After a few cold winters we made a decision last October that we’d move into the Loft ourselves for a few months as an experiment.. We’re very happy here, and because of the high level of insulation it warms up beautifully and stays warm even when the heating is off. We have been as cosy as anything over the winter.  And the wasn’t difficult – I decided that only ourselves and our clothes would transfer into the Loft, and that anything we found missing we would buy. After all, it has to be self-sufficient for our guests.  So we have got some extra little things to make life comfortable, mainly of the kitchen variety.   Hopefully that means that our guests this year will lack for nothing!  And also we’ll find little problems ourselves that we can correct before the season begins.

For instance, this year one guest  mentioned the water pressure in the kitchen was high, but it wasn’t until I got soaked myself a few times that I realised it wasn’t just a little quirk, but a significant problem if you were living there long-term.  It has been put right,  I’m happy to say, and all is calm again.

It’s important to live in the cottages for some time to understand how it is for guests.  I lived for a year in the Mews, and know every  bit of it, all its idiosyncrasies, and love it.

Anyhow, we’ll walk back across the yard (with our clothes) to the Farmhouse at the end of March, and leave the Loft to our guests from then on.  We’ll also be changing things in the garden.  I always think that although everything looks so bleak outside in winter, it emphasises the cosiness of the stoves and warmth inside.  Yet what a lift it gives to start planning the summer garden again.  You’d think we were great gardeners – we’re not, but do love the natural colours of the rural scenery, and try to enhance it  before work takes over and the garden runs away…

We’d a lovely summer last year – I was away working for a large part of it, so didn’t get to see a lot of our guests, but enjoyed meeting them whenever I could.

Our dear Tara died during the year, and she still hasn’t been replaced, much to Pi’s sadness, but we’re really keen to get another dog as soon as possible now.  It just hasn’t happened yet, but don’t be surprised if some big shaggy  dog waves his tail at you from his cushion  in the yard as the donkey brays across the gate – you never know what you might find in Aghowle…

It’s time for lunch and to arrange some hedge-cutting.  Enough of this writing….


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