Tag: country

Q is for Quaint

I love seaside towns, especially small villages and even though we’ve lived down here in Cornwall for over six years, there are still many parts which we have yet to discover and explore.

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About a month ago, we had the chance to visit the Rame Peninsula and since we just arrived from our trip, it almost felt like we were abroad again what with its lovely little cottages with shutters and plant boxes, definitely reminded me of the quaint country cottages in France.

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 Lovely isn’t it?

Q is for quaint.

Once again, linking this post up with PODcast’s #AlphabetPhotographyProject.

Property or Location?

This post may come as a surprise to most of you, especially since I haven’t mentioned anything or gave any hints about moving.  Before Christmas my husband and I decided to put our little house on the market.  After the new year, we were lucky enough to have a few viewings and after awhile, received and accepted an offer.

As some of you may know, the husband is a history lecturer for the Open University.  That means he works mostly at home, except when he has tutorials/lectures that brings him to Exeter or Plymouth.  We only have two bedrooms in our little cottage.  It was perfectly fine when it was just me, him and the Mutt.  But when little T arrived, then Boots, and Doc, our little house has become even smaller than it really is. Can you imagine trying to get some work done with a three-year-old and excitable pup yelling/yelping in the background?  I’m actually amazed that he has managed this long.  But the time has come to move to a house with a study, so we’ve decided to take the plunge and look for a house with a third bedroom and maybe even a bigger garden. Guess what that might just be in the offing for us soon!

You can’t imagine though how stressful this month has been.  We’ve viewed about eight properties.  Made an offer for a house that had lovely views but needed a bit of work, but the bank who owns it, refused our humble offer, which means back to the drawing board folks!.

My question is, what’s more important to you, the property or the location?

I know that you can’t change location and can easily change the property, but what if you don’t want to stretch your budget and have to do renovations/refurbishments that would mean robbing the bank or at least your bank account?  The husband and I are allergic to debt and we’ve always been debt free, but since we live in an expensive area where a lot of the houses here (especially in our present village) are second homes or holiday properties, this move would mean a small mortgage.  Sometimes though I wonder if we are mad to actually want to be in debt no matter how small it may be?

Anyway, my husband still wants to live near the coast, but as mentioned, prices here can be a bit exhorbitant.  Whereas I am willing to move inland to get more space for our little family as long as the house and place is somewhere we wouldn’t mind living in for at least the next ten years.

After all that hullabaloo with trying to make a deal with the bank who owned the house with the beautiful view, I just feel that I’m not up for a project anymore, especially since I doubt if my husband could manage living/working in a house while it’s being done.  Also, can you imagine little T running around while there is some building-works going on?  At the moment, I just want to move in, unpack then de-stress. It doesn’t really matter to me if I don’t have this view from our window, what am I saying?  If we win millions of pounds in the lottery, why not?  Perhaps, it’s time to start buying tickets now?  So if you know any lucky numbers, please mention them in your comments 🙂

The photo above was taken in Polzeath (not far from our little village) where UK readers will know that properties here can easily cost a million pounds.  This is also where David Cameron, the present UK Prime Minister likes to go on his summer breaks with his family.  Yes, you get the picture.

Over this stressful month, I’ve learned a few things though about this whole selling/buying malarkey:

1.  Expect the properties to be smaller in reality, though the people who’ve viewed ours have commented that the rooms in our house looks so much bigger than in the photos.

2.  A house that might not have moved you in your first visit might actually be the most practical house for you and your family.

3.  And another thing that really surprised me is that estate agents in the UK are not a bad breed AT ALL.  You see, before all this began, my husband warned me about them, how they can be sneeky and lie through their teeth just to sell a property.  So far J, the estate agent we’ve been working with has been really genuinely nice to us and especially to little T.  He always makes it a point to have a real conversation with her and not just the usual “How are you today?”  kind of thing and then ignore her for the next minutes or so, that to me makes him a really good estate agent 🙂

