Tottering-by-Gently celebrates 30th birthday in Country Life

Country Life's Tottering-by-Gently cartoon turns 30 years old this month.

In January 1993 a new cartoon strip appeared in the pages of Country Life. It told the tales of a certain Lord and Lady Tottering and life in magnificent Tottering Hall. Thirty years later, we are all still following along each week, enjoying the appearance of children, then grandchildren, to say nothing of the dogs. Indeed, for many of us, the Totterings feel as much a part of our lives as our own friends and family.

‘It is incredible to think that I have drawn a Tottering by Gently cartoon strip every single week for 30 years,’ says the cartoon’s creator, Annie Tempest.

‘People come up to me and say “we have grown up all our life with the Totterings” and it makes me feel very old indeed. Life, however, is constantly changing and evolving and new trends come and go like the seasons so there is always something amusing to comment on,’ she adds.

‘Will the “woo-woo-wellbeing” trend suck Daffy and Dicky in? I doubt it, but they are certainly going to enjoy being the voice of the bewildered older generation as Honjon, Storm and Aura espouse the latest bonkers fads.’

Editor Mark Hedges paid tribute to Annie’s work. ‘On realising Tottering had reached 30 years, I smiled at all the matchless happiness, humour and heartfelt joy Annie Tempest has given,’ he said.

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The latest book, Snifters at Tottering Hall, is out now; for original watercolours and prints, visit We wish Tottering-by-Gently a very happy 30th anniversary.

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Annie Tempest, the brainchild behind the Tottering-by-Gently cartoon — one of Country Life's most beloved features — has always worked