Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Big wins

We have been living in Duck House for five and a half months now and I have learnt the hard way that renovating a house is not a quick process. We are reliant on architect's and structural engineer's time, and making decisions just takes time. Having said that we had a big win this past weekend. When we moved in the house had night storage heaters. They are very old and not all of them worked. Many of them had burnt out coils inside. Piers removed most of them as not only were they bulky but also a hazard and so we have been without heating. Luckily it has only just got cold here in the last few weeks. But on Friday the fantastic Mick came and installed our multi-fuel stove and we were toasty warm all weekend. Bliss!

Saturday, 6 October 2012


There is a lovely new shop on Little Clarendon Street in Oxford. It is called The Oxford Pantry and stocks the most lovely things including these canisters, which I couldn't resist...

I have also been keeping a close online eye on this place. Can't wait to visit: The Original House.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Entry for Annual Garden Show?

It turns out there is the Annual North Leigh Gardening Society Show and it is on today. We went and had a look and the flowers were gorgeous. There was also a variety of cakes, biscuits and jams also. Piers definitely has to enter his jam next year! And maybe we can enter a rose or two next year? Our first rose after the big garden clear out has appeared. I have taken the photo a day late but it is lovely in amongst the herbs...

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Herb garden

In all the digging and weeding in the last few days while on holidays I also have managed to carve out some space for a herb garden. The chives and mint were there and I have added some thyme, coriander and parsley. We have so many slugs and snails that I initially planted the basil in a pot because I was worried it would be chewed up until Piers suggested wood chip to deter the little rascals. At Wolsey Road we had hedgehogs to eat up the slugs but unfortunately we don't seem to have them here or at least Daisy and Lulu haven't alerted us to their presence yet... And yes, that is another little rose that I found. Can't wait to see what colour it is!

Beginnings of a rose garden..

After two whole days of digging, and a very sore back, I think the beginnings of a rose garden are appearing. Not least because in among the weeds and overgrowth I found a little rose. I found this rose on the first day (there has been a week between diggings) and now it has a little bud on it. Poor little thing just needed some light and space. The remnants of a trellis were there also and I have attempted to reconstruct it hoping the climbing roses that were already in the garden can now flourish (notice the now clean greenhouse!). They are a delightful pale pink. So now the challenge is what roses to choose to plant. Jenny from South Acres Farm (www.southacresfarm.blogspot.co.uk) has made some wonderful suggestions such as Heritage, William morris, Pam Austen and my now favourite, Queen of Sweden, all from David Austin roses (www.davidaustenroses.com). What is your favourite rose?

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

The hydrangeas may have received little attention in the last few years but that hasn't stopped them this Summer. I came home to this lovely arrangement yesterday.

Monday, 6 August 2012

House name - suggestions?

We have been in the house a month now and have toyed with a number of names.  Our house is 20 metres away from Cuckamus Common and this name came about because there was:

possibly, a cucking stool: the village pond at the northwest end of Common Road was referred to in 1759 as Cucking-stool pond. Known later as Cuckamus pond, it was filled in c. 1968. (Crossley et al)

Cucking stool or Ducking stool were horrendous to say the least but borrowing the 'duck' I came up with Duck House. Piers told me 'Cuckamus View' was too prosaic. So, I put it out there for name suggestions.

Why? The view

Given the state of the house and the jungle of a garden you may be asking, why? Here is the answer...

The garden (aka jungle)

The previous owner was obviously a keen gardener but it was a little difficult to tell how good she had been with about 2 years of untamed growth.

A lesson in 1960's decorating

The house hadn't been lived in for approximately 18 months and certainly doesn't look like it had been re-decorated since it was built in 1965...

The master bedroom facing north

The master bedroom facing south

The second bedroom/study

The family bathroom

The third bedroom

The fourth bedroom

The downstairs toilet (think there might have been a sale on yellow paint at some stage...)

The pantry 

The kitchen

The dining room

The lounge room

We ripped up the carpets in the lounge room and found parquet flooring (unfortunately the photos don't do it justice).

The keys

Finally on the 30th June, 2012 we had the keys to our new house!