Issue 102 is out now
Kate Hodges

By Kate Hodges

21st January 2021

Brighten up drizzly days, raucous Burns Night cheer, keepy uppy your football skills, try traditional Welsh love crafts,

Kate Hodges

By Kate Hodges

21st January 2021

Kate Hodges

By Kate Hodges

21st January 2021

MAKE Wooden Heart
Monday is Dydd Santes Dwynwen, St Dynwen’s Day, the Welsh equivalent of Valentine’s. It celebrates Dwenwen, the Welsh saint of lovers. One of the most romantic Welsh traditions is the giving of wooden love spoons, intricately carved in Celtic knots, floral crests and open linked chains. If you’re handy with wood, you might like trying to make your own alternatively, try making your own from card and egg cartons or create a virtual version to send a loved one.

DO and LEARN Ap-Art-Ment
Cold weather and lockdown mean that we’ve once more taken to exploring the world via our screens once more. Bursting with colour, a peep at Frida Kahlo’s famous Casa Azul brightens up the greyest and drizzliest of days, and its wonders have recently been made available online in a virtual tour. Stroll through galleries with brilliant yellow floors, take in works by Kahlo and Diego Rivera, and snoop round the living spaces preserved just was the couple left them.

EVENT, LEARN and RECIPE Poet’s Corner
Raucous Burns Night celebrations are out this year. Party on Monday at home with a delicious vegan haggis, neeps and tatties, and play silly haggis games or liven up your lessons with these fun downloadable quizzes, posters and writing prompts or these teaching resources.

DO Kick It

Missing organised sports? The FA have put together a series of fun and inspiring videos to get footie-mad kids up and kicking join Emile Heskey and his daughter playing games using dribbling skills, brush up on your passing skills and get up to speed with movement and balance exercises.

RECIPE Blending In
Souper-duper! January is the month for warming broths and bowls of flavoursome-but-frugal goodness. If we’re going to have to stay in, let’s make things cosy and wholesome. We adore Cookie and Kate’s Butternut Squash Chili with Avocado recipe, and everyone goes nuts for Kate’s Butternut Squash Soup . Want a vegan alternative? Itdoesn’ has 25 ‘drool-worthy’ ideas; try their Creamy Cauliflower Horseradish soup for a healthy bowl with a kick.


The last year has seen us exploring our neighbourhood on foot more deeply than ever. We’ve found nature reserves we didn’t know existed, pockets of wildness filled with animals, flowers and plants to forage and eat. We’ve scoured large-scale maps for new pathways and cycle routes, and looked at this historical map overlay site to find long-forgotten ancient monuments and quirky historical sites nearby to explore. Why not try looking for some secret history near you? Atlas Obscura compiles local oddities from a tree trail across Hackney to whirlpools conjured up by witches and trees growing in a mandala of tombstones laid by a famous writer. Find the whole glorious global map of curiosities here and explore this weird world from your desktop. Find more ideas to make your daily walk more fun here

****Don’t forget! The Big Garden Bird Watch takes place January 29–31. Sign up today to be sure to get all the information you need ahead of time****


Many of us are again under restrictions. Don’t forget our Lockdown Lifesavers list of lesson plans, home-ed resources, workouts and online fun and Food Directory, where we’ve gathered some great independent food stores and co-ops who are pulling together to provide you with fresh, healthy, ethical supplies.


Do you have a positive birthing story? We’re starting a new regular feature in the magazine and we would love you to be part of it. We’re looking for bite-sized acccounts of your experiences, whether you had a baby in a yurt, half-way up a mountain, at home, or in hospital.

Perhaps you laughed your way through your birthing experience, or it was orgasmic. Maybe another of your children helped deliver their little sister, or you unexpectedly welcomed twins. We’re looking for the extraordinary to the ordinary, the funny, the tender, the heartwarming stories of babies coming into the world, whether it was last week or several decades ago.

If you’d like to share your tale in the magazine email [email protected]

What we’ve been reading this week:

Is the boom in communal living really the good life? “Communes are reporting being inundated by new applicants of all ages, driven by the Extinction Rebellion movement and its focus on low-carbon living and, more recently, by the glimpse that lockdown has offered of simpler, less consumption-driven, lifestyles.

There are more than 400 such “intentional” communities across the UK. Many are cohousing set-ups, in which residents live in individual dwellings with a few common areas and domestic functions; others are based upon a lifestyle or worldview (spiritualism, gender non- binarism, veganism) and feature a variety of communal labour arrangements and facilities.” Read more here

Found something inspirational to read that you’d like to share? Want to share your creations with us? Have an idea for things to do? We’d love to hear from you. Email Kate