The Garden Cottage Diaries by Fiona J. Houston
Published January 22, 2013
- Author Fiona J. Houston
I love reading about people taking on crazy challenges, and this - to live a year in the life of an 1800s cottager - was just the kind of thing I enjoy. The book is split into chapters that introduce the concept and the reasoning behind the challenge, then wander through each month of the year, before finishing up with lessons learned. It’s a gentle read, nice enough but it didn’t quite grab me as I’d hoped.
There are parts that are quite evangelical about the whole thing, and others ranting about the wastefulness of today’s society. I understand all that, it’s not the kind of thing I wanted to read about. I also felt a bit cheated that there was a big build up to this project, but then lots of the time there was talk of mooching about in jeans, catching the bus, and at the end, an admission of using email all the time!
I’m not judging, because I couldn’t even begin to live the life of an 1800s person, freezing cold, living off the garden, bored of an evening, it’s almost impossible to comprehend. I guess I was just expecting a bit more of the detail about day to day living 1800s style, rather than the justifications for nipping in and using the washing machine once or twice.
Still, an interesting enough read, with some good lists of recipes, costs of living, and monthly chores at the back, plus nice pictures to illustrate throughout.