You may have guessed from the lack of a blog last week that I’ve had flu and you’d be right. So I’ve spent the last few days cosied up in bed with my two cats Bobbi and Boo, whilst Ted kept guard downstairs.
And this angelic monster is indeed a good guard dog-honestly! Anyone who comes to the door is greeted by Ted’s large head being thrust through the cat flap followed by a tirade of vicious barking that puts everyone off except our long suffering postman. (I gave him a £10 present at Christmas in gratitude for not refusing to deliver to us!)
Meanwhile, upstairs I was musing on how important home is and how fortunate I was to have one. But our home didn’t always look like this – in fact, when we moved in it was an absolute wreck. I’ve always maintained that you can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear-and that goes for interiors as well as gardens.
The thing that matters most is to look at the bones of a place.
In my case I was determined to find somewhere that wasn’t overlooked as I’m a massive fan of privacy (believe me, Greta Garbo has nothing on me when it comes to “I want to be alone, darling”).
I bought maps of the area and poured over them to identify houses that looked across other gardens or public parks, and that was how we found this place-our home for nearly 16 years now.
I went to see it on a cold February day. Yes, the house was a wreck. Yes, the garden was bleak. Yes, there were overlooking neighbours. But the garden backed onto a park with open skies and beautiful trees. So we bought it.
We did up the house, blotted out the neighbours, and made a lovely garden, but the best thing is still that view. Nothing can ever take that away from this house.
And as I sit up in bed with flu the best entertainment is to while away the hours looking at all that that view brings-the tracery of bare branches against the sky, the birdlife, clouds skirting by, and the joggers and dog walkers out in all weathers. Research has shown that hospital patients with a view of trees from their windows get better almost 3 times faster than those without one. Needless to say, I was up and about in record time thanks to my view!