Friday, 7 September 2012

Cro's Cosy Nest.


When I originally bought this tiny cottage, this bit is all there was. It was set in an open field, the roof was falling in, and, what door there was, was made from three roughly nailed planks of wood. There was one room down, and one room up; no water and no electricity. There was also a half-dead pear tree leaning perilously towards the house.

Inside was an earth floor, piles of dust-covered worm-eaten wood, and a huge open fireplace to die for.

The fa├žade hasn't changed much. The door is obviously new, and the stone window to the left I cut myself, and installed, in exchange for a small open hole that let in no light at all. As you can see, the downstairs had no actual window.

I've cropped the photo intentionally, to cut out all the extra bits that we've since added, to show the tiny size of the original house. This is how certain poor farming folk lived 250 years ago. I believe that a family with several children lived in the cottage. Where they slept, I can't imagine. The little window above the door gives onto a 'granary', which was simply used as essential storage area; not for sleeping.

Of course the cottage has grown since I became the owner. To the left (where an attached barn had fallen down) is our kitchen, bathroom, and a bedroom; plus our infamous 'tower'. And to the right is my studio, an open air dining area, and the pool.

I've left the exterior stonework exactly as it was. It has a wonderful feeling of age, and to have pointed it (as so many do) would have destroyed it.

Having moved here from a large, imposing, and rather pompous property (400 metres away), there are those who might imagine that we've 'gone downhill'; In fact this is the friendliest and most comfortable house I've ever lived in, and the view from out front is second to none.

We have no desire to live in a large 'keeping-up-with-the-Jones's' type property ever again. Our tiny cottage suits us just fine (although it's actually much less tiny than it looks)! 

With winter approaching, I wonder if you can picture a be-scarfed Cro, on a frosty evening, carrying an armful of logs through that door, throwing them onto the glowing embers of the wood-burner, then curling up with the dogs as he sips a glass of warmed rouge before dinner. Not far off now.



18 comments:

  1. To me Cro it looks like a palace anyone not content to live there would be a fool..it looks warm,inviting and loved and that's before the dwellers are added to the picture..no wonder you are both content...a real "home".

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  2. It is my kind of living too. The stone and the tiled roof are just superb. I'd choose it any day over some footballer's wives style edifice.

    The image you conjure is very easy to see as well. Don't skimp on the rouge, but save one glass for the cook..

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  3. sounds idyllic Cro. You must be very contented and justifiably proud.

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  4. Finding the right space to live in give the heart such contentment. I have lived in many homes in many countries - I'm still looking.
    Your cottage looks just about perfect.

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  5. It is a beautiful, characterful place filled with beauty and love. I enjoy our present home, but our previous cottage, which I had to be prised out of to move here was my favourite. It was tiny, but it had the most amazing atmosphere of peace and contentment; the whole house felt good but the good feelings emanated from the utility room, formerly the scullery. I still miss it.

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  6. Your cottage is all that I desire...in Ireland please but that would be close enough to fly over and bother you. Your place is magnificient

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  7. Such a romantic looking home! You do live the good life, Cro.

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  8. I love when someone takes an old, run-down building and turns it into something special and useful. Great job Cro. I would not live any other way! Is there somewhere on the blog where you have the whole up to date photo of your place?

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  9. Evening Cro - just back from fabulous hols in North Norfolk and checking out what has gone on in my absence - then I find your lovely post which is a delight - you make your cottage sound like something out of a fairy tale - and yes I can imagine you there - baggy shorts and all.

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  10. it's lovely, Cro. Maybe you'll give us a tour of the whole cottage, inside and out. Your taste in restoration and preservation is impeccable.

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  11. You couldn't ask for anything more - it's lovely.

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  12. We've been carrying an armful of logs through our door all summer long! But don't rush, I look to your postings for warmth and sunshine. You are describing a happy home, Cro, and size doesn't matter, as the advert says.

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  13. You looked at that tiny cottage in a state of disrepair, and saw it through the eyes of an artist and I suspect, incurable romantic. You saw it as it could be. And you made it so. It's a home fit for a king and his queen.

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  14. It looks charming as is but I'd love to see the rest too and all that you did to it. I love the imagery of you carrying in wood. Hope the fall is a good one for you!!

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  15. I hate to say this , because I know your not suppose to....but, I covet your darling little cottage.The stone work is just so wonderful, full of history,and a bit romantic. I'm dying for a small home that I can manage comfortly.And...I'm proud of a person that resists having to have a huge house ...it's all for show. Well, done. (as the french or is it english say.)

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  16. Just lovely! I'm surprised Tom S hasn't popped round to give you props for not repointing.

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