Although I am yet to secure a new property, I have in fact found one (or should that be, one found me?) that kinda fits the bill, albeit it with a fair few shortfalls compared to my beloved Riverside. It is very run down. Unloved. The garden is awful.. uneven…..just mud and weeds…no proper fencing.. no set layout or flow to it….( but nothing I cannot rectify) and it has just one medium sized outbuilding, that (atm) is not included with the cottage tenancy!….so that is a major sticking point…… The cottage is small. Tiny in fact. It has a rather nasty dated varnished cubicle sized kitchen..no room for a table or fridge or washing machine….or any of those normal kitchen-y things lol…… and it has a tiny lounge.. That’s it!
Downstairs there is a basic bathroom tacked on the side and there are three teeny basic bedrooms upstairs, which altogether do not add up to the space in the two bedrooms we have here…….and here is not big!!! It has a walk in pantry in the hall and an under-stairs larder in the kitchen entrance. But that’s the sum of it.. It is very small indeed…But I can work magic with it if given the chance..I want to take it back to how it should look..a traditional Victorian farm workers cottage.. strip paintwork.. paint walls.. clean quarry tiles… make it tasteful and classic and quaint!..and most of all LOVED!! XXX
However I now realise that I shall have to sell a lot of my furniture and do a fair bit of juggling to get essential items like my Victorian iron bed and at least one of my comfy sofas inside this new tiny living space…that is IF we end up there????… Nothing is set in stone yet…… and my new potential landlords/ ladies ( It is a family thing) have yet to get back to me in reply to a question I have asked regarding sole use of the garden plot/outbuilding… I have two more places to look at, if a couple of things concerning this tiny potential home cannot be resolved.. *sigh
As most of my readers know, about 6 yrs ago I came to Riverside when it too was unloved and in need of some tlc. The garden was full of nettles, brambles, creeping buttercups, poorly/diseased trees, hogweed and docks, the pond leaked badly and there were piles of old building materials, a rusty trampoline frame and broken sheds scattered about the place. But I could see the beauty….
Slowly, but with determination and lots of hard work, H and I have created a peaceful permaculture sanctuary here. We have lived so very happily here.. it is private and peaceful…and within months of moving in an abundance of wildlife soon became residents or visitors here too.
We grow / have grown a huge amount of food here: Veg, Fruit, Herbs etc.. We planted willow along boundaries as goat forage ..installed a bee hive in the side garden……. and planted nut and fruit trees wherever we could……as well as soft fruit of all kinds….We keep our tiny dairy herd of goats here on the plot and raise poultry for eggs and meat… We have installed water butts..compost bins and dozens of nest boxes about the place, as homes for insects, birds and bats… We have repaired the jetty over the river after floods washed part of it away last winter and we have sat there on that little jetty watching the brown trout, water voles, dragonflies and damselflies every summer since we moved in. We love it here.. I am sure a part of us will remain here when we leave <3 xxx
We have a rather motley collection of outbuildings both here at Riverside and on the land we rent for the ponies. These buildings include goat sheds, feed stores, an aviary for quail, wood sheds, tool sheds, greenhouse, a large store on the side of the cottage, a milking shed, mudroom for wellies, plus a lean to room to hold incubators and heat lamps….. plus we have the two field shelters at our paddocks and a tack-room/feed-room too. We shall need at least SOME kind of storage-space/outbuilding at any future property we move to. That has become very clear as we try so very hard to whittle down our belongings and tools to the bare minimum. I think it is hard for people to truly understand why we need space to store stuff. Self sufficiency/ smallholding require lots of tools/ equipment . They are the tools of our lifestyle..x.
So at the moment H and I are in limbo..STILL not knowing what is happening about the cottage we viewed, despite doing EVERYTHING we have been asked to do….. We sent in excellent references.. I have had phone calls and texts with various family members… I was happy to view it whilst it was in a bad way…. .. and then I had an impromptu visit from the farm owner….and a planned visit from him and his wife here at Riverside the following day, where I answered all the questions asked of me…. We don’t know what else we can do?….. So we are left waiting for people to get back to us……..STILL no moving date or confirmation over the use of the outbuilding on the site….No idea of the actual rent ( despite asking for a figure and being reassured it will be below what I pay here) … and the constant not knowing is EXHAUSTING, unsettling and demoralising….and I am losing the will to continue with it tbh :/
We are now surrounded by boxes here at Riverside….. Packing inside the cottage has proceeded in readiness for all the other work we will need to do to move the outdoor stuff/ plants/ tools and livestock.. eventually!..I am trying to be organised… and I am trying very hard to focus on a new start somewhere else…. I am just hoping we don’t have to unpack it all again in two or three months time and start looking all over again… I need some certainty so I can hand in my notice here….. and get ready to move…..I need to be fair to my current landlord too and let him know my plans…. but I can’t do anything til I know more myself..The joy of being a tenant smallholder.. *sigh….. xxx
Please feel free to make a donation..Paypal button below… Any donations usually go towards the cost of running this blog (internet costs) but any future donations are being used to fund animal housing at my new home.. The goats will need a new stable/shelter so any donations, no matter how small, will be greatly appreciated x
Thank you kindly, from all of us at Riverside xxxx