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It’s one of those moments where I realise that it’s been a month since I last wrote anything here, and whilst I’ve moved on long ago from feeling like I must blog at regular intervals, I still feel like it’s a bit sad – mainly because I really like writing and sharing.

What I really want to share is some nice recipes or pictures of what we’ve been cooking over Christmas, or perhaps some snaps of our lovely new kitchen following our home renovation, but I don’t feel I can move onto those without sharing some pictures of our life for the past few months.

Buddy sleeping on a dust sheet…
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Back in October I shared some photos as we began to demolish part of our house ready for a rebuild – that was most certainly the fun part.  It’s been downhill since then!

We have lived through dust and chaos, workmen tramping everywhere, more dust, no cooker, no hob, a boarded up window, a radiator-less living room where I’ve been running my business from (or sometimes in bed when there’s been no other space!), a garden that’s more closely resembled a tip, no toilet, the joys of building a flatpack kitchen, sanding, painting, and more dust.

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Home DIY

Today’s post is dedicated to my dad, a fellow DIYer, always keen to know what we’re up to.  So this was today…

It seems like it’s been forever since we got our grubby clothes on and got stuck into a good bit of DIY and demolition (at this point Mr Rigg likes to imitate Ty from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition – don’t tell him I told you).

In just over a day’s time we will be starting the final bit of our home improvement plan, five years after we bought this little end terraced cottage.

Blue-grey front door with pale pink roses

We are determined to do the final push to finish off our house so that we can sit back and enjoy it.  We have been slowly sweeping our way down the house, starting with our two upstairs bedrooms, then our main living area (two old cottage rooms knocked into one), and now we are on the home leg – the kitchen, bathroom (downstairs) and what was a manky porch.

This was said manky porch…
Ugly porch

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Whilst everyone else has been enjoying the sun this weekend, we (mainly Mr Rigg) have been stuck inside preparing our living room for an electrician and plasterer this week.

These are photos of what the living room looked like after we’d taken everything out of it and covered all the furniture.  It’s looking terrible.

Mr Rigg spent one evening stripping the terrible wallpaper off the staircase wall, and you can see that we’ve spent the last (quite possibly) 2 years living with bare brickwork, exposed concrete floor along the edge of the room, an unpainted chimney breast, and lots of peeling paint.

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If you ignore the peeling paint in the back of the room (our house is still very much a work in progress) our house is looking quite Christmassy. 

I have hung ivy and holly from most of the pictures, the staircase is wrapped in yet more ivy, the tree is decorated and sparkling, and the mantlepiece is twinkling with jam jars of tealights amongst fir branches.

Today I did the first part of my Christmas food shop – my bags were full of goodies…Morecambe Bay potted shrimp…herb encrusted salami…Wensleydale cheese studded with cranberries…and a few things I can’t mention as they’re for Mr Rigg’s stocking..ssh!

I love Christmas.

Today we have been trying to finish off our wedding invitations, but we also managed to go for a lovely long walk along the canal and lanes near our house.  It was pretty nippy but beautiful crisp blue skies.

Scenes from our walk…

A gorgeous horse caught in the sunlight…

The canal all frozen over…

A cute tiny cottage…

Seeds in the hedge twinkly with frost…

Now it’s time to huddle up by a cosy log fire and keep warm.  Hope everyone else has had a happy weekend.

Where the past eight days have gone and what I’ve been doing that has prevented me from blogging…well…I can’t quite recall.

Mr Rigg and I took last week off from work and had a ‘stay-cation’ as my colleague put it.  We did home and garden improvements all week and it was exhausting! 

Buddy and I spent one afternoon guarding the front door as it dried after a new coat of paint.  But it looks lovely – I hope you’ll agree from the picture above.

This front door has been a true labour of love.  Back in October I briefly mentioned about the front door here.  If you’re interested in the restoration of our front door, read on…if not, I’ll be back with food related goodness shortly!

Finding the door
We set out to find the perfect front door to replace the ugly thing that came with the house.  We wanted to buy an old door, rather than a new one.  After much searching I came across Period Pine Doors on ebay and discovered that they are based near to Mr Rigg’s family.  We visited, fell in love with a beautiful old door that has different designs on each side.  A smarter side with the beading (this is what we’ve used for the front and can be seen in the picture) and a more rustic side that we’ve used inside.  We handed over our money and waited for it to be delivered.

Preparing the door
We spent hours painstakingly sanding, filling holes, then painting the door with a white undercoat.  We used car body filler to fill any unwanted cracks, as recommended by a friend – it’s solid stuff once it’s set.

Fitting the door
We hired a joiner to come and fit the door.  He cut a letter box into the door and hung the door.  We were so delighted and excited – finally here was our gorgeous new front door.

The problem(s) with the door…
Then the problems started.  The door moved/expanded and we came home from a weekend away and couldn’t open the front door!  Mr Rigg managed to get in (phew), but then the door wouldn’t shut!  And this was at about 11 o’clock at night… We managed to get the door shut that night, but then spent a couple of weeks having to use our back door.

It turns out that when old doors are striped off their old paint they are dipped into something (chemicals I guess).  It does a great job of removing the old paint, but it can also erode away of the original glue that was used to help hold the door together.  This is what had happened with our door, and as a result it had started to come apart!

Fixing the door
So we remove the lovely new front door, replaced the manky old one (thank goodness we hadn’t got rid of it).  Mr Rigg and I squeezed the door into our car and headed to my parents for the weekend.  My dad and Mr Rigg spent a day taking the door to pieces – yes, quite literally!  It was heartbreaking.  I couldn’t quite imagine that you could just take it to pieces and put it back together.  But it turns out you can, and you can do-it-yourself if your dad and husband-to-be are handy.  So they glued it all back together.


The old door

The door comes home
Because we’d used the super duper car body filler quite a bit of the beading had been snapped when the door had been taken apart.  So we had to re-fill it, re-sand it, re-paint it all over again.  Mr Rigg fitted the door this time, and we just prayed and waited.

Thankfully the door hasn’t moved since – yey!

Finishing touches
I spent ages trying to get just the right shade of paint for our front door.  I wanted to match it to the bluey-grey of our local National Trust property Dunham Massey.  In the end I settled for Farrow & Ball’s ‘Hague Blue’.  It’s not really very similar to the colour at Dunham Massey, but it’s perfect and just what we wanted. 

The door is finished off with black door furniture that bought online from a period ironmongery shop – there is a knocker, letterbox and handle.  Last week Mr Rigg gave it another lick of paint and replaced all the door seals. 

I have also planted a pretty pink rose that it growing up beside the front door.  When we bought the house it came with some of the original deeds and documents which I’ve enjoyed pouring over.  Our cottage and the one next door were originally called ‘Rose Cottages’ – hence I have planted the rose.  This is the first year that it has had lots of blooms.

It has been a real labour of love, we’ve put in a lot of time (and money) but it is so worth it.  Everytime we come home it is there to welcome us back and into our home.

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Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

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All pictures are my own unless stated. I would kindly ask that you don't use them elsewhere unless you ask permission first. Many thanks x

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