ww1Wales is a wonderful place with stunning scenery, its own language, culinary delicacies; an array of Welsh idiosyncrasies and some of the nicest people in the country; what better place to bring up children.  I cannot imagine anywhere better than rural Wales to bring up my little ones. Sure it’s a jaunt to town and yes we don’t have new-fangled things like 24-hour supermarkets and multiplex cinemas, but instead we have fields, fresh air, nature and food for the imagination.

Only if you grew up in Wales will you remember Super Ted and Fireman Sam in Welsh. Only a child schooled in Wales will have March 1st  ingrained in their memory as the day you wear a leek if you are a boy or daffodil if you are a girl, for this is St. David’s day and the national emblems are out in force, it  is also customary for young girls to wear the national costume. ww2The Welsh National Costume has now become something of a tourist attraction, but it evolved from the influential Lady Llanover. This insightful lady believed that having a national dress would help and encourage the speaking of the Welsh language.  Recently there has been talk of ditching the national costume and confining it to the pages of history books forever. With its tall hat, red shawl, black cloak, thick woollen chequered skirt and starched white apron some feel it encompasses a negative image of Wales as a backward looking land; to me Wales is not backward-looking but a land filled with myth, nostalgia; a rich historical backdrop with quirky customs galore, I believe we should continue to celebrate our heritage and want no talk of banishing our national costume and children wearing rugby shirts on St. David’s day instead.

ww3Rural Wales is strongly regulated by the farming calendar and January is all about maintenance and preparation, so at the moment there is lots of planning for ewe pregnancy scanning next month and the lambing that will start in March for me these are the times that make rural living so rewarding, to see new life, springing around the fields gives me great satisfaction and my children adore seeing the lambs feed from their mothers with their little tails waggling frantically.

ww4This year I am preparing for my own special appearance, as we have just taken delivery of Dewdrop, a miniature Shetland pony who is in foal.  At just 26” tall miniature Shetlands are truly the ponies of fairy tales. She is already a great hit with my children and she captured my heart in an instant. Her foal will be due in May, so lots of love and attention for her from now on in.  I feel like an expectant mother all over again and will no doubt be on tender hooks as her pregnancy progresses.

ww5 ww6In the meantime there is my jungle of a garden to tackle. I moved to my present home two months ago and Christmas, New Year and the rain have all provided fantastic excuses for not digging deep and getting dirty, however, if I want heritage vegetables to enjoy this year then this is the time to act. So I will be donning my wellies, sharpening the secateurs and filling up the compost heap in the very near future.

Da bo ti  (good bye)



About Seren Charrington-Hollins

ABOUT SEREN-CHARRINGTON-HOLLINS Describing my work through just one job title is difficult; because my professional life sees me wear a few hats: Food Historian, period cook, broadcaster, writer and consultant. I have a great passion for social and food history and in addition to researching food history and trends I have also acted as a consultant on domestic life and changes throughout history for a number of International Companies. In addition to being regularly aired on radio stations; I have made a number of television appearances on everything from Sky News through to ITV’s Country House Sunday, Holiday of a Lifetime with Len Goodman , BBC4’s Castle’s Under Siege, BBC South Ration Book Britain; Pubs that Built Britain with Hairy Bikers and BBC 2’s Inside the Factory. Amongst other publications my work has been featured in Period Living Magazine, Telegraph, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Great British Food Magazine and I write regularly for a variety of print and online publications. I am very fortunate to be able to undertake work that is also my passion and never tire of researching; recreating historical recipes and researching changing domestic patterns. Feel free to visit my blog, www.serenitykitchen.com