LIME Cottage – A Year On

The Big Room at the start

The Big Room at the start

Almost exactly a year ago, a few weeks before I moved into the cottage, I wrote a post here about my lack of progress in getting contractors to do the necessary structural work on the place before I had to try living here.  It finished with these words:

Any remaining challenges are simply Life working out the way ‘I’ – at some level – have chosen to prove to myself that I can play this game and have this particular adventure.

How very true that was.  I decided it’s about time I commented on how the adventure is going, and what changes it has made to the aspect of myself who has spent the last year wallowing about in plaster, paint and tradesmen.

To give a little background here…  I was married for about 30 years to a man who was a consummate craftsman, able to turn his hand to any kind of carpentry, renovation and decorating project and complete it brilliantly.  In that respect, we made an excellent team: he did all the non-bendy stuff – wood, glass, brickwork etc. while I did the floppy stuff – curtains, soft furnishings and finishing touches.  We shared the painting and wallpapering.  So in short, I was no stranger to doing up oldish houses, but I’d never had any cause to use a hammer, chisel, screwdriver or power drill.

Living alone was pretty easy for the first few years.  When something needed doing in a rented house, I simply called the landlord’s agent and a jolly tradesman appeared within a day or two.

So how scared and inadequate did I feel about moving into a 350 year old wreck and only having enough money to pay for big, vital structural repairs, knowing that just about everything else was down to me?  Very, very, very to both.  I’m not exactly in my first flush of youth; I have the white hair and pensioner’s bus pass to prove it.  I had all sorts of excuses to back down, go on renting and have an easy life.

Would I have gone ahead if I’d known that I’d have to spend three months in the company of scaffolding, workmen and rats?


You see there was this insistent little voice deep inside me that kept saying, “You’re up for this.  You can do things you’d no idea you could manage.  You have resources you have never tapped, and you’re going to feel SO good about yourself and LIME Cottage when you come out the other side.”

And you know what?  It was right.

The Big Room now

The Big Room now

In the last two weeks I’ve gone through 2.5 litres of wax floor finish, at least 8 litres of paint and used a hammer, chisel, screwdriver and power drill.  The ‘big room’ I barely set foot in for months, as it needed so much work, is now a guest room/ textile studio.  There’s still work to be done – ‘floppy stuff’, which includes reupholstering a teal velvet chesterfield sofa – but I’m confident that I’ll be able to do it.  Webbing, springs, hessian, various fillings and a cover: how hard can that be?

This is the new me talking – the one who has looked Impossible in the face many times over the last year, applied the LIME principle (Life Is Miracles Expected) and – by many of those miracles – made changes not just to my home, but to my Self.

Any remaining challenges are simply Life working out the way ‘I’ – at some level – have chosen to prove to myself that I can play this game and have this particular adventure.

7 comments on “LIME Cottage – A Year On

  1. What a tremendous amount you have accomplished in just a year. Of course I
    didn’t know that you had 30 yrs experience doing similar work-along with teaching.

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