About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Goodbye 2012, and good riddance!

2012 looked mostly like this:

And the garden looked mostly like this:

It wasn't the best of years. I had depression, too, which wasn't caused by the weather and the slugs, but they didn't help. It is getting better now, though. Recognising the problem and not expecting too much of myself for a while has given me space to recover. I'm now starting to feel like doing things again, which is great.

I'm not going to make the mistake of launching myself into big projects straight away; I'll work up to it. January will be a month of pottering about, doing small jobs and planning. Probably marmalade, too. Maybe that's where last year went wrong - I didn't make any marmalade.

I'll start the new year properly at Imbolc (beginning of February), which feels much more like the start of the year to me. By that time I'll be ready to tackle the solar panels project. I'm confidently expecting this year to be better than last year, but in the meantime I'll remind myself that last year had some pretty bits too:


  1. Hi Rachel, keeping my fingers crossed for you that 2013 is a good year.
    Depression is the pits.
    I think you're quite right to give yourself some space and time; some time to allow your mind to sort itself out while you hum quietly to yourself and let the world get on with it can only help.
    Our situations are very different, but since I gave up full-time work I've been berating myself as lazy. Hindsight is now telling me that it's not laziness, it's readjustment and it needs to happen.
    I can't believe the breadth and depth of your achievements during the time I've been reading here. You must be very proud of yourself. (That is an order, by the way). :0)
    Happy 2013!

    1. It's so difficult when you're not tied to a job to judge what an appropriate amount of work is. The fear of laziness is strong here, too. You're right, though, it's not laziness - you have to listen to your body and take time if you need it.

      Thanks for your nice comments, they always help :-)

      Happy 2013!

  2. Hi Rachel
    Happy new year from Byfield.The last but one photo is really lovely - is it a wild garlic? All the best for 2013
    Love Lynda x

    1. Hi Lynda,
      Happy new year to you, too! Thanks - yes, it is wild garlic. All washed away by the floods, sadly, but I did manage to salvage a few seeds in between deluges, so perhaps I'll be able to establish a new patch, possibly even on my side of the railway line.
      Rachel x

  3. Hi Rachel, Happy 2013! I too have high hopes for this year and would rather forget the last 12 months, what a trying year it was. Glad to hear you are feeling more positive and agree activity is not always the only way forward. Sometimes we need to take some time out just to 'be'. It's hard though isn't it! we have been programmed to keep busy at all costs and it can be quite counter productive at times. Keep on doing what you're doing and be happy.

  4. Hello again Rachel. While I found your blog looking for the winter temperature that black currants need, I've read a couple of your posts and feel compelled to comment.

    Yes, good riddance to 2012!!! We had a bitter Presidential election and a nasty drought. Also, astrologically we went through some major change shifting of letting go of old, outdated "things" to make room for new, better 'things". One of my heroes, Dr. Christiane Northrup had some good posts about this on her Facebook page.

    She also has a radio show at HayHouse Radio and said = Depression is anger turned inward. Since I've had bouts with it myself, I found her statement to at first, seem too easy but after reflection, yes - I think she's got it.

    We Americans are so accomplishment driven that the fear of laziness or wasting time can be a real doozy!!! Along with the pressures to succeed and have money and material possessions, should a person chose a lifestyle different, they really have to make peace with themselves so they don't become angry on any level - conscious or unconscious.

    May this new year bring much prosperity of spirit and health to all of us. Peace. :-)

    1. P.S. My black currant wine is very good too and along with the ginger root wine I tried last year (a good thing in 2012 smile), it is my favorite!!! Homemade & organic of course!


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