Tales from a Stone Cottage came into being when Aly won a competition to become Country Living Magazine's new columnist. The magazine searched for a column that would chart 'life in the country – the changing seasons, the foibles of neighbours (if you dare) – '. Aly dared, and the result was her initial article on the Cow Scale, a scoring system which has kept her sane in many strange places. This and the following columns are enhanced by Celia Witchard's cheerful illustrations and chronicle village life, particularly the bits that make Aly laugh. Aly describes characters which are an amalgam of villagers she has been fortunate enough to have known throughout her life. Grumpy Mr Addington, Julia the hedge fund manager and Frank who loves ferrets will be recognised both by those who live in the depths of England's green and pleasant land and by those who prefer to watch from a safe distance. Connoisseurs will also enjoy meeting Aly's real-life cast of animals, which include killer geese, scatty sheep and a horse with attitude. If your heart is in the country, or if it's quite a long way away from the country but enjoys a collection of witty stories, this book is for you!