Having mentioned the lessons learned, there is one property that seems to be the most practical one for us.  Let’s just say the house doesn’t have much character or soul (as my husband said as we stepped out the door), but it is practical and most importantly we can just move in and just do minor things like give it a new lick of paint.  And did I mention that it is chain free?  That will definitely save us the stress of waiting for the vendors to look for a place to live.  This has also made me realised that I’ve actually matured!  That I’m finally growing-up at the tender age of 40.  The old me wouldn’t even think of moving into a house that looked like the rest of the houses in the street.  I’d insist on something with more charm or character.  Oh wow, the impossible has happened 🙂  Did I mention that the house is still near the coast, and to our present village, which will mean that little T won’t be so far from her best-friend F and play-school.  I don’t even know why I mentioned that, since she’s off play-school again. I’m not even getting into that right now, that would only add to my stress and insomnia!

Or who knows?  We might just surprise you guys once more and head off to the city?  You’ll never know!  Seriously though, do send us some of your positive vibes and happy thoughts, that we find a place that’s really right for us soon!  And don’t forget those lucky numbers! 😉

This is a sponsored post, however, the photo and all words are by Yours Truly.

Have a great weekend.

One Foggy Day

I came across the following photos, while browsing through my photographs for this week’s What’s The Story post.  In case, you’ve just stumbled upon this entry and wondering what it is, it’s one of my favourite weekly linkys which is all about the story behind your pictures.

These are old photos and was taken sometime in April 2008.  This was life before little T, which means the Mutt was still alive and I could take lovely long walks any time in the day, rain or shine… or in this case, fog.

It was indeed one foggy day, the kind of fog that is so thick you can’t really see what’s in front of you.  The kind you wouldn’t want to be caught in while driving.  The kind which scary B movies are made of … you get the picture.  We began our walk through the eerie gates of the ancient church of Forrabury (dates back to 1196) …

and walked among the graves in the cemetery …

… spooky isn’t it?

Like I said, the fog was so thick I couldn’t really see beyond my steps.  The Mutt was barking excitedly and that sort of calmed me, because I knew that if there was also anyone out there, they would know our presence and we wouldn’t bump into each other.  There was no one else out that day… just me and the Mutt.

We walked to the edge of the cliff, I could barely see the drop and when I did, of course, I had to take a photo.  My knees went jelly a bit, but it was still breathtaking and looked really sinister.

And on our way back, we saw this cat by the gate, she absolutely refused to budge, until we were so close I could feel the tension between her and the dog.  After a staring contest, we won and she gave in and allowed us through.

If you too have stories to tell behind your photographs, do link-up with PODcast.  It’s a great way to reach a wider audience and meet lovely bloggers too! :

This post is linked-up with PODcast’s What’s The Story

Hope everyone has a lovely week ahead of them!

A Winter Walk

Last week when the weather was better, we took a walk with our friends up in the headland.  I was expecting it to be cold and blustery, so I was pleasantly surprised to find the temperature mild, especially for a winter day.

There’s little T walking behind, hoping to find more muddy puddles.

Her dad had to carry her so she could see beyond the bushes.

In case you’re wondering if Doc was with us, he definitely was!

We decided to go up to the coast-gaurd’s hut to see the horses grazing, was a bit worried about my ankle, but apart from hurting just a bit, I was fine.  Can you spot the horse in this photo?

My husband actually thought he saw a seal, I think he really did, but with my awful eye-sight I couldn’t see what he was pointing at.  Doc didn’t seem impressed either.

As for little T, she was content on sitting and just gazing at the sea.

On our way back, we spotted this horse, I’m wondering though if it was the same one we spotted earlier on?

Have you guys settled into the New Year yet?  I took our Christmas tree and decors down yesterday, the house looks a little bare, but I’m fine with that.  The weather is a bit unsettled, but here in Bos, there really isn’t much of a big difference whether there’s a storm or not.  The winds up here howl on a regular day, so a stormy day, is pretty much like a normal day for us.  Hope no one is affected by the floods though, stay safe everyone!

This post is linked-up with Coombe Mill’s Country Kids.

Our 2013 Year in Photos

Tonight is New Year’s Eve – 2014. Sounds a bit creepy, isn’t it?   Like a Sci-Fi movie or a Ray Bradbury short-story.

