Gardenpinks' Blog

This, that and life!

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.

At the time we had 4 children, one a baby born
the year we bought the cottage.

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!

The type of views we enjoy here and the most beautiful sunsets.

But we can also have some extreme weather at times as in the winter of 2008 and again in 2009 as can be seen in these photos.

Winter 2008 and brrr was it cold. Neither of us is a cold weather person. Just hate that weather and all the difficulties it brings.

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’.


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6 thoughts on “Home Sweet Home

  1. You have a beautiful home! I know there was tons of work involved in getting your home restored. How long did it take to complete it? Originally built in 1840? Do you have any other residents that make their presence known from time to time? Maybe the quarry man? How exciting to find the Medal then suss out who it belonged to. How long was that process? How did you even begin to start finding who it belonged to? That would be a tale to tell. Yes, I'm a Nosey Parker.Your Liam is so cute. In his winter clothes and conquering the snow on his trike. Adorable, absolutely adorable.Your horse, I didn't know they could live so long! Guess that is what happens when cared for well, they just keep hanging around bringing joy and love. It will be a sad day in your home when she (?) is gone. She has been part of your family for so long and will be sorely missed. No more whinneys and neighs to hear.Thank you for this glimpse in your life. Now, I'd like to know why your home is called a "cottage" when it is more a house than a small structure.

  2. Many thanks for the comments Leslie and for stopping by. Finished? That is the only 'f' word I like – finished! Our home finished- no way, still work to do and we have spent 35 years and much money. We didn't have a mortgage when we bought the property but an arrangement with the previous owner; to get a mortgage we would have to borrow so much more money than we wanted to so we decided to do the work as and when we could afford it and so we had to go out and work which meant little time and so it went on!The dictionary definition isn't clear of the difference between cottage and house but our home has always been called Mount Cottage and it seems that rural places were often referred to as cottages. There have never been any other spooky residents but we would have loved to have met one so we could ask it questions about life and times here.A neighbour's horse lived until the age of 40! Sadly he had to be put to sleep earlier this year. All our animals seem to live long lives with little recourse to the vet and we think that is because they live n a more natural environment without any stress like lots of people around or traffic. One cat we had was 19 years old when he died. Cherry has only had the vet to her once since she came to live here and that was for a strained back when she rolled awkwardly.I am hoping to put the grid card video up on YouTube on Monday whe I am at work – better broadband speed there!!!Thanks again Leslie.Love and hugsLynn xx

  3. You know…there are some things that you do that bring you a feeling of pride and accomplishment, as well as a startling realization of "I did that!" Facing a fear and moving through it.When I think of you and your husband working on that old derelict house and making it into a comfortable home I sense great accomplishment. Room by room you two tore out old and rotting wood, wallpaper, and other stuff. Repairing a wall, reinforcing a foundation, or replacing a floor requires power tools and hand tools. Things we, as girls, are not taught to use. Not to mention a measuring tape and knowing what each increment is for proper cutting measuring for fit.Were I you, I'd be catching myself in a room looking around and saying out loud "I did this!" as I looked at the floor and wall, stood at the window and looked out.Your work was not easy and I heartily commend you for not running away screaming. I told you once long ago that I thought you had grit and I'm even more positive you have "True Grit" girlfriend. Makes me proud to know you.Love you – Leslie

  4. We all should have a sense of achievement, when you think what w have overcome in life and the obstacles we have tackled then we all deserve a pat on the back and feel proud. You have done this Leslie and gone on to become a generous, warmhearted person – I'm proud to know you too and that shows True Grit!I did want to run away screaming at times but I had to get over it, roll up my sleeves and get stuck in. It is amazing what you can learn to do. It is when we have visitors and I see the gardens and our home through their eyes that I think – heck we did this ourselves and feel proud that we did it and in some cases whilst fighting other peoples prejudices and envy.So glad to have you as a friend Leslie.Love and hugsLynn xx

  5. Thank you so much for this post Lynn! It's so wonderful to see just where and how and with whom you live…I'm speaking of Cherry and Liam here! I really appreciated the map too as it puts an exact location on it all! Your cottage is so lovely and your gardens are amazing! I did have to chuckle at -13 degrees C being cold! I thought you were a hearty lot over there! lol I'm just teasing you! At least you understand Celsuis! I truly enjoyed this peek into your life! Thank you very much!…Nancy :o)

  6. I know that -13C is probably a joke with you hardy folk of Canada but it is rather cold for a temperate island and certainly so for us – Rod and I had to share a hot water bottle!! No central heating in our home so it is a sprint to bed and dive under the duvets, brrr!Thank you Nancy for the lovely comments. Liam is a talkative delight, full of curiosity as only a 3 year old can be but sometimes it would be nice to find the mute button :)Love and hugsLynn xx

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