a photo of danielle windecker, blogger at uncommonpoppy

History, mystery, magic and books… these are the subjects that have shaped my personality and held my interest since I was a young girl, and still do today.

From Dorrie the Little Witch to The Little House on the Prairie; The Spell of the Sorcerer’s Skull to Behind the Attic Wall; The House at Riverton to The Historian; Melmoth to Wakenhyrst… books that focus on the past, the mysterious or the gothic occupy part of my soul.

Of course, no book has captured my heart like The Secret Garden. An avid re-reader and collector of new and old editions, my creative hobbies are inspired by Frances Hodgson Burnett’s famous novel. I even try to wear something floral every day in tribute.

When my nose isn’t in a book, my head is often in the cloud (or the past.) I’m passionate about British and Canadian history, particularly lesser-known stories about families, small villages, old houses and churches. For several years, I lived in Essex, UK, and took enough photos to keep me researching the history of out-of-the-way places, old graves and listed houses for years to come.

In fact, my time in Essex even inspired my pen name, Uncommon Poppy. The Common Poppy is the official flower of Essex; I’m not a true Essex girl (and I’m slightly unusual) so Uncommon Poppy became my Instagram name and the title of this blog.

Books and history have always shaped my daydreams. Long-lost keys to dusty trunks, hidden staircases and old diaries feature in my craving for mysteries and secrets. My most vivid childhood memories include poking around my aunt’s old mansion in historic Shaughnessy and discovering an abandoned cottage (with furnishings still inside) near my grandparents’ farm in Saskatchewan.

Maybe I’m fanciful, a fantasist or an old romantic but I’d love to discover an old letter tucked inside the pages of a library book or solve a mystery from decades past! If you feel similarly, I hope you’ll read this blog and connect with me on Instagram.