30 May 2013

Baz and the Beach

As the better weather is (sort of) here we thought it was about time we took Baz to the beach:
The problem being he is still terrified of going anywhere near a car.

So in an effort to get him unafraid we tried a few encouraging tactics......

Come on Baz! Come join us!
In the end we plonked him in and drove off. He was a bit car sick (which could be why he's frightened) but we made a fuss of him and got to Instow Beach.

At first he had no idea what fun this was going to be - but soon cottoned on.....

Ooh. What's this?

and this...

... and this!

Hey! This is fun!

Baz! Come Baz!

Nothing like a paddle!

Digging for bones

Fetch it Baz!

Time to go home
Baz Woz 'Ere

29 May 2013

Escaping to the Country - the TV show that found our home

It was really interesting watching the airing of the TV show that found us our new home.
I'm pleased that I didn't come over as too much of a numpty - how many viewers spotted that un-ironed tablecloth of mine? *laugh*.
What is interesting are the several things that have changed since our original ideas... running a business for one.
That idea was soon dropped!

Our back garden 27th May 2013
Brief outline for those who haven't been following this diary: we had a bit of a Camelot generated windfall last year (on the opening night of the Olympics) and decided to use the money to buy our own home - preferably with land and stables. We decided on Devon, looked at a few houses but also applied to the house hunt show Escape to the Country for help - and were delighted to be accepted.

The front garden April 2013
The show with Us on it was aired on BBC 1 in late May 2013
Here is a link to watch again on-line Click Here

The front gate

So my thoughts on seeing ourselves on TV?

Not giving any spoilers away, but we bought the first house that we saw - I fell in love with it the moment we walked through the front gate. By the time we walked into the fabulously cosy sitting room, I knew this was going to be our home: but while filming we had to keep an open mind just in case something else cropped up. As it happened, the other two houses were not suitable - the mystery house was very nice and will make someone a beautiful home, but it wasn't right for our horses.

View outside my  study West Window
It seems strange typing this in the very same study that Jonnie Irwen showed us!

There was a couple of things wrong and several that have since changed. The budget was a bit more than what we eventually paid (actually a lot more!) and the house we bought has a downstairs shower room and loo, while the show gave the impression it had only one bathroom. Also the idea of converting the Old Dairy is a complete no-no (too small, too impractical & why would we want to pull such a lovely old building down?)

Kathy (and Adam - who didn't feature on the show) is quite happy in the "West Wing", at least for now. There may be alternative building ideas, or maybe they will buy a cottage in the village - that's for the future though. And interesting that at the time of filming (October 2012) Kathy and Adam weren't even an 'item'! Kathy had (more or less) just split from the guy she'd been with so was on her own...

the old dairy
...hence our original idea to find something that could provide a business opportunity for her - a livery yard perhaps, but when we looked into things it became obvious that we didn't really want that, and finding our home (which I call Windfall Farm on line) changed our mind completely. It is too quiet, peaceful and secluded here to even think of running a business in this lovely place. Plus the lane is far too narrow for extra traffic, so the livery yard thought was soon well and truly dropped. Rather pleased it was - I'm enjoying doing what we want, not running around after others!

our new dog, Baz, and the horses 
So we went on the show, bought the property and moved in on January 18th - on the day it snowed here in Devon!

The one frustrating thing about the filming was that every time there was a different camera angle the camera had to be re-positioned, so while it looks on the show that everything is slick, smooth and done in one shot, we lost track of how many times we had to walk into a room and exclaim, "Oh, how lovely!"

By the end I wanted to just be left alone to look round. I don't remember much of the second house - but this might be because it was not what we were looking for - far too modern and "tidy" LOL

And the shots in the car? Mostly we went around with Matt, one of the film crew team. I think we spent about 10 minutes with Jonnie in his car, filming that short sequence. They did give us a whole wadge of other properties that they had short-listed. Some were rejected because the owners didn't want to be on TV, some because they were not suitable for TV (i.e. not film-worthy I suppose) Some were a bit too dark or small for filming - all those sort of reasons.

I'm so pleased that Sue & Richard the previous owners agreed to the crew coming to our new home though - thanks you two - and thank you to the EttC team!

Windfall Farm, Devon, the whole caboodle is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to us.

The house smiled when we walked through the door and hugged us. The atmosphere is one of welcome - the people who built it in the late 1700's and who have lived here through the years must have been happy, nice, nice, people - for they have left their energy footprint behind - one of laughter that has filled this house for several generations and still echoes round the walls.

Long may it continue to do so!

Mab at my bedroom window

The "Windfall" (our stream)

Training the Exmoor pony to pull a trap -
 who needs a car to drive? LOL

28 May 2013

27th May - Full Moon and Devon Dew

Over the weekend the weather was lovely - despite a bit of a cold wind.
Our lovely neighbours from Up-The-Hill called round for a cuppa and a chat - we are so lucky to have found such nice people as new friends. (What a contrast to our last awful neighbours back in Walthamstow!) Still, you get grumpy people who have a chip on their shoulder about the rest of the human race wherever you go, don't you?  In this case, though, two lovely people with welcoming smiles and an instant offer of friendship ( readily accepted and reciprocated!) Oh and bearing gifts of fresh-picked asparagus (as my Tweet followers will know from a few days back!)

Mr Up-The-Hill neighbour kindly advised us about our encroaching brambles (yes, for regular watchers of this site, the Bramble War Continues....)

I couldn't resist trying for a photo of the beautiful full moon when I took doggo for his last walk of the day up the lane. Didn't come out too well, but never mind.

The lilac is now in full bloom

The view from my bedroom window of a morning these last few days has been stunning - so clear. If it wasn't for the fact that there are hills in the way I reckon you'd be able to see as far as Scotland
 (well OK, maybe Wales! *laugh*)

This morning, though, we had a thick "Devon Dew" as they call it down 'ere. Couldn't see a thing beyond the garden.
 I assume the rest of Devon IS still out there....?

without the mist
With the mist
Without the mist
With the mist
getting excited - and a bit nervous - 
28th May 2.15 is 
our appearance on Escape to the Country TV day