So thrilled to have an article in the lovely Plants are Magic Magazine all about how we started our handcrafted family business, Little Loquat... it was wonderful to take some time to write about my love for a very special part of portugal and the passion I feel for how we create.
I'll be posting the full article in the coming weeks but until then, if you are a maker, dreamer and plant lover, I hope you will go and purchase this magazine, which will truly make your heart warm!!
Find out more here.
The melancholy of autumn may be no bad thing
for with each fallen leaf, a new dream can begin
and with each fleeting glimpse of that low orangey sun,
is the belief that always, something amazing can be begun.
~ Alice Griffin
I always find the coming of autumn a melancholy time... the colder weather, the lowering sun, the feeling that a long winter is stretched ahead... every year I have to remind myself to take note of the beauty and also remind myself that autumn is about rebirth.
Writing this little poem I was gazing out at the leaves floating from the trees and although I'm no longer living on a narrowboat, autumn always reminds me of woodsmoke and quiet waters...
My poem, This Gentle Earth, is featured on the lovely Vegan Life Magazine website.
The thoughts behind my words were about how we can all start making a change in the world simply by finding compassion for each living being... I hope you enjoy it.
You can also hear me reading this poem over on my YouTube Channel.
“Only when we have become non-violent towards all life will we have learned to live well ourselves,”
~ Cesar Chavez
It's always lovely to receive a positive review for something I have created, especially when it's from a well-respected source.
My Character Education Discussion Cards, illustrated by Heidi Rivolta, were recently reviewed in the SNIP (Special Needs Information Press) newsletter and I'm so appreciative of their kind words and endorsement. Any resource that I can produce that goes to helping children and young people progress and develop healthily and happily, I feel proud of being a part of.
Special Needs Information Press (SNIP) is a twelve page monthly newsletter produced by two SEN teachers. It aims to support staff in schools to identify and address the diverse needs of pupils, in order to promote their learning and school success.
SNIP has been published since 1991 and is photocopiable to enable the sharing of information throughout subscribing settings. It aims to provide up-to-date information on strategies, processes, resources, research, legislation and guidelines, to support staff to become confident and effective teachers of children with additional needs.
I recently submitted a short story ‘Barefoot in the City’ to the MK50 Short Story Competition. Celebrating 50 years of Milton Keynes (my hometown) there were lots of things going on - my daughter even won a drawing competition for her ‘concrete cow’ design!!
Well, my story didn’t win… but I was so pleased to hear this morning that it has been selected as one of 50 to be featured in a published anthology: Voices from the Grid.
I am constantly surprised that wherever I go I meet people who know of Milton Keynes, but it’s not always for the right reasons… ‘so busy’, ‘no soul‘, ‘all roundabouts and shopping’ and yet for me, this city where I grew up, is so much more than that. There is a thriving arts scene and many wonderful projects and businesses that have a true passion for creating a better world and of course, there are way more green spaces than most people realise...
For me being close to nature is at my core and I was lucky enough to have spent my childhood climbing trees, enjoying picnics and swimming in rivers… yes, in a city! As an adult I have lived on narrowboats and enjoyed Milton Keynes from a completely different angle and my short story reflects this love of the green spaces, taking readers to those that I hold dear through the memories of a fictional character.
Copies will be available to buy at the MK Literary Festival and after that from Community Learning MK, Rivers Centre, Trent Road, West Bletchley, MK3 7BB
Or you can read it right here...
My youtube channel where I will be sharing readings of my poetry.
I was thrilled to have one of my poems 'It Started with an Ant' featured in the August 2017 VIVA! Podcast. You can listen right here. My poem is 16 minutes in, but of course I'd rather you listen to the whole show ;-)
As a vegan family we are passionate about spreading the message of kindness to all animals but sometimes it’s hard to know how best to do this. After some thought I realised that my voice is through my writing and so, I decided to write a short collection of poems that reflect my own journey from meat eater, to vegetarian, to vegan.