Did you have a good 2013?  Ours was a waiting-game, a bit frustrating, but I won’t bore you with the details and it’s not something I really like talking about, especially not when the New Year is about to come.  I only want to think of positive thoughts and have good vibes, so I’m sharing with you some of my favourite photos of the old year – 2013, before bidding it goodbye.

Our January began with trying to pick/hoover pine needles off our carpet.  It took ages before we managed to hoover them all off.  Some were really stubborn and stuck beneath our carpet.  At one time, I even started picking them up one by one!

Early February little T and F went to Darmoor Zoo (with their parents of course).

Good weather in March took us to the beach in Trebarwith Strand.

The good thing about living near the ocean is that the beach is never far away.  So here we are again in April, looking for rock pools to explore at Crackington Haven.

End of May took us to visit a close friend in Brighton.  I love Brighton, hope to be back there soon!

Every chance we could get, when the sun was out, we hopped in our cars and met friends at the beach.  Here’s little T with her best-friend F, aren’t they the cutest?

This is probably my most favourite photo of 2013.  I love the look of pure bliss on little T’s face as she played with F down in the harbour when the tide was so low, the little ones actually had a little beach to play on!

On the 26th of August, our little girl turned 3.  This was taken at her birthday picnic in a park in Launceston after a steam-train ride.

In September, we had a visit from a close American friend and had a brief tour around Cornwall, bits of Wales, Bristol, Wiltshire and London.

October of course, our little family of two adults, a little girl, and cat, was joined by a small little pup which little T named Doc.

Which brought us to lots of walks in November.

And lastly, this photo of little T with Father Tudor Christmas at Trerice, National Trust rounds up our photos of 2013.  If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll recognise most of the photos I used on the list.  Anyway …

Have a lovely New Year everyone!

Hope 2014 brings all of us more love, luck, wealth and most especially good health 🙂

You guys have been the best!

Let’s all be friends again next year and all the years to come 🙂

The Night before Christmas …

we got invited to have a Swedish Christmas dinner with little F and his lovely family.  C, F’s mum is from Sweden. Dinner was absolutely yum.  We enjoyed the smorgasbord of meat balls, sausages, home-cooked ham, bread, pickled cabbage, and cheese to name only a few and must not forget the drinks like glog (mulled wine), and of course the sips of shnapps as we sang some traditional Swedish songs and toasting.  When I say “sang” it was more like us nodding our heads and trying to join in the chorus.  Oh and must not forget to mention the old tradition of dipping a piece of bread in the ham broth, I definitely gave it a go.  It was absolutely delicious!

And after that, we all went to our local pub, the Napoleon which is a 16th century Inn that serves delicious food, local ale and is a lovely family pub.  That night though since we’ve just had dinner, we gathered around a fire-pit instead or what they call a brazier and sang Christmas carols. This time, we actually knew the lyrics!

It was really fun actually.  Singing without any care whether one was in pitch or not.  My in-laws gamely went and even sang along (let’s just say they aren’t “pub people”).  I think my father-in-law was the only one in the group who could carry a tune.  Yet no one cared and every one sang with gusto.  The kids enjoyed it as well, mostly because they were each given a present.  Little T opened hers right away and squealed in delight to find a bubble bottle and some sweets.  She and her best-friend ran around blowing bubbles at each other.

Toasted marshmallows and roasted chestnuts were also passed around …

It was the first time the pub did anything like that.  It’s nice to be able to support your local pub, especially when it comes to fun-filled activities geared for families.  What about you?  What were you doing the night before Christmas?

This post is linked-up with Country Kids.

At the Football Field

It’s time for an another adventure Doc!

Woof! 

Yay!

Quick before mummy notices we are up to something again.

Little T grabs her favourite red coat and wooly hat and off they go.

Woof!  Woof!  Woof!

Where are we going?

To the football field where we can ran around like loonies!

Woof! Woof!  Woof!

Sounds like fun!

Where are you going?

Woof!  Woof! Woof!

I’m heading for that net – would so love to have my teeth on that!

I don’t think that’s a very good idea Doc!

Woof! Woof!  Woof!

Hey!  Why did you tug me away?

