My goodness doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun – or when you’re busy?
We’ve had to do a lot to the house – even though we thought we were buying something that didn’t need much attention. It’s amazing what you find when you strip out everything: rotten floorboards, insects in the larder, problems with the roof, etc. So it has been a labour of love but happily we’ve been able to get in the professionals.
Here’s a picture of our recent project to build a patio in our beautiful garden. It has turned a nasty muddy patch into something we can use all year round and provided a restful corner for us. We love it. The professionals installed the patio, but I managed to erect the pergola (or whatever else you want to call it). Actually it’s a roof that stretches across a useful part of the patio where we house the long table and the other end is the barbecue so one can cook without getting drenched on the typical English summer’s day.
We’re really pleased with it and the transformation it has caused in the garden. Next we plant out some flowers and shrubs to complete the picture. However, we are hardly keen gardeners so these plants must be ones that more-or-less look after themselves and thrive on neglect, otherwise they’re not going to last long here!
The patio has been the project that probably transformed the house the most. Some of the other things we had to do aren’t apparent to the casual observer.
We had a lot of work done on the water system to improve the flow, remove some old lead piping and to accommodate the new hot water system that was also installed. Cost a fortune and although it’s lovely to have it all functioning as it should and know we’re unlikely to succumb to lead poisoning, it’s a benefit that you can’t actually see. That sort of thing ate up a lot of money over the last year.
Having spent so much time and money fixing basic things, we wanted to tackle something that would look lovely and actually get something physical for the money we were spending.
That’s why we decided to build the patio and hopefully it has also added some value to the property. It has certainly given us somewhere nice and dry to sit during the sunny spells over the last few days. We had begun to think we weren’t even going to get a spring, let along summer. But finally the sun has come out over the last week and hopefully the ground will soon dry. Last year we had nowhere dry to sit, but the winter was a lot dryer so it wasn’t such a problem. If we get more wet weather the patio will prove a godsend for the summer, especially when our friends arrive with their children.
We’re looking forward to entertaining a little this year. It was out of the question last year when we were in so much turmoil so this spring we sent out a few invitations. As well as the aforementioned friends and their four children, we have family visiting and have also planned a big party for August.
We will have a barbecue on the patio and there’s room for several tables to be scattered around to accommodate everyone. Really looking forward to it.
Of course, the subject of my blog has been lost over the past year, but fear not – I shall be back as the anarchist before too long, so watch out local politicians – I have my eyes on you!