Thursday, 7 April 2011

Hovel in the hills


Pete bought me this book for Christmas and I have to admit to a certain dread to reading it. It’s something Pete read many years ago and loved and he felt that right now, with our own hovel to contend with (yes we did get the cottage in the end, woohoo) that I’d enjoy it too. There’s always an extra element of pressure when you’re reading something that someone close to you has ‘loved’ previously don’t you think? I needn’t have worried though, I did enjoy it and yes I think that right now was the right time to read it especially as it made me feel a whole lot better about the ‘cracks’ I keep on noticing that I swear weren’t there when we first bought the cottage. I really connected with the book and the inevitable problems, small and large, that they faced. And so I am nicknaming the cottage our Hovel in the hills even though it does have its own sweet little name already. Roughly translated to mean ‘clothed in the hollow’ Pant Y Crywni is the name that I’ll have carved into a small piece of slate at some point in the future but for here and now ‘hovel’ will do.

Someone asked me what the hovel looked like now - it looks exactly the same as it did on the first day we saw it, apart from the fact that we no longer allow the sheep to graze inside our boundary. Oh they are wonderful at keeping the grass nice and short but the by-product, well the AMOUNT of by-product to be precise, is just unbelievable and unfortunately means that all that green green grass a) isn’t green and b) just cannot be sat (or walked) upon safely.

Whilst the outside remains the same, and will do for a long time, the inside will gradually change and indeed we have started on that already. Nothing structural, just cosmetic, starting with the 2nd bedroom. The hovel is 250 years old, and small. For many years it was a shoemakers cottage with about 14 family members all sharing those four walls. Those same walls aren’t straight, some have the aforementioned cracks in them and the flooring upstairs slopes at an angle that I’m convinced steepens by the week. Believe me, I know - I sleep on the right hand side of the bed and I find I have to stay facing that way now too. If I turn over I feel for all the world as if I am rolling down hill, most disturbing when half asleep!


There’s no point me trying to turn the hovel into something that might grace the pages of Country Living but I’m thinking that a little Shabby Chic meets Vintage meets junk shop could go a long way. This is where my rummaging really comes in handy and indeed I have a couple of items destined for the 2nd bedroom already in waiting. Alone though it is no good, stage 2 also needs to happen – to Shabby Chic – this is where my creative side needs to kick in and give my chosen pieces a makeover. So far I have only managed this transformation on a couple of stools and my magazine rack but I have been fairly pleased with  my efforts to date. I know you can’t see the shabby chic’ing but it is there, honest.

However, in true hovel in the hills style it just wouldn’t be right without a problem or two to overcome and, shabby chic’ing to one side for now, we do have a slight little issue-ette at the hovel currently. We appear to have a dose of Hydrogen Sulphide in our (private) water supply, don’t laugh – that’s the good old ‘bad egg smell’ when the water is heated. It’s not harmful, so I’m told, but it sure puts you off your cuppa I can tell you. Complicated by the fact that all our waste goes to a septic tank (whose ‘balance’ must be maintained) and any water we run off separately will end up in an open water course on farmland and the little issue-ette starts to become a full blown problem. Now, if in the ether out there known affectionately as Blogland any of you good folk have a solution or an idea (however crazy) that might help me please feel free to share. All suggestions gratefully received.

Thanks for dropping by and please feel free to leave me a comment (bad eggs smell related or not) Can I also just say thank you for all the lovely comments I have been receiving as I try to find my ‘blog style’ Smile

Wendy xx


Margie S said...

Sorry, no direct solution for the bad egg smell. Maybe an aromatic cinnamon roll to go with your cuppa???

Alison said...

i'm so glad you got 'the hovel' but no suggestions for bad egg smells I'm afraid!
Alison xx

scrappyjacky said...

I love shabby chic....and it sounds perfect for your little 'hovel'....though I might find the 'rolling down the hill' very peturbing!!!!

Donna said...

Shabby chic meets vintage sounds perfect! I hope you keep us up to date with all your progress.

Gem's Crafts said...

I love the writing that you've put on the bedroom wall, what does it mean? I hope you get rid of the icky smell soon!

Georgia Visacri said...

Hi Wendy, I love your post and everything about it, the photos are really pretty and I'm glad you enjoyed the reading! I agree with you, I feel pressured too when someone close really loves a book and recommend to me...
Hope you get rid of the egg smell

Have a great week!