A Three-Year Old Home

At one time I wrote about little else than the house on this blog, but these days its a pretty rare occurrence. However this weekend marks three years since we bought this place and moved in, and it does begin to feel like a home. In fact the house is a lot more than three years old, around 115 years in fact, its a old brick-built semi-detached house, red bricks and set over 4 floors as is fairly common in this part of the world (West Yorkshire).

In real terms, not a whole lot has happened in the house this year. I'm not exactly sure what we did with our time but Kevin changed job twice and I've been pretty busy so home improvements have definitely been getting neglected! One major thing we did, which I absolutely love, is we decorated my office (scroll down to see the "after" photos!). I have spent quite an insane amount of time at this desk over the last few months, between working, writing, preparing talks, and who knows what else, so having a place that suits me so well makes that so much easier! Control over my environment and only the cat to interrupt me most of the time is my idea of a good working environment! I've been working from home for almost 2 and a half years, and still enjoy this as much as ever, which is good news since although Ibuildings now has an office in Sheffield, that's still a commute that is way too crazy to do regularly.

The office looks over the garden and the garden is one part of the house project which is really coming together in a way that I like. Looking at those initial photos of the space, and remembering that we just strimmed the 4-foot-high weeds down to a couple of inches for our housewarming party ... it was a junk yard, really. And now, the flowerbeds I dug out last year have everything just a bit bigger and better this year, and mum has brought me lots of new plants. The climbers I planted along the edge of the nasty garage are getting the idea and growing themselves into beautiful flowery garage-hiding wallpaper (well and they're growing across and onto everything else that gets close to them also, I had to rescue the barbecue from getting assimilated this week!) After laying the lawn about 18 months ago, and the patio last summer, we now have an apple tree growing in the lawn and some furniture for the patio ... all in all its quite a suburban garden:

New Patio Furniture

For me the garden space always had the potential for this, and now I've got my own herb garden, annual flowering things (plus a few pretty weeds that I'm allowing to remain), and rhubarb, it really does feel like home!

For the coming year, we're hoping to sort out our basement/damp problems, once and for all ... if we can afford it!

New Patio and Garden Gate

There haven't been any house updates for a while - because I haven't been here so haven't done anything! However we did realise earlier this year that we were never going to find the time to lay our own patio, we've been in the house two years now (can I get a little "yay!" for that?) and still nowhere to sit outside, so I found a local garder who could come and do it, he even has a website so look up Character Gardens if you need a gardner. Lee and his team were friendly and the results are good!

Here's the obligatory before and after shots:

Patio - before it began Finished Patio

They also came and fitted us a garden gate, ours has always been hopeless and it actually fell off its hinges about 3 months ago. Now I have a shiny new one with a catch that goes "click" when you close it.

Garden Gate

(and look, my lavender hedge is getting bigger!)

Baby Courgette Plants

Recently my friend Deb, Leeds Geekup organiser and Ruby developer, gave me two baby courgette plants ... she even went so far to photograph me, slightly tipsy, leaving the pub to get the bus home:

I did get the plants home intact and planted them out. I was going to post a whole garden post as I have a few other things also to plant, but I've been elsewhere all week and now its raining rather a lot, so I'm blogging instead. Here's the courgette plants in their new home:

Waiting for my attention are some sweet peas given to me by Great Uncle Sid and some training lobelia I bought yesterday to try to improve the view from my new kitchen window ... more about those another day.