually sitting on the telephone lines over the fields and river between villages at the time I’m walking home from dropping Minnie off at nursery.  I often pause a little while and it generally flies off after a few moments.  I suppose it has its daily rhythm and this is a stopping off point as it patrols its territory that just happens to coincide with my usual returning time (as I will sometimes see it every day at about the same time – I guess that when I don’t see it it’s  maybe because I’m running a little later or earlier and have missed it).

There’s always so much to see on this daily walk and we always leave a little earlier to give time for us to pause along the way and investigate anything that might take our interest.  Minnie loves noticing new flowers and insects and learning their names and little Arty just loves being outside, wind in his hair, enjoying the fresh air (but always watching, watching, watching as we explore, learning that we love and value the nature that surrounds us).

Last year we took part in 30 Days Wild with The Wildlife Trusts and this year, the event will be running again in June.  Please consider getting involved and, if you don’t already, making some room for nature in your life.  You can sign up HERE.

52 Weeks of Nature :: February 2016

Left: Mallard duck (female)/Right: Canada geese looking shifty

Left: Tufted ducks (female)/Right: unsure save for it’s a duck.

Left: Coot/Right: Moorhen

Left: Great Crested Grebe/Right: Little Grebe (winter plumage)

It’s been quite some time since I wrote a post about being out and about and observing the beautiful nature that surrounds us here.  Partly due to lack of mobility due to an injury to my knee and then my back (both much better now), but also due to shoddy weather (and without a decent rainproof coat that fits over my larger post-baby frame, I didn’t fancy getting very cold and very wet!)  I’ve also been without a mobile phone – that oft used and very easy way to snap a pic wherever you are – so have to remember to bring a camera (and then remember how to use said camera).

In a bid to shift the additional weight that has crept on, we made a decision to have a weekend “family walk” somewhere a little further afield than the immediate surroundings (as I’m a non-driver, any walking I do tends to be in and around the village) and so, steadily, we are getting out (unless it’s absolutely throwing it down).

The birds are all from a chilly walk around Lakeside, Doncaster.  We also saw cormorants, but I couldn’t get a decent picture from such a distance.  Throughout the year there’s always something to spot there, even though it is an urban location, surrounded by flats, a football stadium and offices.

Moo has also been busy with the camera, getting very low to the ground at Hatfield Moors (Thorne and Hatfield Moors Conservation Forum).  We still need to identify most of these, although the dried flower head is Self Heal (Prunella vulgaris).

Hopefully as the weather (and my strength) steadily improve I’ll be able to get back to being out more and more (roll on warmth and sunshine!)

A visit back to where we used to live

We moved to our current house from a lovely village on the outskirts of Doncaster.  Occasionally we like to go back and visit (as we only moved along to the next-but-one village on the bus route).  There’s a lovely plant nursery there with a wonderful public garden that is one of my favourite places to visit locally.  We arranged to meet up with some friends in the cafe there before going for a walk around the gardens, but arrived a little early, so took some time to walk up and down the lane nearby.

Gold winners at Chelsea Flower Show, Walkers Nursery, as I said, is a favourite destination, not only for me, but for the children and after some very nice drinks and cakes we let the children loose in the gardens.

Onraspberry_tree-300x300e of the most unusual things we found are these cracks in the ground, which we guessed were aused by the coniferous trees in this area sucking up all the moisture from the ground around.

We also found what looks like a raspberry growing in the recess of a tree!

We are blessed to have such a wonderful place on our doorstep!