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My house is a typical eighties-built one: red-brick, grey roof, nothing special, quite plain. It is easy to maintain but set out a little strangely with the kitchen, utility room and downstairs cloakroom at the front of the house and the living room and dining room at the back. There is an unusable conservatory opening out of the living room – leaky, too cold in winter and too hot in the summer. The house was designed by the people who owned the field on which it is built. They liked to eat their breakfast looking out on to the road at any passing walkers or traffic and wanted to relax in their sitting room looking out over the fields at the back.
Our plot of land is almost an ‘L’ shape, the upright going from (nearly) south to north (top to bottom) and the base from east to west. The house is at the top of the ‘upright’, the front of the house facing ESE and the back to the WNW. The kitchen with windows on two sides has sunshine almost all day long in the summer; the living room behind it, also with windows on two walls is full of sunshine from just before midday until sunset. The garden wraps round the edge of a large field used for arable crops – wheat, barley, peas, beans. We have ditches all round the garden except where it adjoins the field, so we are almost moated but not quite. We also have hedges all round except for the part that adjoins the field at the base of the ‘L’ shape. This means a lot of work for my poor husband who has to cut these hedges a couple of times a year. We are also responsible for the ditches too – making sure they are clear and draining well. Most of the base of the ‘L’ is taken up by a large pond with a tiny island on it. We have a grassy path around it, open to the south-westerly gales coming off the open field on one side and much more sheltered on the other side with lots of trees and scrubland between us and another lane and also a couple of our neighbours. We have another two ponds – one is at the front of the house and is part of the ditch and the other, which needs a lot of work doing to it, is at the back of the house. We have planted a few fruit trees and a few ornamental trees up near the house and we have started putting trees along the edge of the garden without hedge which abuts the field. We have a couple of vegetable plots and a greenhouse and a few small flower beds but most of the garden is laid to grass. We moved here in April 2006 and had hoped to do much more to the house and garden by this time. However, my husband’s work has taken him away from home so much in the last few years and ill health and other problems have meant that it has taken us all our spare time to keep things as they are and no time for innovations.
Now that I have described where I live and a little of what it looks like I will begin my blog.