Castle Top Farm

Having checked our latests guests in Casa Galilei have been safely whisked off to the airport by Autoservizi Roma Nord taxi service (run by Signor Mario and his two sons, though I suspect Signor Mario’s wife is the powerhouse behind the businesss!),  I walked up the hill behind my parent’s house with the two dogs and took this photo of the nearest house. Castle Top Farm was the birthplace of the children’s author Alison Uttley and her home until she went to university. As a child, Alison attended the same primary school as me, Lea School, and in winter used to beg to be allowed to leave school early so she had time to complete the two mile walk home through the woodland path that runs in front of my parent’s house in daylight. If she had to walk part of the way in the dark, as was invariably the case, she had to endure a nightmare journey populated by talking animals conjured up by her fertile imagination. These characters were to become the inspiration for her Little Grey Rabbit books. Unusually for a woman in her day, Alison Uttley read physics at Manchester University. As well as her many children’s books, she also wrote extremely readable adult books including A Country Child, about her upbringing at Castle Top Farm, and A Traveller in Time. Her amazing but neglected family home stood empty for a year or two when the last owner died but has just been bought by a young couple who have the enviable but tough job of restoring it.