Who am I?….. Who’s asking?! (Couldn’t resist a little Zen humour)

Happy Place

To describe a human being is a complex task at the best of times, to attempt to describe myself seems an almost impossibility! But I’ll give it my best shot, here goes…

So, my name is Ani Richardson. At the time of writing this I am pregnant for the first time at 39 and attempting to flow with the changes that birthing a new life into the world will bring.

My husband, Chris, and I were unsure if we’d ever parent our own children (having experienced a few emotional, early, miscarriages). We have built a happy, simple, sustainable, beautiful life for ourselves based in both the UK and rural Spain. After my dad had a brainstem stroke in 2013, which left him with locked in syndrome, we decided that it was time to opt-out of ‘normal’ life and live life fully rather than simply existing within it. For us, that meant packing in our day-jobs and taking giant leaps into the unknown.

“Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life” – Mary Oliver (from her poem ‘The Summer Day’)

We bought an old, micro-farm in rural Spain on the Sierra del Carche mountain, in the Murcia region. It’s completely off grid – there’s no mains electricity, no mains gas and no mains water supply. We run on solar power, bottled gas (for water heating) and we have a water deposit to store water that we capture from the rain as well as water deliveries if water runs really low (living off grid has been a really eye-opening experience). In the winter when it gets bitterly cold we have a fabulous wood-burning stove which keeps us warm. On our land we grow olives, which we turn into extra virgin olive oil for personal consumption, almonds (again just enough to sustain ourselves for a year), and various fruits and vegetables. We spend just under 6 months of the year in the Spanish house.

Chris and AniIn the UK we have a little terrace house in South Cambridgeshire and we rent out the two biggest bedrooms to lodgers. This supplies us with an income that sustains our simple Spanish life, whilst also leaving us a UK base so that we can come and go and keep our British residency.

We’re not sure how we’ll navigate parenthood or how things will work out with our dual-country lives. There’s the issue of Brexit, our financial stability and various other factors but one thing is for certain, we don’t want to sacrifice our freedom or happiness! What an adventure!

A little more of the, perhaps boring, background of who I am:

My training (BSc, MSc, postgraduate studies) has mainly been in the area of science, nutrition and psychology. After completing my degree (where I studied a lot of agriculture and conservation) I went on to get a masters degree in nutritional medicine and after that (whilst working as a nutritionist and nutrition writer) I went on to study psychosynthesis and then eating disorders and obesity management.

dog companions
“The three amigos” our wonderful dog companions (Freddy, Moomin, Frank)

In 2013 my book “Love or Diet. Learn to Nurture yourself and release the need to be comforted by food” was published and can still be purchased on Amazon UK or Amazon.com. If I were to re-write the book again today it would be completely different, but that’s evolution for you, I’m still really proud that I wrote it!

I no longer work  in the field of nutrition although it will always remain a personal passion of mine and I can still get rather evangelical about my views on healthy eating!

Eco Conscious Mama has been born out of the desire to carry on being as eco-friendly and conscious (physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally) as possible whilst meandering through mamahood. My aim is to share the ‘whole’ of it, the messy and the joyful. Who knows where the journey will lead?! Let’s leap in wholeheartedly.

olive harvest
Harvesting our olives, November 2017

harvestolive crop