Monday, 16 May 2011

Location, location

You may have noticed the rather magnificent section of house that now adorns the header of this blog. Alas, it is not Much Malarkey Manor, but oh, if only it was! It is, in fact, the cottage that Andy and I stayed in when we went on holiday a couple of weeks ago. The holiday was an early birthday present for Andy, and I booked the cottage, all surreptitious like, and I kept it secret until the day before we went, and then I said, "Surprise!! We're going on holiday tomorrow!" and Andy was duly surprised and off we went.

The cottage was even more of a surprise. Never have I gone to stay somewhere that felt like we were stepping through the door of our home when we arrived. It was fab! A little porch with cat flap and storage cupboards for wellies and pet food led to a large kitchen with stone floor, an Aga, a breakfast bar and an original bread oven that lit up at night (don't ask why- but I spent a lot of time flicking the switch on and off and going 'Ahhhh!'). A raised dining room full of beams and oak staircase. A living room with inglenook fireplace, French doors leading out to the lake across the driveway, and views all around. Upstairs, three large double bedrooms, each window with a view, a little shower room and a big bathroom with the most ENORMOUS sod-off shower I've ever encountered.

Outside, a shed housing an old forge, a large garden with hen house, herb beds and trees and a large gas barbecue, all surrounded by estate farmland.

Honestly, we contemplated claiming squatters' rights and refusing to move out when our allotted holiday time was over.

Never mind that when we had a barbecue on the second night my ankles and calves got bitten to pieces by mosquitoes from the lake and two weeks later I'm still itching. Never mind that it took half an hour to make toast on the AGA (thank goodness for the toaster) and an hour to bring a pan of water to barely luke warm when wishing to boil some new potatoes (thank goodness for the convenience of an additional gas/ electric cooker of the modern and rapid persuasion).

Never mind that the dawn chorus included the raucous bellowing of many frisky pheasants from the estate. And that when I looked upwards when taking a shower in the ENORMOUS sod-off shower I nearly drowned, such was the power of the water pressure.

Never mind all that!

The cottage was in Herefordshire. Herefordshire is like Kent was in the 1950's. Huge orchards, hop gardens, long, clear, quiet roads and not a spot of rubbish or graffiti to be seen. Darling Buds of May come to life.

We think we'd like to live there. One day.

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