Everything on track for Grace Cottage improvements

Beech worktops, new sink and taps, terracotta tiles, new crockery and cutlery, dishwasher – they are all heading for Diabaig. We are taking new pictures and books too. Grace cottage is beautiful just as it is but it is always nice to make improvements whenever we can. It remains to be seen if all the deliveries arrive when they should. We will not be doing anything until everything arrives as the remote location does often flummox couriers!

Money raised for Many Tears

One of our guests is Lesley Nicol (Mrs. Patmore in Downton Abbey) and I cheekily asked her if she could get a signed photo of the cast to raise money for the dog rescue we support. She very kindly went one step further and got everyone to sign the book that goes with the series. Julie Higham of the Friends of Many Tears auctioned it on ebay and it has raised £410 to help the dogs. We are so grateful that the stars, especially Lesle,y took time out of their busy schedule at the read through to sign the book. Lesley adopted Freddie (a Minature Poodle) from many tears so she is also one of the caring people who give homes to rescue dogs.

Secret improvements at Grace Cottage

Not so secret now as Barry Elder (the younger) has been booked in to lay the terracotta floor in the kitchen area and Lackey is going in to measure up the kitchen for hardwood worktops, new sink and taps. We still haven’t found a sander suitable for the dining room floorboards but that is just a little thing. This is all due to start on November 11th and hopefully it will give us some time during the following week to get some hill walking in – fingers crossed.

Sofas arrived safely

Waiting for a 45 ton lorry on our little lane was a little nerve wracking to say the least. Darrell the driver took everything in his stride and other than a broken door (now fixed) our lovely sofas are in place! Our lane is so quiet, no-one was held up and although the lorry eclipsed the sky, the operation was soon over. Don’t the sofas look good!

Goodbye old Hi-fi

Changes at Clematis cottage next week will include a new ipod docking system. CDs may be played on the DVD player, the radio on the TV is better than the old JVC and no-one takes vinyl on holiday. I am a bit sad, as it has served us well for over 20 years but glad to get rid of the wires and reclaim the space.

Super guests go the extra mile

Problems with the loo flush have been intermittent at Grace cottage for a while and several plumbers (travelling 80 or so miles) have corrected it, leaving it working for a couple of years at a time. We had a sign, ‘2 short and 1 long push will make this silly cistern flush’ and that was that for ages. However in the last two weeks it has been troublesome again and guess what – our lovely guest sent for the bits, borrowed some tools and had a go at mending it! Grace cottage has such a lot of loyal ‘friends’ and really nice people visiting. Thank you everyone, we are very lucky owners 🙂

Ted, our friend and gardener at Milestone barn provides the first box of logs for you and then he will deliver more at a very reasonable cost for your stay. We are lucky that our neighbours at Hall Farm allow us to keep the bags of logs in their store, as we don’t have room to for them. Rural Norfolk has a  completely different pace of life to the city or town and everyone goes out of their way to be helpful. We borrowed water, storage, fork lift trucks and delivery destinations whilst we were converting our barn. Nothing was too much trouble for the people who have now become our friends. Norfolk is a warm and friendly county just like our ‘state of the art’ wood burner!


Exciting purchases for Clematis Cottage

Sadly the guests who were to go to Clematis cottage last Saturday were unable to take their holiday. I have asked around and no-one can go at such short notice, so we are going and we have managed to get the same vintage leather sofas as those at the barn delivered whilst we are there! ‘Phoned our company an hour after deadline for deliveries and they kindly slotted us in.

We have never minded sandy dogs or sticky children but it has made a lot of washing of covers necessary and the sofas underneath have suffered. Now it won’t matter a jot and a quick wipe with a leather cloth and all is new/old/vintage again – did I hear a hurrah from Ann our caretaker.