Many, many years ago, in those "good old times" so much bepraised by antiquaries and the laudatores temporis acti,-the good old times, that is to say, of the holy office, of those magnificent autos when the smell of roasted heretics was as sweet a savor in the nostrils of the faithful, as that of Quakers done remarkably brown was to our godly Puritan ancestors,-there dwelt in the royal city of Madrid a wealthy goldsmith by the name of Antonio Perez, whose family-having lost his wife-consisted of a lovely daughter, named Magdalena, and a less beautiful but still charming niece, Juanita.
An isolated stone cottage with no mains water, invaded by mice, rats and swarms of insects, a place where giant snowdrifts sever the electricity supply and all connections with the outside world... This is what Lawrence and Christine Dyer face when they start a new life up in the bleak, rocky hills of the English Peak District. Wild creatures, eccentric hill folk, uncooperative farm animals and foaling Shetland ponies all have a part to play in this relating of triumphs and disasters -- all set against the incredibly beautiful backdrop of the hills and moors with their bold crags of dark millstone grit, their secret valleys of moss-carpeted forests and clear brooks sheltering shoals of trout.
Three best friends, their men and a week in. . . A Cottage By The Sea.
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