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WELCOME TO MY WEBSITE!

It’s great to have you here – do pause in your busy day and have a look around.  My blog will give you breaking news from the hen run, the sheep field and the neighbours (not necessarily in that order).  You may like to have a quick read of one of my ‘Tales from a Stone Cottage’ by kind permission of Country Living magazine.

My book of the collected ‘Tales from a Stone Cottage’, illustrated by Celia Witchard, has now been published by Quiller Publishing and can be ordered here.  I’ve also had ‘Really Rural’ published by David & Charles and have written articles and contributions for the following publications:

  • Cotswold Life
  • Country Living
  • Daily Telegraph
  • The Field
  • Reader’s Digest
  • Stalking
  • Sunday Times
  • Wessex Journal
  • Western Equestrian Society News
  • Wiltshire Life

I have also appeared on GWR FM and BBC Radio WiItshire.

If you’d like to read my take on the rural housing scene published in the Sunday Times under the heading ‘Let sleepy villages lie’ (and you have a Times online subscription), click here.  If you’d like a short burst of travel writing, concerning an encounter with a camel called Abdul, click here.  I have answered 20 questions for the allaboutyou.co.uk bookshop here, and on Twitter I am @alywilks.

Hope you enjoy it.

Author photo © John Lawrence (www.johnlawrence.org.uk)

45 thoughts on “Home

  1. Your brilliant! An elderly friend is a subscriber to Country Living and I just happened to be reading ‘Tale from a Stone Cottage’ one day, and have read every one since! Hysterical, but at the same time, just lovely!

    • Dear Joey, lovely to hear from you and I’m so glad you like the column (and found it funny – better and better!) Do read my blog, and do bear in mind that I’m just putting finishing touches to ‘Tales from a Stone Cottage’ which is the book of all the columns I wrote for Country Living. And all Celia’s lovely pictures as well. Best wishes, Aly

        • That’s great news! Now I just have to make sure that it’s a really nice book and worth your money. Just been finalising the cover, and I must say (unbiased!!) that I like it. Best wishes, Aly

  2. Really sad to read you were leaving Country Living, but over the moon to find your blog, will still be able to enjoy your Tales of country life.

    • Dear Debs, Great that you have found my blog and my website, lovely to have you here. I’m busily putting the finishing touches to ‘Tales from a Stone Cottage’ – the book – and my blog and then (yay!) it will be time to start a new column and write a book. Meantime it’s great to have company here. Best wishes, Aly

  3. Mum and I look forward to your article every month and were so dissapointed when we read in February’s addition of Country Living that it was your last one, but we will be following you here instead! Keep us laughing!

    • Dear Katie, so glad that your mum and you enjoy the column. It’s been a pleasure to write, and the village life I write about is still happening all around me and is still very, very funny. It’ll be great to have your company here. Best wishes, Aly

    • Dear Carol, delighted to make you smile. The nice thing is that every day I find something that makes me smile and I really like to share it with other people. It’s what you’d call a win-win! Best wishes, Aly

  4. wassorry to read the end of your colum in country living,but glad to find you on your web site.let me know of future colums as i love your work.please tell your illustrator that i loved her illustratios in your colunni hope to keep in touch with you. fondly your fan from the colonies in the usa doris hibel

    • Dear Doris, thank you so much for your lovely comments. Celia is thrilled that you enjoy her pictures too. It’ll be great to have your company when I write my blog. Best wishes, Aly

  5. Impossible to exaggerate how sad we are that you have parted company with CL -”Stone Cottage” has always been our first read in the magazine. We live in a village which has now rather outgrown itself, but we do still have at its core a cast of characters very similar to yours, and making a monthly comparison has always been great fun.

    Thank you so much for 4+ years of entertainment and amusement. Life without our monthly chuckle really won’t be the same, but there is just a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel – your book is due out in October and I have a birthday in November. 9 months away I know, but guess what’s already at the top of the present list!

