Saturday, December 14, 2013


We've been beginning to see what needs changing in the house as we get used to living here.  The kitchen needs more space for preparing food, and John suggested it needs an island for the middle of the room.  It is short on countertop space, and I have already thought it needed more space for catering for five people.

We've been past Rumpelstiltskin on the high street in Market Rasen a number of times while I drooled over the furniture in there.  It's lovely, and I linger every time I pass the shop.  John was thinking about one of the consoles in the window for the kitchen, but as soon as we entered the shop I realised that the ones in the window are rather lower than they appear, as they are on a little platform.

I immediately saw something that would be absolutely perfect.  It's a butcher's block table, which can be ordered in any Farrow and Ball colour.

The shop always looks empty of customers and a bit lonely, but the proprietor told us that there has been an explosion of interest in the things they make since they took the shop, and delivery times had extended accordingly. 

If I can afford it, once everything is sorted out, I'd like to have bookshelves from the shop - I had discounted them because they have mouldings at the top and a plinth at the bottom and so I didn't think they would be suitable for a grouping of bookshelves, but it was explained that you can butt a number of the shelving units up against each other and then have a moulding and plinth which fit around them all... so I shall start to calculate how to configure them, if I can afford them. 

The house is starting to feel more like mine.  Initially I felt as though I were squatting in someone else's holiday home, but having started to buy things I have chosen, like the blinds for the kitchen, and the lamp for my room, it's starting to be more mine... and our stored possessions arriving will make it even better.

Settling in

Sunnyside farm shop
It's been ten days since we moved to Market Rasen, and we've been so busy, busy, busy I have hardly had any time for blogging.  I bought the house with all the contents, although I hadn't quite realised how extensive those contents would be.  We've had a lot of things to clear, boxes and boxes of cardboard, old string, cables, crates and old paint pots.  The back garden still looks like someone has been fly-tipping the contents of an old factory, but John is making trips to the tip every day and it is gradually going down.  The tip people are rather suspicious that he is dumping old commercial waste on them, but he really, honestly, is not!

Life in a small town is very different from life on the outskirts of London.  For a start, nearly all the shops in town close at 3.30pm.  Not on an early closing day - every day.  Many specialist shops only open a few days a week... I'm assuming their opening hours expand during the summer.  I may be wrong about that!

People know each other, and trust each other far more than you find in a big town in Greater London.  We ordered a bed from Rasen bed supplies, and needed to wait a few days for the base to come from the stockist.  Tom was fed up with sleeping on the floor and not feeling very well, and so I went to ask if I could buy the mattress in advance of the base.  Not only did the company deliver it in about ten minutes flat, they refused to let me pay for it until the base had come.

When the base DID arrive, they not only delivered but also assembled the bed!  Ali decided he wanted some weird shaped bed from an online retailer... but that arrived in pieces and was just delivered to the threshold.  The service from Rasen Bed Supplies couldn't have been better.  And the mattresses and beds we bought from them are very comfortable.

Yesterday John and I went to the Sunnyside Up farm, for breakfast, which is just between Market Rasen and Tealby.  I can certainly recommend their bacon or sausage rolls, and the restaurant is light and airy, with comfortable sofas for lounging on if you wish.  After breakfast we wondered around the shop, exclaiming at all the lovely foodie items on offer.  There is a meat counter and cheese counter, vegetable shop, and shop full of local delicacies and chutneys and jams, as well as high-quality items from other areas. 

We bought one of the shop's steak pies, which are home-made on the farm, and some leeks and potatoes from the vegetable shop - as well as a clutch of chutneys and marmalade for the store cupboard.

In the car park, it being Friday, there was a fish van from Grimsby - but it's recommended that you get there early in order to get the best range of fish and shellfish.

The farm restaurant is lovely and I have no hesitation in recommending it.  The brick built barn buildings look as though they may be dark, from the outside, but it is actually light and airy and the staff are welcoming and friendly.

The Sunnyside Up farm shop is open for longer than shops in Market Rasen, 9-5pm Tuesday to Saturday and 10-4 on Sundays.  It's closed on Mondays. 

The restaurant does a wider range of breakfasts during the summer season, but is open for pots of tea and bacon and sausage rolls and a wide range of other food during the day.  My son heartily recommends their soup!

You can find more on their website here, including how to get there.  Head out of Market Rasen on the Tealby road is the basic instruction!

I liked the sign on the way out, which warns about free-range children and chickens... both of those *should* be free-range!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My own front door

I haven't blogged at all for weeks, unless long posts on Facebook count. Our goods and chattels were packed and put into storage on November 21, we sold our house on November 22, and we spent two weeks in a wonderful holiday cottage in Tealby. The only drawback of the cottage was that we had poor mobile reception and no real internet, although I can see that might have been an advantage for some people. Then on December 5, we had to pack up and leave the cottage and wait to hear when we had completed on the purchase of Sycamore house.

We went for breakfast at the really wonderful Sunnyside Farm shop, in the highest winds I have experienced for some while. The trees were whipping around us as we drove there, and there was a lot of tree debris, including whole branches, scattered about. After bacon and sausage rolls at Sunnyside, we went to Jim's Barn, where I bought some Annie Sloan paints and talked to Sarah Lamballe, who is active in the Mr Big organisation in Market Rasen. She encouraged us to go along to the Christmas fair on Friday and Saturday.

Unfortunately, Tom and I had begun to suffer a bit from the horrible coldy bug that Ali had had earlier in the week. Neither of us was feeling very much like doing anything other than snuggling up in bed. As we drove into Market Rasen at 12.20, I asked John how long he thought it would take to complete... and a few minutes later my solicitor rang and told me we had completed. We rather expected to drive up to the house and take possession, but I was anxious not to infect the sellers with our bugs as they were about to make very long air journeys, and so we agreed to go away again for a while, and come back at 2pm.

And so... that was five days ago. We have been clearing, sorting, reorganizing and getting used to the house. The front door wasn't usually used by the prvious owners, and we soon discovered why: the front door lock wasn't working properly. John has fixed a new lock, which works much better. I have some photographs but I am too tired to put them up tonight.