ANYONE seeking a Christmas gift for a true country-lover would be wise to snap up a new compilation published by a local farmer.
Christopher Hilsdon is well known to the villagers of Shalstone for his regular contributions to the parish magazine, The Link, on the subject of farming and country life.
Now Mr Hilsdon has gathered the best of these articles together, interspersed with some of his own poems, in a volume entitled Seasons Under My Sky.
Divided into four sections to reflect the different seasons, this small gem of a volume records the ever-changing sights, sounds and scents of the countryside, described with the eye of an artist and the mind of a scientist.
Mr Hilsdon and his family have lived and farmed in the area for four generations, and the book offers memories of farm life a century ago as well as insights into the work of a modern farmer, along with some wry humour at the difficulties posed by bureaucracy.
Former Royal Latin School teacher Sara Edwards has written an introduction to the book, which Mr Hilsdon has published to raise money for restoration fund at the local church, St Mary’s, Water Stratford. Illustrations are by local artist Sara Hack.
Mr Hilsdon, who has been a churchwarden there, financed the printing of the book so that all the money raised from sales will go to the restoration fund.
Seasons Under My Sky is available for £6.99 from Boycott Farm Shop and the Old Hall Bookshop in Brackley.