My 12 days of New Year Today’s Treasures

Special moments to treasure every day #mentalhealthin2018

Day 1:  A free range egg for breakfast from #happy #hens #mentalhealthin2018

_DSC0031field hens


Day 2:  Herbal tea made with fresh #herbs – camomile, mint, hyssop, thyme, sage will all grow in windowsill pots #mentalhealthin2018



Day 3:  Watching the wild #birds eating the food I have put out for them #mentalhealthin2018



Day 4:  Eating fresh fruit #mentalhealthin2018



Day 5:  Walking in the #sunshine – even if it’s not sunny – fresh air helps clear your mind #mentalhealthin2018



Day 6:  A vase of wild #flowers or winter berries on the kitchen windowsill I can look at whilst washing up #mentalhealthin2018



Day 7:  A smile – smiling makes you feel better, sharing a #smile makes two people feel better #mentalhealthin2018



Day 8:  Listening to the birds #singing especially the robin – beautiful, mellow, liquid notes #mentalhealthin2018


Day 9:  #hugs – everyone needs hugs – if you don’t believe me just try it with an open #mind #mentalhealthin2018


Day 10:  #music – but especially sharing live music #mentalhealthin2018


Day 11:  #sunset watching the sun go down #mentalhealthin2018



Day 12:  Writing helpful happy #tweets and posting pretty pictures on #twitter #happiness #mentalhealthin2018

Autumn, season of mellow mists and fruitfulness

 Autumn at Brown Moss


In Shropshire you never have to go far to find tranquillity.  We are surrounded by fields, trees, hedges and streams but, even in our market towns, there are pockets of greenness where you can think and breathe; space to relax and remind yourself of the beauty that is all around us – the wings of a butterfly, the fragile petals of a flower, the delicate notes of birdsong all around you.

Shropshire is a haven for wildlife, the meres and mosses support strange species like sundew – a tiny insect eating plant; Prees Heath Common hosts the silver-studded blue butterfly that needs both heather and ants in order to survive.  Brown Moss, one of the smaller meres, provides the perfect habitat for the rare nodding bur-marigold and is much loved by many species of water birds.  Dragonflies and damselflies make the meres, mosses, streams and canals their home and dart and flutter amidst the reeds and rushes.


Take a walk around Brown Moss in the early morning sunshine, relax for a moment, close your eyes, listen to the sound of birds twittering in the trees, ducks and geese spreading their wings or landing with a splash on the water.  And make the most of the September sunshine sparkling on dewdrops and spiders webs; soak up the warmth – before Will’o’the’Wisps bring the chill of Autumn and Winter arrives with Jack Frost.

Brown Moss is maintained and monitored by Shropshire Volunteer Rangers.  Volunteering is an excellent ways to get out of the house, meet people, get some exercise and be involved in the local community.  If you would like to help with things like keeping the paths clear or surveying the site they are always glad of any help – no experience, commitment or fitness necessary.  Contact [email protected]


Published in the September edition of the Whitchurch Gossip

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.