My name is Kate, I am 47 years old and live with my bubbly 5 year old daughter,Lilac.
I balance being a mum with a poly-income lifestyle as I love the diversity it brings.
My work life is split between my garden maintenance business, primary school teaching and being a forest school practitioner. I also love making and selling things from natural fibres; mainly yarns and textiles. 🙂
When Lilac is not at school and I am not at work, we both love having a giggle, spending time in nature, listening, making and dancing to music (and making playlists), climbing trees, going to festivals, exploring the local area and playing ‘out back’ as we start to come up with new ideas of how we want to make our relatively new home a truly warm, welcoming, nourishing and sustainable place to live both now and in the future.
In the past, I travelled and lived in Africa for 4 years, and spent many months in India studying yoga and biking through the Himalayas. I can understand/ speak a little Spanish and to a slightly better degree, french, after spending 10 weeks walking the Camino de Santiago de Compostella and gaining a few pen pals along the way.
Lilac and I both have a deep love, curiosity and respect for the natural environment and try to engage with as many pursuits as we can which bring us closer to it. We love hiking, wild swimming, surfing, geo-caching, cycling and rock climbing or just hanging under the trees in the hammock to name a few of our favourites.
I like to think of myself as a bit of an eco- warrior and continue to benefit from my growing involvement and understanding of Permaculture ethics and principles. I like the idea of using these principles where possible ( or any other particularly brilliant low impact living ideas anyone may wish to bring ) as we try to regenerate our lovely homestead into a more sustainable and fun place to coexist. The ideas of ‘Making do and mending ‘ and living with zero waste are close to my heart, so I like to recycle and upcycle materials for projects where possible.
With climate change at the heart of many of the choices I now make, overseas travel is not something I feel comfortable engaging with so much anymore, so the opportunity to have a little slice of the world coming here to share in our home life and surroundings for a little while seems wonderful.
Help with Eco project
Help with Computers / internet
We would love to invite you to join us (when possible) or sign post you so you can explore and enjoy our wonderful surroundings...If you like the outdoors, this is the place for you!
Having lived in the area for most of my life it means I can share some great locations and opportunities for outdoor fun - and indoor if that is your thing!
There are many great restaurants and cafe’s nearby as well as town and country pubs and micro-breweries. The nearest 2 pubs are only a 10 minute walk: one out of the back gate along a country footpath that takes you straight to the pub, the other straight down the footpaths to the main road.
The Derwent Valley where we live is a UNESCO world heritage site and steeped in history, and often called the cradle of the industrial revolution. There are 3 local market towns; Belper (1 mile), Wirksworth (10 miles) and Ashbourne (13 miles) and numerous local thriving artist/maker communities. We have our own repair cafe, and green exchange where you barter for goods with no money exchanged.
If cities are your thing, Derby is 15 mins away, Nottingham = 35 mins, Sheffield = 45 mins, Birmingham = 50 mins and Manchester = 1 hour 45 mins. Even London can be reached in as little as 1hr 40 mins depending on the time of day. We are lucky to have very good transport links with regular buses and trains too.
Derbyshire is a great county, boasting numerous stately homes ( Chatsworth House, Kedleston Hall, Hardwick Hall, Calke Abbey, Haddon Hall, Sudbury Hall to name but a few) and fantastic surrounding countryside in the dales and Peak District National Park if you like to explore and have an adventure. It is a Mecca for rock climbers and cavers, mountain bikers and hikers.
There are many nature reserves, woodlands and forests and opportunities to get away from the hustle and bustle.
Carsington water is only 11 miles away which offers numerous Water sports, a yacht club , nature reserve, cycle hire and walking.
If English language is something you want to improve I’d Be more than happy to help in any way I can. I speak some french, and a spot of Spanish (though always a little rusty at first) , but love learning about other cultures, languages and trying out delicious new recipes from afar! 😍
It is perhaps worth mentioning here that we are a vegetarian, non- smoking house, though we make an exception for our cat, Pie, who isn’t too fond of lentils and broccoli for some reason?
Having travelled and hitch-hiked a lot, I regularly experienced first hand the remarkable kindness of strangers. It is therefore a great pleasure to be able to offer a reciprocal warm welcome to anyone wishing to experience this part of our little island and hopefully the stranger who arrives will leave as a friend.
We arrived in our new home earlier this year (2019) and so have been spending some time coming up with exciting and sometimes wild ideas for how we would like to shape our lives here in the future.
The plot outside the back door is a good size - approx 1 acre- and never fails to surprise and delight everyone who comes through the gate when they see it . It comprises 1/3 acre garden with mature trees, small fruit orchard and shrubs and 2/3 acre of unimproved grassland paddock with a large greenhouse, small Birch copse and a bramble , bracken and bluebell community who look out over delightful views of the Derwent valley.
The interior of the house needs a few finishing touches, but is very homely and welcoming 🙂
Some of the jobs we have in mind are set out below, so if you think you have the skills, knowledge and interest, we’d love to have you around to help tick some things off the list.
We would love to create a sustainable food forest garden using the no- dig method if possible to try to Increase our food self sufficiency and decrease our food miles at the same time as increasing biodiversity and soil health.
-moving and improving soil
-Making compost / leaf mould.
-Fix and repair water capture and storage systems.
We love to repurpose, recycle and reuse materials if we can.With this in mind we would love to:-
-Design and make L-shaped bench seat with storage.
-Create useful storage spaces.
-Put up shelVing.
-Fence and gate repair.
-Shave and re- hang 2 doors.
-Put up architraves and skirting boards.
-Make pallet planters.
-Chop/ split firewood.
- attach a lean-to porch to the side of the house.
Painting and decorating...
-Primer, Undercoat and 2 colour layers in one room.
- Caulke and paint some doors and skirting boards and window sills.
Fix a front step and build a small wall.
English and Some French
Our home is a 3 bedroomed semi- detached house situated on a hillside rising up from the banks of the river Derwent.
The property has a Large garden/ paddock area at the back covering 1acre and aside of the immediate 2 neighbours , we are surrounded by nothing but fields thereafter.
The house comprises a long kitchen, downstairs loo, conservatory/ dining room, utility room, lounge, 3 upstairs double bedrooms and a shared bath/ shower room.
You will have your own room with a back garden outlook which comprises a space saving day bed (which can easily be pulled out into a double bed if required) plenty of shelving, coat/ clothes hooks, a set of drawers, and a desk, lamp and chair.
We also have a small, self contained caravan on the drive which could be an alternative possibility for accommodation if it suits you. It has cold running water, 2 gas rings for cooking , a table with bench seats which convert into a double bed and an additional 3 single bunks. It has a cubicle with functioning portloo and wash basin with mirrored cupboard, but any showering and bathing would need to be done through the shared bathroom in the house.
Outdoor sports you may be interested in accessing are :-
Climbing (3 local indoor walls in addition to the extensive range of well documented outdoor routes)
Canoeing and water sports ( Carsington Water and Sailing club)
Outdoor swimming pools (Hathersage and Matlock Bath) & Indoor pools ( Belper, Derby and Matlock)
Fell / park running
Cycling ( Derby velodrome, numerous cycle tracks and bridal ways and the National BMX track), Caving/ potholing, and these are just for starters.
We have 3 Cinemas nearby, a theatre, art gallery, 3 libraries and a museum within 8 mile radius. There are farmers markets, arts hubs, music and food festivals ( depending on time of year) , craft groups, fitness classes , live music, restaurants , pubs.... I could go on!
The Derwent Valley mills complex have historical interactive tours and many of the mills are now home to local traders and artisans selling their creations and experiences.
There truly is something for everyone.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week