A home in the country

On our recent trip to visit the folks in the UK we took a couple of days for excursions. One was to Cambridge, more later, and one to Wales to visit our friends Brian and Kate.

Brian, Zosia, Marta, Kate, Whoppet & Tilly

Brian, Zosia, Marta, Kate, Whoppet & Tilly

They have recently moved from a rural location in Kent to an even more rural one in a place called Forden, which lies just over the border in Wales close to Welshpool. I suppose Shrewsbury is the biggest nearby recognisable town. From my parent’s place it was about a 2hr drive in our rented Opel Astra GTC.


Zosia and the Astra

Mini car review – Good feel – nice car to drive, crappy turning circle, not fast enough for the looks but good enough, two doors is a pain, decent space for people and luggage, not thirsty, fair bit of road noise when not clean and flat.

Their new home was, I assume, a farmhouse as it is surrounded by fields used for grazing sheep and growing crops. The original home dates back to something like 3,000 BC and there have been a couple of extensions since then. Brian, who is like a pig in muck when there’s a monumental DIY job to do, will be busy for quite a while but he’s off to a good start smacking holes in the chimney above the amazing fireplace as well as numerous assorted other part completed tasks. Such is the workload that the large garage cum workshop is not enough and so the kitchen table has been commandeered as a workbench. Thankfully for him, Kate is not yet in full time residence as she’s got a short while to go before she can “retire” from her big-shot job at the NHS dahn sarf and move to Wales permanently. I forget how long but she knows exactly how many days and hours there are left!

In the meantime, Brian has got himself well integrated with the locals by playing the organ in various churches and singing in a male voice choir or two (big things in Wales).

Brian & Kate

Brian & Kate – house in distance over Kate’s l;eft shoulder.

We only had a day trip so not really a lot of time but we managed to get in an excellent lunch at the local, home-made faggots for me, a nice walk into the nearby fields and a good cuppa before we headed back. We had timed our visit well as regards the weather. The UK had been battered by storms for months on end leading to extensive damage and flooding but by the time we got there it was calm and dry. The fields around Brian and Kate’s new home do flood but it doesn’t reach the house. On our walk there was plenty of evidence; swollen streams, tide marks and still some water standing.

Remnant of the flooding

Remnant of the flooding

Swollen stream (looking towards Devil's Hole)

Swollen stream (looking towards Devil’s Hole)

View across the grain field

View across the grain field

It was great to see them and they’ve got a lovely property with plenty of potential. We wish them well with getting it into shape and eventually settling down together surrounded by dogs, sheep, peace, love and harmony.


3 thoughts on “A home in the country

  1. Concerned at piccy of red Astra parked on what would seem to be the side of an about to cave in Sink Hole…… please confirm that this is not the last you saw of the Car (and Marta!) :-)

  2. Sounds idyllic – or potentially idyllic, and Brian sounds like an very together person. I envy them, though I couldn’t do it.

  3. The car picture was actually taken in the car park of Tesco in Ilkeston. As yet, not falling into a hole!

    Yes, very together people, Stephen, you’d like them. I couldn’t do it either.

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