Saturday, 18 April 2015

River Fever

Since moving to our new riverside home (aka the ‘glorified shed’) some eight months ago, we’ve not only adapted to our new surroundings with ease, but positively wallow in them.

Any hardships experienced from our ‘glamping’ existence whilst renovating the former workshop are offset by the stunning view and peaceful atmosphere that we now experience.

Of course, like many people, we’d intermittently hankered after the rural dream, watching Country File with misty eyes and browsing the pages of Country Living Magazine with a ‘what if?’ scenario in the back of our minds.

What is strange though, is that in our ‘other life’, living in everyday suburbia, we often enjoyed countryside visits as a treat, but since moving to our rural location, we don’t consider trips to town anything to write home about, keeping them to a minimum.

Have we been tempted to book a city break? No, just a holiday in a (would you believe?) different rural location. Have we rushed to visit town-based friends for a change of scenery? No, we just invite them here – despite the building chaos. We’re not tempted by the lure of vibrant shopping centres, bustling streets or the bright lights of town.

We recently popped out for lunch. Having arrived at our chosen eating place, I exclaimed, “Let’s grab this table here, it’s by the window with a lovely view of the river!” A comment that yielded strange looks from the rest of the family, which seemed to say, “But we live right by the river and see it every day!”

That’s very true. As I sit at my computer writing away, I glimpse the river and surrounding countryside every time I pause for thought and glance through the window that’s right in front of me, but do I tire of it? No way. The whole effect is very calming, a feeling that I want to take with me wherever I go.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Walls And A Floor!

Progress, however small, has been made at the ‘glorified shed’!

The former workshop’s office is undergoing its transformation to become a bathroom. As I’ve previously reported, outside drainage has been installed, electrics attended to and insulation commenced. And now, not only are the walls being insulated, but are about to be plasterboarded too!

Even more exciting we have a floor, not just the uneven, shoddy excuse for a floor that was there when we arrived, but a smooth, even proper floor. With work progressing I can now at last look forward to a bathroom suite being installed in the not too distant future.

For months, we’ve traipsed across to my mother-in-law’s in all weathers to grab a shower. How amazing it will be to step into a bathroom that we can call our own!

For the same number of months I have pored over pictures of baths, shower cubicles, vanity units and the like, even sticking all my favourites into my coveted scrapbook – my dream home on paper! Soon I will be shopping for these items for real!

Now this may sound like I’m getting somewhat overexcited about the whole thing, but believe me, when you’ve lived for eight months with no bathroom to call your own, this is a major event.

Of course, once the bathroom’s completed, there is still the kitchen, dining area, lounge area, bedrooms...

Well, let’s just say, our rural home is very much a work in progress!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

A Country Spring

I’ve always enjoyed trips out in the countryside, especially in spring.

As a child, a Sunday afternoon treat on a sunny day was a drive out into the Kentish countryside to see whatever the current seasonal attraction may be – bluebell woods, primrose-strewn grassy banks, fields of lambs or budding hedgerows. The rest of the time we led a typical urban lifestyle.

For years my life has been town based, with a sprinkling of forays into the countryside for high days and holidays. I enjoyed every moment of my rural stays in Wales, Yorkshire and Cornwall and found myself feeling extremely ‘hemmed in’ on my return.

Certainly day-to-day life consisted of urban activities and journeys, with occasional countryside jaunts being welcome, but not always frequent enough.

This year however, things are different. We’re experiencing our first spring in our rural based ‘glorified shed’. Now every journey we make involves travelling through the countryside – we’re surrounded by it!

Whether we jump in the car, hop on a bus or just go for a stroll, we pass farms, woodland, fields of sheep and horses and generally expanses of open green space in whichever direction we travel. In fact we don’t even have to leave home to experience the whole country scene, just by looking out of the window we can see the river, common land and distant hills. We certainly don’t need to go on Sunday drives to experience the countryside and we have no inclination to reverse the process and go for a drive to town!

You would even think that when planning our first holiday since moving here we’d chose a very different environment. But no! We’ve booked a stay in another rural location, just in a different part of this green and pleasant land.

This spring we’re revelling in the delights of our new surroundings. It is indeed our first country spring!