Shepherdess Seasons of my life Month By Month This Beautifully Photographed Tale Unfolds. Forthcoming
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Shepherdess

The modern day Daleswoman of Cumbria. Season by season this beautifully photographed tale unfolds.

Shepherdess follows the remarkable story of Alison O‘ Neill as she tends her working hill farm overlooking the Howgill Fells, Cumbria. Embracing the hard realities of life in a remote and physically challenging environment, her story is an inspiration to trust and follow your deepest held dreams and aspirations. Ian captures the charm of everyday moments, creating a picture of a life lived with passion and heart. Alison describes herself as ‘a true country woman’ and Shepherdess sets out to create for the reader both the countryside she loves so much and the truth of what it is for one woman to live and work on the land, in every season. The message is simple, poetic and one told straight from the heart. It’s timeless, nostalgic, romantic and above all true!

‘One part Nigella, one part Bill Oddie, one part Old Macdonald and one part Alfred Wainwright’

The Independent

‘The evangelical farmer’

The Observer

‘The most feminine farmer in the land’

Mail On Sunday

‘More farm favourites than Cath Kidson’

Sainsbury's Magazine

Shepherdess

Seasons of my Life
Luxury Edition

34 x 29cm, 320pp, 215 full-plate photographs. 8,000 word text. Bound and printed on luxury Setallux book cloth with cover image and embossings. Ribbon marker. Illustrated end-papers. Presented in a bespoke velvet lined slipcase. Printed and bound in Italy. Weight 3.5 kilos. .

Comes with a unique 8pp. story-book card.
Co-signed by photographer Ian Lawson and Shepherdess Alison O’Neill.

Luxury Edition & Slipcase £125.00

Publishing TBC

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Story

Some stories deserve to be told and Shepherdess is one of them.

‘I have not smoothed out the kinks and folds - it is a lived experience. I just wanted Alison to feel as though she was reading her life through my pictures.’

Shepherdess from hill farming stock; on the far eastern fringes of Cumbria out in the wild expanses beyond the last signpost. A tousled haired slip of a lass that ventured far and wide, called home by a farm that needed much love and a dales woman graft. Out of adversity came opportunity.

Our story began in May 2007 when I saw Alison on a TV documentary about her life as a hill shepherdess and how she bred native Rough Fell sheep in Cumbria. I found the programme fascinating as I had just started a project to document hill shepherds and their lives on the high fells. A quick phone call was made and a shoot organised to photograph her sheep. Our work had only just begun as it was Alison that really caught my eye, I saw the soul of a woman that I found very inspiring. We clicked at the first meet and from that moment on we were destined to work together, it was not long after that a beautiful book concept was born.

My years long work tells the story of a woman who was moved to reach beyond the limitations of her circumstances to pursue the life she dreamed of as a child. I was determined to capture the spirit of a real woman living a real way of life and a life that refuses to die. Her inspiration endless, she can extract laughter and good fellowship even from her own challenges and predicaments.

Alison Shepherdess Story
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Alison

Simple Life - Splendid Pleasures

‘I wear boots and lace and always say grace. I can work my sheep, crack the whip and run a tractor with ease. Hardship and charm is what I do, taking the bad with the good and loving it too. Making something out of nothing and surviving with a smile, you know you're a farm girl if this is your style.’

A dear bond between a shepherdess and her sheep, no words can explain it. Trusting their shepherdess to the very end. Every day my flock teaches me something, heart to heart moments that last a lifetime. How very blessed I am, but the blessings are not without some hardship. I'm thankful indeed for little moments in the past to reflect on, that remind me to count my blessings instead of my sorrows. Without them, I surely would not be the kind of Shepherdess my little lambs need me to be. To love them, lead them and let them go...

Hit the Hay

Hit the Hay

‘Life is good when the barn is where your best memories have been made.

Alison Shepherdess

To love them, lead them and let them go.

‘Every day this flock teaches me something, heart to heart moments that last a lifetime.

Morning Chores

Morning Chores

‘Lamb white days, all my time is taken up.

Amongst my sheep

Amongst my sheep

‘With the season of autumn all around, the colours sing melodious music to me and my sheep.’

Joyful Path

Joyful Path

‘Happy the Shepherdess whose wish and care a few paternal acres abound. Content to breathe her native air on own ground.’

Farm Girl Fresh

Farm Girl Fresh

‘Simple and Sensual.’

Utility Glamour

Utility Glamour

Sort, Wash & Fold but I don't Iron!

Honeysuckle Hedgerows

Honeysuckle Hedgerows

In this, I just might live!

Kindred Spirits

Kindred Spirits

I never outgrew the “I love horses” phase.

Shepherdess Sheep
Self Grown

Self-Grown

On my dad's allotment. Slow grown bounty from the soil.

Shacklabank Farm is a snug croft crouching against the crook of a fell, with the swooping reach of the Howgills rearing up in front. My small yard is dotted with handmade wooden furniture, pecking hens, peculiar little painted bird boxes and a vintage tractor is parked beyond a small byre.

A Thankful Heart

>A Thankful Heart

To sit among my slow growing farm.

In Autumn Woods

In Autumn Woods

There's an assuring familiarity about the sights and smells on the farm, just as there is with a favourite wool knit.