Cabin envy garden studios

Our garden studio [actually a garage cum storage space] has been leaking in the wet weather so we’ve had to have that seen to and have windows replaced. We are not minimalists and always have stuff that needs storing for ‘that time when it will come in useful’ and a dry place is important. The wooden cladding along the side has also started to rot so I’ve been looking at other ‘garden studios’ for inspiration.

Since we painted our chalet black I’ve been interested in other buildings in the same colour and these cabins tick the box. I love the pillars above, they give the cabin a sense of grandeur. Below is a self build and I love the 1930’s Crittall steel windows. Both cabins have doors and windows in a similar colour to the walls which blend together seamlessly. Black looks great in a garden location because it works so well with green. When we looked at colours to paint the chalet we checked the local council recommendations which were green, brown and black to blend in with the colours of the cliff and the surrounding fields.

I’ve posted this image below before because I really like the ivy clad walls, although it’s not an option I would use, keeping on top of all that clipping and cutting but the black windows really stand out against the green of the ivy.


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The sea bin

Watch this video and begin to have hope that we can start to tackle the plastic pollution in our oceans. If you are in the UK Radio 4’s You and Yours just did a section on Sea bins and it will be up on the i player soon.

Plus you have 4 days left to sign a petition for a plastic bottle deposit scheme here 


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Autumn Apple Fest

I share an allotment with mad friend and every plot has an apple tree, each year we collect apples and windfalls which become stewed for pies and crumbles, chutneys and jams. Then last year mad friend got a juicer and spent most of the autumn making apple juice. So a few weeks ago I suggested we go along to an apple festival to see how other apple growers use up their fruit. Yesterday we headed up the Tamar Valley line from the railway station opposite mad friend’s house and ten minutes later we were in Bere Ferrers – in the Tamar Valley. At one time Bere Ferrers and its neighbour Bere Alston were at the heart of the market gardening industry in the South West and trains would run from there taking the produce all the way up to London. At the station you can still see the old railway lines and turning circles that would then head up the line to Tavistock.

We had collected around two and a half kilos of apples, which him indoors carried on his back, and I had a selection of empty bottles. On arrival at the village hall there was already a trailer full of different varieties so we added ours and got our bottles filled with the freshest of juice which looked like amber nectar. There was an apple pie competition and all manner of games like, who could make the longest apple peel, plus stalls selling apple related goods including apple trees to buy. The best part for me was the identification of apple types [ours were called Jupiter] and on a shelf, that ran the width of the village hall was a line up of around 30+ apples, all named with a small biography.  We also noted from a table that identified diseases and problems that a second tree, which overhangs our plot, has a spot of sooty blotch, this can happen in warm wet summers, so… that will be this summer then.


It was reassuring that the blotch was not detrimental to the fruit, which can still be eaten. It was brilliant to have that question answered so that next year we can include them and bring along to make more juice. It was a great day out and made us more determined to continue to grow our own and use everything up.

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Writers Hut Cabin Envy


It’s been a whirlwind of a fortnight since my last post, I need to take stock and tackle Autumn projects and writings. This writers hut was submitted to Cabin Porn by Fraser Grace, and the only Fraser Grace  I know of is a playwright. Can we assume this is his cabin, his writers hut? The short text on the cabin site claims that the many windows create a lot of light and when the light goes there is a wood burning stove and oil lamps to make it cosy. The land in front he plans to be a vegetable garden – I do hope he re submits a photo when that happens.

Talking of writing, I was amazed to see myself on this list of female writers, it’s given me a spur to sit down at my desk and develop something new.

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Au revoir to the cliff

So it’s au revoir to the cliff for teenage son as he heads off for university in ten days time.

On a beautiful sunny day last week we walked up to Rame Head at the east side of Whitsand Bay. I took this photograph of him and afterwards thought it reminiscent of the image for Psycho with Norman Bates standing outside the hotel – but that’s as far as the analogy goes, there are no rocking chairs in the chalet!! The view was pretty glorious, to our left [top right] a sweep of Devon coastline and to our right [bottom right] east Cornwall.

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Poppies Wave


whilst in Plymouth city centre for a meeting I popped up to the Hoe and was greeted by the beautiful art installation Poppies Wave that is touring the country and will be in Plymouth until November. It surrounds the Commonwealth War memorial which commemorates those men who haven’t a grave, the thousands of sailors who were lost at sea, there are three large memorials celebrating these lives, at Chatham, Portsmouth and Plymouth. Originally the wave surrounded the Tower of London to commemorate the centenary of the First World War and thousands arrived in London to view it, this tour of the wave allows many more to engage with the art work. Tom Piper, one half of the design team, is a well known theatre designer and it’s therefore understandable that a theatre workshop would build the installation and the poppies were made in Plymouth at the Theatre Royal’s workshops at TR2. Looking at the #poppiestour page on the website where people can upload their images, they say its worth a trip to see them in the evening as well, so I will be heading along – but I’ve got plenty of time for that.

returning to my car I came across a wild flower patch on the hill down from the war memorial and I smiled at the ‘live’ poppies, a stones throw from the art ones.


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Hidden Stories: Hidden Places


Hidden Stories Flyer

Over the past few months I have been working with my colleague Derek on recording some stories that will become part of an audio trail for a hidden cemetery in Falmouth. The Ponsharden Burial ground is a dissenters graveyard that runs alongside a Jewish cemetery and on Sunday September 10th it will be open between 2-4pm. This is in conjunction with the European Days of Jewish Culture and Heritage. Prior to the opening Derek and I will be giving a presentation at the Falmouth Poly about the wider project called Hidden Stories; Hidden Places, how some stories we have found have connections that run across and through the eighteenth and nineteenth century Jewish communities that were scattered across the south west of England. On the same day [the 10th]we will also have audios playing in the Exeter synagogue that are about people buried in the old cemetery at Bull Meadow and there will be an accompanying film.

For more information go to

Hidden Stories: Hidden Places is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Exeter City Council’s small grants scheme and FEAST, a programme to make great art happen across Cornwall.

FEAST harnesses the talents and energy of Cornwall’s artists and communities, generating new opportunities for everyone to enjoy the arts. The focus is on bringing people together to share experiences as audiences or participants, and on animating local celebrations and cultural life.

For the link to book your place at the Falmouth Poly see below

For information on the September 10th open days


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