Bird table Babies.

There is nothing sweeter than watching a mother bird feeding its fledgling.  I could so easily have missed these moments as both the blue tit and goldfinch babies came down to the bird table for the first time, but I’m so glad I didn’t.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.



“Hey Mum, where did you go, I’m still hungry!”


“Don’t worry Sis, Mum will be back soon!”


” Hey, where are you going?”.     “Stay there, I’ll go find her.”


“Weeeeeee, this is fun, I’m a tight rope walker.


“Gosh being a mum is not all its cut out to be, this is hard work”.  “Kids, who’d have em”


“Guess we will just have to sit and wait, this is BORING!”


A new family on the block.


“Ooooer, this washing line thingy is wobbly!”


“That’s Better”,  I’m on top of the world.


“Shes got to be out there somewhere bro”


Hey you, I’ve got enough mouths to feed, find your own.


“Let’s stick together”


Or maybe keep out the way for a minute.


“Growing up is tough”

I hope you enjoyed the visit to my bird table.  Blue tits and Goldfinches are so lovely to watch.




Love Alison x
















Peak District nighttime production

I hope the feeling of anticipation I have as I climb the stairs to our cottage loft room at night is one I will never loose.  It’s not as you may have thought the ‘anticipation of passion’, although the Lord of the Manor has just had a restyle with a hint of  ‘George Clooney’ about him.  No, it is the anticipation of laying in bed and listening to the sounds of the Peak District nighttime choir that has me running eagerly up those stairs (sorry Mark), and oh what a glorious ensemble it is.

With no traffic noise to contend with, apart from the odd late night tractor trundling its way home, the vast skies become a stage for one of Mother Natures unbeatable performances, as the sound of birdsong fills the air.  I have never heard anything so uplifting, yet relaxing, so cacophonous yet utterly melodious.  Birdsong is known to be physically relaxing but also cognitively stimulating, relaxing us at night and a great natural alarm clock in the morning.


I’ve yet to learn how to distinguish between the different sounds and be able to put a bird to its song, but the one I absolutely love and wait for which tends to be heard as the others are settling down for the night is the Owl.  I don’t know if I have ever heard one at such close quarters but I am totally transfixed by the sound as it carries across the night sky.  “Twit twoo”  was the only description of an owls voice in my mind, gleaned from childhood stories, however listening to the real thing “Twit twoo”  seems a little lacking in its description of such a dominant, haunting sound which commands the landscape as it travels for miles around.  It’s more like “Hellooooooo ….. is anyone out there?”  “Hellooooooo ….. can anyone hear me?  I lay and listen to the pattern and count the beats between the two hoots, Mr owls perfect musical timing fascinates me.


A few weeks ago someone asked me why we would want to move here.  My answer to that would be that it is worth being here just for the joy of listening to those birds, and I hope I never lose the feeling I have as I climb those stairs and listen in wonder to the Peak District Nighttime Choir.



Love Alison x













Wild beauty in the Peaks.

It’s been raining … A LOT!!  Not just in the Peak District but in Derbyshire and England in general.  I’m sure we are all longing to feel the warmth of the sun on our faces, and the general feeling of well being that a warm sunny day brings.  Hopefully, better weather is ahead, but I guess if it wasn’t for the good old English rain then we wouldn’t have the luscious greens of the trees and fields, and the vibrant colors of the wildflowers in the meadows.  I have never seen dandelions look so pretty as they pepper the Peaks.


I’m now in my third month living in the Peak District and I am struck by how much more beautiful, and colorful the flowers seem.  Maybe it’s just that I have more time to enjoy them as time seems slower here, or maybe its because it rains a lot more!  Whatever the reason our wildflowers are extremely pretty and well worth sharing.


Nothing beats a drive down a winding country lane, banks laden with all sorts of  ‘wild beauty’.


And for a closer look!


I love Bluebells.  They hold so many memories for many of us I’m sure.  Did you have a Bluebell wood in your childhood?  I can remember searching for a white one but rarely finding one.

Turning another corner and something edible ….Wild Garlic!  I only discovered this last year but the leaves are delicious made into a pesto with pine nuts and parmesan.  In fact, my tea tonight is spaghetti with wild garlic pesto …. Yummy.



Down another winding lane,


More wild beauty quietly waiting.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little journey down a Peak District country lane, It’s amazing what is right before our eyes if we just stop a while and take the time to look a little closer.


and now home….

Love Alison x
















Primroses in the Peaks.

