22 January 2023


Sarah and Paul are spending another day at the cottage scraping old paint off the walls and sanding down.  I can't really be of much help at this stage (the last time I attempted any decorating I accidentally ended up sitting in a bowl of water) so I stay at home with Rick and make sure there is a nice meal ready for them when they get home.  The work is slow and laborious but hopefully things will start coming together within the next week or two.  Sarah cannot move in until a new bathroom is fitted and is waiting for an installation date from the plumber.

When Sarah feels a bit overwhelmed by the work she only has to look out of her kitchen window to be reminded what a gem of a property she has there.  The view looks out onto a small paddock (complete with Shetland pony) and beautiful parkland (belonging to the local gentry) beyond.  

Youngest daughter Kat and husband Craig returned to the UK from Cyprus last Wednesday and are due to arrive here on leave later this week.  Rick will be delighted to have a house filled with his family again. 

8 January 2023

Looking worse before it gets better


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

Rose Cottage

 A few pics of Sarah's new home...

Rose Cottage

good sized garden for summer barbeques with separate garage and workshop

wrap around dog-proof garden 

5 January 2023

Moving Out


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

Good Intentions


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.