Peacock in the Peaks.

Don’t you just love those unexpected moments in life when something, well, totally unexpected happens?  This morning was one of those moments.  Having just watched a buzzard swooping and gliding through the sky and loving the new experience, a loud hooting was heard coming from the garden so off I dashed camera in hand.


I was in for a complete surprise when I saw this rather majestic lad standing proudly on our garden wall.  I was even more surprised at the thought that peacocks roamed wild in the Peaks, but of course they don’t and I was soon put right on that train of thought but excited none the less at the unexpected photo session standing before me.


Maybe one of my four children had sent it for a quirky Mothers day surprise, but no,  later we were to find out that it belonged to a local farmer who was quite shocked that it had made its way to us.  I assured him however that it was more than welcome to visit again.


Of course, I was hoping that we might get a glimpse of that beautiful tail, but I think a female would have been needed as it is usually for her benefit that he shows off his full glory.


It was just one of those special little moments in life that brings a bit of unexpected excitement and joy into the day ahead and of course I was a little sad when the time came to say goodbye.


Do come again!


Love Alison x




Happiness is like a Butterfly.


Happiness is like a butterfly.

The more you chase it, the more it will elude you.


But if you turn your attention to other things,


It will come and sit softly on your shoulder.


‘Henry David Thoreau’




Love Alison.





Three weeks in the Peaks.

Driving up a steep hill which takes me away from the city and towns after a short family break, I am brought face to face with the raw reality of country living.  A large bird swoops down in front of me as it skillfully catches its prey, then with its mission successfully accomplished flys off into the distant hills.  I’m not sure what the bird was and not wanting to cause a pile-up on the road I was unable to get a photo, but it was a moment that made me realize the dramatic contrast between city and country living.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bird of prey in action before, and I’m sure it won’t be the last time as I begin to adjust to life in the countryside.


We arrived in sunshine but it wasn’t long before the heavens opened and the rain came down, and down, and the wind began to howl.  It reminded me of a song sung many years ago in Sunday School  “The rains came down and the floods went up but the house on the rock stood firm”.  I have been thankful to be tucked up in a safe warm cottage that has stood the test of time, and just enjoy the noises around me, whilst hoping that the previous owner was being honest when she said that flooding was not a problem.  It was a little worrying as the nearby brook quickly turned into a fast flowing river and the puddles in the fields behind our house began happily getting deeper, but thankfully we have remained cozy and dry.


I am enjoying getting to know the locals and although we don’t speak the same language I think we are going to enjoy each others company very much.




It is already evident that some of these feathered friends keep to a regular daily routine and each morning as I’m sat having breakfast a couple of pheasants wander past on their morning walk to wherever pheasants go.

I should be unpacking but it’s very hard to stop myself from grabbing my camera and snapping away when there is so much going on outside my window.



I love opening the blinds in the morning and wondering what I will see and am hoping that one day soon I might open the blinds and find a field of lambs looking back at me.  It would certainly be more pleasant than the bird swooping down to claim its dinner but I guess we all have to learn to take the rough with the smooth, and I think I’m ok with that.

It is after all, one very special place to be, and I am one lucky country girl.


Love Alison x










A Valentines to remember.

I’ve been longing to get the time to write this post.  You may remember that when I first started my blog I wrote a post entitled Cottage life.  Looking back at that post, I am in total disbelief about the changes that have happened in my life since that day, as sitting on my swing seat in my garden I tentatively stepped my toes into the blogging waters and put my heart into words.

On Valentine’s day, having spent a lot of time packing over the last few weeks and months, I woke early, excited and full of expectation for the day ahead.  Handing the removal men the key so they could lock the door for me on the past 12 years of my life, I stepped into ‘Daisy’, my blue VW Beetle which was bursting to the bumpers with more of my treasures, hidden from Mark (who seemed determined to skip as much as possible). Then with Jess in the front, and my two hens in a box on the back seat I started the engine and began to drive.


I’m not a confident driver who can jump in and go anywhere, and over my years as a single mum my driving has suffered due to stress and anxiety, but I knew where I was going.  I had learned the route as we had spent time looking around the area, and knowing what lay beyond my fears was enough to send me happily on my way.


Along with valentines day this year holding so much joy and expectation,  I also climbed a personal mountain as I made my way to our new home.

Talking of mountains I am now to my total amazement completely and utterly nestled in the Peak District of Derbyshire.  Or to put it another way, I feel like I just became a leading role in the film  ‘The Holiday’,  Kate Winslet you have been sidelined for sure! and as for Cameron Diaz well my little beetle ‘Daisy’ definitely beats the little mini she was navigating at high speed through those country roads.

As well as feeling that I am living ‘In a movie’ I also have the feeling that I have been painted straight onto an artists canvas.  As I’m writing this post I am surrounded by beauty wherever I look.  My ‘babbling brook’ fountain from my post Cottage life. has morphed into a real babbling brook just feet away from where I am sitting.  Pheasants have replaced the pigeons, and we are awoken in the morning by the sound of a woodpecker pecking away on the bird box with the intention I think of attracting another passing woodpecker as a possible mate.  Well, it has just been Valentine’s day after all.


