|This was the side courtyard at the 'forever' cottage which I left behind|
I vividly recall the day The Byre became ours. It was a bleak, bone-chillingly cold day - inside and out. I stood in the dirty, shabby, building and wondered what on earth we had done. I couldn't believe that I had agreed to leave my 'forever' home.
The Byre was built to be the cow shed, stables and cart shed for The Old Farmhouse. We had already agreed that our daughter and her husband should have the original farmhouse, we would have the other building and turn it into something which should suit us for a long time. The location was ideal, the gardens large, the potential enormous.
An old brick, high in the house wall, over what would have been the original front door had been scribed with J&D April 20, 1861. That seemed to be the clincher. Our daughter is called Davina, her husband is yet another Jonathan.
|J&D? A sign that it was meant to be?|
|We had some friendly discussions!|
|The 1970's kitchen|
That was just what I needed. Red rag to a bull! My enthusiasm suddenly took a leap, we would fight them on the beaches, if necessary. I wanted those plans passed. We got a local architect to draw them up - if only Jonny had done his architecture degree by then he could have saved us the fees!
We got ready for battle, prepared our defences - and felt almost deflated when it was passed first time! Ready or not we were in business. So we set to and stripped back as much of the building as possible. We filled skip after skip and ferried countless wheelbarrow loads of rubbish out of the house. We prepared the way for the builder to come in and do his stuff.
He stripped it back even further, until eventually it was practically just four walls left flapping in the wind as we waited for the new roofing timbers to be fitted. We hadn't wanted to go that far, but we had found, as we stripped it back that the roof comprised three separate sections and would need to be unified. Just what we needed!
|We took this rainbow to be a good omen!|
PS. We checked on Old John today, he remains battered, but undefeated. We'll keep looking in on him.