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Tales from an Anglesey Smallholding No 5: The importance of mindfulness

Tales from an Anglesey Smallholding No 5: The importance of mindfulness
16th July 2020 Admin

Hi everyone out there in Bryn Celyn land !

I know we have a few new readers this month ! Some of you who read our Facebook post about the “change of use” issue which we are having with the council’s planning department have asked to join the mailing list of my blog. Thanks for doing that ! Ron and I have had an amazing amount of support in relation to this issue. The comments you all left are so complimentary. We are awaiting feedback from Anglesey’s MP about the outcome of her discussions with the council. Not sure about what is going to happen……… but will let you know in due course !

Ron is totally amazed at our growing following on FB. I put it down to my blogs (ha ha). Ron puts it down to the photographs of his food…… What do you think ???? Bryn Celyn’s Facebook page now has 4,031 followers. Isn’t that amazing ? I think that’s taken about three years. To be honest, I’m not sure how we started it off now. If you don’t follow us and would like to, here’s the link

I really enjoy blogging, so regardless of what happens with the council, I’ll just continue to chat to you all. My mother was a writer, so maybe it’s in the genes ??? Here is a photo of her taken at a book signing.See the source image  Mary Bell.  She wrote about the Durham coalfields and life there during the sixties and seventies. “Where the pits are”


I have chopped and changed the topics of recent blogs. This has reflected the strange new world of the pandemic when everyone’s life was turned upside down.  A time when the government gave small businesses money; banks provided mortgage holidays; when some were told to work at home; others were paid not to go to work; there were no holidays abroad; there were no holidays at home; and when the importance of mental health began to be acknowledged by many more people.


I try to keep a positive spin on things, keep busy. What has helped, believe it or not, is the very simple activity of writing a to do list. The list helps me feel as if I have achieved something as I tick off my tasks as “done”. Very simple, costs nothing. It has helped so much with my well-being. I get a feeling of achievement as I put a big tick beside the words “ironing”, “clean out the chickens”. Today, someone sent me a link to a set of cards called LSW Mind Cards today. It’s a pack of 45 cards, each one printed with a task intended to keep you positive. A lovely gift for yourself or a friend……….. I’ve also found this blog very useful. It’ll only take you a moment to read “Mindfulness and to do lists”


Over the last few  months, I have found listening to classical music really has helped me relax, to keep stress and anxiety at bay.  Radio 2 sounds too “jangly” at the moment …….. So, I have listened to Classical Music for a Relaxing Bubble Bath – but not just when I’m in the bath !!! For most of the day, in fact. Even choral music, as dull as it may sound, I find calming whilst I’m pottering about in the house. We use the Echo Dot along with Amazon Prime subscription to access our music. Try Pie Jesu, too !


If you have read my previous blog, you’ll know that I am learning to build my own website from scratch ……… Not a refresh of the Bryn Celyn Farm Shop website……. But

I have found this activity so totally engaging that hours have passed……. in what seems like a moment. Not all of them relaxing hours, some frustrating and confusing when I can’t work out why a plug-in won’t work properly !

Website building seems to be portrayed as (i) something which is really difficult. It’s not (ii) as something which you need to pay someone else to do. You don’t.

I’m not saying it is really eas……..y. There are some very tricky bits to it. But, if I can do it, then lots of other people can, too.

What you do need, however, is lots of time. This is where lockdown came in handy, I suppose !!!

The concentration needed makes me forget everything around me. For instance, I looked at my new website and realised it looked quite dull. The background colours were matt…… there were no bright and shiny bits. No bells and whistles.

So what did I decide to do ? I decided to tinker with it. Ha ha !! It’s ok again now. BUT did I have a few problems !! It was all about a theme. The term “theme” in website building describes the appearance, style and design of the webpages (are you impressed yet ???). So, I chose the Stylish News theme for my website which allows you to insert media and widgets (yes, I’m learning the terminology). Now you can choose a theme which is free of charge, or you can pay for a theme so that you get more functionality (otherwise known as bells and whistles). I’d used the free theme, but as I said, the appearance of the website was dull. So, I paid for the Pro version. I spent the next two days on the phone to Bluehost (my website host) trying to get the new theme to work. Bluehost – the company that hosts my website – have been fantastic, incidentally. Their help line “does what it says on the tin” – help !!

