Saturday, 13 January 2007

Home…where the heart is?

Home is a concept that has been inconsistent with our life for several years. We left our home (see first post -A Brief History) in January of 2000 and travelled over three hundred miles to a rented property in a strange town. While there, we knew that we would soon be moving, but with our sons around us, home was a reality where we were together. Over the next two years, the sons moved to places of their own and just before we left for the UK, “home” no longer existed. Then ‘home’ became the old country for a short while; new in the UK and uncertain of the future, I longed for South Africa and the family there and so SA became “home”. Gradually, we became used to our adopted country although urban life was still an anathema to us, and we longed to find a place that spoke to us in some undefined way. A “home” for me is where family come to gather, a refuge in times of stress, where there is love, laughter, music and pets, a creative place. After all the moving and upheaval, this house, fitting like a much-loved sweater, cosy and familiar and complete with all the ups and downs of country living, is starting to feel like a home.

As we paint, plan rooms, clean floors and hang pictures, we put a bit of ourselves into this building, adding another layer to it’s history. It’s an old house; built sometime in the mid 1800’s, stone walls, well-proportioned rooms, and solid, built to last. There is a lovely atmosphere, amazing views and a big garden and we are starting to think more in terms of the next few years and not just the next few months.
I began to realise this when we started drawing detailed plans of what we are going to do with the garden. The previous occupants had kept goats and chickens and although the sheds and coops have been removed, we are waiting for drier weather when a tractor and trailer can get in to remove the last remaining piles of rubbish. Sketching the layout and improvements, including a paved section for a greenhouse, I realised we are talking investment, not just money but time and labour and love. So, like any proud Mama, I will be sharing lots of “work-in-progress” pictures as time goes by.

And now I’m off to browse the garden catalogues. But before I go…


Between the storms this week, we had a few rare moments of sunshine and were dazzled by the brightest, most colourful rainbow I have ever seen. In the first picture, the contrast with the dark sky on one side and the lighter sky on the other was actually there; see the illuminated gull flying in the sunlight to the left! There were two rainbows at one stage and the darker one was a ‘double’ for a short time; you can just see the two in the image with the boats!


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