So as most of you know any jobs improvements on our home “Crow cottage” has been on hold since the flood of 2018 as we have been getting our cancer retreat which is in same street back up and running.
We have lived in our little cottage for 12 years .
I fell in love with it the minute we turned out car onto the canal tow path I hadn’t even viewed the cottage on the inside and I knew we would live there.
Ducks geese canal mountain view from the window .
I loved it.
Now when we decided to look for a house to buy we couldn’t afford to live in the city
However just ten miles out in a small Welsh valley houses were quarter of the price.
That’s how I found our canal.
After never being able to settle in a house for more than a year I found my paradise.
Now I had a friend who was a builder .
Joolz he advised DONT buy a cottage .
The walls a 4 foot thick and they ALWAYS need money throwing at them..Good advice .
So I bought a cottage and twelve years down the line I can say.
He was absolutely right 🙈But it’s been an adventure.
We don’t have fabulous paid jobs Or credit cards
Thankfully we don’t have a liking for all things new.
I love second hand furniture.
In fact I love 1930 furniture and it’s in keeping with the cottage.
So I don’t mind car boot sales
Second hand shops , e bay
My living room cost under £500 to furnish probably furnish whole house for under £1.500
I guess I’m telling you this so you get the picture that I’m not a I want a new sofa kind of girl.
I buy when we need.So when we moved in I thought eventually we will get a new bathroom.
For now it’s fine.So few months ago
I find a beautiful bath tub on Facebook market place FOR FREE! so off we go to collect it.
It’s in the garden of a lovely ladies house who asks if I’m going to use it as a pond ?No I laugh I really like it and It’s going in out cottage ours has seen better days paint is chipping.
She’s thrilled it will be reused proceeds to give me a lovely set of telephone taps and a bath panel and off we go!
Two days later it’s a bit of a squeeze as it’s slightly bigger and has to come in through the window there’s lots of swearing and mentions of Vaseline and he’s going to buy me a bloody tape measure for Christmas as my long suffering husband fits this lovely deep bath.
I’m thrilled but I’m now on a mission to find a sink and toilet.
I don’t have to wait long
As a week later we are picking up some slate chippings to finish cancer retreat garden from builders merchants I spot a brand new toilet for £30.00 in the sale.
Jeff’s off looking at wood on his return I try to look casual as I push our trolly to the cashier.
“Er what’s that? ”
I ignore him
We aren’t buying a bloody toilet I proceed to tell him just how much we are saving it’s £60 off
He’s doing that look!
One raised eyebrow as I push the trolley into the car park and attempt to change subject.
So that was five weeks ago.
The toilet in its box is still standing in my bloody living room under the window with a view of the canal.
Apparently Jeff is too busy to fit it!
Now here is the Christmas link.
He’s sat eating breakfast this morning. 1st December
The Christmas tree and decorations convosation starts .
I don’t mind I say reluctantly.
Yes it will be nice for our grandchildren and I’m sure our cats Luna and Lucifer and tiny dog Mavis will have a wonderful time climbing up said tree 🙈
Now the tree goes in the living room window.Stands Infront of it were the new boxed toilet is currently living.
This is it .
It’s weekend he will have to fit it today or no Christmas tree!
I’m feeling smug as I say
Okay we can do it later after you’ve sorted toilet because you’ll have to fit it out of the way to put the tree up.
Cup of tea love before you start?
I wonder into the kitchen and click the kettle on
Well he says looking at the toilet.
I thought if we put a Xmas table cloth over it.
We could use it to put the tree on and I’ll fit it in the new year?
He’s really serious!
Can you guess what my answer was😈
The decorations and tree arent up yet.
Watch this space.
I’ve hidden the Christmas table cloth.
I am forever grateful for this small row of cottages and the bank of the tenant canal in South Wales where I live.
I settled here fourteen years ago.
We originally looked a bit further out from the city as houses were cheaper.
I’m so glad we did.
Don’t get me wrong readers of my blog will know we’ve had our fair share of problems massive flood thanks to storm Callum in Oct 2018
But in a way it made me fall in love with this magical place even more.