Each of the five poems reflect the questions I have pondered myself on my own journey and I hope they will resonate with anyone pondering their own eating habits with regards to animals. With a cover illustration by my daughter, you can download the collection right here for just £1.00, with all proceeds currently going to the wonderful Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Norfolk. I can also send out an audio recording of me reading all the poems for free/sharing, just email me!
VIVA! or Vegetarians' International Voice for Animals, is a British animal rights group, which focuses on promoting veganism. They do amazing and very important work that highlights the truth behind what really goes on in the animal farming industry.
“The most powerful action you can take to end animal suffering, protect the environment and improve your health is to go vegan. Support us and help Viva! campaign for a better world.” ~ Juliet Gellatley, VIVA! Founder.
The Little Loquat family were thrilled to see one of our hand-carved wooden spoons appear on the front of new magazine, Plants are Magic.
This spoon was hand-carved with love from a piece of driftwood found in Pembrokeshire, Wales. It’s so nice to find people who equally appreciate the beauty of items with a magical story.
Find out more about the wonderful work of Rebecca Desnos; botanical dyer, designer, maker, writer and publisher, right here:
I’m excited to announce that Little Loquat will be sharing studio/shop space with the lovely Alissa of Forest & Folk Botanicals for the next couple of months at the beautiful and inspirational Milton Keynes Arts Centre, Parklands, Milton Keynes.
If you are local we invite you to stop by on Thursdays/Saturdays to see what we’re making as well as pick up all things plant-based from Alissa, including all your shampoo, conditioner, washing-up and washing liquid eco refills in support of Zero Waste.
We are so pleased here at Little Loquat to have received our first magazine review, which you can read if you click the image above.
The lovely JUNO magazine were very kind about our Miniature Gnome Tipi Play Sets … so much so that we’re currently beavering away trying to get more sets made and in the hands of more nature’s children in time for Christmas.
You can place a custom order in your choice of fabric/colours right here!
My latest article for JUNO Magazine ~ I am Consciously Unplugged and I am Conscious ~ is all about my need to switch off from technology and the busyness of life and reconnect; with nature, my family, myself... and how I achieve this on the waterways of England.
It is now available to read right here.
My most recent article for Canal Boating Times ~ My Waterways ~ is now available to read right here.
Last year my publisher for Winston the Worried Whale asked me to work on a new resource based around Character Education. A departure from my usual path (stories), this set of Character Education Discussion Cards instead called on my studies and experience working with children and young people and I was thrilled to be involved!
Now published, they are primarily aimed at Primary School Teachers to help nurture strength of character in their pupils - enabling them to take responsibility for their own behaviour and help others. They are available to buy right here.
This month’s Bird Watching Magazine (October 2016) includes a little article from me about my experiences bird-watching from my narrowboat. It was written a while back after a trip from the Grand Union up to the Shropshire Union… reading it now takes me back to that glorious spring/summer on the water.
Available in WH Smith and various other newsagents, I’ll also post a copy to read here, sometime in October.
We feel really lucky to know personally the people behind Forest & Folk Botanicals. Alissa is an extremely inspiring lady who has spent many years working in Milton Keynes (our home town in the UK) advocating local food in the community… I remember going to the very first farmer’s market she set up in Wolverton many years ago! She is all about organic, community, low-impact, and now she’s turning her attentions to local medicine.
From her beautiful studio located on the ground floor of the South Pavillion at Milton Keynes Arts Centre, Great Linford, she is busy creating the most amazing seasonal herbal goodies to keep the community healthy, and pampered. I am a HUGE fan of her products: calendula salve, dandelion foot balm, cough syrups, sleepy tea; to name just a few. She also organises foraging walks and is keen to show people that there is a lot more to Milton Keynes than just the city centre and concrete cows… there are numerous opportunities to forage for wild food in the vast green spaces this city offers and I can think of no better person to help you discover these gems for yourself.
Open 6 days a week, Alissa is nearly always on hand to invite you into her calming space and talk herbs and health, not to mention show you around the magical half-forgotten walled garden she has not long started uncovering ready to develop it into a well-stocked store cupboard to nurture Forest & Folk Botanicals and the community.
