Life in Mud Spattered Boots

Hello! You’re still out there. Come in, take a seat. We must catch up. It’s been so long since I was last here*.

Last year, I deserted Life in Mud Spattered Boots to write at Slamseys Journal. The idea was to continue to write about the same things but also to include printmaking tips and provide some inspirational resources, which we hoped would be particularly useful for people who were coming to Slamseys printing workshops.

Over the past year, two things have become apparent.

ONE  I know very little about printing, which has resulted in a dearth of useful printmaking tips and inspirational resources.

TWO I should have heeded Rowena’s advice. Rowena left the final comment on the blog last year: “I also see the need for your own space. A place you can call home and express yourself as you wish without having to conform to the company line.

Luckily, both are easily remedied. Firstly, Ruth is going to join me at Slamseys Journal, so that she can write about printmaking and I can write about the farm. Secondly, I’m resurrecting Life in Mud Spattered Boots where I can write about whatever takes my fancy, like a sort of online Commonplace Book, so that even if nobody else reads it, at least I can flick back to find the recipe I need or see when we started harvest in previous years.

I know it’s very old fashioned to write a personal blog (instead of a content driven monetised blog with sponsored posts, adverts and pop up forms) for the pleasure of doing something creative and being part of a community of like-minded people, but lately, a few other previously neglected personal blogs have been revived and I’m happy to join in.

Shall we just rewind to Commonplace Book? I’ve been keeping these for years, though until recently, I didn’t know that’s what they were called. They were just my Black Book, or whatever colour it happened to be at the time, in which I  jot down recipes, ideas, lists, measurements, planting plans for the garden, times and distances for walks, daily routine for a one year old, lesson plan for a jelly printing class … a hotchpotch of ‘Useful Information’. Occasionally, I even write useful quotes, like

Write down things that matter and free your brain for other things.

though I’d forgotten about that until I came upon it when trying to find a recipe last week.

Commonplace books aren’t logical records of events like diaries but more a record of useful information. Take notes in them, copy  recipes or write down ideas before you forget them. Fill your commonplace book with illustrations, photographs and cuttings.  If you’re of a logical disposition, divide your commonplace book into sections, number each page and make a list of contents. Use a beautifully bound book or a cheap notebook or index cards or Evernote. The commonplace book is a repository for information and one that lasts a lot longer than the back of an envelope.

This blog (I hate that word and wish I could find a better one) will be rather more organised and less random than my written commonplace book. A seasonal celebration, with a bit of cooking and some gardening. A walk or two. A few crafts. Maybe the odd random post.

But generally, it will be about life spent in mud spattered boots.

*I’ve slipped in a couple of posts that were previously published in Slamseys Journal just to fill in the yawning gap between last July and this post.

30 thoughts on “Life in Mud Spattered Boots

    1. Not surprising that I changed my mind as I flit about from one enthusiasm to another …

  1. Love your blog, and delighted to rename my black book a Commonplace Book, it’s a lovely term!

    1. I was so pleased to discover a name for my book! Wonderful thing this internet.

  2. Happy to see you back and, like you, my blog is whatever I feel like posting.. it is a rather disorganized sharing…
    I love the idea of Commonplace books, though….

    1. Disorganised sharing is far more interesting than scheduled content sharing 🙂

  3. I am so glad you are back! I had to get into your blog a few months back to make violet sugar with my son. I will post some pictures this afternoon, We had a wonderful time gathering the violets, and making the sugar. We made enough that he still enjoys it on his toast!

  4. I’m delighted to have you back! Like you have found, many of my favourite bloggers (I agree, hate the word blog, must find a better one) have moved on or disappeared entirely, and I do miss them. I do love Instagram, but am ruthless with who I follow, only artists (plus a few close friends) but as soon as the dog pictures proliferate over the art they are gone! This form of correspondence offers the opportunity for more depth, an expansion of the Instagram picture, and I won’t abandon it. I love the idea of this being a Commonplace Book! Wonderful.

    1. Interestingly, many of the ‘friends’ I follow on IG are people I feel I know because I’ve read their blogs. Let me know when you find a better word than blog!

    1. Not only are they a great colour, but they’re neoprene lined so they keep my feet warm in winter too. I have to be careful not to wear a red coat and trousers as well or I look like little red riding hood!

  5. So excited to read that you’ll be posting here again Anne! Somehow I missed that Slamseys Journal had been created… so looking forward to having a read over there as well! Welcome back!

  6. Hurrah! I, too, write for the pleasure of it and if anyone reads, it’s a bonus. I have a sort of Commonplace Book, too, but it also has work notes in it and I’d be horrified and in trouble if it went missing! The best thing about blogging, by far, is the connections made – you were one of the first bloggers I stumbled upon in my early days and I’ve always enjoyed reading your words and getting a little glimpse into life on your farm, so I am delighted you’re writing here again. Welcome back.

    1. I worry about losing my book too, though luckily no work notes in mine as I have a seperate one for the office.

  7. I am pleased you have changed your mind, I have always thought ‘Life in mud splattered boots’ was a great title, perfectly describing life on the farm. I have enjoyed reading both blogs.

  8. Well, excellent! And I do love the idea of a Commonplace Book, too… I have never heard of it before. I had my blog (long neglected Lempo Bee) printed off into two books, which I hope will be good to look back on in years to come, and nice for my family since I am completely useless at putting photo albums together. Don’t even have a wedding album. Welcome back to you and your boots. I like that write down/free your brain quote. It seems increasingly relevant in a time when we probably write fewer and fewer things down. Hmmmm.

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