A change is as good as....

There is something about visiting other peoples' houses that makes you re-examine your own, at least with me there is. Part of the reason I love blogging and reading blogs is the excuse to be nosy without being really nosy... I don't get to open your cupboards, peek under the bed or ask questions about how and why you got this or that.


Last week I had the best opportunity to rethink my house, with a week in a borrowed welsh cottage.




The house is about 100 metres from the sea, which you reach down a steep cliff path. It has a panoramic view to die for and an Aga. Once a year we borrow it and, for that week, I am the farmer's wife of my childhood dreams, using an Aga everyday, washing costumes and letting them dry on the rail and spending a week living somebody elses life. This year I took my inspiration books with me and finished another volume each morning as I woke early and drank a pot of tea before the rest of the family (this is something I never do at home.... but always on holiday. I think I see it as the only solitude I will get when we're away, and I need solitude)




We visited Criccieth, Porthmadog, Caernarfon and Beaumaris, we sat on the beach on cold days, paddled if the sun shone and ate pies from the bakery in the little town park before playing crazy golf. I shopped til I dropped... well, as much as you can in Wales. It is, and I mean it no disrespect here, not exactly a haven of fashion and modernity. I like that, actually. I love to know that I will be able to visit just one shop in Porthmadog, that there are no chain stores nearby, that the beaches have no amusement park or even a promenade but that there is.... well, a very nice speed of life. I slowed down. I didn't need to race, there was plenty to keep me busy at home, I had all I needed and mor within the Llyn penninsula. My children love the idea that it is a different country and that people talk a different language, so much so that the Princess, when asked "Where are you from?" only ever answered "England!"




And I had a chance to think. I looked at my house with the benefit of distance instead of the headless chicken run & rock mode I get into here. I know what I want to do with the kitchen, I know where the furniture should be and how the cupboards need to be arranged. I had an inspiration for my dining room which is, unfortunately, so expensive that it will never be done, but I can keep it on my wish list. I looked at the window treatments , the ornaments, the pictures and knew what I wanted to do with my house. I am waiting for September, when everyone else is back to school and work and I can get on without being interrupted (too much) and then...

Comments

  1. So you had a good holiday and happy birthday to your son. the years fly past it seems an eternity since mine were that age.September will soon be here now. Maybe its time to read the book again.The new adult learning course leaflet landed on our doormat this am. They are going to do a craft and Christmas craft session at out local primary school in September. A hop, skip and a jump for me I am going to enrol.That will keep me out of trouble on Thursday afternoons!

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  2. The house looks divine, and being (originally) Welsh (born and a tiny bit bred) myself it is somewhere I have an affinity for. I know what you mean about getting to look around other homes - if I visit another house I'm always on the lookout for ideas. There is so much I'd like to do with this little house, but just how we're going to start is the biggest hurdle. From there on in, it should be a doddle. At least that's what I keep telling myself!

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  3. What a really lovely house to be yours if only for a week or so every year. And how excititng to know what little changes you want to make to your own, looking forward to sharing your adventure.

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  4. What a lovely holiday! you are lucky. I adore that part of the world, as my family (well the Welsh part) are from Corris in Snowdonia (no, nobody else has heard of it either, but it is stunning believe me!).

    Looks like your home is in for a makeover then, how exciting, let us all know how you get on...

    Victoria x

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  5. What a lovely house, just the type I'd like to live in! I enjoy seeing other people's houses too, and you can often take away inspiration to decorate your own house. Even if you can't manage the dining room of your dreams maybe you could incorporate some of the ideas....I often think that if money were no object it would take away the thrill of creating a look on a budget. Anyway have fun rearranging your house and show us some pics ('cos we like being nosy too)
    The holiday sounded perfect BTW.

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  6. It's true what they say....a change is as good as a rest. The bit that floats my boat is....'I woke early and drank a pot of tea before the rest of the family'. Tell me you had a sea view and I would be in heaven.
    Mary

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  7. I laughed out loud at your wonderful comment on my blog!! How did you guess that today I was telling my mother that the count down to Christmas has almost begun for me...yeah..it's nearly September and those Christmas magazines are probably being printed now!!
    We are certainly on the same wave length...role on September..!!

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  8. Hi,found you through Gill at Lucy Locket,what a lovely blog,I love the beach bag you made,hope your little one is out of plaster soon,
    Lovely holiday pics too,
    Kat x

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  9. I do the same thing when I am away from my house on holidays. I see my vision of what I really want for the house clearly and when I get back I am rested and able to get on with it.

    The holiday house in Wales looks majic.

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  10. I understand so well all you said about seeing your house from the distance and seeing other people houses. I thought about my house very much when I was on holiday and made a lot of plans.

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  11. What a gorgeous place to holiday (or live) and such an inspiration fr you. Looking forward to following the "makeover".

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  12. How interesting that you also need solitude on holiday - I always used to wonder why on the 4th day of any holiday I began to feel trapped and grumpy. Now Euan insists on me going off on my own for 15 minutes a day.

    I love looking back at my home from far away. For so long we holidayed in the sticks, dreaming of moving to the country and having animals. Now we've achieved it and it seems a bit daft to tend someone else's chickens, so we are living the glamour fantasy of a Parisian appartment for the October half term!
    Glad that you all enjoyed your holiday,
    J
    x

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  13. I am so impressed that you came back inspired - I came back from two weeks in a gorgeous house feeling that there's so much to do in this one I don't even know where to start! My wise husband did point out though that it's easier to furnish a big house stylishly than a little one, and it's easier to keep a house tidy when little people (and, let's be honest here, big people too) have only a limited amount of stuff with which to create chaos. Hmmm, could be a lesson for me there ...

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  14. What a wonderful place for a vacation. Lucky you! I loved your post about your son's birthday! So sweet! Tell him a happy belated birthday from way over here in California!

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  15. I know what you mean - it is a lovely feeling to walk into someone else's home and it inspire you - it is not envy - but a desire to go home and make a few changes.

    Thank you so much for your comments - yes the house does have a big kitchen much bigger than I have now. I hope to have a huge table in there with comfy chairs so that people will come and linger over tea and cake. I am looking forwrad to going but I must be patient! Not easy.
    love Ax

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  16. We've just come back from a fantastic holiday in Cardigan, unfortunately we couldn't fit an Aga into the tent so had to make do with hanging our undies etc. from an old airer!

    I totally agree about nosying at other peoples' houses in their blogs, it's so inspiring. Just like you I keep telling myself I'll start all the jobs that need doing in September, it's just a matter of where to start?........

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  17. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving such nice comments,please stop by again,
    Kat x

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  18. What a beautiful place to spend a holiday!

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  19. you've been tagged, pop over to my blog to see the rules

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  20. Holidays are fantastic for inspiration. When you are away from the situation it is all so much clearer. I'm sure that all of your new ideas will look wonderful.

    Cherry xx

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  21. Hi I just stumbled upon your blog and have to say that your week away sounds like bliss!! I also love blogging for being nosy too, as well!!

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  22. So glad you enjoyed Wales ! It is the best place after all .. hee hee

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