I was short on ideas for my blog this weekend until yesterday when I found myself walking along the banks of a stream that runs along the field at the back of our cottage.


There they were ‘Primroses’, and there was I, back on the banks of the Old East Grinstead Railway that ran along the end of my childhood home. My mind was suddenly awash with memories and a real sense of joy, all evoked by a simple yet delicate little yellow flower.


Do you have anything like primroses that when sighted brings you a sense of pleasure as they whisk you back to your Childhood days? A friend was telling me the other day that Gorse bushes always make him happy as they remind him of his younger days, he always has to stop and smell them and get a waft of that coconutty, vanilla smell.  I’ve been walking around smelling gorse ever since as we are surrounded by it, and it definitely has a very pleasant aroma. Folklore says ‘you should only kiss your beloved when gorse is in flower’, luckily gorse or a close relative I’m told, tends to be in flower pretty much all year so don’t worry, kissing can continue. Phew!!


Those primroses gave me a real spark of pleasure as they reminded me of days spent in shorts and wellies, scrambling or often slipping down one bank, across the old disused railway line, and up the bank on the other side. I can remember a time when those banks were completely covered in a pretty yellow carpet, but I can also remember them disappearing as people began to dig them up and plant them in their gardens. At least that is what I remember being told. I have many memories of picking small bunches and taking them back home to my mum, although by the time I had slipped down one bank and crawled up the other I doubt the primroses looked quite so attractive but the thought was there.


In the old Victorian ‘Language of flowers’. the primrose symbolized ‘Young Love’ and the sense of ‘I can’t live without you’ but somehow as we get older we realize that life does go on even without those who we have held dear, and maybe that’s why primrose moments however fleeting are so special as they remind us for just a brief moment of those we have loved and lost, and help us to realize that we have moved forward and are remembering them with happiness rather than sadness.


I couldn’t help but pick just a very small bunch of these pretty yellow flowers, just to keep those happy memories around for a while, and although much more grown up now I doubt you will be surprised that I was still in my shorts and wellies.


Wishing everyone a happy and blessed Easter Weekend.



Love Alison x






Lambs in the Peaks.

The days are getting lighter and longer, and row upon row of daffodils, like long-legged ladies in bonnets are swaying from side to side in the easterly wind.


However,  nothing says ‘Spring is coming’ more to me than the arrival of adorable fluffy white lambs in the fields.  I’ve always got my camera at the ready at this time of year and normally a visit to a special countryside friend is needed.  This year however I am lucky to be surrounded by lambs in the fields of the Peak District and can’t help but stop as I see them gamboling and skipping innocently across the countryside.

Oops no gamboling or skipping here just lambs sleeping like babies in the midday sun.


There is something about a mothers love whatever the species, the word unconditional ‘springs’ to mind’ as I watched this little guy pushing the limits while his mum just continued to munch away.


Love is patient!


Making friends is fun.  Some of our strongest friendships are the ones we make when we are young.


And it’s always good to spend time with a special friend, one to one.


Nothing is better than when one of your children wanders up to you and says ‘I love you mum’


After a long day gamboling and skipping and sleeping!  It’s time to follow mum, stay close.


Stick together.


Don’t get left behind!!


Gratitude at the end of a long day.




Love Alison











Chickens at the windows

I have always enjoyed keeping a couple of hens, they make even a small garden a much more interesting place, and these two girls, (originally three until Mr. Fox did his worst) have kept me very amused and entertained over the last few years.   Now, having been brought up in a small city garden, they think they are in Chicken Heaven and are looking healthier than ever.


Sadly we don’t own the land around our Peak District home, and the girls may well be on borrowed time as they enjoy their free-range life,  but for now both they and I are enjoying their new-found freedom, and washing the dishes is much more fun with a little feathered face staring back at me through the window.


I would even go as far as to say that  ‘Happiness is a Hen pecking at the kitchen window’ but I’m afraid that isn’t going down to well with the ‘lord of the manor’, so go carefully, girls.  We don’t want Chicken pie on the menu now, do we?

There are windows everywhere filling the cottage with light, so I get to keep a good eye on the girls as they peck about their day.  I’m quite sure that they are delighting on feasting and foraging on all the various new flavors,  found in an open field.


If you are contemplating the idea of keeping a few chickens I would say  ‘GO FOR IT’.  They are easy to keep, highly entertaining and the taste of a freshly laid egg every day, well nothing beats it.


Hi girls,  that’s it,  keep me amused but NO PECKING! or there will trouble ahead.


Happy Sunday everyone



Love Alison x