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.