Sunday, 20 February 2011

The hard work starts here.....

Planning permission was agreed this week - so here is the plan.

I already have a tiny guest cottage, fondly known as 'The Bothy' in my garden. Just one room, bedroom and bathroom combined, it was home to my university student daughter until last summer when she decamped to a converted hop kiln on a local farm with her boyfriend.

Brian (I shall mention him a lot, my husband until he died (rather suddenly) in September 2010), and I had thought we might develop it somehow into a larger holiday cottage let to develop some extra retirement income.

I am well off retirement but faced now with developing my own income I rashly decided to just get on and do it!

I am  not sure why The Bothy exists, tracing its history will be part of this project. Lyme Cottage was built in 1867, paid for by the philanthropic Lord Northwick of Burford, when he invested heavily in the village in memory of his beloved sister who died very young. Built as home to the District Nurse, it is attached to what was the Police Station and is next door to the Forge. My fancy suggests to me that the Bothy may have been built as an additional space for the District Nurse to treat her patients, perhaps those too sick to stay at home or who lived too far away, perhaps on distant farms? One day, when time permits I shall investigate this further.

The Bothy nestles cosily alongside Lyme Cottage and at the moment is set in a wonderful flower filled courtyard, which sadly I will loose when its extension is built.  But the extensive gardens and orchard are too much for me to manage alone so something has to go! (More on the gardens and orchards in a later blog).

The plans have been drawn, by my daughter in laws architect father Paul, who has designed a really fabulous oak conservatory to add to the existing building. The bathroom will be separated from the bedroom in the exiting Bothy, (I never did feel comfortable pee'ing in the bedroom), and the new conservatory will house a hand built kitchen (designed and built by Pat the carpenter), and a sitting room with a baby pot bellied wood burning stove and a view into the garden to dispel even the worst case of work related stress syndrome (WRSS from herein).

So the hard work starts here .... the first being a gang of muscle to move the huge ancient and quite fabulous orange blossom from the courtyard to the orchard.... I hope it survives!  I think a huge pot of Russian Vegetable soup may be required.