48OE Blog  
Jan 14

Written by: 48OE Admin
14/01/2015 18:08  RssIcon

She who must not be named almost smiled. It was the 27th of December 2014 and we moved into about two thirds of our house. We bought our homestead a little over four years ago and moved into a mobile home. Careful  examination of the buildings and land produced a 12 to 18 month rebuilding programme and a reasonable budget was set. So far so good.

What could go wrong? Well like all Grand Design style programmes on television the answer was just about everything. Stage one, which we had not anticipated, was considerable and expensive tree work. Replacing seventeen gates and posts and every piece of fencing on the land made big inroads into the budget. The local supplier of fencing materials said “If you could buy a 1,000 acre estate in Herefordshire, I could retire based on what you are doing here”.

So the fact is that four years on we have spent zillions more than we thought and are still only two thirds of the way through with the house. In addition we have three more barns and a summer house to renovate - and we take it all in our stride. The only part of the “Television Genre” we have not embraced is for “She who must not be named” to fall pregnant. At this point I must add that I am too old having just turned sixty but I must emphasise that I make no such claim about “She who must not be named” as she is forever young in my eyes and in the bloom of life.

The parts of the house that are finished and our office are fantastic and we are very pleased with the end result. Working with craftsmen in Herefordshire is now fully understood. As incomers we first had to apply for their services and they came and inspected us. Fortunately we passed the test and we have had groups of locals working on fencing, plumbing, electrics, building, plastering and installing wood burners and windows. It was a choice to employ many small tradesmen rather than appoint one main contractor and as it has turned out our life and the result is much richer for this decision. It took time for us to understand and relax; if we were on their list all was well the job would eventually be done.

The question we stupidly asked as newcomers was “When are you coming?” We now know better. Herefordshire time moves slower and is elastic and what’s more surprising is that now we accept this time and space continuum local to our area we do not need to know when. Life is too short and in Herefordshire enjoying the moment is all. It really does not matter “when” as trust is everything.

We now have a book of craftsmen all of whom don’t want the world - they just want enough to live in a very modest way. They want to do a good job and feel appreciated. Our house is testimony to a simpler and more honest life. We have been humbled by the last four years  and we are much the better for it.

How long will the rest take? Who knows? As someone famous once said it is all about the journey not the destination and we agree.