This blog is mainly a rambling kind of diary of the transition from smallholderwannabe to smallholder.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

This was snapped at just the right moment for my granddaughter to look like she is smiling : )

Probably just wind as she is just one week old today. 


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

After much debate and discussion and "looking into things", we've decided not to go ahead with the house we went to view.  My husband just loved the house so it has been a hard decision as the house and field ticked so many of our boxes - probably more than any other property that we've seen. 

Some boxes, however, remained unticked.  It was an old two up two down kind of house.  At some time in the past, one of the upstairs rooms was divided into two so that it is priced as a 3 bedroom house.  There is also an extension across the back which gives a nice size kitchen, a conservatory and a bathroom.  There is no bathroom upstairs and we could not see any way of installing just a toilet without losing the upstairs cupboard, sorry, third bedroom.  The stairs are fairly narrow and the ceiling is very low and the handrail swaps from side to side to accomodate the odd wall/cupboard arrangement and it would be a long and potentially dangerous journey to the downstairs bathroom at 3am.  When I am tired or indeed half asleep as at 3am, my balance is dreadful.  The house is semidetached and I cannot see the council giving planning permission for a two storey extension as it would ruin the symmetrical look of the house from the road.  Councils seem to be big on the "look" of things.  There is the slight complication that we would have to have a mortgage again (yuk!!) in order to buy the house and what would we use to pay for the extension even if the council gave permission? If we gave up the third bedroom and turned it into a toilet ( maybe fit a shower cubicle in as well but it would be very tight), that still leaves the problem of the stairs.  We'd also have reduced the saleability of the house as there would only be two bedrooms.  At some stage, when we are old and decrepit (more than now...) we would have to move again so resale value needs to be thought about as well.  Not a major factor at this point but one not to be ignored either.  What if eyesight got worse or our creaky knees or something and we couldn't drive?  The nearest shop is definitely driving, not walking, distance away.

Ah well.  I was encouraged that there are such properties still to be found out there.  And disappointed that this was not The One.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

We've had a busy few days again.

We've celebrated our wedding anniversary.  We went out for the day to Ryton Gardens, near Coventry.  We had a lovely day.  There were a lot of cars in the carpark but we hardly saw anybody as we went round.  We took a picnic lunch and enjoyed that in the sunshine.  We also had a cuppa on the way home, stopping in a quiet country lane not far from Ryton.  We ate a slice of homemade Victoria sponge that I had made for my husband for our anniversary.  And I picked lots of clover and a bit of bramble and hawthorn shoots from the hedge for my rabbits' tea : )

Yesterday, we had an addition to the family.  My new granddaughter was born and weighed in at 8 lbs exactly. I got to meet her last night and she is absolutely gorgeous - not that I am a biased gran or anything...  My little grandson sat on the bed and held her and just started singing to her.  He was so excited about going to see her for the first time (and his mum of course).  Mum and baby are doing fine but poor mum had to undergo an emergency caesarean.  Despite that, you should have seen the huge grin on her face as she proudly showed us her new daughter last evening.  I'll treasure those pictures in my head!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Lots of things have been happening here.  We've been away on holiday.  Just five days because that was all we could have with animal sitters but we enjoyed them.  We went down to Devon to see my husband's family so we spent time up on Dartmoor.  I need my regular fix of hills and Dartmoor is wonderful.  There is always somewhere to go and park the car, go for a walk without meeting anybody and then come back to the car for a cuppa from the flask.

On the way down to Devon, we stopped off to visit an old schoolfriend of mine who has recently moved house and now lives in a beautiful bungalow with lovely sea views.  It was great to see her and her lovely new home.  We also popped across into Cornwall to visit a blogfriend that I haven't seen for a couple of years and had tea and cakes (homemade, of course) with her.  It was good to catch up on news.  She is a really nice lady and very kind to let us visit. And I do enjoy a natter with like-minded people.

After visiting this friend, we went to visit a favourite haunt from the days when my mother-in-law lived in Callington.  We had a picnic lunch up on the moor and then went for a walk in the sunshine.  I took a photo of my husband standing in the sunshine beside a tor.  Ten minutes later, the heavens opened and we had a monsoon.  We had cagoules in the backpack but there was not a dry thread anywhere not covered by the cagoules - literally.  When we got back to where we were staying, I had to empty the water out of my walking boots : )

Last week, we found a house with a field.  It is about 12 miles from where we live now so we could still see our family but too far for them to animal sit.  We have been to view it and have spent the last few days trying to work out if we could afford the house and do the repairs needed.  This house ticks more boxes than any we have seen before but there are a couple of big negatives. 

Decisions, decisions.  I'm not sleeping, have permanent indigestion and I'm not happy.  Anyone got £100k to spare that they don't want because then I could buy the house AND do the necessary repairs and still have enough money left to eat.

And really big thing - my new grandchild is due next week : )

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