Our cottage was built in the 17th century and along with being used as a wheelwright’s, it was also for many years used as a hut where girl guides would meet and we have a stone above the back door to remind us of this.


Thankfully the previous owner has lovingly modernized our new home, and the ladder that the girl guides used when they camped in the loft, over the barn which is now our lounge, has been replaced with a little staircase, making life a lot easier for us when we head for sleep.  I’m quite sure that there was a lot of girl guide laughter and merriment as they climbed that ladder to bed in years gone by.

Living in a home enshrouded in history is a first for me and makes it even more special.  The house is a wonderful mix of old and new, cottage and modern.  Which is ideal as I’m a cottage girl but Mark is a modern guy, so it blended perfectly.  I am also sneaking in all those items saved from near death, and gradually finding homes for them.  I’m hoping he won’t notice!

The Peak District National Park is an area of great diversity,  it is split between the dark peak where most of the moorland is found and the geology is gritstone, and the limestone area of the White Peak’.  Until recently I had really never spent much time here but all I can say is that I wish I had, as it is a place of amazing beauty, stunning breathtaking scenery, and the sights and sounds of the countryside are filling my heart and lungs with something new, something that I think I have needed for a long time.

Moving home is known to be stressful and it has certainly been teetering that way,  but as the mountain of boxes is reducing and the tension of the last few weeks is beginning to ease, those feelings I hope will be replaced with an appreciation of how very fortunate we are to find ourselves in such an amazing place.

I feel like I have a ‘world outside my window’  just waiting to be captured and I’m sure my blogs will take on a new lease of life over the coming weeks and months.

I am one lucky valentines girl for sure.



Love Alison x
















‘What are we human beings without hope’?    (The Moon Sister by Lucinda Reilly)


I have always loved this poem by Emily Dickinson.  I don’t know when I first read it but it comes into my mind so often at times of difficulty, and I know it inspired me when writing my own ‘hopeful poetry’.  I keep asking Santa or the birthday fairy for a book of her poems, as yet it’s not arrived, but I will keep ‘Hoping’!

My week seems to have been full of reminders of hope.  I was walking Jess around the park the other day, there was a cold bite to the air and the sun was shimmering and dancing through the trees, it was a perfect English winter morning,  bright, fresh and crisp.  The weather on its own would have been enough to lift my spirits had they needed lifting, but what was unexpected was the overwhelming sense of hope that filled my heart, as I came across these daffodils, snowdrops and crocuses working their way into the world.

Although they are out rather early and sadly may not live through any extremes of winter weather still to come, I was still amazed at the strong feelings they aroused within me.  The hope of new life, of change, of a future yet to be.  I carried that feeling with me all week and couldn’t help but turn it into a blog post.

The Snowdrop is, of course, a real symbol of Hope.  It’s usually the first flower we see as we head towards spring and is always a reminder that the winter will end and our lives will be filled once again with a new warmth.  Here is my Snowdrop poem.


                                  As dark days of Winter, begin to abate

                                    And the face of hope is not far away

                                    First signs of Spring, begin to show

                                    Small white heads, above the snow.

                               Reminding the heart, that dark times fade

                                 And sadness for laughter, we can trade

                                 As nature performs, a wonderful thing

                         The changing of seasons, from Winter to Spring.


The British troops fighting in the Crimean war christened the Snowdrop the ‘Flower of Consolation’.  The bare earth became alive with flowers and their flagging spirits were so revived that they dug them up and brought them home to plant in their gardens.

Hope is something that no one can take away from us.  As a verb, it can mean to  “expect with confidence”  or  “to cherish a desire with anticipation.”   I love the word  ‘cherished’  it makes me feel all wrapped up and cozy and what could be better than to live our lives wrapped in hope.  To live in a positive manner hoping for the best possible outcome in all that life throws our way.

I cannot imagine how those soldiers would have felt, yet even in the depths of despair and devastation, they found hope.


I’ll leave you with another of my poems and a quote which I read today.

Hope. By Alison Fielding




Keep the hope!



Love Alison x






Autumn’s​ finale.

On opening my front door this morning,

I saw the beauty of autumn calling,

jewels from heaven falling down to earth,

the season heralding the saviours birth.


As bronze tipped gold and copper snow,

softly carpets the ground below,

I wonder by chance if the wise men three,

would give a gift of golden leaves,

for a baby king to lay his head,

an autumnal quilt for the royal bed.


Soon we will leave this season of colour

and open our doors to a season of wonder.

Where children’s eyes are filled with dreams,

of Santa’s sleigh and nativity wings,

and  autumn will be but a memory once more,

and the scene will be new

when I open my door.






Love Alison x











Autumns song

Driving a familiar route

I turn off the radio,

and tune into Autumns voice.

She’s singing a colourful melody

and notes of pumpkin, orange and lime

infuse the air.

Her jewel laden arms wave at me,

and I smile back

  as once again,

  asking nothing of me,

     she performs her most beautiful song



Love Alison x