Of Hawthorn and Hares – an alliteration loosely inspired by Steinbeck – brings together what makes our house a home. The Hawthorn derives from the untamed hedges that surround our allotment; while Mr Hare and his son are our daughter’s favourite cuddly toys.
My name is Nadine, my roots are German but my heart has settled amongst the green rolling hills of England’s Peaks. At the time I’m writing this introduction I’m a thirty-something stay-at-home mum with a strong love for tea and words.
As a self-proclaimed multipotentialite, I have always been a pursuer of curiosity. Which in career terms has led me from a degree in sport science with a major in media to a short career in PR to some years spend in a primary school. While seemingly unconnected, all these interludes have two things in common: learning and communication. Two themes that continue to steer my journey through life as I now spend most of my days at home.
My curiosity also led me, after meeting my favourite Englishman at the other side of the world, to this “small” island of the north-west coast of Europe. Where I quickly fell in love with the green hills and independent spirit. Today the Englishman and I share a typical English terraced house, an overgrowing allotment and a carefully curated collection of houseplants (our oldest being Dave the Geranium). In 2016 we were joined by our littlest lady, which we named after our favourite Road Dahl character; and there are persistent rumours that we might hatch chickens soon…
I’m a writer at heart, but for distraction I like to get muddy pottering around in the allotment or splash through countryside puddles followed by a hearty pub lunch. If given the chance I can often be found curled up on the sofa to some good telly, I’m especially partial to German and British crime shows; or with a good book, Harry Potter is probably my all time favourite (not surprising then that I ended up living in England). I was a dish washing girl, when I first met the Englishman and still haven’t recovered from my inexplicable fondness for washing up.
All of this is always accompanied by plenty cups of tea and a good load of life pondering which pours greatly into this little corner of the internet.
“What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare…”
W. H. Davies
OH&H caught root in the early days of autumn 2016, when the company of two turned into the complexity of a family of three. Shortly after, this little internet home was crafted with the aim to document our family’s journey in the making of a wholesome home*. Yet, while the pursuit of making our nest went unhindered, the telling about it fell dormant for many years. Until the 2020 Covid19-Pandemic reignited my pen.
OH&H recognises that the making of a home is a complex, collaborative act, reaching far beyond the walls that house us into the community that surrounds us – the words we speak, the values we hold dear, the habits and routines we practice, the moments we share with our nearest and dearest hold tremendous power.
As Annie Dillard says how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. While seemingly insignificant then on their own, these hours as a collection hold tremendous value and meaning for our lives.
The years rush by so fast and with OH&H I want to make the time to stand and stare; I want to collect and remember these small moments that string together the narrative of our life and preserve what guided and nurtured our family at home and in it’s wider community – for myself, for our littlest lady and for you dear reader, if you find yourself interested.
At times when our world seems in constant uproar; politically, socially, environmentally, we may campaign on the streets for our values, we may cast our votes diligently and voice our opinions gracefully; here at OH&H I’d like to focus on what it means to craft a wholesome home, as I believe the most fundamental change happens here.
*a space that nurtures and nourishes our hearts, bodies and souls in equal proportions with practices and routines that are sustainable, ethical and yet simple