Building the Dream – builders on site!

Building the Dream – builders on site!

I thought you might like to share the adventure as The Farmer and I embark on our ‘big build’ and attempt to morph this…

DSC_0943 (1)
The Chaff House ~ built circa 1910

into this…

The Chaff House Drawing
The Chaff House ~ built circa 20?? (I’m not jinxing it with a year)

It’s a lovely old barn on our farm, and we hope to preserve some of its character and history as we turn it into our home.

To bring you up to speed, here are the stages we’ve been through so far:

  • Architects drawings (twice, because we changed everything.)
  • Planning permission (twice… because we changed the architect’s drawings.)
  • Enthusiastic tree felling (see earlier post: Plain Barny)
  • Barn clearing
  • (To be fair, The Farmer takes the lion’s share of the credit for this transformation. I was busy…)

    … making pretty models on 3D Architect.)

    (It’s addictive, I tell you. Like real life Sims! You can even add wind chimes (ffs!) I’ve moved every interior wall (several times) and suffered a mild panic attack when I set the bed down in the master bedroom (calm restored when I remembered that I was working in an American programme and adjusted the bed to UK dimensions. American beds are ginormous, apparently.)

But the playing is over now. WE’VE GOT REAL LIFE BUILDERS ON SITE!

We’ve gathered the perfect team, with more years of experience between them than even that ol’ barn has seen. DB, DS and DK (*Dodgy Back, Dodgy Shoulder and Dodgy Knees) are currently tearing down the old feather-edged boards, and OF (*Ornery Farmer) is excavating foundations to see if they’re deep enough (fingers crossed).

(*To be fair, I’m the one with a ceramic hip, and the farmer might be less ornery if I stopped moving walls.)

I’ve supplied tea, biscuits and ibuprofen, now I’m writing a blog post. It’s what I do best, for the moment (and it’s keeping me from the dangers of Architect 3D with the potential risk of forking out for a third set of drawings).

Let the adventure begin.

Any suggestions where I might hang those wind chimes, guys?

Plain Barny

Plain Barny

We live a jammy, comfortable life in a lovely home with running water, central heating and his&hers studies. (We’ve been wed 32 years, and farmed side by side for all of them, but we’ve yet to achieve the heady compatibility of shared office space.)

Our kids grew up in this house, pets and sagas have come and gone. The rooms wear the tale of our lives like a favoured sweatshirt; baggy and washed-out with age. There’s a simile there which suits us rather well these days too. We turn a blind eye to the peeling wallpaper, the leaky roof and the scuff marks. The house has become an old friend and her quirks are easy to tolerate.

But the indolence of our mid-life comfort is about to be shaken. We’re downsizing, into a barn, which currently looks like this…


Our barn hasn’t got running water, central heating or sewers, but I am reassured that these vital amenities are included in the plans. As are his&hers offices (to avoid the alternative – his&hers houses – which would be altogether more costly). There are also a lot of indecipherable ciphers on our drawings, which I’m desperately trying to interpret.

building reg snip

I’m sure it will all be fine. The Farmer has chopped down some trees (a knee-jerk reaction to stress), we’ve got artisan mates primed to start work and I’m mugging up on Celotex and feather-edged boarding (whilst surreptitiously pinning pretty pictures to Pintrest).


And I’m learning a lot. Primarily, I’ve learnt that my notions are more romantic than my budget. Is there such a thing as a dream editor, to keep things realistic?


We may have to reconsider the pretty windows, but we will have windows of some sort… I think. There will be hilarity (hysteria), cock-up and heated discussion (argument) aplenty before we get this job done. I fully accept that my comfortable, baggy-sweatshirt existence is about to be disrupted.

Bring on the sequined crop-top, I’m (almost) ready.


Changing hats and waiting for sunshine

Changing hats and waiting for sunshine

Mercy, it’s a while since I’ve been on here. So long that my rustic romance link has dropped right off of my ‘frequently visited sites’. It’s been replaced by pages from my other, less interesting life; HMRC, bank accounts and office supplies. How I love the end of the tax year.


I’m still a frequent visitor to Pinterest though; this year (and next, and probably the one after that…) we’re converting a barn on the farm. My input so far has been looking at pretty pictures. I’m good at that. This is what our house-to-be looks like at the moment:

February 2016

Oodles of rustic romance, the inside isn’t so pleasing to the eye – yet.

Ditch clearing on the farm this week, and stocking up the woodstore. I’m beyond happy that my new hip lets me walk far enough to check up on progress…


And still editing of course, lots of red pen marks on the final draft and I really need to get it finished before the sun comes out, those chairs on the decking are calling.


Happy April guys.