• Alison Cowell


What an exciting few weeks it’s been! Steve and I became grandparents to precious Jessica Mary Margaret born 4 weeks early at a tiny 4lbs 90z. Christopher called at 8pm on a Thursday night, and Steve and I were on the road by 9pm. We drove through the night from Scotland to England and arrived as dawn broke. We met our gorgeous granddaughter later that day and have been smitten ever since. Chris and Jenny have their house on the market (new baby, new house and all that!) and they hadn’t quite completed their ‘to-do’ list of DIY jobs before Jessica made her debut. So, Steve got to work. Oh yes, dear reader, his DIY skills are internationally sought I tell you. He sealed, fixed, made good and even managed to do some gardening before the first viewer arrived the next day!

Welcome Jessica Mary Margaret

As Jenny had to have an emergency c-section, I stayed on to help. Steve drove back to Scotland to pick up the caravan and bring it back to England. His years of driving an HGV on the continent have served him well (what a handy guy he is!). The campsite we stayed at was questionable…..I’ve stayed in better in the outback of Australia….but it was nice to have our little ‘home’ with us. Jessica and Jenny are doing really well. Big brother Jack is being an amazing big brother, and Christopher is already wrapped round his baby girl’s little finger.

Meanwhile things have been progressing in Guthrie. The cottage is taking shape and the kitchen is almost complete (flooring and kickboards and we’re there). I’ll pop some photos up next time when hopefully we can literally close the door on that particular room. Talking of doors, we are knocking through a new doorway from what will be our bedroom into what will be the bathroom. In New Zealand, the houses are made of quite flimsy materials in comparison to an old Scottish cottage. Hence, knocking a wall down takes ten times as long! The mess is twenty times worse.

Steve became immune to my screams in New Zealand. He knew I’d either seen a cockroach, moth or spider, had a shock by a frog appearing from nowhere, or been spooked by an unidentified creature (I’m still trying to forget the time I ran around like a screaming banshee, waving my arms and shaking my head around in panic after I mistook the logo on the inside of my hat for a bug when I caught sight of it when it was on my head). Now back in the UK, it’s been a while since I’ve had occasion to scream. Until last night. In my defence, a small pencil that was behind my ear, that became dislodged when I put my glasses on and rolled down the back of my top…against bare skin …..did rather feel like an uninvited creature. To his credit, Steve was alarmed by my distress and came running. We’ll say no more about the conversation that followed.

Doorway being created! (Steve did have a mask, earmuffs and hard hat on prior to this. I did too, but I was only making the tea!)

As I write this, 4 little deer are wandering across the field in front of me. We used to have deer in the field adjoining our garden in New Zealand, but they were being farmed, so they really had no choice about being there. Seeing these gorgeous animals wild and free in this amazing location is utterly wonderful.

Well, I’d better go. The banging and drilling noises have stopped, which is my cue to pop the kettle on again.


Copyright © 2019 Alison Cowell

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