I've adjusted to village life quite quickly, and am finding it odd that this time last year I was sitting in an office for eight hours a day, processing benefit claims for a living, and commuting from my Victorian terrace in a suburb of Birmingham. Now I'm waking up in the countryside with field views from most rooms of the house and planning a transformation of this badly renovated early Victorian cottage. How things change! You can guess that I don't miss my job, and even though I'm without any income at all at present (save what I can glean from flogging my own bits and bobs on ebay as I'm not claiming benefits either), with a certain amount of pennypinching we are getting along just fine. Wealth is a state of mind, I feel.
So far on the house we have sorted the issue of no tv aerial, no working shower and no electric cooker point. This was all done within a few days of moving in as well as buying several matching kitchen units, the previous owners had removed fitted appliances and the kitchen was also badly configured.
This year we have already had three large trees removed which were swamping the garden. Initially there were four large trees and we had planned to get rid of all of them. We decided that even though it is close to a road, with careful management by our friendly neighbourhood tree surgeon, we should keep the Oak tree. An Ash which was too close to the house for comfort, and two conifers, all over 30 feet tall, were removed. The stumps have now been ground out and a new garden fence has been put up. We have also had a hideous metal shed dismantled and the concrete base removed, and a new shed base laid in a more unobtrusive part of the garden. I've painted the new fence and planted some slow growing climbers on the road side so they will eventually cover the fence. We've also planted some small border plants on the road side to pretty it up a little. I received many compliments whilst painting, and even the landlord of the local pub had noticed and approved our little tidy up operation!
Anyway, back to bargains. As you can imagine, time has been spent concentrating on making the cottage into a home, and this will be ongoing for the forseeable future. However, builders and architect visits are now arranged and we will soon be relying on professionals to move us forward with the home making side of things, so I'm back buying bits and bobs for myself.
I'm getting used to shopping in Bromsgrove now, our nearest town, and discovered a fantastic YMCA charity furniture shop. We've been in several times and made a purchase each time but I was saddened to discover that it will close down soon to make way for a furniture shop!
My largest purchase was this fab blanket box (YMCA photo from their facebook page) for the princely sum of £25. It now holds three large bin bags of bedding!
Very country cottage, don't you think?
I have also had a bit of a dabble on ebay. Now I've been selling on there for over ten years but have never bought much in the way of second hand clothing as I prefer to feel the merchandise. However, I impulse bought a lovely pair of Per Una pink suede sandals and noticed the seller was also selling a rather nice cardigan too, so I bid on both and got them for £6.70 the lot. I did feel for the seller though as it cost more than this to send them to me.
The sandals are as new, and the cardi is just the right size despite the lack of measurements in the listing and me being too lazy to ask!
I do feel lost without my mannekin to display all my goodies though. She is packed away in mum's old house awaiting the garage conversion into workroom, then she will have her own spot!
I've managed to squeeze in a few charity shop visits, and bargain purchases. in the past few days so look out for sneaky peeks on facebook when I get the photos taken!