Nearly five years ago we made a decision that the time was right to leave the property we had rented and buy our own house. We had a long list of requirements for a property to meet. We have five children between us, dogs, chickens, a rabbit, various vehicles (work related, motorbike and various cars belonging to the offspring) and we loved living in the countryside and we didn’t want to move far from the property we had rented when we first moved back to the Rutland/Lincolnshire area seven years earlier. The search began and it was a one house race from the beginning! We only looked at one property, it was ideal, not perfect at the time but as close as we were going to get. We bought our semi-detached house, situated on an unmade road in a small village (approximately 20 houses) and set about turning the house into our home.
The journey has been hard work and at times we wondered if we would ever get our house to the point where it met all our requirements. The garden both front and back, was a neglected wilderness. The house required, a new bathroom, a conversion to create a second bedroom and a downstairs shower room. We have put in new floors, moved walls and decorated from top to bottom. We moved tonnes of rubbish, rubble and top soil from the back of the house so that we had a functional back garden, we have put up fences, taken out many, very overgrown and light robbing conifers and finally after four years feel we are beginning to get our little home just how we want it. The work still carries on but now it is part of the ongoing development of a home, not a mad rush to create living space for our family.
I have spent time teaching both of my girls how to knit, sew, crochet, cook, bake, garden, shop at the local market and how to live a healthy and happy life without spending a fortune. We eat very little pre-prepared food, we grow our own vegetables and fruit, and we pick the fruit and flowers from local hedgerows and trees to make cordials, jams, chutneys and jellies. We have our own hens for eggs and we are lucky to be passed rabbits and game birds from local farmers during the shooting season. This summer I have spent time helping a friend with the lambing of 300 or 400 ewes and we have raised at least 10 Cade (orphan) lambs, bottle feeding them until they were old enough to be weaned.
This blog tells our story, it written by me (Mary), Elisabeth (my 21 year old daughter) and Georgie (my 14 year old daughter). It is the story of our life, completely immersed in rural living in the smallest but most beautiful county in the UK.