January Field Notes
Hello my lovely subscribers, and apologies for not sending my monthly newsletter in December. The truth is I was having a lot of fun hunkering down with my babes and enjoying the festive season, and I’m also still in a weird space where I’m not quite sure what I’m doing with my brain. It’s no bad thing in the grand scheme of things, but I’m definitely going through a form of creative block at the moment and, in true Bear Hunt style - I can’t go over it, I can’t go under it, so I have to go through it.
I am, however, a sucker for the New-Year-New-Me energy, so I’ve kickstarted 2024 with some healthy new habits, including one that has really surprised me: I’ve joined the 5am club! Which is a more palatable way of saying that I’ve started waking up at 5am every weekday to enjoy some child-free writing time. I’ve never ever been a morning person so I fully expected this to be really hard but oh my god, what a gamechanger. I’m currently writing this with a hot coffee, listening to a tawny owl outside - and I’m getting words on a page without tiny hands pawing at me for snackeroos or Scooby Doo. In fact, since starting last Tuesday, I’ve written three double spreads of the picture book I’ve been meaning to write for months. I don’t like to lecture other mums on ‘how to mum’, but I would recommend giving it a try if you have creative projects that never quite get prioritised in the way they deserve - or even if you just want a few moments of peaceful, caffeinated solitude. My friend Helen is a fellow writer and mum, and often pops on Insta live to offer virtual ‘company’ for other early risers.
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It’s my birthday this week and I’m full of gratitude for thirty two lovely loops of the sun. I’m also beginning to notice the days getting longer again, and even though it’s been so grey and rainy recently, the rare moments of winter sunlight feel really good. The catkins are starting to drop and the first buds are plumping on our magnolia tree.
Some updates from my corner:
I’ve brought the relaunch date of my stationery brand forward to 29 February because it’s almost ready to go! You’ll hear about it here first, but you can also follow on Instagram for sneak peeks. I can’t wait to share the first collection with you!
I’m currently making good progress on two nature-themed guide books for Bloomsbury. The paperback of The Bridleway is also out later this year, followed closely by my brand new book Ebb & Flow: A Guide to Seasonal Living. I’m hoping to have a front cover to share with you soon.
Me and Olive made a carrot cake for Ash’s first birthday, starring this obese sugar bunny with chia seed eyes. Chef’s kiss.
Something I Made - Concise Foraging Guide with Bloomsbury
After being out of print pretty much all of December, my Concise Foraging Guide is available again! It’s a pocket guide to edible plants in the UK and Europe, and includes all the basic information you need to start identifying edible plants. Perfect for a new year pick-me-up, especially with wild garlic season on the horizon…
Something I Like - This 1960s Brutalist Townhouse
I’m a bit obsessed with the Bauhaus, brutalism and mid-century architecture at the moment. This remodelling project by London-based architects Pricegore took a sixties Chelsea townhouse and transported it into the present day, inspired by British brutalism and Brazilian modernism. I love the deep, spacious rooms, flooded with light from vast windows framed by exotic tree ferns.
Recipe of the Month - Artichoke and Lemon Butter Beans
One of my favourite Zoe recipes at the moment, made with creamy butterbeans and lovely, fat artichoke hearts. I mentioned starting Zoe in my last newsletter and I am here to report that it’s as amazing as everyone says it is, particularly if you have the time to make full use of the app, recipe ideas and food scoring system. It’s completely changed the way I eat - I’m never hungry and my energy levels are really stable. Highly recommend!