In the end, I decided to ask for my money back from the company which had sold me the theme. I found their website again and scrolled down until I found a section marked RETURNS. Now, I didn’t know who I had bought this software from. It could have been anyone in any country. And I still don’t know….. but I was filled with horror. The returns sections said……. DO NOT ASK FOR YOUR MONEY TO BE RETURNED IF YOU CANNOT MAKE THIS THEME WORK BECAUSE YOU DON’T HAVE THE IT  SKILLS !!! And that’s the polite version.

Then it gave a gmail address to contact.

Hmmmmmmm !!! All well-being, calmness and mindfulness went out of the window.

Well, I had nothing to lose (well £25 to be precise). So, I emailed, explaining that this was only the first website I’d built, I’d followed the installation instructions correctly, but the theme wouldn’t build the webpages in the way it should have done…….…….. and could I have my money back ???

I held my breath………… Within about an hour, I had a lovely reply saying that it was a new version and it had just been checked ……… and no, it wasn’t working………. And yes, I could have my money back….. And the £25 popped up in my bank account the very next day.

OK, so maybe building a website is not an ideal way of relaxing……. meditating……. But it does make you forget most things that are going on around you for a while !!!!

Anyway, I’ve practiced more with the free theme and if you take a look at my site, then you’ll see a bit of a difference……….

If any of you would like to guest blog on this site, all you have to do is to drop me an email at  and let me know ! That would be great. You’d need to blog about one of my topics ie food, small-holdings, life after sixty, self-sufficiency, entrepreneurship, learning new skills. All positives !!!! About 800-1000 words is about enough. You’d need to have photos and suchlike, too.

PS Here are a few links to mindfulness products…….. hope you don’t mind

“Mindfulness – A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world”

Mindfulness for mums: Simple Ways to helping you and your family be calm, connected and content

The Chimp Paradox. The Acclaimed Mind Management Programme

The Mindfulness Puzzlebook

There are affiliate links in this blog. I am an Amazon affiliate and if you click on a link I may earn some money. Yippee ! 

Bye for now ! Until I blog again !


  1. Jayne 7 months ago

    Hi Margaret

    Loved this blog today, can relate to almost all that you talk about.I have been off work since the end of January, firstly with broken wrist, followed by being furloughed.I still have no idea when I will return.So like you I found myself with lots of time on my hands.I picked up my hobby cross stitching 🧵 and immersed myself into it, mindfulness kicks in very easily.Look forward to reading more of your blogs, oh I too love cooking, it’s also my work. Keep up the blogs and well done creating a website too 👏👏

    Best Wishes Jayne

    • Author
      Admin 7 months ago

      Thanks Jayne, for getting in touch after reading the blog. Makes it all worthwhile ! Hope your wrist is betting better ! Was it the hand you write with ? How did it happen ? I really enjoy writing my blogs. Don’t suppose I would do it otherwise. Don’t you think that lockdown time reminds you of the time we didn’t have cars and the internet. Not sure how old you are tho’. Yes, I’ll keep blogging. I think it’s about time I blogged about my efforts with cooking. I made a couple of Victoria Sandwich cakes last week. That’s about my limit. Margaret xx

  2. Jayne 7 months ago

    Thanks yes my wrist is almost back to normal, and it was my left so luckily not my writing hand. It did stop me sewing for a while. I can definitely remember no internet, I’m 58 but don’t remember the no cars haha. I’ve rather enjoyed a slower less complicated life . Oh yes definitely a cake blog, I love baking and having a go at gluten and dairy free too . My last bake was Bara Brith.

    Happy Blogging Jayne xx

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