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In the Vale of the White Horse

A scant year after our last house move, we have moved again. This time it was because Mr Namasi started a new job in Oxfordshire. We were so happy in our last thatched cottage that, when our house hunting efforts unearthed another one, Mr Namasi’s mind was made up. I vacillated between the thatch and a larger bungalow nearer to his office, but the thatch won out. So now we find ourselves in a little cottage in Uffington, near the famous White Horse, which we can see as we drive about the narrow country roads.

There are paddocks where horses graze within 50 metres of our door in pretty much every direction. At least two of the abutting neighbours keep chickens. There is a community garden behind the local pub, which is two doors down. Apparently, there is a litter picking event twice a year, which I hope to become part of. There is apparently not a craft group in the village. If only we knew someone who might start one… oh, hang on a minute! Watch this space.

Quirky spaces

This cottage is even older than the last one we lived in, with even more quirky, mis-shapen spaces that are tricky to furnish. I love it!

Our new garden is huge and L-shaped. The owner used to live here herself with her family when she first bought the cottage over 30 years ago. And they kept ponies for her daughters in the stables at the far end, and there is space enough for them to have grazed in the short bit of the L. I will, of course, be using the stables as my workshop. With the owner’s blessing, I plan to turn the end of the L into a wild meadow to attract bees and butterflies.

Sofa in the kitchen

Moving home is always an opportunity to re-evaluate and re-arrange. The leather sofa that has accompanied us through the last 13 years and three homes refused point-blank to fit through the doorway to the new lounge. So now we have a comfy sofa in the kitchen. Talk about silver linings! First, the kitchen is big enough to accommodate it. Second, there is nothing quite so comfy as lying on that sofa while Mr Namasi takes his turn at cooking the dinner, and we catch up on our respective days. I love having people over for a meal, but I confess to a measure of FOMO when I need to attend to something in the kitchen. That sofa is going mean that I can ask some of our guests to come and chat to me while I’m working. The kitchen is also big enough to hold a six-seater dining table and chairs.

Large kitchen

The kitchen was the first space we unpacked completely. I wanted that sense of security that comes with being able to cook a meal and eat it, without stress.

In addition to the large kitchen, there is an actual dining room, which is taking shape nicely, but is a low priority.

Our bedroom is almost done. A couple of boxes have yet to be unpacked, and our night stands will have to be jettisoned, because they don’t fit. Of course, I nearly did myself a serious mischief by insisting on assembling our new bed (complete with – heavy AF – iGel mattress, and pneumatic powered lifters to access the under-bed storage) by myself. Because I am pig-headed, stubborn and bloody-minded. Takes 2 people 4 hours to assemble, it said. It took me less than that, but left me with some impressive bruises and minor blood loss.

Both bathrooms have been claimed, after a few rethinks. I still have to change the roller blind in the main bathroom, though – the current mint-and-pink colour scheme is pretty, but it isn’t me.

Mr Namasi’s study, showing the offending beam

Mr Namasi’s study is pretty much up and running, only the alcove we thought perfect for his desk is proving to be a concussion waiting to happen as he keeps smacking his head on the beam – see picture. A re-org appears to be called for.

The lounge is going to need a rethink. The sofa obviously doesn’t fit. Plus the loss of some bedrooms in the downsizing process means that we need a sofa bed for guests, anyway. So we’re on the hunt for one of those. But for now, we have somewhere comfy to spend our evenings, even if it is a little mismatched, with chairs drawn from odd places.

At this stage, we have whittled down the pile of boxes impressively, but those that remain are mostly in my studio and workshop. So there is nothing being kreated at present. Normal service will be resumed in due course. In the meantime, the process of unpacking my studio just seems to cause more clutter before subsiding. The fact that this is all happening while the football (will it be coming home?) and Wimbledon are both on telly, means that it’s going more slowly than it ought. Sorry about that!


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