Tuesday, 13 November 2012

I look forward to......

Things are interesting around here, everything has altered within the cottage, spare room is sorted, garage is tidy and loft is a great storage area. Interestingly it changes the whole dynamic of the house - the house gets organised and I want all the other areas of my life organised now. I find it easy to get side-tracked with things like DIY and to stop concentrating on other important areas of life but now that that has all stopped, time to get serious.

When I moved in, I planted a rose up the front of the house. I did my research carefully and got the right rose for the location, a North facing wall. It has exceeded my expectations by firmly establishing itself, proving that a little research goes a very long way, as this tiny little plant, that has never felt the suns rays has flourished and given me that first rose growing up the cottage walls. I have marked my progress along side the progress of this rose and we have both achieved a lot this year!

This little rose (Zepherine Drouhin) has become:

this wonderful climber. No blooms on it right now, although there are still some buds on the top, but it has produced beautifully all year!

I originally started this blog as a diary of how I was changing my life from busy Londoner who was very unhappy with everything about life, to quiet country dweller with an eye for a bargain and a strong back to do any work myself. I think that I can well and truly say that I have achieved that original goal. This time last year I was just at that stressful part of the process where the purchase of this house was about to go through and I was having those niggling little doubts about whether or not I was doing the right thing, I think there is no question at all that I was! A lot has been achieved, sadly a lot of money has been spent, but fortunately, thanks to me doing much of the work myself, not nearly as much was spent as could have been in turning these bricks and morter into a safe, warm, happy place to live. Now that needs to come to an end. No more spending is the order of the day, certainly until I get my working life sorted out. Back to organised budgeting and ruthless organisation. Nothing much needs urgently doing in the house, the garden is put away until Spring, Christmas is pretty much sorted and I won't be spending much anyhow as I want a traditional Christmas on a shoestring, where friends and family are the most important aspects. I have learnt and inspired by many people on blogs to try my own Christmas cake, or to make presents, or Christmas cards etc.

I have learnt many many new skills this year and I want to learn more and more in the future. There is nothing like 'having a go' to make you learn something, even if you make a hash of it, but in the end, I didn't fall through the loft floor into the room below, my bed and my bench didn't fall apart when I sat on them, I didn't cut my fingers off when I used the circular saw (thank goodness) or electrocute myself putting up new light fittings and I didn't poison myself with any new recipes I tried. So that spurs me on and gives me confidence to maybe try some new skills next year.

If there is one disappointment, it is how badly my vegetables all did this year - I don't think that I am alone in this however, just not a great year for growing. I would like to do better next and take inspiration from lots of your blogs, especially green fingered Elaine, who I think is a marvel.

I look forward to what comes next and all it will bring, I look forward to simple pleasures, like seeing my virgin garden flourish, now that the plants will begin to start establishing themselves. I look forward to trying new recipes, sharing home cooked food with friends, I look forward to Christmas with  my very good friend and I look forward to sharing all of this with you all.


  1. You really have achieved so much in such a short time! Congratulations and here's to the next year!

    Kerry x

    PS) You're right, you're not alone with the veggies :-( It was a total washout here this year too.

  2. You have done really well Dan. There is nothing harder than changing your life and thinking how much further you can change. Yes, the gardening this year for a lot of us, has been rubbish but it probably is the weather. You are quite far up north so may need to take that into consideration when deciding what to grown. Bugs decimate gardens in the early years and if trying to garden organically, this is hard but we learn as we go on. Keep it up!

  3. I echo previous comments - you have made really big changes in your life! I remember when I first found your blog, yes, you were in London (as was I, still am) and thinking about leaving. Your planning and then putting plans into action is very inspirational.

    I look forward to reading your further exploits in the blog!

  4. One more thing you need to do...pat yourself on the back!
    Jane x

  5. I think you already have the best Christmas Present Ever! Well done.

  6. I think you`ve done wonders over this year. Enjoy the next!

    I got your message about the laundry liquid makings. You were right. It makes about 5 litres. Use around one american cup measure in your laundry cycles. That`s plenty for a large load.

    Enjoy the rest of your year in your lovely home. Looking forward to reading what you will get up to next.

  7. That rose is looking wonderful! Don't worry about the veg - my garden did awfully and my green-fingered Nana didn't fare much better!

    I bet all of the stress of moving and upheaving your life has been more than made up for now! Your life seems idyllic to me! :)

  8. I think you have done wonderfully - in such a short time as well!

    make sure you make some nice stuff for YOU to enjoy - don't give it all away ;-)