The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

The cottage is quite still

Photo: Anemones

Photo: Anemones

It’s ten o’clock and Danny has disappeared to bed. Dr Quito is snoring gently in a basket at my feet. The wood burning stove has at least another hour of life and it’s snug in the kitchen.

Years ago I wouldn’t have dreamt of staying in on a Saturday night. Now I love it. With the prospect of a day off tomorrow I’m going to have an early night too. Not to creep under the covers and snooze though.

I’m deep into the lives of an enclosed order of Benedictine nuns.  In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden was given to me years ago by Seraphina. It has waited in the shelves by the bed until it became the next irresistible read. I’m half way through the book and I can’t put it down. The surface simplicity of the nuns’ way of life is perfectly counterbalanced by the complexity of their personalities and relationships.

Like any inspirational read it has made me reflect on our lives at the cottage and how far we are away from living a truly simple life.

  Leave a reply


  1. Hello Fiona

    I just thought I would let you know how much I am enjoying In this House of Brede. It took me a while to get into it but over the last few days I have been suddenly and totally hooked. I am nearing the end and have just requested China Court as recommended by Gae. It should arrive from Barrow in Furness library in a few days. I’m not sure I would have persevered if it had not been a library book but having renewed it several times already it was a case of read it or return it. I’m so glad I gave it another go.

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hello Pamela

      It took me a while to get into it too. I’m lucky that I take a book with me to work to read during the breaks. Away from home, with no other disractions, I’m forced to read on.

      It’s a great book that I often think about. Thanks so much for leaving a comment.

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