A sharp and witty collection of autobiographical essays by the late Elspeth Barker--acclaimed journalist and author of the beloved modern classic O Caledonia.Following the publication of her acclaimed darkly funny novel O Caledonia Elspeth Barkers sharp and witty essays appeared regularly in the national press. Notes from the Hen House a selection of the most personal of these pieces welcomes readers into the celebrated writers life. Tracing Barkers upbringing from her Scottish roots these essays beautifully capture her time with the poet George Barker and her profound sense of loss following his death. She writes about Georges former lover Elizabeth Smart and other figures from 1950s bohemia and 1960s counterculture. Pieces like Thoughts in a Garden equal parts hilarious and moving read like dispatches from the front lines of country living depicting the vagaries of raising a large family and assorted pets in a damp and drafty farmhouse. Vivid charming and wholly original Notes from the Hen House is a wonderful glimpse into the life of an extraordinary writer.