A year in review


Mandy. Tessa Dog and I have now been here in the house for one year. It has flown past and looking back it has been quite a journey. The house and garden has slowly been rejuvenated and although we are nowhere near finished lots has been achieved although quite often it does not feel that way. Renovations seem to be a series of surges with long periods of nothing or apparently nothing in between. As we speak the living room is being stripped bare and rebuilt. As it is to be a bedroom built in wardrobes need to be built which all takes time. I should be in there today but paid work rears its head and I have to be carrying on with the latest community arts project, a whole heap of flags being painted by primary schools for November.

As we bought the house
As we bought the house
Front ofr house June 09

Front of house June 09







Trying to achieve this renovation sustainably has been a learning curve but the most stand out thing has been the amount of people who are trying to do it in a green way!! Lots and lots and lots. Way to go and three hurrahs!! or maybe four. The feedback we have had from people visiting this site has been great.

The garden has been an archeological dig (or mow) with every mowing revealing a new layer of rotting fence palings or something worse. The dog has a lovely collection of squeaky toys now with more found as we poke around. My mowing regime is less as we turn the grass into veggie beds, native tree habitat and low water use front garden.

Owner Builder magazine have been very supportive with our exploits making it into a couple of issues and hopefully we will be in a few more as the house takes shape.

built in robe to disappear
built in robe to disappear
finished room all furnished

finished room all furnished


The house now has three rooms finished and a fourth with its floors sanded and awaiting painting. The plans are in at Council for the extension and the Drafting company have been crawling around in the roof space to let us know what needs to be done.

Solar panel system
Solar panel system


Every time the sun shines the solar panels collect power and puts it back into the grid.




The questions that arise every time we start something are now something like this. Is it sustainable? Is it recycled? Is it recyclable? Is it local? Is it natural? and each time we can usually come up with an answer that makes us comfortable. Not all the boxes are ticked every time but we make an effort to try and tick most of them. You know what ? It is working!

So in the words of Narnia. ONWARDS AND UPWARDS !!

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