The day has finally come. We’re on the move! After talking about it for about three years, and then another 15 months patiently waiting while we tried to sell, we are relocating from a small village to a small market town. It’s not a massive change in some ways, because we’re only going to be about seven miles north, but we have lived in our current home for 21 years, and our children grew up here, so it’s a house that’s full of memories.
When we moved in…
When we arrived here in 1996 from Hackney, East London, to rural Northamptonshire, the house was a 70s horror. It had artex ceilings, cork on the walls, a fake stone fireplace and acres of brown swirly carpets. We fell in love with the huge garden, overlooking open fields rather than the house. That garden has always been the best thing about the place. Over the years, our two boys learnt to toddle across the grass picking up apples from the trees, they worked out how to ride their trikes, and then their two wheeled bikes on the lawn. We had campfires, picnics, barbecues. There was space for them to put their goal, then a trampoline, and they hosted teenage camping parties for their friends (much to the disapproval of one set of our neighbours!). Over the years, we gutted the house, built a two storey extension and changed pretty much everything about it.
Working as a freelance journalist and blogger, and then briefly as the editor of a gardening magazine, I used the house and garden as a background for my photography, my makes and various projects. It was the perfect neutral backdrop.
But times change. One son has left home and works in London, the other is at uni. We don’t need all the space. Whilst we like the village, there’s no public transport and it’s very quiet. We decided it was time to move on. I’ve always loved Stamford, a stone market town seven miles away, and that’s where we’re going.
I feel nostalgic for all the memories we’ve made here (that slide was a surprise third birthday present) but very excited for our new era.
So it’s goodbye to the sweet spots. The arbour. The hammock (my absolute favourite), and my route to the village shop over the field. The walnut tree with its annual bounty, the raspberry bushes, the lilac and the white clematis climbing over the plum tree. The barn owl hunting in the back field at dusk.
I won’t miss those nettles sweeping in every year from the field though! I never quite tamed our space.
The path to the post office…
Those peaceful evenings of watering….
We’ve hosted countless celebrations here. Mum and Dad’s golden wedding, children’s birthday parties, and it’s been the focal point for family Christmases. I wonder how many cakes I’ve made in this kitchen? One thing I’ve loved is picking the mixture of wild and cultivated flowers for the house. I must plant some cutting flowers in our new small garden. It will be a top priority.
Honeysuckle and lavender and everlasting sweetpeas – all favourites.
Most of my plants are sourced at car boot sales.
Can never have too many jugs, or flowers…
Another favourite roost…
This is where we’re heading: a small terraced Edwardian house. It’s another project, not very lovely as it stands, but I have sooo many plans for it.
A little garden, but hopefully one that I can make from scratch exactly as I want it. An open plan kitchen diner in the basement that we plan to extend. A sweet attic room. Lots and lots of lovely floorboards hidden under the horrible carpets.
A lot of boxes, dust and paint pots stand between us and the end result, but it’s going to be fun as well as hard work (I hope). See you on the other side….