This small book (99 pages) is a compilation of articles that originally appeared in Cumbria Magazine. Reading each article is like reading a letter from a friend or family member. These folksy "diary pages" detail the events of daily life in a primitive cottage on a fell.
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Written by Ann Utting, a weaver, the hardships and joys of fell living are clearly and vividly brought to life. Utting describes the difficulties of growing a garden in harsh weather conditions, the heating and plumbing problems in an isolated environment, and the animals that are both a nuisance and a pleasure. Friends and family figure prominently in the stories, as does the author's craft of weaving.
The struggle to survive the harsh environment was not an easy one. As a reader I wondered why the author and her husband "hung in there". If this book has a fault, it is that it is too short-a result of the limitations of a collection of articles. I kept wondering how some of the problems and events mentioned in paragraphs turned out.
The Cottage on the Fell, written as a diary of daily events while living in a felltop cottage, is a book to be read and savoured, an article at a time, over a period of time, just as it happened. Anyone in love with the fells of Cumbria or contemplating living there will find much of interest and enjoyment in this book.
New: The Cottage on the Fell is now sold as a colour illustrated editon on Kindle. To purchase go to The Cottage on the Fell on Kindle or alternatively just search Amazon. The price is £3.08.