The football players won’t like it if you bite a hole in their net.

Woof!  Woof?

Football players?

Woof!  Woof!  Woof! Woof!  Woof!

I don’t see them around, it’s just us here!

Yes, Doc.  But that doesn’t mean you can bite on their net!

Woof?

Why?

Because I said so!

Woof!  Woof!  Woof!  

That’s not fair!

Well, you don’t always get what you want you know …

Little T sighs and says to herself “Now I know what mummy feels

C’mon, let’s just stick to the plan and run around like loonies!

Woof!  

Yay!

This post is linked up with Coombe Mill’s Country Kids.

Doggie Heaven

We live in Doggie Heaven.  There is a headland nearby where dogs can go for long walks, jump around like loonies and try to chase rabbits.  St. Peter’s woods is also close, complete with a river where dogs can go for a swim, if not they could also get all wet, smelly and chase seagulls down in the harbour.

Our dog Mutly liked to chase them, the rabbits.  But he was never lucky and never got around to catching one.  As mentioned on this post, we used to laugh and say he was a big joke in Bunny land, where bunnies liked to gather around the fire and talk and make fun about what a slow-poke he was.  I bet he was a legend!

We used to have rescue dog named Lila.  She was a hunter.  She came bounding up to us one day with a poor rabbit in her mouth.  I was so shocked.  She turned out to be a disturbed dog, not because she liked to kill rabbits, but she just turned on us on a few occasions.  When it became too frightening, we decided to take her back.  I still feel guilty about that now, especially when I think about what they must have done to her.

And then there’s Doc, hope he grows up to be a lot like the Mutt, already he is looking a bit like him.  Since he was a rescued pup, they were never really sure what kind of breed he was.  They though that he was a collie x lurcher.  But seeing Doc now, my husband and I think Mutly was a Bedlington cross too.

Doc loves the headland. We don’t put him off the leash yet, the vet said only to do it when we’re confident that he’d answer to our call – hopefully that will happen soon.  I doubt if he’ll chase rabbits though.  I bet the bunnies will take one look at him and say “Oh no, not another Mutt!”  And they’ll go home and tell everyone that the Mutt has been reincarnated.  I wonder if rabbits believe in reincarnation? Do you?

This post is linked-up with Coombe Mill’s Country Kids.

Doc goes to the Beach

“The sun is out Doc!”  exclaims little T as she looks out the window.   “Woof, woof!” says her puppy, which translates to, “I’m not really sure what you mean, but judging from the tone of your voice it sounds lovely!”

“I think we should go to the beach!”  T becomes excited and does a little dance before going off to find her Dada who was actually busy with work.  Doc seeing her all excited, becomes equally excited too.

“Can we go to the beach Dada?  Little T asks her dad who was very busy with work.

From behind his mountain of papers, Dada sighs and says “Fine, let’s go to the beach“.  Little T squeals in delight, making Doc go Woof, woof, woof, which translates to, “I’m not sure why my little human is happy, but that also makes me happy!

So off to the beach they went.

“Look at all these lovely stones, Doc!”

Woof, woof, woof!  which translates to  “Can I eat them?!”

“Don’t be silly, Doc.  If you eat them, you will choke”

‘C’mon let’s go exploring instead and then we can play with the waves!”

‘This is fun!” says little T.  Doc on the other hand, didn’t look convinced at all.  He had his little tail between his legs …

Woof, woof, woof! ”  Doc told little T, which translates to “No, it’s not fun!  It’s too cold!

“Don’t be such a baby, Doc!  It isn’t cold!”

“Woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, woof!”  which translates to “But I am a baby!  And it’s easy for you to talk, you’re wearing wellies, a coat, a scarf and a silly woolly hat with pompoms!

And he adds, “Woof, woof, woof, woof”

which translates to, “So I’m just going to sit here and keep myself warm by the grass.  While you can go around and run like a loony”

To which little T replied:  “Fine!”

And did just as Doc suggested – ran around like a loony till it was time to go home.

All photos taken at Widemouth Bay in Bude, North Cornwall.

This post is linked-up with Coombe Mills Country Kids.