22 January 2023
8 January 2023
Sarah has worked hard all week scraping off layers of wallpaper throughout the cottage. Carpets have been ripped up from the bedrooms and thrown out of the upper windows (narrowly missing the villager in the driveway delivering a Parish magazine).
Stripping the cottage back to it's bare bones has revealed where the damp problems emanate from. The damp wall in the dining room backs onto the downstairs bathroom and after removing the bath panel is was obvious from the two buckets of water underneath the bath that the shower leaked. A new bathroom suite is on the shopping list.
The uncapped chimney needs re-pointing and has been letting in water. It has also been blocked so the lack of airflow has accentuated the problem. We plan to remodel the fireplace and install a small wood burning stove.
The front and back entrance doors are old and ill-fitting. New doors will be ordered. Laminate flooring will be removed from the ground floor and replaced with engineered oak.
The cottage has been occupied by tenants for decades and the landlords were loath to spend any money on the property. It's going to be a lengthy and costly process but I think it is going to be a very satisfying project for Sarah to restore this place and turn it into a beautiful, warm and dry home.
6 January 2023
5 January 2023
It was way back in the summer when we were out cycling that we first saw Rose Cottage with the For Sale sign up outside. There are plenty of small cottages for sale in this area but most have no garden or parking. Rose Cottage seemed to tick all the boxes for Sarah. I asked her to consider buying a more modern property that would be easier to maintain but her dream on returning to the UK was to buy a character property and after viewing Rose Cottage her heart was set on getting it.
On Tuesday she finally got the keys and yesterday Paul loaded the trailer and helped her move her boxes to her new home, just ten minutes drive from here.
However, she won't be moving out for a while. We always expected to find a few problems with a property like this, after all it's almost 200 years old. But, after pulling away the wallpaper, it became apparent that there are some damp problems that need to be fixed before she can start decorating and moving in. One day it will be a beautiful home for her but not just yet!
|that wallpaper just has to go!|
1 January 2023
I started the New Year with good intentions, cycling 25 kms in the gym this morning, part of an on-line group ride with people from all around the world. I used Sarah's bike; she uses clip on cyclist shoes and luckily her feet are the same size as mine. A quick outward twist releases the shoes from the pedal. As you can see from the photo I have a little trouble with that particular movement.
|Sarah always knows when I've been using her bike|
I slow roasted a joint of beef for dinner and piled a few more pounds on because I just can't resist roast potatoes and fluffy Yorkshire puddings. The Christmas tree comes down tomorrow and we shall settle back into our usual routines. I might be wrong but I think it's going to be an eventful year ahead.
27 December 2022
Mince pie and a glass of sherry, Christmas music, smoked salmon and prawns and a glass or two of sparkling bubbles, roast turkey with all the trimmings followed by plum pudding (accompanied by a glass or two of red wine), Christmas films and a few more drinks pretty much sums up my Christmas day. We had a Skype session half way through dinner with Kat and Craig; they had the day off and were waiting to go out for a meal with their squadron in sunny Cyprus.
I was, of course, busy in the kitchen in the morning but everything went very smoothly. So it should when you consider the number of turkeys I've cooked over the years. I wouldn't have it any other way; I've spent two or three Christmasses away from home and it's never felt quite right for me.
Boxing Day was another day of eating and drinking, I made Bubble and Squeak from the leftover vegetables (I adore eating this stuff) which I served with cold turkey and ham. When Paul served up sausage rolls and gyozas in the evening I had to decline, I just couldn't eat another crumb. No more wine for me either.
Now there is a lull before the New Year arrives and then hopefully Sarah will get the keys to Rose Cottage on the 3rd January and we will be busy helping her move and set up home.
22 December 2022
I baked another Whisky Dundee cake yesterday. It was more successful than the last one, lighter and less dense. Not that I should be eating any more cake, my smart scales informed me this morning that my weight was up by half a kilogram. They also told me my muscle and fat mass, water % and that the weather was going to be cloudy with rain showers. I'm not joking.
I did some foraging in the garden this morning to make a Christmas table decoration. I started with a Yankee candle in the centre and then just added bits of greenery, rosemary, rose hips and fir cones. I dried some orange slices earlier in the week and managed to save a few pieces before Paul ate them. I was quite pleased with the result, nothing too fancy or sophisticated but enough to add a bit of Christmas cheer to the table. Hopefully it won't catch fire when I light the candle!