Home Sweet Home
I thought that a view of where we live might be of interest. First of all we live in the south west of the UK in a county called Gloucestershire. This map doesn’t actually show the county but does show the city of Gloucester to give you some idea of where we are – I have placed a nice red arrow to make life easier – Gloucester is about 18 miles away from us.
If you look very carefully at the tip of the map you can just make out the label for Isles of Scilly.
We live in a stone built cottage that was built in 1840 to house a quarryman and his family. The cottage is 600 feet above sea level on a north facing slope and is pretty secluded. The land above us was an opencast quarry for the limestone, this was used for house building, railway beds and foundations for road building.
The cottage hadn’t been lived in for over 30 years when we bought it and was pretty much derelict – holes where the doors and windows had been, very little in the way of interior partitions and holes in the roof. The surrounding 2 acres of land were waist high in rank growth of nettles, thistles and bramble bushes, to add insult to injury a local farmer’s cattle took shelter in the cottage so the floors were ankle deep in cow muck! At this time DH and I had been married only a year or so and he was contemplating buying this and us all living in it and I was just about ready to divorce him! DH had known the cottage since he was a lad having been born in the nearby village. However we did buy it, did remove all the cow manure and start work.
35 years on and the cottage looks totally different! The creeper growing up the side of the house and obscuring some of the windows is Virginia creeper and it has been clipped back a little since this photo was taken, the creeper is just starting to turn a beautiful red now as the weather grows cooler.
All the flowerbeds that surround the cottage and vegetable garden were created from scratch by us and that cow manure came in very handy! While making one of the flower beds we found a First World War medal and were able to track the family down and return it to them with the help of several newspapers and television.
Talking of wars, something DH remembered from when he was little boy was the aeroplane that crashed in April 1943 in a nearby field carrying 7 Canadian crew, the aircraft was a Whitley bomber possibly on exercise. Sadly there were no survivors as the aircraft burst into flames. It has always been DH’s wish to let members of the crew’s family know where the accident happened.
Surrounding our cottage and garden is hill pasture and above that a wood containing many beech trees. Our horse, Cherry, lives out on the hillside all year round. She is now 33 years old and has been with us for 22 years; she was a rescue horse who had been very badly treated but has had a good life since her rescue. She is in retirement now and is a much cossetted old friend who soon lets us know when she wants apples and carrots. In her younger days she wouldn’t wait for us to give her an apple but would visit the garden and make her way to the large apple tree and help herself to the windfalls, what always amazed us was that she never trod on any of the flower beds but would make her way most carefully around the paths!
Grandson Liam who prefers a trike to skis any old day. This was taken in winter 2009 when the temperatures were down to -13 degrees C at times. I know that the temperature can fall way below that in some places but it is too darned cold for us!
Hope you have enjoyed this brief tour of ‘our place’.