    • Dear Roger, that is absolutely lovely to read, in every possible way! So glad that you enjoyed my column, delighted that you may get presented with The Book one of these days and very pleased to have your company on my website. Village life still goes on, still makes me chuckle (and sometimes roll about), and it’ll all go in the blog for the moment. Best wishes, Aly

  6. Dear Aly I was settling in on my Holidays with a few Country Livings downloaded to my PC when I couldn’t find your Column ahhh I was devastated as yours is the first one I read so I backtracked and found your Last one in February what a shame you kept me entertained for Years over here in Australia but luckily I found your Blog and once again look forward to reading about your entertaining life in the Village.
    Cheers from Jacki In Oz :)

  7. Hello Aly,I too have read Tales From a Stone Cottage from the very begining,making me laugh out loud on lots of occasions,I’m so glad that we can still follow you(not in a stalkerish way, you understand)!! Looking forward to your book and reading your blog
    Best Wishes
    Sue

    • Hi Sue, great to hear I made you laugh, which is always my aim. Nice thing is that the village is still happening and it’s still v funny. Just seen Frank biking carefully down our tiny lane on a small girl’s bright pink bike. Now, why? Must find out. Best wishes, Aly

  8. Hi Ali,
    I too was sad to read that you were leaving Country Living , but great news about the blog and your book.I will definately be buying it . I can keep up with your news about your co-villagers which I’m sure all of us recognise in the people around us ! Keep on blogging ! Lol Libby x

    • Hi Libby, great to know that you’re here even if you can’t read my article in CL any more. I’m writing about exactly the same people in my blog and you’re quite right, I bet you’ve got a Mr Addington in your village, and a Frank. And if there’s any flower arranging involved, there will always be an Audrey! Best wishes, Aly

      • I laughed at there being an Audrey who does the flowers because my cousin Audrey who lives in Simacourbe,S.W.France helps with the church flowers !!! I must tell her…..My husband David and I are moving to France in the near future so I’ll be on the look-out for the French versions of your neighbours….watch this space !!!
        Lol Libby. xxx

        • How exciting about moving to France. Good luck with that, and it will be deeply interesting to know whether English rural types can also pop up in the French countryside. I can imagine an Audrey, not sure if I can imagine a Frank! Best wishes, Aly

  9. The lastest issue of Country Living has finally arrived at my home in the foothills of the Chugach Mountain Range in Alaska. I was saddened to see your column was your last, but exited to find your website!!!!

    C.J.

    • Dear CJ, fab to think of you reading this in the foothills of the Chugach Mountain Range, sounds so much more exciting than the foothills of the Cotswolds. Bet it’s a touch colder in Alaska too, here we just have mud to put up with. Great to have your company on the website, and I hope you’ll enjoy the blog. Also, I’m just putting the finishing touches to the Book – yay! Best wishes, Aly

  10. Love your stories and look forward to your book . We live in a community not unlike your own but without the accent . Things in New Brunswick have to be humorous otherwise we’d go mad with frustration at the vagaries of life here . I , like so many others , have often dreamed of writing their stories . Perhaps some day . Lots of luck ;
    Dorian.

    • Dear Dorian, great to hear from you. Yes, I’m sure that the same sort of things happen (with different accents!) the world over. It’s just lovely that people enjoy funny rural stuff wherever they are. I love it, myself. Hope the weather in New Brunswick is nicer than it is here (sleet). Best wishes, Aly

  11. Aly we live many thousands of miles from your stone cottage in a medium sized rural town(Bathurst Australia)but each month my husband buys a copy of country living and I sit and read and laugh a lot about your great tales from a stone cottage,I can see in my mind all the caracters ,the illistrations have helped.I belong to the Country women’s association ,similar to the WI and see many of those caracters in some of our memebrs.
    I am so glad you have published a book as I don;t think I could do with our the laughs I get from your wonderful writting.
    Please keep them coming!

