Saturday, 20 June 2015

Our house and other stuff

Many thanks to everyone who commented on my last post.
 Lots of people said they liked the kitchen and that will be one of the things I shall miss. We had the new kitchen extension built in 2011 after 19 years of working in a tiny kitchen which, if you look at the floor-plans on the brochure link, was where we now have the bathroom and utility. We'd thought about selling in 2010 and actually had the house up for sale before I had a bad time with depression from the uncertainty of everything I think. So in the end we stayed and built the extension that we had first thought about in 1992 when we moved in.
I wrote about how we came to own a 5 acre smallholding HERE and I said the house was in a bad state when we moved in. There were several things wrong. Firstly we had to have the house rewired before we could get the mortgage as the wiring hadn't been touched since the place was built in 1955. It also had no felt under the tiles so the first summer we were here Col and my dad took all the tiles off and put insulation and felt in the roof and, because when the place was built there was still a shortage of building materials after the war, instead of plaster on the walls and ceilings everything was lined out with a fibre board. Gradually over the years Col stripped off the awful rough board and either plastered or put proper plasterboard on the walls.
 Outside we had 3 very old buildings, 2 of which were made of asbestos concrete panels and had originally been on the USAF base in Leiston during the war. We replaced those with the buildings that we now have and Kev said he had shed envy! I think Col will miss the workshop which is full of all his stuff, although he is getting on well with clearing it out.
  All in all a lot of time and money has been ploughed into the house and land over the last 23 years.

Many people in comments said they thought the house would sell quickly, I'm not so sure. It's a bit too much land for a lot of people and not fenced for horses.Several people asked if we had started looking for somewhere to move to, the answer is not really. We have 4 choices when we get a definite buyer. 1. If there is a small cottage in Wales with woodland available then we could go for that or     2.We could buy a small house in town in Suffolk without a chain to move into and prepare for then renting it out. 3. We could rent something ourselves for 6 months or 4. ( my favourite) we could buy a caravan and have a gap year!We will see what happens and only time will tell, in the meantime I'm  not  going to go on and on about selling. I want to get back to my normal diary posts.

The men got the water back on  by 8pm on Thursday night but there is still a huge hole to be repaired and the road will been closed all weekend at least. I hope they get it sorted early next week as I want to restart the gooseberry and potato selling and the Alstromeria flowers are ready to pick and sell too. I shall also have to ring the people we have booked in to arrive on the campsite and give them directions for coming in the other way.

Jam making season has started with 8 jars of strawberry/gooseberry made. This combination looks like strawberry but sets better than strawberries on their own. I'm planning to also make some strawberry and I'll use sachets of pectin to set it.
I had a phone call from Cols Leiston customer on Thursday evening, she said her garage door wouldn't lock properly and could Col sort it. I asked her if she'd given it a squirt of oil or WD40, "errr no?" she said. I could tell it wouldn't even have dawned on her. So funny how impractical some people are. As it happens, when Col went down to look this morning a squirt of oil helped but wasn't the whole problem.

I've been getting up extra early all week to get the work done so as to be able to spend every afternoon watching the tennis from Queens Club and then today  just as Andy Murray got started in the second semi-final it rained. I'm not sure what happens if they don't get back out to finish the game as it should be the final tomorrow. While watching I've started  cross-stitching small lavender sachets 
very handy for small gifts.
While Col was working this morning I made a fruit cake and cheese scones and gave the oven a good clean afterwards - fun - Not!

A couple of weeks ago Col called into the Tyre and Exhaust place in Leiston to ask them to save 4 good tyres for our old small horsebox trailer. He wants to use it for the garden and smallholding things that we want to take with us, so needed to get it in good order. They found him 4 good van tyres - even better than car tyres and fitted them yesterday for just £50 all inclusive. Good bargain.

Looking back to this time last year in my diary and I see we had started picking raspberries. This year it will be several more weeks before they are ready. But the strawberries are still going strong and other crops available today are gooseberries, potatoes, courgettes, green beans, cucumber, lettuce and salad leaves, radish and beetroot. The hungry gap is well and truly over.

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