It’s been a while, but it’s time to put the cottage back into the blog, because like the year, it’s turning.
This time last year, owning my own home was no more than a distant dream – and not one I took very seriously. It was there on the wish list, though – waiting to manifest when I was ready to receive.
Half a year ago I was in a very different space – battling with officials and contractors, packing up my possessions and getting ready to take one of the largest gambles in my life. I was just about to move into a cracked, leaking, broken-down old building and hoping that somehow I could turn it into a home.
Oh there had been miracles and synchronicities a-plenty, just to get to the stage where I owned it, but whether I’d be able to bring it back into a habitable state was very much in the balance.
Summer happened, but not at Lime Cottage. The building was encased in scaffolding, so that almost no sunlight reached inside. The beautiful garden was disappearing under an ever-increasing mound of builders’ junk. The rosemary bush was almost flattened by the cement mixer; the hollyhocks uprooted and pushed aside by the roofers; the marigolds were cowering under broken tiles and guttering.
As autumn arrived and days shortened, the scaffolding finally went. So – very gradually – did the workmen. At last, I had the place to myself and could begin what my builder called, “just the cosmetic stuff” – the process of turning it into a home.
That’s what I’ve been doing this month – transforming the tiny study into a warm, vibrant space where my young students can work and – when he comes visiting – my little grandson can sleep.
The budget is as tight as the workspace, and the preparation is gruelling – filling cracks in the plaster, sanding, priming the woodwork, painting the ceiling… but finally I could start to make a ‘cosmetic’ difference – painting the walls, whilst watching the most glorious sunset over the Somerset Levels and the Polden Hills beyond.
Things are turning. Days are imperceptibly starting to lengthen and by the end of the coming year I could be living in a fully decorated and welcoming home.
Warmest thanks to everyone who has read, empathised, sympathised and encouraged me during this year. the journey has been amazing – and you have helped me on my way more than you’ll ever know.
A very happy, peaceful and joy-filled New Year to everyone out there.