Latest from The sticks




Nearly five months into retirement now, and I can tell you it's hard work! Running, diggng, planting, weeding, strimming, thinking, planning, learning and all on a smaller budget. Things I used to think were chores, things to get done because the garden needed to be tidy or I needed to keep fit. The secret to retirement I have disovered is doing things to enjoy doing them, not to get them done. If it takes two days to finish something rather than one, so what. And amazingly, more things get done. My garden is in better shape now than it has been for years and in the greenhouse seedlings for tomatoes, chillies, peppers, aubergines and many herbs are showing promise.

Of course a busy life outdoors leaves less time for social media and blogging, which must be a good sign, but here are a few of the articles most recently add elsewhere on The Sticks. 

The broad beans keep coming

In my last article I said we were nearing the end of the broad beans I had grown over winter. That was wrong. We were still harvesting those I'd grown in pots in the greenhouse and then moved outside.  We only started eating those planted directly in the garden  about 10 days ago and there are plenty more on the plants yet. The Webmaster come chef groaned when I said I thought we would have fresh broad beens through to end of September.

Read more ...

Peru and Galapagos Islands (October 2000)

It had long been my ambition to travel to South America, and in particular Peru and the Galapagos Islands. Like everyone else I wanted to see the giant tortoises.

Read more ...


What's changed?

Recently Updated

Showcase Features

Maps for local walks

phoca thumb l IMG 0036

Selection of our walking routes on the edge of the Staffordshire Moorlands. All accessible from convenient public car parks 

Then and now


Tracing the  history of the house from early 1800s to the present day using historical documents and idenitying people who lived here before us


William Deakin restored

15 years of family history research available in our webtrees database (over 800 surnames and nearly 5000 individuals) plus a collection of birth, marriage and death certificates.  

Popular series



Transcription of travel diaries made during the last 36 years starting with India and Nepal 1981 and including USA 1983, Syria 1993, South America 2000 and South Africa 2014 together with photographs. This is a work in progress as the diaries are transcribed, so check for updates.

Route to the Soul

Route to the Soul2

Began as a romantic mixture of emotion and practical tips from two young students discovering themselves and life as they recounted their adventures away from home. The Student and her boyfriend shared their passion for each other, travel and their pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. Now the blog is maintained by the Student who studies and works part time on-line while she and her boyfriend continue their travels to explore the world. Her blog focuses on wellbeing and politics affecting the state of the planet & the lives of its inhabitants.

Seeds & Weeds

phoca thumb l img 0203

We weren't gardeners, we don't even listen to Gardeners' Question Time very often, but we have a large garden with plenty of potential and since I retired at the end of 2017 we have become amateur gardners. We favour the wild, natural look and like the birds, butterflies, frogs and other small animals but we want it to be looked after and we have recently revived and extended our vegetable patch. This section is dedicated to reluctant gardeners in constant fight against the weeds - solidarity among the nettled and scratched - the caterpillars, slugs, snails and multitudes of insects.

Rooted to the Spot

phoca thumb l batch 1 IMG 1244

Magazine style section with articles about life at the Sticks on a theme inspired by Brexit