I am SO supportive of this wonderful venture and journey that Alissa has found herself on and implore anyone local to go and check it out in person and feel warmed in the knowledge that there are people out here who care about the world, the environment, and each other! If you are not local then I implore you to visit virtually and find out more.
In my opinion, the world needs more people and projects like this!
Forest & Folk Botanicals Website
*** As a little side note ;-) Alissa is now stocking some of our earth-inspired natural wooden jewellery in her studio along with lots of other packaging free, artisan made, refillable, zero waste goodies ***
I recently wrote an article for the lovely JUNO magazine and it appears in this months issue ~ September 2016.
It’s all about my trip from the North to South of England by narrowboat and how it gave me a much-needed break from the busyness that life can be, and particularly from technology and that feeling of being ‘always on’.
It’s about switching off and reconnecting with the people around us and nature.
You can pick copies up at WH Smith, independent shops and also direct from their website and you will be able to read the article on my website in December.
JUNO is a natural parenting magazine and always makes for an interesting, thought-provoking and inspiring read.
I was so pleased to receive an email from my publisher the other day attaching a review for my children's story and activity resource, Winston the Worried Whale, from the School Library Association Journal.
Reviews are an essential part of ensuring a book gets out into the world and if Winston can help even one or two children talk about and even overcome their worries and anxiety, then I'll be a happy lady.
You can read the review right here and if you think Winston might be able to help a little worrier you know, then you can buy a copy of the book directly from my publisher or on Amazon.
My collection of short stories about canals, countryside, nature, life, friendship and love, are now available for instant download in my little Etsy Shop :-)
My first collection of short stories is now available to buy!
Published under ~ Little Loquat Press ~ the printed-word arm of my family business, this collection explores memories, love, life and emotions...
Take a look here!
Illustrated with beautiful B&W line drawings by the Portuguese artist, Joana Soares, these books are printed by a workers co-operative on recycled paper, using the least environmentally damaging processes possible and powered by a genuine green electricity tariff. This is a truly feel-good printed book and one that I am proud of.
I hope you will stop by and take a look :-)
My short story 'Quiet Space' appears in Canal Boating Times this month and you can read it right here:
First Draught ~ Quiet Space ~ by Alice Griffin
I noted down the first sentence of this story after a blustery walk in the town where I did indeed go to school and spend many of my younger years... and of course, my love of canals and all things narrowboats, is heartfelt.
I hope you will grab a cuppa, take five minutes out and enjoy this short story!
I'm so pleased to have received some wonderful feedback and reviews for my first published children's book, Winston the Worried Whale.
You can read some thoughts from educational publications, teachers, teaching assistants, parents, bookshops and librarians by clicking the link right here.
And don't forget you can buy a signed copy of Winston directly from me via my Etsy shop.
The publication of my first children's book this year brought with it the opportunity to work on other educational resources for teachers, which of course I jumped at.
I was excited to call on my previous studies and experience in the areas of Health & Social Care, Working with Young People and Education to bring together four sets of 'Values for Life' discussion cards and this morning I was even more excited to see my Publishers NEW Catalogue where my new resource appears.
My hope is that these cards will be of real valuable use to those working with Primary school children in the area of Character Education.
I was so happy to pick up a copy of PRIMA Magazine the other day and see my story 'The Walk' in print!
If you're in the UK, do go and take a sneaky peek ;-)
And please watch out for details of my first Short Story Collection, which will be available in January 2016!
My latest article was written for Canal Boating Times and is all about raising children on narrowboats.
I have spent many years living on narrowboats (on and off) and love every minute of it. In particular I actively chose such a lifestyle for my young daughter and feel she has benefited greatly from living on the canal and I can't recommend narrowboat life enough for other families looking for a different way.
I hope you enjoy!
Here you will find links to my latest published writing and news of works-in-progress, as well as Little Loquat & Chatty Monkey happenings.