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family

creating family feature

Sixteen years strong

May 1, 2020

On May 1st, sixteen years ago I met @andyrgarside. We bonded over our disbelief that we’d been dragged to a terrible club night by mutual friends. We were both also single parents who were practical & not looking for love. He used to make me mixtapes, I’d make him home-cooked food; we took our kids (who were 8 & 10 at the time) on days trips & went out to gigs. Gradually we fell in love. It was honestly quite…

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family Wales

Me at 20

April 29, 2020

#MeAt20 has been trending on Instagram so I thought I’d share mine. In this photo my daughter Rhiannon is not even a week old. She was a bit jaundiced and stuck her tongue out for about the first three months. Everything in my life changed when I met her. She’s the best thing that ever happened to me. This is a wierd photo because I’m so happy here, in my dad’s kitchen in Wrexham after getting back from the hospital,…

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family minimalism vanlife

Tiny space living

March 26, 2020

Living together in a small space is something we get asked about a LOT. The solution is being flexible & learning to ask for our space. Andy wants to shave – I’ll sit reading on the bed for longer. If one of us wants to cook, the other plans something that doesn’t interfere with that space. Headphones are the work of angels. All of our early arguments around space grew from a lack of communication. We didn’t tell each other…

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Europe family minimalism vanhounds vanlife

A van called home

March 14, 2020

Europe is our home now. Waking to the song of tree-filled finches feels so familiar. So many of these places echo with memories of Cymru; with the reminder of how much we have in common with people across the world. For this next week we’ve headed into the hills to avoid the wild winds hitting the coast and we`ll, probably stay in Portugal longer than originally planned to avoid any potential Corona virus drama. Wherever we are, this place is…

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Europe family vanhounds vanlife

Hounds of love

February 28, 2020

Headland hike with the furbabies. We get asked a lot how we manage in a van with two large sighthounds. The answer is pretty simple. It works only if you see yourselves as a family, a tiny travelling community. We all have varying needs and wants and nobody can have their own way all the time. Some people are horrified to learn that they sleep on our bed. But this came about through necessity more than anything else – our…

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dailyconnectionwithnature Europe family nature poetry

I bury my heart in the earth

February 6, 2020

Returning to Portugal from my homeland of Cymru, still thinking of borders and cultures and what it means to belong. It is difficult to carve out a life that you don’t already see elsewhere – a life that celebrates family and community as much as expansive horizons and travel. I don’t believe the two are mutually exclusive, and so I work to knit the two tighter in my life’s work. Yesterday, feeling ill but ridiculously happy, I sat on the…

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family feature nature poetry water

When I think of us

January 24, 2020

Yesterday evening we took our boards to the Atlantic and surfed with the sunset. He said, this is the most perfect moment. Laughing in the salt spray of the cold winter ocean, I felt it. The white light of the day gave herself over to panoramic orange skies as I tumbled again and again in love with him.  Love you @andyrgarside 💙💦🌊💙…

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creating family Mental Health vanlife

A return to knitting

January 5, 2020

A return to knitting. I’ve missed it, although I have to admit my commitment has been somewhat erratic over the years. There’s two things I’m very good at: socks and ponchos. The miniature and the giant. Everything else is pot luck really. When our van was broken into, they didn’t just take things of value but also any bags lying around, probably because they were in a rush and mistakenly thought there’d be cash hidden in the bags. One of…

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Europe family vanhounds vanlife

The naming of hounds

October 2, 2019

Inspired by a recent post by the utterly wonderful @briannamadia I thought I’d fully introduce our two van hounds with all of the nicknames they’ve accumulated over the past four years since we adopted them. I don’t even know how some of these started, some of them escalated quite quickly, others grew on us over time: First up is Bonnie, the black whippet-x as her repertoire is the more extensive: Bonnie, bean, string-bean, Bonnie-bean, Bonnie-bear, princess Bon-Bon of the waves,…

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dailyconnectionwithnature family nature OUTSIDER Patreon chapters poetry water

translating the blessings of the trees

September 14, 2019

It was a honour to create a ring ceremony for the wedding of two friends in Bute Park, Cardiff this summer. Aidan and Darren both spend a lot of time in the park, the place was instrumental in the early years of their relationship coming together, so it made sense to affirm their love for each other there. I know the trees of Bute Park, I’ve sat with them, dreamed with them, held heart & mind still with them, and…

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