Family’s helped each other bonds and friendships were made and strengthened
It’s not a posh place to live.
Small two up two down cottages
But it’s paradise to me.
Our home is here.
Our cancer retreat and therapy cabin is here.
Our cats our dog geese swans and birds
Home is where the heart is.
My heart is right here.
For that I’m truly grateful.
I write every day.
In my phone’s note pad.
My work diary on printer paper.
My head is like a theater stage sometimes as I’m driving I’ll have first few lines of a poem float onstage
I’ll pull over to note them down least I forget.
Storytelling and poetry is such an ancient way of learning. Passing on information.
The druids are a good example spoken word.
My other favorite thing is second hand I was going to say clothes but to be fair it’s every thing.
I have an old oak dining table I bartered for at a car boot sale it has four odd chairs.
It’s role has morphed into a desk a very untidy desk!
Paper note books, Books I’m reading there is always more than one.
There is something comforting to me anout old furniture, pre loved that have belonged to other families been a part of other stories now they are part of mine. I especially like it when things don’t match.
Cups and plates I have an old Welsh dresser with beautiful odd china plates and cups
I bought it for our cottage not thinking of how it would fit through the front door ! Everything here is second hand apart from the mattress.
Old cottage, old furniture. Im sure if I added up how much I’d spent it would be under £800 for the whole house.
We live in such a disposable society.
I think if I’ve got a bedroom chest of drawers that does the job why will I ever need to change it.
I love second hand shops, car boot sales charity shops.
All my clothes are pre loved
There is a Fab charity shop by my office
A little old lady runs it raising money for animal charities.
She has a few just a pound rails.
I never fail to find what I need in her shop.
It reminds me of a childrens program from the 70s called Mr Ben.
Mr Ben was an ordenary man he would go into a shop try on a costume then step through the mirror into another world to a new adventure.
That’s how I feel in Jeans shop.
I love it when girls in work comment on some thing Im wearing and I can say it was a £1.00 🤣
Anyway I’m off on a tangent I was asked to a rarther posh awards ceremony few weeks ago.
Our cancer retreat had been nominated.
Everyone going chatted about what they were going to wear.
How much they had paid where it was from.
Hair make up.
You get the picture.
I moaned to Jeff I’m not spending money on something I won’t wear again he laughed well you need something new go shopping he encouraged me.
I hate shopping.
I reluctantly got myself ready for a trip into Cardiff.
But thought I’d call into Jeans shop first.
Off went like Mr Ben looking for a new adventure
I tell her my dilemma as I look through rails of clothes.
I have to admit I was starting to panic.
What if we win an award?
What if I have to get up on stage?
I turn around to leave resigned to fact I have to go into town crowds of people and hassle of car parks
Thanks Jean I say turning to leave then
There behind me on a rail I’m sure I’ve already looked on is a dress.
Bell sleaves it’s stunning
How much is this Jean.
I say holding it against me its perfect.
£5.00 to you darling she says
Have a wonderful evening.
Thank you Jean you saved the day. She laughs
That night I dress put on my red and black boots Wow Jeff says that’s stunning.
No don’t be silly.
We step through that magic mirror and two hours later I stand on stage accepted the beautiful award with my beautiful daughter in law Sarah,
I talk about Ravens retreat the work that we do and my beautiful brave friend Donna. (Sarah’s Mam) this award and everything I do is dedicated to her.
Im surrounded by beautiful women in designer dresses who had spent the day in the salon.
I don’t feel out of place.
I’d spent the day on the mountain and a hour with Jean in her magical shop.
I stood on stage to have a photo Lou whispered joolz I love the red dress.
£5.00 I smiled from jeans shop I just couldn’t resist and i know Donna would approve.
so this is where we are up to.
After our Canalside cottage was flooded by backed up drains thanks to storm Callum.
We are hoping to be back open offering cancer patients a much needed break away and free therapies
Floors have been leveled we are busy tiling the bathroom we make a pretty good team.
After the bathroom we have floor tiles to go down from front to back and it has to be finished by end of January!
Wish us luck! 😊