    • Dear Sheena, lovely to hear from you in Bathurst – I’ve visited Bathurst when we lived in Oz some years ago (and LOVED it!) – I’m so glad you enjoyed the column. Best wishes, Aly

  12. Country Living just isn’t the same, but having discovered your blog am happy again (easily pleased!)
    Did you really want a flapjack recipe? Have one that has never let me down, can rustle them up in about half an hour – good job as they fly out of the tin almost as fast as I can fill it. Never been much good at brownies though… Will gladly share recipe if you’d like it.

    • Hi Sue, if you’ve got a good flapjack recipe I would be just so pleased! Do share! I’ve got a pretty good brownie recipe, but somehow flapjacks elude me. And my son’s adore them (though not in breezeblock or crumb form). Looking forward v much to hearing from you! Best wishes, Aly (delighted you’ve discovered my blog!)

  13. Hi Aly, here’s the flapjack recipe (given to me in oz):
    8oz marg; 6oz sugar; 1 tbs golden syrup; 13oz oats; pinch salt
    Melt marg, add sugar and syrup.
    Off heat, add oats and salt.
    Put into greased 11″ x 7″ tin.
    Cook for 15-20 mins @ 180C (until edges have gone a bit darker)
    Cut into pieces when it comes out of the oven, but leave in tin until cool.
    I hope this works for you – my children love it. Be warned though – so does the dog. She follows the tin and quickly makes friends with the person who has the biggest piece!
    Good luck – just off to make some more myself!
    Sue

  14. Hi Aly – living in Brisbane, Australia means that my mum and I are always a month or two behind on our Country Living reading. We were feeling bereft at the thought of opening the latest issue and no longer finding your column. Thankfully, your website means that we will still be able to catch up on all your news. We hope that your family (two and four-legged) and neighbours are all well and look forward to sharing our sometimes strange, sub-tropical, unique Australian perspectives with you. Happy Easter wishes from Marisa and Brendan Farthing, Jim and Sonja Zentveld, Alfred the dachshund and Money Penny the chicken (yes, she has lovely flame-red feathers and a temperament to match!)

    • Hi Marisa, lovely to hear from you. I lived in Oz for a couple of years, and just love to hear from people living there. Do stay in touch through the website, and I write frequently about the home team of chickens (we’ve got a hot tempered red head too!) Happy Easter, best wishes, Aly x

  15. Loved following your writings in CL magazine, as it was always one of the first things I read and gave me a good chuckle for the day. I was very disappointed the first time I scoured the magazine and didn’t find Tales from a Stone Cottage there. Glad to have found your blog here. Good luck with your writing. Janne in Norway.

    • Hi Janne, lovely to have you along. Book will be along in mid-August, and I write my blog most days so I do hope you will enjoy that. Best wishes, Aly

  16. Just read your article in December’s Country Living. I’ve so missed your column in the magazine. I’m so pleased to have found your blog and can carry on reading your tales.

  17. So pleased to have found your blog Aly! It was great to find you back in the December Country Living. I have both of your excellent books. As a country dweller myself ( Snowdonia these days but born in South Warwickshire) I can identify with village life!!

    • Dear Anthony, it’s great to have you on board. The Dec Country Living was a once off, but my blog goes on and on and on and on! Best wishes, Aly

  18. Hi, Aly ~
    I’ve missed reading your column in Country Living and have finally gotten around to finding your blog and putting it as a ‘favorite’ so I can access it at any time. Now at 73 I am not doing the country stuff as we did when the children were at home (had ponies, horses, chickens, rabbit, dogs, cats, large vegetable garden, etc.) but still enjoy reading about the country life. Will get your books via amazon and enjoy your blog now. I echo one of your readers that Country Life continues to emphasize country life and not just decorating. Keep up the country living! By the way I’m in rural North Carolina, USA.

    • Dear Beth, lovely that you’ve found me! Yes, I continue to write about the country life I live and the animals that make life so interesting (Indie the whippet puppy is making things spectacularly interesting at the moment, he’s just shot past with a bantam egg in his mouth and an infuriated bantam is yelling in the distance). It’ll be great to have you along. Best wishes, Aly

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