My book is beautiful, and it is no thanks to me…

Book cover

Let’s get one thing straight… I don’t really ‘do’ aesthetically pleasing. My life is a little messy and random and most certainly does not look like it stepped out of the pages of a magazine. The food I cook tastes great, but if I presented it on Masterchef may be greeted by this comment; “It looks like a cat accidentally ate some chickpeas and has regurgitated them onto a bed of brown rice.”

In writing my book, I wanted to reflect the reality of messy parenthood combined with the aspiration to be green – which by its nature is sometimes about choosing the second-hand and the love worn over the sparkly new and bang up-to-date trendy alternative. I think I’ve achieved that ethos in the writing of the book, but what about the photos?

No one wants to see my unmade bed, even if it is organic cotton, and no one wants to see the slight stain on my top because I love it too much to chuck it away. A certain loveliness was required!

Luckily, my good friend and photographer, Phil Barnes, is very talented at making things look great. He was able to take the pile of knitted garments I wanted in the book and photo them just so, in gorgeous light, so they look brilliant. He has an eye for detail and composition that turns an everyday scene into something beautiful.


In the photos, I took the liberty of wiping snot slugs off my children’s faces, but their clothes (and mine) are our usual assortment of second-hand and handed on items. The wonderful thing about taking photos in the countryside is that everyone looks relaxed and well, and the background is naturally beautiful, without me needing to primp or preen it at all.


Next, the designers made it all fit together well, making sure that it is colourful and never too text heavy or boring looking.

So I am proud to say, that my book will be beautiful and that is thanks to Phil Barnes, the design team at Green Books and of course the Norfolk countryside.

All photos in this post are by Phil Barnes, who is available for family portrait photos, outdoors or in, and weddings across Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and beyond.

My book is available from the 8th October 2015 (still feels so far away!)