I've lived in a 200 year old house in deepest rural Scotland for thirty eight years and counting. My husband has been here just a little longer since he bought the house before we were married. And as a freelance couple, a writer (me) married to an artist (him) we have never been able to afford to do major renovations all at once. But all the same, the work has been and continues to be done, a bit at a time.
I sometimes wish I had been able to film everything that we have done to and for the house, largely on a shoestring, over so many years. It would have made - and still continues to make - a fascinating, funny and frustrating record. But back in those days, it wasn't quite so easy to preserve a record of the goings on. All the same, it struck me recently that our experience, the accumulated wisdom of many years, might be useful to others embarking on the same weird and wonderful journey.
The problem is that old houses hate to be disturbed. Is it the previous inhabitants, making trouble? I've never thought of this house as haunted, except on a couple of slightly strange occasions, of which more in a future post, so I'm inclined to think it's just the house itself that hates change. Like an elderly, sleeping animal, it really doesn't want to be bothered. And so it sometimes takes its revenge.
This is, I hope, the first of many posts, some funny, some sad, some just plain informative. The blog title I owe to my husband. In the middle of our last small emergency (old houses are full of them) he groaned 'How to live in a 200 year old house!' With fortitude, with care, with love and with some difficulty, as it turns out.
Not all my posts will be 'how to' posts though, because we work in this house too as well as on it. I write and Alan paints, very much in the folk art style. I also have a couple of online stores where I sell the antiques, mostly textiles, that so often find their way into my fiction.
And of course, we do a lot of gardening, because these old cottages tend to have very big back gardens.
Drop in now and then, if you too live in an old house - or if you want to!