I have a dream of a cottage at the end of a lane with sheep gently lifting their heads in the nearby fields as they keep a watchful eye on their frolicking young. A babbling brook winds its way softly along, encircling the enchanting garden which is filled to abundance with gentle colour and soft floral scent. Sitting under the rose-covered arbor I sit and drink my fresh herbal tea and listen to the soothing sounds of nature all around me….we all need a dream.
Reality is slightly different. My ‘country cottage’ as my boyfriend warmly reminds me is (albeit my own) a mid terrace on a council estate. The rolling fields although not too far are a car journey away, and the babbling brook is a ‘ducks in the rain’ water feature, but its home and I love it and in my mind I’m already living the dream … well almost.
Each morning as I emerge from my quilt to the sound of loud clucking emanating from the garden my feet touch the freshness of the white-painted floorboards as I make my way down to the kitchen, Filling a tin kettle with cold water I put it on the gas and know that I have time to let out my girls who are always up bright and early before I’m summoned back by the sound of whistling and steam rising. I love my hens, I only have two but the taste of a fresh egg is so satisfying and I never tire of the joy of walking back into the house with a warm freshly laid egg cupped in my cold hands. Breakfast is a delight.
My arbor though sadly not rose-covered is a swing seat where I can sit in the sun and drink all kinds of tea while listening to the sound of my babbling water fountain which I bought in memory of my mum. The sound of the water raining on those ducks is a calming background as I sit and spend some time enjoying my latest read, it also seems as though I’m not the only one enjoying the moment.
As winter draws near I look forward to the daily routine of the wood burner. Nothing beats the sight of a pile of freshly cut logs, and the joy of watching your man outside swinging his axe is a bonus sparking memories of ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’, a must read over the coming months. The natural warmth and smell turn a long winters evening into a romantic scene from ‘The Holiday’ as i curl up on the sofa and bask in the coziness. The Hens love nothing better than a good bathe in the cooled wood ash the next day which brings happiness all round.
So you see, I may not live in the perfectly formed ‘chocolate box’ cottage of my dreams but is the outer shell so important? Ok so I would love one day to have my dream become a reality but its the life I lead that brings me happiness. My man might gently tease me as i talk about my ‘cottage life’ but he goes along with it just the same and I think secretly enjoys it too.
They say that Home is where the Heart is, and although in an ideal world life may not be everything I would want, it certainly comes close, and I’m thankful everyday for the warm feeling that surges through me when I walk into my home and I feel like I’ve walked into my heart.
Love Alison x