Roachside Cottage

Part of the living landscape of the Roaches

Peak District National Park - Upper Hulme, Nr Leek ST13 8UB

The dearest daughter has been pretty unwell lately. When I say unwell, it’s probably difficult for most of us to imagine how “unwell” a person can be when the least of their problems is that they live permanently in a wheelchair. For Anika, “unwell” is pretty seriously unwell. Hence, to help her recovery and cheer her up I brought her up to Roachside for a day of log fire, good food and doggie cuddles.

She loves this place. She finds it relaxing and inspiring. When she’s here she’s a bit more alive than usual. It is my long-term dream to have an accessible bathroom so that she can stay for more than a few hours at a time. But that would be technically very difficult and hugely expensive.

No matter, she was enjoying the afternoon reading, with Scout at her feet, when our neighbour Phil called at the door to discuss the new log-shed he’s building on the back of our cottage. The two of them got to chatting about wildlife and Phil revealed that he has several pet owls. Owls! Anika just loves Owls – I think it stems from being the Original Harry Potter fan!

Owls have been Phil’s lifetime hobby. He used to take them to various Scout Groups and Womens Institute events to inform and educate about birds of prey – he’s a man of many talents.

After we’d sorted out the materials for the forthcoming work, he jumped back in his Land Rover and shot off home.

Twenty minutes later, there was a knock at the door and there he was with Alan, an Indian Eagle Owl! A really majestic creature with beautiful markings and feathered talons. Constantly watching, always alert. A truly regal animal, capable of looking down his beak at anyone with a withering and disdainful stare. It's not every Harry Potter fan who has an owl at the door!

What wonderful neighbours we have! It made Anika’s day to be able to see such an animal close to.

Thanks Phil!


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