Coltsfoot – little dots of sunshine decorating the path

Coltsfoot – it’s name comes from the hoof-shaped leaves.


Every spring, as soon as the daffodils start to come out, I start to look for coltsfoot flowers – then suddenly one morning, there they are, little yellow stars, dots of sunshine, decorating the path – the stems seem quite invisible until the flowers come out.

Like Butterbur, the flowers appear before the leaves.  In fact, Pliny and many of the older botanists thought that the Coltsfoot plant grew without leaves.  Rabbits like coltsfoot leaves but they will have to wait awhile for the foliage to appear.

Coltsfoot is a well-known herbal remedy for irritating coughs and respiratory disorders and Coltsfoot tea sweetened with honey will help soothe a dry cough.

The leaves were formerly smoked to relieve coughing and are even today included in herbal tobacco.

The seeds are crowned with a tuft of silky hairs which goldfinches like for lining their nests.



Daffodils – I love picking some of the first daffodils when they are in bud and seeing them open out, unfolding their petals, bringing spring scents into the room.  Wordsworth’s poem reminds me of  fields of daffodils in Cornwall ‘fluttering and dancing’ in the breeze.


I wandered lonely as a cloud

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

William Wordsworth (1770–1850)

How to be Truly Happy

How to be Truly Happy


If someone asked me what common  theme my Twitter account has then it would have to be ‘Things that make me Happy’.  My glass is always half full – there’s absolutely no point in looking at life any other way.  I collect beautiful pictures, bluebirds and daffodils, great sayings: “There’s no point looking back ‘cos that’s not the way you’re going.”  Funny video clips and happy tunes – I absolutely love ‘Room without a Roof’ because everyone dances to it and I love sharing happiness.

John is the same – and has finally published a book which is full of happy pictures and inspirational words – you can download it from:*Version*=1&*entries*=0

reach for the sky

I have had bad times, days when I just couldn’t face getting out of bed, mornings when just the thought of cleaning my teeth was too much effort – but I’ve always found something to focus on, some reason to carry on, something I love – and on those days I have found if I can just get outside and feel the sun on my face and the breeze on my skin, the scent of primroses and a robin singing, life is suddenly wonderful again – even if it’s just for a moment when ‘a chaffinch sings on the orchard bough’ or ‘a crowd of golden daffodils’, and you stop and immerse yourself in nature and forget everything else.

Many people find meditation helps – and is often much better therapy than drugs for lots of stress-related conditions, like headaches, insomnia, IBS, indigestion and phobias.  Sleeping and eating are a vital part of every day and our bodies need a regular balance of both or they start to complain. has some beautiful music and images.

Running a business, working for yourself, can be really hard sometimes – but if you love what you do then it’s like having a hobby 7 days a week – and if you do have a bad day where everything seems to go wrong – it’s just one bad day – and you know you’ll be doing something you love doing tomorrow.



The days are getting longer

The days are getting longer, Spring is in the air, with the promise of summer to come, there’s a great sense of excitement in the garden, you can almost feel the grass growing and the daffodils bursting into brilliant yellow splashes of sunshine.


Here is Charlie with his foster-mum – Mrs Grey – and I’ve called the other chick Ebony – I think he (or she) is a pure  is a pure Vorwerk.  If so (s)he’ll look like one of these when (s)he grows up:


This is Captain Von Vorwerk with Violet, they are quite impressive hens and they lay little white eggs.