Travel Diaries: Autumn in Scotland – Rockpooling at High Tide

In the autumn of 2019 we returned to Scotland, to the little holiday cottage on the windswept north west coast. We wanted to see how the changing seasons affected the landscape that we had fallen deeply in love with back in the springtime and timed our trip for when the autumn colours would reach their…

Potager Garden: Storm bubbles, tea and gingerbread

It takes a lot to keep our youngest out of the garden. This morning she could not understand why the rest of us were not keen to play out in the biggest storm to hit Britain so far this year: Storm Dennis is arriving today. Our garden is quite sheltered and I find the gales…

Travel Diaries: Scotland Tour – Smoo Cave on the clearest of days

As we set out towards Durness the next morning, the mountains are still cloaked in the smoke of yesterday evening’s heather burnings. Smoo Cave is found just a little east of Durness. It is the clearest of days, yet the breeze over the cliff tops is enough to send our smaller children scattering and we…

Almanac: Winter frosts, finding shadows and the missing trees

A frosty cold morning, one Sunday in January. On days like this it is best to get outside quickly, before the sun has a chance to melt the crispness away. The frost creates beauty wherever it falls. We encourage the children to listen to the crunch underfoot. This is rare and a special part of…

Potager Garden: When the veg plot becomes an outdoor classroom

Today in the garden, whilst I have been working on the veg plot and sweeping the paths, my little daughter has had some lucky finds. She has gathered them in her wheelbarrow, and is now laying them out neatly. We use them to practise her counting, one to ten. She pauses and concentrates after “123”…

Almanac: Winter … and a welcome return to tree climbing

Our visit to Bradgate today is a special one.  It is a welcome return to tree climbing.  Our second eldest son has spent the last six months recovering from a broken arm, caused by a painful cyst in the bone. To our immense relief, he has had an all-clear that everything has healed and he…

Travel Diaries: Scotland Tour – Ullapool, Kylesku and Scourie

We take the scenic route from Aviemore through Bonor Bridge and into the mountains. We wonder if anything can match the sheer splendour of the snowcapped Cairngorms in the early spring sunshine, and I feel a reluctance at having to leave so soon. We drive due west, straight across the country to the bustling port…