A new home and a Cornish Christmas

Well, to my surprise, it’s over three months since my last post. Life has a way of just trickling past without you realising it at times! So happy new year if I’ve not said that to you in person!

That’s not to say the last few months haven’t been eventful: we’ve finally moved into our house, a 1930s semi-detached property in Derbyshire. It seemed to take a frustrating forever for the purchase to actually happen but, on 21st November, we finally became house owners.

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Then followed a hectic week of (very) deep cleaning and painting before we (with the much appreciated help of my dad) moved all our stuff in on 28th and ourselves in on 30th.

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Since then, we’ve decorated some more and have spent a lot of time sifting through junk, moving it around, finding homes for it, buying new furniture and moving it all again. The usual process I guess. Of course there is still a long ‘to do’ list but presumably that never really changes. It has definitely become home and it’s been nice to have a few visitors over the past few weeks.

Here is the guided tour if you’re interested (don’t worry, it’s not going to turn into a home improvements blog)! Apologies for the poor quality of the photos; most of them were phone snaps. We’ll start with the front room and our first meal, from THE chip shop: George’s.

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The kitchen is very out of date (check out the retro oven!) and took a lot of cleaning and nearly as much paint to make it tolerable. It’s not great but our plan is to rectify this with an extension in the not-too-distant future.

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Conversely, the bathroom was really quite agreeable!

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There are 2.5 bedrooms. The first pictures are of ours (still awaiting some long-term furniture solutions), the second are the 0.5 room which we’ve designated as an Xbox room/study.

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This brave little robin accompanied me for a couple of hours as I tidied up the garden and so I fed him some worms. He was quite the poser!

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My absolute favourite thing about the house is being able to draw open the curtains on a weekend morning and return to bed with a cuppa to gaze out at the fields, the sheep, the cows, the clouds, the trees, the rainbows, the snow… no two days are the same.

Putting up our very first Christmas tree was an exciting moment, making the house feel even more homely. I got very excited about baubles!

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For Christmas itself, we travelled down to Cornwall to spend a week with Dean’s family. There were piles of presents, delicious food, an angelic smiley niece and a very excitable nephew!

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, we were able to have a four-way Christmas day video conversation over three timezones with my family: mum and dad in their car heading to Stamford, Adam and Claire in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Harry and Ting in Singapore!

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After Christmas, to burn off a few calories, we took a walk around the little coastal village of Kingsand and the Mount Edgcombe estate.

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A couple of days later, we returned home, DIYed, relaxed and welcomed in the new year enjoying our new home. January arrived and work began again.

I’m pretty sure not a day goes by when I don’t lapse at some point into a daydream, reminiscing about some faraway adventure or other (or imagining myself exploring lands as yet unseen). We’ve not made much progress in sorting and editing all our photographs so that we can get them printed in a book and we intend to some day print some for our walls. But it was great to finally unpack the boxes of souvenirs we posted home during the trip and find them all homes. Most of them were pretty small due to having to carry them around and many of them we’d forgotten we’d bought/found; now we have a house, we wish we’d got some larger, more impressive pieces! The following photographs may well be of no interest but, nevertheless, here’s a peek at a few things we brought home.

Japan was the greatest temptation! Here are a few of the items we succumbed to:

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The wooden salad servers above plus the turtles below were just purchases to use up remaining pesos at the airport before we left The Philippines, but they’re quite nice!

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These lacquer-ware bowls and this sand painting were bought from temple hawkers in Burma:

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In Mexico we spent far too long browsing the shops selling these skulls for a selection that were just the right size, designs and price! We also bought these nodding armadillos and butterfly magnets to remind ourselves of the Monarch butterfly migration.

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This is a page from a tiny book of Mayan love charms that made us chuckle!

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In Chile Dean bought this painted bottle featuring a typical Valparaiso street.

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This little crazy-eyed llama came from Argentina.

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We also collected a few free keepsakes along the way. Dean kept a beer bottle top and label from every country, and we’ve got a horse shoe found in Burma, volcanic rock from Guatemala and pinecones from the grounds of a Japanese temple.

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And there I’ll leave you, to indulge my daydreams of our forthcoming wanderings to Thailand and Singapore. 71 days to go!

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