Rooted to the Spot

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

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.  


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Tracing the  history of the house from early 1800s to the present day using historical documents and idenitying people who lived here before us

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Maps for local walks

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



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. 

Beds in the orchard

Flushed with our early success and with grand ideas to plant crops to keep us in home grown food all year, and not just with a glut at harvest festival time, we decide to add two more beds.

Next to the greenhouse, we thought, will be ideal. Close to the house and close to the water supply in what once was in the field outside our garden boundary. We moved the fence after extending the house in 2001 and planted fruit trees and sowed meadow flowers. For a year it was lovely, but then

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 ...


Latest Articles

Recent articles

  • Long hot summer
    Long hot summer
    03 August 2018
    Only the beginning of August and summer already seems to have lasted for ever. Of course when I was working I was indoors all day in an air conditioned office and almost oblivious...
  • Battle with the butterflies
    Battle with the butterflies
    03 August 2018
    I saw somewhere that butterflies are in decline. Maybe it was refering to a specific type because I've never seen so many as this year. Large and small white have been a menace for...
  • Good life
    Good life
    03 September 2018
    The long hot summer is over but Brexit madness seems unabated. As the shear scale of what they have unleashed, and the complexities of what they assured us was simple, become clear...

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


A romantic mixture of emotion and practical tips from two young students discovering themselves and life as they recount their adventures away from home. The Student and her boyfriend share their passion for each other, travel and their pursuit of a healthy lifestyle.

Seeds & Weeds

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We aren't gardeners, we don't even listen to Gardeners' World very often, but we have a large garden with plenty of potential. 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 want to revive our vegetable patch. This section is dedicated to reluctant gardeners in constant fight against the weeds. Solidarity among the nettled and scratched.