November 15, 2022

Autumn, Squirrels and New Beginnings

By Charlotte Evans
Autumn, Squirrels and New Beginnings

I had a fine plan to begin this journal with some stuff about autumn’s arrival - the bright blue sky and crunchy leaves under foot - but it’s now late November and autumn has not only arrived but is well established and will soon be giving way to winter. And so the journal begins in my usual disorganised style - for nearly twenty years now I’ve been hopeless at timely marketing for Cottontails.... but at least I’m staying true to form!

So, let's try again. Autumn is well underway! 

My favourite season - personally I love the dark nights, the colours, the move towards staying in and staying cosy. And I have always felt it is a season of new beginnings - probably something to do with childhood memories of a new school year, fresh notebooks and a new pencil case? There is hope in autumn 

And so it is a good time to trying something new at Cottontails. Well - maybe not new exactly, but to bring some fresh enthusiasm, effort and time to this wonderful little toy shop. 

There’s no getting away from the fact it has been a bit neglected over the past few years. I’ve been pretty busy with my other job as a yoga teacher - but feel the time has come to once again pour some energy into Cottontails. I feel excited, optimistic and hopeful... I might even buy a new pencil case. 

Honestly, I am unsure if I can make it into the success it was ten, fifteen years ago - things are so different now and I have a lot of catching up to do. But the very fact I want to try and have made a plan is huge for me. I truly believe in the value of intention.

This journal is part of the new beginning. It reminds me of the blog I used to write many years ago - and feels like a nice foil to the ever changing and instant world of Instagram. Although I’ll be doing that too of course. I am also going to have a crack at TikTok. (Full disclosure - I don’t even know what it is other than short films I’ve always thought might be a bit pointless - but I’ll dive in a give it a try.)

It’s probably important to make sure two things get mentioned in every journal entry - Ralph and at least one toy. Ralph because he is bloody wonderful and my inspiration, and a toy or two because, well, this is supposed to be a marketing exercise so I’d better at least make the effort. 

Ralph is well. He is very much part of the Cottontails revival. I bring him over the the garden office with me most days and he seems happy here. I carry him over in my arms - he tucks his head into the crook of my elbow - then place down in the office and he immediately starts exploring. And - problematically - looking for things to nibble. There is training to be done. But after about twenty minutes of hopping around he settles down under the packing table and watches me work. We have a nice routine.

And so to a toy. I think this week I am going to showcase - squirrelsl! (Because we have so many here in the garden at the moment, all dashing around gathering nuts and acorns for the winter...)

So here are Harry the Squirrel from one of this year's new collections from Moulin Roty. Isn't he fabulous. And a little wooden squirrel from TenderLeaf toys.

But truth is they don't look a whole lot like the little fellas running around in my garden though - so here's a page from the Ladybird Book of British Wild Animal.  "The Grey Squirrel looks very pretty as it scampers around....".


And now it's time for me to return to polishing the new website - and Ralph to continue his snooze beneath the packing table. 

Here's to a fresh start and new pencil case! 




'what is it with all these squirrels?'