This was a painstaking albeit rewarding process that took many years.
First we renovated the farmhouse – sanding and painting mostly and then leaving our own stuff in it as guest furniture. Our first bookings required that we secretly move out, which was rather hilarious. On one occasion we slept in the dusty attic tiptoeing about quietly. On another, we dossed down amongst all the clutter of my old art hut, and on yet another we bedded ourselves on the slightly slanted patio of owl cottage. This was fine for me but Johan slid down slowly through the night and was none too pleased to end up crumpled against the retaining wall. Our most ingenious was to creep back into the unused library one night and sneak off early in the morning.
This clearly couldn’t continue and some friends donated a significant amount of money to us to build a house for ourselves. Honey badger was the result and we had many wonderful years there. But then the need to make more accommodation available led us to build two more houses.
The first is the two roomed Caracal often used now as a honey moon cottage and the second is our most luxurious Black Eagle which a bath room for each room. With Black Eagle in particular I wanted to have a sense of sky and space and I’m so happy people even see eagles through the top windows.
Of course with each house came patios and gardens, pathways and roads all if which gave me many headaches but also lot of pleasure.
I never dreamed I would be building houses and making gardens – let alone running a guest house. But I learnt a great deal and also happily found homes for the many trinkets and tiles I had collected throughout my life. When I walk about I see my whole life reflected in our buildings.