19 January 2016

Happy Anniversary To Us!

Three years ago today (19th January 2013) 
we started a new life in our lovely old farmhouse 
here in beautiful Devon.

We started moving in on Friday 18th January 2013
but the weather was like this:
Our Home
Somehow our fantastic removal men from Pickfords started moving us in on the 18th. We had stayed overnight at a local hotel and I had been up since 2.30a.m looking out the window every fifteen minutes – at first to see if it was snowing, and then to see how much it was snowing.

One big drawback. The village is on a high ridge, accessed via five very steep, very narrow, lanes, most of which have very few passing places – if you can’t reverse, or have a wide, posh car - don’t come to Chittlehamholt! The village is rural (less than ninety houses, most of which are or have been farms). No street lighting or bus service; no school – although there is a village hall and a community shop.

Fortunately most of the furniture was delivered but all I can remember of that busy and exciting moving-in day, was men carrying stuff walking in and out. No time to explore, or get to know our new house.

When the men left Ron, my husband, and I had a chance to draw breath. My lovely, lovely house – all mine. What a difference from our previous ground-floor flat in the London suburb of Walthamstow. 

Getting dark, it was time to go. We had made the right decision to return to the hotel - the bed had arrived, but it had not been put together, and we only had tea, coffee and biscuits in the new larder. We locked up, stood outside our porch door – and it suddenly hit us that we were now living in the middle of the countryside not London. It was pitch black dark. 
Gingerly, one foot in front of the other, we groped our way to the car.

Lesson One. Always know where a torch is!

Old Rum
The removal men brought the last of our furniture on Saturday morning – bit of a panic when we realised the house was cold and the central heating was off. Soon sorted. When installing the fridge in the scullery I remembered turning off a socket (“Hmm, I wonder what this is for?”) Turns out it was the master switch for the Range’s boiler!

Kathy (my daughter) and the horses and cats were supposed to have come down on the Saturday, but I had phoned to say don’t come – the motorway would be treacherous, and they would never get the horsebox safely along the village roads, let alone down our narrow lane. So she booked into an hotel near the livery yard and stayed there a whole week with boyfriend (now husband) Adam looking after her. (Thanks Adam – I would have been so worried otherwise!)

Ron and Rum
I started to make our house our home straight away - well, we were snowed in - but for the first time in many years I actually enjoyed the snow. Before, I had always worried about travelling to and from the stableyard to do the horses – when they eventually arrived they would only be at the other end of the garden. Ron went for a walk on the Wednesday – the lane was beautiful, the orchard – our very own orchard – enchanting. Old Rum enjoyed himself.

And when the snow melted? There were hundreds of snowdrops instead!

* * *
Paradise Found!
The house from the lane
Three years on and I am as much in love with my gorgeous old house as ever. Kathy and Adam have their own part, an extension flat called Owl Lodge (yes we have several owls here). Baz and Eddie are our dogs now and the two cats have well and truly settled in. Lexie is the only original horse, we have some other new ones – including two Exmoor ponies – both born on Exmoor a few miles away. Plus six chickens, several ducks and 'Sir Hiss' the Gander and 'Boo' the Goose.

Baz & Eddie surveying Top Field
at the beach with Kathy
Baz with some of the hens
Lexie, Saffie, Luna
Siren & Mr Mischief
Geese and hens in the Orchard
Jan 19th 2016

Happy Devonshire Family !
Me, Adam, Kathy, Ron
(Adam & Kathy's wedding 1st March 2014)
January 19th 2013
January 19th 2016


  1. Anonymous3:44 pm

    love reading this x

  2. Seems to me not only have the pheasants found their perfect home (amazing how your raised them from street-orphans), but Eddie has definitely settled in - on his very own soft cushions. Both obviously permanently.

  3. Ooh lovely - no pirates though!

    1. Too cold for pirates! (I've one in my study though!)(not a real one of course! LOL)

  4. Happy Anniversary!Really enjoy your blog! Not one photo of that red tea pot... ;)

    1. I've only got a red kettle :-( The teapot has blue flowers.

  5. Happy Anniversary...I loved the read, big gamble and why not. Life is for living. Like us when Linda and I sold up and moved lock stock and barrel to southern Spain we have never regretted it.

    1. I wondered if we were doing the right thing on the day before the removal men arrived - but I think that was just being overwhelmed by the enormity of actually moving all our junk - er furniture and stuff. It included horse equipment as well - rubber stable mats, show jumps etc - then Ron's pigeon loft as well, various bins for pet feed. my best plant pots and garden furniture.... We had two enormous removal vans! Once the men got started packing everything though I felt fine. BEST thing we ever did was move! I LOVE it here.


Thank you for leaving a comment your interest is very much appreciated! It will be published as soon as possible - depending on whether I am at my computer or walking up the lane, or being chased by the goose or helping mend fences after the pony has broken through YET AGAIN.... :-)