Friday, October 22, 2010
A handmade House in Devon
Our long lost adventurous friends have returned from their latest trip: 2 years in the Falkland Islands. Here they are when we last saw them. We left for Africa for a year and as we arrived back in the UK they moved off. I even dug up some old photos of our last trip down to Devon where I was enamoured by the thatched roofs. This time the girls are older (and eating chocolate at a very early hour in the morning). Here we are, up at 7am because there is a rumour that there is a new load of freshly dumped logs at a designated spot where some arborists dump. We jump in the landrover and head out on the bumpy back roads to beat everyone else. Backing into the lot, there is a bunch of wood and no one else there yet. We pick through it all, Gareth telling us which variety of tree burns best and which logs are which. The first load is full and we take it over to their neighbour, an elderly gentleman, who gives the girls the chocolate. He gives us a cast iron tub that is sitting in his front yard collecting leaves. We bring him two truckloads of logs that day and he pulls out his chainsaw to chop them up. We are not sure the tub is the right size for our bathroom. It is a tiny bathroom and we need a particularly narrow cast iron roll top. Here the tub sits in Gareth and Jenny's yard where we haul it. They will use it for the old forge they are going to renovate if we don't. We wander around the country side eating blackberries and slow berries, collecting corn husks, visiting their allotment (community garden) and getting bread at the local market. We see these two swans having a good time underwater. Gareth and Jenny's house is amazing. They made it themselves from scratch and we are very impressed with it. Let's start in the kitchen because that is where my mind is these days with ours going in. They also choose a Belfast sink. And the exact same cooker we bought. I love the look of it and can't wait for ours to come out of the wrapping. Their great old farmhouse table is very inviting. The view from the table. The view from the kitchen. The big living room. There is large wood burning stove that heats several radiators, the water, the room, and the rooms above. Gareth designed the chimney pipe to go through several floors and have an exposed mesh area that heats the rooms. I like the bookshelves. The sun room is where we sit in the daytime. The yard in which is sunk a huge water cistern that collects rainwater and feeds it into the house. The utility room. I liked the stairwell. One of the guest rooms. The little back office. The master bedroom. The girls' room. The main bathroom. The loft bathroom. The loft where we stayed. And a quick pre-dinner street sale. Hmmm. The street is looking pretty vacant except for Nigel. That evening I sit by the fire and learn to use Jenny's portable spinning wheel with wool she brought back from the Falklands.