SO…We got the Keys.

Monday 14th March. We are handed…what I can only describe as a comical bunch of keys. “Good Luck” the agent smirks at me… ( – side note. Don’t ever use Stratford & Stratford)


We walk in and take stock. Firstly, we know from the survey that the “shop” needs attention, help & taking care of. We have consulted a builder & can’t responsibly start anything until he comes to see us.


Our plan, for the accommodation, was to start small – from the ground up. Simply put; get rid of “the smell”. I can’t describe it too well but is was basically a combination of dust, dirt, grime & ointment. So we started with the floors (I’m doing an Interior Design Course & apparently you should always start with the floors). We ripped up all the old carpets – some of which wouldn’t even roll because they were so crusty and dirty and….awful! The entire back of our transit was full to brim with carpet & underlay which the dump almost wouldn’t accept.

Our plan before we moved in was to do our bedroom – to give us just one room that was “ours” and “finished”. I’d even been naive enough to not only choose but PURCHASE paint.

If you EVER see this… (wood-chip wallpaper)


…and you are not prepared…do NOT strip it. We stripped it and all the walls came crumbling down. The old fashioned lime-plaster just simply disintegrated once we took it off the walls & we had no choice. We had to make the room, naked.


It has been pain-staking & at times, overwhelming. Basically, the plaster in the whole room is Lime & Plaster with old wooden slats all individually nailed in – this has created a dust storm like I’ve never seen and masks have become our new best friend. The dilemma now of course is frankly, if we don’t do all the work needed now – we won’t ever manage to do it.

So this is the bedroom now. The positives are we can properly insulate! The roof is so much higher than the original ceiling. Perhaps we can create eaves storage?

So. You ask…Did we stop here?


Once we realised the state of the walls & how awful it would be to do this property room-by-room. Almost purely from a DUST point of view… I couldn’t hold back.

The wonky fire-place with its wonky cut-out-arches needed to go! The awful painted-repained-and-painted-again wallpaper had out-stayed its welcome. I was SURE we would reveal original features and although Seb was urging me to hold off…I just started … “picking”…



Became this..


And I was vindicated if not a little concerned about the bare-bones of the building I had created. After all…we could perhaps just have…moved in and done it slowly?! Nagging thoughts and concerns…

Yet in the harsh dark of 2 am (which I now see on a nightly basis), I am sure we are doing the right thing. We have to make these changes NOW because we can’t responsibly open a store and then create mountains of dust to ruin our stock.

I also need to mention that we have not been alone. Our friends Rory & Laura gave us a day of their holiday to help strip walls, gather rubble & knock out ceilings. A Mum-Who-Is-Someone-Elses-Mum, Kay, gave us a whole day, providing us with way more than she signed up for, tearing down what will be our bathroom wall & cleaning up after the devilishly-filthy Castang. We can’t thank these incredibly humans enough for their time & their soar backs.


Now…onto the shop….


2 thoughts on “SO…We got the Keys.

  1. Exciting times ahead. Good to start with a blank canvas. Ironically it’s often quicker to strip right back than to repair what’s there and woodchip is a hellish product to try and hide. Good luck to you and your new venture.

    LikeLiked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Andrew. Now I’m stuck in – I agree. I’d much rather do it now then regret it and be stuck with it. Hope you’re well?! x



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