Welcome home

We moved in to Rose Cottage on the 1st July. We’ve been here nearly half a year. We didn’t build it ourselves, that dream is on the shelf for now. In fact it’s a while since this house was built and it has a tangled history of being two homes, then one and finally (for now), our home. Ben is building a studio /office in the garden. We’ve just sourced the straw bales. It’s enough of a project.

So why not Ivy House Cottage? We were close. But we couldn’t get a resolution on the overage clause that said that we might have to pay ten of thousands of pounds on receipt of planning permission. There was no way we were going to go to court to fight that battle. In the end it wasn’t worth it. We began to wonder if it wasn’t worth it in other ways too. It’s a pretty big deal, building a house. Red turned 11 this autumn. We don’t have time to spare, as far as our kids are concerned.

And we saw Rose Cottage and the estate agents told the vendors to go with our offer because we were renting and ready to go. And suddenly here we are. With a green woodpecker in the garden and a neighbour who feeds the foxes. We intend to feed the hedgehogs.

We are very thankful for what we have. It is more than we ever thought of. What we have learned is that a house is a place for people. We have had opportunity to fill this house with people and it something from which we all benefit. When a house is full of people, then it is a home; then it becomes alive. That’s the best kind of building.

For Christmas we were 19, including some of the most inspirational people I have ever met. They are also refugees. It is a privilege and a pleasure to have our home made full and complete by so many. We hope this is only the beginning.

This has been an exciting year for us. In between our old house and our new one I’ve started to get paid for writing, and I’ve started writing stories for which I doubt I will ever get paid. It’s good, I’m enjoying it.

Maybe one day, when we are grey and our children our grown we will build a tiny woodman’s hut. Or perhaps we will live in a campervan. We may not get that far; one of us might have to go on alone, or not.

There’s no need to look too far ahead. There’s plenty to be getting on with now.

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