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

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Holiday : )

Well, half term has come and gone but it was wonderful while it was here.  We've been away and stayed in Presteigne, right on the border with Wales.  The river Lugg is the border between England and Wales just at that spot and the river was just a few yards around the corner from our house so we were in Wales but only just  : )

The kids had clubbed together and staying in a house and having a holiday together was their birthday present to us as my husband has also recently had his annoying birthday with a big fat "0" at the end of it. Wasn't that a lovely thought!  I have to admit that they all went home and left us alone for the last couple of days and it was blissfully quiet.  We had really enjoyed the time together but a couple of days' peace and quiet to recoup before the onslaught of another half term was just what we needed.

The house we stayed in was Georgian (typical three floors with little windows on the top floor) and still had the slate flagged floor.  It was just lovely.  In the kitchen, you could see where the range had been and where the adjacent little salting room had been, now incorporated into the erstwhile kitchen which is used as the dining room, you could see on the flags the marks where the salting barrels had stood.  The salting room was on the north side of the house and had a little window about the size and shape of a large letter box to ensure the food in the salting room stayed cool. We had the benefit of a large built on kitchen which was well kitted out to cater for a large number of people staying. We also had an old, (but nowhere near Georgian) roll top bath which looked and felt so much more luxurious than our acrylic standard version at home.  

I'm always fascinated with practical history and how people actually lived. Our house had originally had a coach house but that area had been sold long ago to the neighbours who had built an extension to their house on that little bit of land but our garden still went in an "L" shape behind it. There were lots of other quirky (quirky to us in 2013...) little features that we discovered too.

The older area of the town was charming - mainly due to the fact that they hadn't invented planning regulations when these houses were built.  You built one house according to what you wanted and could afford and then the next person came along and built another house on to yours according to their wants etc.  So no two houses are the same and they are all at different heights and with different pitches to the roof and it all works together just fine.  Some houses have the Georgian look and others have beams and ancient tiles (not many thatches) and lots are jettied with that typical Elizabethan upper floor that bit bigger than the ground floor. Some of the Georgian houses had cellars so they were over four floors and I don't know how modern people cope with the heating bills for such houses...... Lots had an arched coach entrance to one side of the front and a courtway through at the back.  Some of the houses had a Georgian front but the back was closer to medieval in age.  Just fascinating! Some of the small beamed houses were of the one up, one down size and you know that three generations probably lived there together with umpteen children raised yet they look as if there would be standing room only for a family.  Most of today's children expect a bedroom each or no more than two to be sharing a bedroom.  We live such a different life today.

The rest of our family were sorting the meals (and cooking them) so that left us bringing some of the treats, which has totally blown my budget for October but it was so worth it.  I am so pleased with them all for dreaming up such a lovely present and giving up their time to spend it with us.  There were lots and lots of happy memories made.

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  • At 4:07 AM, Blogger Fran said…

    That sounds like a perfect present to me. Having the family together are precious moments xxx


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