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Simon Dawson

Simon Dawson is a smallholder and author who lives on Exmoor. Each week, Simon pops in to The Voice for an amusing chat with Hopps about what's been happening on the smallholding this week.

Simon gave up his London career and lifestyle to start a modern 'Good Life' story. From never having been closer to the countryside than a brush with a bucket of cut flowers on a garage forecourt, Simon has climbed the very steep learning curve of how keep and nurture animals and make the smallholding a success.

Along the way, Simon has authored books telling the tales of what he's learnt (and how he's learnt it) in a funny and amusing way. His latest book, The Sty's The Limit, is due to be launched at Waterstones in Barnstaple this evening (18/06/2015).

You can hear Simon's chats on The Voice each Thursday morning at around 10:15


The Sty's the Limit: When Middle Age Gets Mucky (Hardback) Following a drunken misunderstanding Simon Dawson gave up his job in the city, moved to the wilds of Exmoor and became an accidental self-sufficient smallholder with an array of animals. But that was years ago now. Following up on his first book, PIGS IN CLOVER, this is the story of what happens when he suddenly realises that his life is changing all over again. He's not quite the spring chicken that he used to be: he is, horror of horrors, getting older.

With a cast of best friends (some more helpful than others) including Ziggy, a panicked soon-to-be father desperate to grow up, Garth, an annoying teenager, and a rather handsome pig called The General, a plan is hatched to help each other mature (or immature). Heartfelt discoveries and hilarious endeavours ensue as they work through their age-related angsts, all with a fair dose of pigs, chickens, lambs and animal madness along the way. This is Exmoor's uplifting laugh-out-loud antidote to middle age in the mud; a place where you truly realise that the sty's the limit!
The Sty's the Limit: When Middle Age Gets Mucky (Paperback)
The Sty's the Limit: When Middle Age Gets Mucky (Kindle)


Pigs in Clover: Or How I Accidentally Fell in Love with the Good Life (Paperback) This is the true story of a Londoner who gives up his job as an estate agent in the city, moves to the wilds of Exmoor, starts a smallholding and becomes self-sufficient, with a few bumps along the way. Simon's journey from urbanite to self-sufficient smallholder is brimming with incidents - some funny and some tragic - leading him to question Mother Nature, himself, the food he eats, and his role in it all. Which makes the transition from city life to self-sufficient smallholder slow, emotional and, for him, often confusing, but it is also beautiful, warming and laugh-out-loud funny.

So if you would like to spend time with an accidental smallholder who completely changed one drunken night in Devon, then join Simon, his wife and their extended family as they learn the truth of what it takes to live a self-sufficient life, before eventually becoming as happy as the proverbial pigs in clover.
Pigs in Clover: Or How I Accidentally Fell in Love with the Good Life (Kindle)


The Self-Sufficiency Bible (Paperback) In today s economic climate, self-sufficiency is increasingly seen as a viable means of taking control of our lives and safeguarding for the future this is the book that will help every householder do just that. Each of the twelve chapters focuses on key topics for living a more self-sustainable life, with practical information and expert guidance that will make the subject come alive for everyone, whatever their needs, circumstances and resources. This means that the gardening chapter, for example, is appropriate both for people with an urban back yard or a more substantial plot of land.

WLively, fun and full of energy, this book covers just about everything it's possible to do in a normal home environment, from growing vegetables to raising livestock. Whether you live in a city or a country village, whether you have modest garden or rolling fields, The Self-Sufficiency Bible will inspire you to say 'I can do that!'
The Self-Sufficiency Bible: From Window Boxes to Smallholdings - Hundreds of Ways to Become Self-Sufficient (Kindle)


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