We live in Penkhull, a village which is on a hill above Stoke town, in the city of Stoke upon Trent.
We decided to retire from paid work in the early nineties to spend more time on our elderly narrowboat, Amy.
About this time we acquired a young Jack Russell pup called Pippa who is also quite elderly now. Our all-female crew now had the time and means to explore the British waterways.
As we travelled the canals we became aware of traces of an earlier time and the research we did into that period of history, when canals were at their peak, gave us the inspiration to write a novel about the potteries of Stoke and the surrounding canals. Hence Treasures from an Earthen Pot was written.
We were fortunate enough to see interesting wildlife from the boat (it makes an efficient hide) and kingfisher sightings became frequent. This encouraged us to look more carefully at the natural world about us.
When taking the dog for a walk one day, we came across a wood owned by the Woodland Trust. "You are welcome to walk in our wood" the notice said; not one sign saying don't do this or that. Never before had we come across a woodland with such signs of welcome. We joined the trust and if you are a friend the chances are you will be receiving one of their beautiful Christmas cards this year.
We have a wonderful friend who has badgers in her garden and over the years we have been very fortunate to see the badgers many times at really close quarters. This has led us to join The Staffordshire Wildlife Trust with a particular interest in the badger group.
Although we aren't pagans in the full sense of the word, we do feel an affinity with nature and the changing seasons. Jean has written a series of poems called The Pagan Year which expresses what we believe is important to us.
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