The Country Life

Though I spend a huge chunk of my week in front of a computer linked to corporate entities and dealing with high flying clients, at heart I am a complete and utter country bumpkin.

We live in a breezy, character filled old cottage outside of Bristol in the UK and have enough animals to almost qualify as a farm (I’m not sure what the actual definition of a farm is but it can’t be far off our set up).

Muddy Boots family photography

What I love the most is the divide, and it’s quite possibly the only way I cope with such a busy life. During the day i’m dressed on trend (well ish, I like to create my own trends) clean shoes, made up face and technology at my fingertips (Two phones, laptop, Ipad, Desktop, Alexa in every room of the house) then by night i’m hand rearing weak chicks,  cleaning out chicken coops, collecting eggs, training the dogs, riding the horse or generally covered in mud somewhere doing something outdoorsy.

Muddy Boots family photography

I was lucky enough to grow up in various beautiful old houses, always rural and always waking to the sounds of cows mooing, horses whinnying or sheep bleating so living in a city is not something I think I could ever cope with. Don’t get me wrong i’m in no way remote to local towns but just having that little bit of space and daily interaction with a variety of animals is almost a coping mechanism.

I rode throughout my whole childhood, spending most weekends at shows, peeing in a buckets and always with the faint aroma of ‘horse’ lingering round me. naturally as I matured this lessened and I learnt about deodorant and started to venture in to the world of fashion (as a youngster on ‘dress down days’ at school I would literally turn up on my jodhpurs) that’s how bad I was.

So the natural progression saw me start to find other things in life that drew me away from the stables, work, socialising, boys (I was never that keen on them) but there were always animals involved. When I became a single mum in 2012 all of a sudden I didn’t have anyone to answer to or opinions to consider and ‘Life in the Cottage’ began. We currently have the following pets:

  • 6 Purebred Chihuahuas
  • Archibald the rescued cat
  • Fox the Gelding
  • Daisy the miniature Shetland
  • Pete the 100 year old tortoise (that we sort of inherited)
  • Olive the Syrian Hamster
  • 28 Chickens (12 newly hatched chicks)
  • And for the next three weeks until they go back we have Haggis the school bunny in the field too.

Muddy Boots family photography

as you can see it’s a full house (though there’s always room or an animal in need) Admittedly it’s very stressful at times, especially when there is illness or the Fox decides he wants one of my hens but i wouldn’t change it for the world. Every morning before work I potter out to the field in my dressing gown feed and water the chickens and just take a big deep breath of the countryside and it honestly sets me for the day (some of which can be incredibly stressful) At the other end of the day it’s the horses and again there’s peace and space. I struggle with Anxiety for various reasons but if I feel an attack coming you will find me sat in the field watching Chihuahuas trot about and chickens clucking away while they peck on their corn.

If any of you want to see our lives first hand and very raw, we share a weekly video on YouTube that covers the good, the bad and the ugly:

Thanks for always for coming to my little ivy filled corner of the internet

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A Month of Amazon

Ok so i’m going to be completely honest here. About six months ago I somehow landed myself a months free subscription to Amazon prime. This was the bet and worst month of my life (dramatic I know) Having always been a keen ‘Ebayer’ I was a dab at online shopping, don’t get me wrong I haven’t got the patience to bid for things but the whole click buy wait, receive.

Well with Amazon Prime the gap between the click buy and receive is between 6 and 24 hours, which for someone with the patience of a newborn demanding a feed is a godsend. I have had one instance in goodness knows how many when it didn’t come in that time slot, so I rang them on their easy customer service number (no actually you request a call and they call you instantly) and I was given a refund another months free membership. Not too shabby.

I have had a fair few bad experiences ordering from Ebay with the predicted delivery and then 9 days later you realise they’ve lie, are blatantly based in china and it’s not going to be coming anytime soon. As a consumer this REALLY annoys me.

So enough rattling about how great it is, I thought it would be fun to go through what I bought in July (with explanation as somethings will leave you wondering) so here we go!

mason jar

Smith’s Mason Jars Rust Proof Lotion & Soap Dispenser 

£9.99

A pretty straight forward purchase. Arabella slammed her hand as hard as she could on the soap in a strop knocking it to the floor and shattering it in to a million pieces (we had the same one before!

 

 

 

folder

UBaymax A4 Document File Folder, 12 Pockets Folder A4 

£12.99

A dull work item, basically being based away from home 99% of the week means I need everything with me. So this means i can do that and it’s all separated. Really useful if you have a lot of life stuff to keep on top of!

 

 

 

camera

Underwater Camera for Snorkelling 24.0 MP Waterproof Digital Camera 

£78.99

At the start of July i dropped my vlogging camera and in a blind panic had to order something to replace it while the company repairing it worked out if they could fix it. Not the best camera in the world but now it’s been used and my Sony is back working it’s keeping Arabella happy as she can now do ‘her own’ videos!

 

 

table legs

OAKOME 4 X Hairpin Table Leg Double Steel Construction Welding Superior Legs (16.14 Inches, Black)

£23.99

You may well remember seeing a cable reel table I upcycled on Instagram/Facebook, well this is the legs I used (naturally I sprayed them copper) but here is the listing. Great value and they come in a variety of colours, just not copper.

 

 

downloadPHARMAQ Ivermectin Drops 1% 5ml – Mite Treatment

£18.99

Very dull but very necessary. we had an outbreak of redmite among the flock and having los

t a handful because of it this treatment was my last hope (and it did help) not sure it was worth the £18.99 i paid for it (5ml is a very very small bottle). But needless to say i had to try!

 

 

travel mug

Thermos ThermoCafé 2010 Travel Mug, 400 ml

£5.97

Cheap and very un-exiting but I needed a way to try and stop getting Starbucks drive through on the way to the office. I won’t lie i’m still going but less. With a Tassimo at home there shouldn’t be any excuse. But the mug (which I thought was great value) is getting used.

 

creosote

Bartoline Creocote Light Brown 4 Litre

£9.98

Bear with me this was a very ‘chicken’ orientationed month with the red mite. This creosote (which i’m sure is illegal) was to spray the coops with as it deters the mites, well ish.

 

 

 

pressure sprayer

5L Pump Action Pressure Sprayer – use with water, fertilizer or pesticides

£10.52

And this is what i used to spray the creosote. This is clearly a bad month to share what I bought because it’s all really dull.

 

 

notepad

Silvine Executive Soft Feel Notebook Ruled with Marker Ribbon 160pp 90gsm A4 Tan 

£6.00

ANothr work number, i get through about one of these A4 notepads per month so this will come up (in tan ofcourse) every month. Worst part about this is i keep all the finished ones too. Talk about being a hoarder.

 

 

Well though a totally random haul I guess it does show you what variety of things you can actually buy on Amazon. Let me know if you want me to keep this up for August too. I promise it will be less Chicken stuff!

Thanks for Reading

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