Sunday, 29 April 2012

A year ago this Sunday....

.....we woke up after an uncomfortable night sleeping on an inflatable mattress on a cold concrete floor. We'd moved house.

The removal men had packed us on the 27th and we'd left Eastbourne at about 5.30 p.m to the new house. Fortunately, because it was the day of the royal wedding and a bank holiday, the roads were almost empty. I've never got through the Dartford river crossing so quickly.

The team arrived about 9 a.m on the 29th and unloaded the two vehicles (it was at that stage I realised just how much 'stuff' we had and have been making a concerted effort to re-home things). They left about lunch time. We were on our own in a new house and a new area.

Although we've only been here a year we've had a couple of milestones in our new home. We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary a few weeks after arrival (actually we were in Italy but you know what I mean).

Lake Garda

And Mortimer discovered he loved rolling on the lawn and had his first birthday.

First birthday pose

The house needed needs a lot of work and sometimes I think we've been quite slow. But there's no particular rush and we've been exploring our local area and making new friends.
However I thought it would be fun to see some  'then & nows' (if only it was before & afters!)

Most of the now shots were taken last night or this morning. If you're looking for beautiful interior shots then look away now. I've done no styling, plumping of cushions or straightening of bananas (although I probably should have done). And I just get a photograph that does the sitting room justice.

So the first room to be tackled was the sitting room. Although we had no cooking facilities except a kettle, microwave and counter top halogen oven (and no fridge) we knew the sitting room was going to cause most mess so had to be done before the kitchen.

On moving day
This morning (with wonky bananas)
Other end

Original fireplace

Chairs are work in progress!

It looks like the room is the same colour as before but Burnt Verdigris has replaced banana yellow and peach.

Phase one of the kitchen has finished and just before Christmas we could cook properly. Phase two (next year) will be to turn 'The Orangery' into a dining area. At the moment the dining table is in the kitchen (it's too cold in The O). When done the table and island unit will swap places.

So when we arrived we had this

Missing oven
and this

and now

That dog gets everywhere
And finally

Barista bar

The Orangery hasn't changed except for housing the island unit. Once the weather warms up we will probably move the table in there again as it's nice to eat looking out on the garden.

No oranges - just a lime & a lemon tree
The worse time for me was the few weeks we spent where the only places we could sit was at the dining table or at our desks. Then the electricians arrived and we spent 48 hours with only one socket and one light bulb in the whole house but you know it will be worth it so you just grit your teeth and have another glass of wine!

The office is looking worse than when we moved in as it's the current project. The pistachio & coffee walls along with the surface mounted plumbing  & electrics have gone,

1950's ice cream colours

It's that dog again
Plasterboard arrives this week so were well on our way.

Upstairs hasn't really changed as that's next on our list. But I couldn't take sleeping in an ice cream parlour so slapped on some paint in our room and made new curtains.

A little more restful

The bathroom hasn't changed at all, still yellow with brown carpet. Nice.

Of it's time.....
The main guest room had a quick paint job as I really didn't think it fair that friends should sleep in such a dingy room.


A tad more cheerful
And last, and definitely least, is the third bedroom. At the moment it's Andrew's temporary office, the "dressing room" and where I do the ironing. Hasn't  got a lot going for it really.

So there we are one year along. I think tonight deserves a glass or two don't you?


  1. I do. I'd make that a bottle or two. So you think you're slow, huh? What does that make me, after 4 3/4 years? Anyway, it's looking good, non? Your banana thing made me laugh. I have a friend here who used to run a gite, and in one of his main marketing photos, on the front page of his site, was a bowl that contained two blackening bananas ... He just didn't get why that was a no-no for me! Anyway, well done, you two. Oh - three. I want to meet Mortimer. (And you, of course).

  2. But Kalba you're doing so much more than just a house! You've got a new business (or two) up & running as well. I think the bananas are the least of my problem - Andrew not impressed with my sitting room shots. But you're right some people don't get it. I was on an immobiliers site the other day, doing a bit of 'chateau stalking'. First photograph was the rear facade of a glorious 18th C. chateau, next we panned back and saw the formal gardens and pleached limes. Finally we were on the terrace, table laid for lunch with antique linen, silverware and crystal. And we were going to sit on white plastic chairs from Auchan. So wrong!

    Mortimer dreams of racing round the Pyrenees (as do I) so maybe one day.....

  3. I'm so impressed. We've done a lot is our ex-butcher's shop too. But we haven't got either the staying power or attention to detail that you (and Kalba) so obviously have. I'm also no good at building sites. But the results for you seem stupendous. Well done