who am i?

I live with my family in a small village on the Quantock Hills in Somerset. I keep poultry, rabbits, a husband and children. I grew up on a smallholding, just down the road from where we live now. My mother and sister still live there and give us a lot of help with the children. If you know us in real life, you will know that Ally and B are not our real names. But for the sake of internet pseudonyms, you'll just have to put up with me pretending they are.

Our five year old daughter has an undiagnosed genetic condition that I have split out in to another page. She is mostly tube-fed, through a gastrostomy tube. I write about her first, because our whole life is formed around having a child with special needs. Our six year old son resents being an 'also ran'; is fearsomely bright; not sure where his personal space ends and other people's begins; and wants to take care of us all.

My husband is a recently retired lighting designer who after four years in the country is *still* struggling to come to terms with the fact that living in a rural community means that everyone knows what colour pants you wear.

I have had a convoluted working life - 'career' gives it too much dignity - that started with selling eggs from my hundred ex-battery hens when I was fifteen; cycled through degrees in archaeology, IT and science-fiction; programming geographical information systems; teaching IT in the community; working in the entertainment industry as a technician; and is now back to where I began, keeping hens and selling their eggs. I keep a few different flavours of chickens, ducks and quail that I breed and sell. I have an egg stall at the local farmers' market. I teach people about keeping hens. I have recently, much to my husband's disgust, branched out in to meat rabbits.

I'm also trying to make it as a writer. There. I said it. Time-travelling gay romance in a noir setting. Don't laugh.

In 2014 I aim to grow most of our own veg myself and only eat meat from my own animals or directly from the animals of people I know. I knit stuff. I inexpertly wet-felt stuff. I beat myself up for what I don't manage to achieve on a regular basis. I suffer from fibromyalgia and depression, which pisses me off. I love my kids and my husband to distraction and they drive me insane.

Um. That's it. I appreciate comments. They let me know I'm alive.


  1. I also love my kids and husband to distraction and they really really drive me insane, I like the aim for this year, we try our best in the veg dept as you know but I think *growing* your own meat would be great! I also have to say how impressed I am by the husbands struggling to come to terms with living in the country - it doesn't show at all :) Oh, and I would like to write my own recipe book one day so no laughter here - dreams is good!

  2. Good to see your new blog, and I really like your writing. (Found you via Z). Take your point re Holland .

    Wishing you all the best for 2014, no irony intended.


    1. Hi Jan, thank you for commenting. I hope I'm going to live up to your expectations :).

  3. Wow Ally--so glad to have found you as I too have always loved your writing (the Polish lodger stories and cool English village)

    So much has happened in your life while I just moved from NY to the South--there is much irony there

    1. Pia! Hello! So pleased that you've found me again after all this time. I have had a bit of a hiatus reading other people's stuff; but I'm all set to catch up properly now I have two children in school for at least part of the week.