Book Review – The Tragickall History of Henry Fowst by Griselda Heppel, Matador

This is an exciting, fast-paced story with historical depth and interest, inspired by Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus. It is written for children, but I really enjoyed it.

The narrative takes place in two centuries in which two sets of boys struggle with similar themes of not feeling noticed by their fathers, and bullying. In the present day, researching for a prize essay on the history of his school, Henry Fowst discovers the diary of 12-year-old John, who lived at Walton Hall in the 1600s. John tells how he was bullied by his foster brother Thomas, and in a similar bullying situation himself, Henry tries out John’s spell to call up an “Angelick Spirit”, instead summoning a Mephistophelian being who is still trying to take revenge on John for losing the Quintessence Stone. The finale involves Henry travelling back to the 16th century, transported through John’s diary. I liked how the two stories connected, through the diary and the library at the school, which is the original Hall library. It shows how times may have changed, but human struggles remain the same.

Introducing Earth Kind Originals

What I love about my work with JUNO magazine is that I am given opportunities to learn about new companies. At JUNO our focus is on “a natural approach to family life” so when it comes to clothing, we are interested in organic clothing and companies who have an eco-focus and also consider workers’ rights and conditions.

We are currently collaborating with EKO and I love wearing their dresses – they can be worn when messing around at home or dressed up to be smart but are always comfortable, so hugely versatile.

Pictured is my current favourite, the Lounge Dress in Petrol, and as I write, it’s on sale at an amazing price…(and I promise I am not being paid to write this, I buy my own EKO clothes, I just like sharing info about clothes I love).

You can find out more about me at this blog with EKO here.

The 100 Good Deeds Bracelet

I absolutely love wearing my 100 Good Deeds Bracelet.

At this article on the JUNO website you can read why, and find out more about the idea and aims of this initiative – it’s attractive to wear, has a great ethos and there’s even a fun game behind it!

The 7 Pasties Challenge

Earlier this year, my sister, her husband and a group of other fit-mad people, completed the World Marathon Challenge. This involves running 7 Marathons on 7 Continents in 7 Days. Find out more here. Could you do that?

Running 10K was a success for me so I knew I could not even try a marathon, but we wanted to do something to show support for their endeavours. Somehow, we invented the 7 Pasties Challenge.

We are huge fans of the traditional Cornish pasty, preferably from our favourite bakery, The Chough, in Padstow. With another family, we enjoy a week’s holiday in Padstow each year and that first pasty on the beach – even in the wind and rain as we usually go in the winter – is always a treat.

So we decided we’d try and do the 7 Pasties Challenge. Initially the idea was 7 Pasties in 7 Pubs in 7 Hours but we thought we’d be sick. We wondered whether, if we did a tough cliff walk in between each beach, we might burn off enough calories to be able to eat the next pasty.

And so the challenge evolved. There are few rules:

  1. All pasties must be full sized and traditional.
  2. The time starts when you start to eat the first pasty on the first beach and ends when you finish the last pasty on the seventh beach.
  3. Beaches must be named bays – so you can’t just walk to the end of the same beach.

We’ve worked out a route starting on Padstow beach which involves about a 10 mile walk. We reckon we can do this. We’re in training – well, Iain has bought some walking boots.

We will be attempting this first world record challenge in early April. Follow our progress here and on twitter @7Pasties #7pastieschallenge or invent your own 7-7-7 challenge and tell us all about it.

An Autumn Acrostic Poem

At my children’s school they seem fond of writing acrostic poems. I thought I’d have a go, to celebrate all that I love about Autumn. Why not try? It’s a wonderful way to reflect on what you love about a season.

An abundance of apples.

Under my feet, red and gold leaves are crisp against the wet grass.

Torrential rain, then sun.

Utter awe at the gorgeous glowing fullness of the harvest moon.

Misty mornings fade to warm sunny days.

Nights become chilly; the joy of the first fire.

Up-cycling feels Good

Made for my 6-year old daughter using a jumper she had grown out of.

We cut out the owl from the front, stitched it to fabric from the back which she loves to cuddle, saying it’s cosy; stuffed it and stitched up the top. A new toy/cuddly cushion for nothing but a bit of effort. She says “I love your ideas mummy” and I feel proud.

Do you know how God works?

Am reading Marshall Brain’s new book for Lent reflection. Look out for a review on

Through My Window

Through my office window I can see tiled roofs, trees, fields, the M4 where traffic is moving up and down, a village in the distance, a church spire. In close focus I can see a spider’s web, and dirt on the pane.

What can you see through your window today?

Earth Pathways Diary

As you turn the page in your Earth Pathways Diary this week you will see my images of Sharon Jacksties storytelling at Embercombe in the JUNO tent. The backdrop is the silhouette of a fruit tree as the sun set behind it.

The Earth Pathways Diary is a wonderful publication – a week to view diary, spiral bound for ease of use, full of of useful information and inspirational words and images on each facing page, to reflect the passing seasons. 2015 diaries are now available at

Holidays – are they worth it?

Last week it was half term and we went away to Cornwall for a few days. It was amazing. We were outside on wild beaches in wild weather. The strains of the world felt distant and I felt so relaxed. I enjoyed just watching – watching the children explore the beach, watching the waves, watching the sea birds; just doing nothing.

But within minutes of driving away from our cottage, all that was lost – a child was car sick! And now, days later, I’m up too late every night trying to catch up with emails. So, I wonder, is going on holiday worth it?

Before going away there are many additional things to organise.  Now, on return, I have that horrid feeling of running to catch up. And I don’t feel relaxed any more. But if I didn’t go away and stop sending emails, the emails would never stop – I’ve realised that when you don’t send emails, they do slow up a little. It’s a vicious cycle trying to keep up, you reply to emails to empty your inbox but then the person replies, so it fills as you empty it. “Stop”, I want to cry, “where is the pause button, can life just stop so that I can catch up please?”

But there is no button and life doesn’t stop. Frustrating as the catch up is, I’ve realised that sometimes you just have to walk away and pay that price. Those few days of feeling relaxed and refreshed and ready to “do battle” again is worth it. And I do wonder, maybe I’m so busy this week because I’m feeling invigorated so am initiating more things?

So yes, I think going on holiday probably is worth it. What I just have to accept is that the “high” is lost once you start travelling home!