What’s behind the country gate?

Part diary, part almanac. 

In 1994 a country girl who’d been teaching in London had an epiphany in a bookshop in Muswell Hill. City living was not for her. Later that year she moved with her East End husband to a Wiltshire village. And yet this is no fairytale of bucolic life, renovating a ramshackle cottage, upcycling furniture, keeping chickens, living off-grid and negotiating the internal politics of the Parish Council. At home in a new environment with three young children this blog began as a way of documenting our family’s adventures. 

Low cost, feel good activities were vital to our well-being. We were free to enjoy the great outdoors, the garden and the kitchen in a leisurely and comforting way – what the Danish call the art of hygge. We were money-poor but time-rich

A teacher has a passion to educate and it wasn’t long before I was sharing my experiences with others via family learning programmes for Health Authorities, hands-on  activity days for primary schools and innovative resources for a number of schools, social enterprises and agencies including the National Trust under the ‘Country Gate’ name. I returned to the classroom in 2015 with a passion to improve life for my students and colleagues and to maintain that balance which would keep it good for myself and my family. Inevitably the blog expanded to include hints and tips to make life better and learning easier. 

The benefits of getting a good work/life balance have never been more in the spotlight. Getting outside, reconnecting with nature and each other and slowing down are well documented even before the Coronavirus pandemic.Young people  – all people – today have to navigate a complex and ever-changing world, facing challenges and pressures in numerous aspects of their life. 90% of school leaders have reported an increase in the number of students experiencing anxiety or stress over the last five years. I’m imagine it’s no different in other workplaces.

Student,  parent or teacher, read on. I hope you’ll find something here that you’ll find useful. Connect via Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest

I’d love to hear from you. 




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