3rd Time Lucky…

As you know, we are currently trying to sell our lovely house. Unfortunately we have so far had no luck at all which means we are unable to really push forward with the build.

I have called in a 3rd estate agent in the hope that a fresh advert and a new perspective on things will help to push the house and finally sell it as we need to be closer to Alan’s work.

Purple Bricks, all online based estate agency with a fresh approach to the selling of a house. We are hoping they are what we need and that the fees are not overly expensive. This week it will hopefully be going live with them but they have a good average around the area of how long they take to sell. Fingers crossed this will be the fresh push the house needs to get someones attention and sell.

So I spent a large amount of time last week, tidying and sorting the house again, it looks lovely but I have to try and keep it that way!

Along with the interior looking good, the exterior has had a few improvements with new flowers at the front and some nice plants coming out in the back garden!

Please all pray, keep those fingers crossed that we get some interest soon in the house ūüôā

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How Times Have Changed….

After staying in the caravan last week I have managed to get a bit of a cold¬†and the house is now a mess as we haven’t really been here. I have also been working at Quinta helping with Admin work for the last couple of weeks which takes my mornings, then with Volunteering 3 times a week I haven’t had much time at home or to try and feel better.

So today I am taking the day to focus a little on my freelance work and get the house tidied up and looking clean again. Still battling this cold which is now making me cough, anyone who knows me will know that means I am constantly doing a walrus impression!

This weekend though I haven’t been at home, or seen Alan, which was strange. On Friday afternoon I drove to Tunbridge Wells which is where I grew up. Saturday was the Hen do for one of my close friends Fran, she was one of my bridesmaids so I had to be there for her too. Well the Hen do was in Norwich not Kent, but a friend from school was going so we planned to go up together and as it is such a long way from home I was able to stay with her on the friday to make the travel a little easier.

This is Fran! She is a gorgeous person all round and this is my favourite picture of us from my Wedding.

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Izzy is someone I was close with at school and sadly lost contact with after sixth form, so we are talking probably 8¬†years since we have seen each other. Needless to say I was a little anxious seeing her again. I definitely didn’t need to be, she is as lovely as she always has been and exactly the same generous and kind person. It felt like no time had passed and it was lovely to see her again and to meet her little girl.

This was us 8 years ago!!

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We made it to Norwich in time for getting out nails done with the group of girls for the Hen do where I was able to see another old friend, who again I haven’t seen in like 8¬†years. It was strange but lovely to see her again and see her so happy in her life with her own little family.

It took a few hours to get up to Norwich which gave Izzy and I a chance to catch up and there was a lot to catch up on. Lots has happened over the last 8 years and it struck me just how amazing Izzy is. She has been to hell and back over the last 8 years and it is inspiring to see how strong she is and how grounded she is. I have the highest levels of respect for the women, friend, mum, girlfriend, carer, daughter and all round person she has become. I am terrible for being bad at staying in touch but I will make every effort to be there for her and be a friend to her properly. She is a superstar!

 

House update!

Well we’ve still had no interest at all in the house at the moment, so we are still living in Wrexham, Alan is still commuting and still exhausted. We have been contacted by a different estate agent who are going to be round on Wednesday to talk things through and do a valuation on the property so fingers crossed this will help.

More steel work has arrived om site and I think the bricks have been ordered too, all the plumbing for the caravan has been put into place and covered so that’s good, still just need some gas sorted and a means of getting in and out of the caravan which is still rather tricky.

Alan and I have also decided that we need to get back on track with the weight loss and fitness, which we had kind of started and have recently lost track of. So I am going to push myself, go to the gym, eat better, eat less and try to drink more and be healthier. We have both set goals for what we want to loose by John and Sarah’s wedding in August so we will try our hardest. NO MORE TAKEAWAYS!!!!

 

Our First Time…

…in the caravan!

So this Sunday I was able to complete the painting in the bathroom and we have been able to make the place a little more like home. As the water is now in and working we made plans to stay for the first time this weekend, this has now turned into 4 days in the caravan!

I am currently working in the mornings so have been doing a bit of driving, and today, I have driven to Weston Rhyn (40 mins from the caravan), worked for 4 hours, went to Stan’s, then spent 3 hours doing some freelance work, then drove home, showered, packed a load of stuff to bring to the caravan. Then drove the 50 mins to Welshpool where I did the food shop, then managed to finally get to the caravan, at gone 7pm.

Here are some shots of the work I was doing earlier, Mum was there to lend a hand with getting the backdrop sorted, I’m short, she’s not, she is handy!

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I am so tired today and I honestly have no idea how Alan has done this for so long. He leaves crazy early, drives for 50 mins, works super hard, all day, outside, whatever the weather, stays late at work, drives 50 mins home again. ¬†I have always struggled to understand how he feels, but after today with the driving I am feeling so drained and lacking in energy. I feel so bad for complaining in the past that he is always so tired and quiet. But feeling like this I honestly don’t know how he has lasted this long.

We need our house to sell and to move into this caravan, 15 mins from work will make such a massive difference to him and hopefully give him some energy to enjoy life a little more. I would do anything for this man and moving is essential at the moment.

Any way, we are staying in the caravan for the next few days and  I wanted to share a few pictures from the finishing touches;

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So the kitchen and the living room are looking good with our TV and a few movies here to keep us entertained.

This is the end result for the toilet re-paint. The walls are blue, very blue with a nice blind and new toilet seat. A slightly random loo seat to be honest. The colour doesn’t really work.

We are still living without the gas in the caravan so no cooker, but we do have a microwave and a BBQ, so for our first night we had BBQ steak and veggies;

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A very yummy and successful dinner for our first night here. We slept well and the place is comfortable, we are just looking forward to the future, with decisions being made about bricks and half the steel arriving for the build, it is all very exciting.

As long as I have my best friend by my side, my life is complete but I need to keep pushing to keep him happy and healthy and do all I can to make him as happy as possible.

 

 

 

Exciting Weekend! 

This week we were very excited to hear that builder Dave had been on site doing a bit of digging and that Gordon, with help from Alan’s twin John, had connected the water up.

This means not only do we have electricity and a working TV but we now have running water and a working toilet!! The next bit will be getting the gas connected up and working so that we can have hot water, cook and some heating (though we don’t need it at the moment!)

I popped to the caravan on Friday again this week and painted the first coat of blue in the toilet, which is starting to look a lot nicer with a fresh licking of paint. But the other reason I went down was to get the Internet sorted….Hopefully. 

I went to PC World and with the help of a very kind man I managed to find a way of turning the ethernet connection into a wifi signal. Not easy as wired Internet is not very common any more. However there was one little travel device from TP-LINK which can be used for multiple functions and is designed for use when travelling. It can take a wifi signal and boost it, create a hotspot from a computer or work as an access point, creating access wifi signal from a wired connection! And it was only ¬£20. On Friday I took that over with our chrome book and by jove it actually worked. So we now have wifi in the caravan running at 30mb+. This was fantastic news! 

It also rained when I was there…..and holy cow I have never heard rain like it, it was like constant thunder, I couldn’t hear the telly or Alan on the phone. Was a bit of a shock! I got a bit of video but it wasn’t when the rain was at its loudest.  Also you can hear the TV in the background. However the ‘white noise’ sound is actually rain. 

This weekend we are very excited to be able to stay in the caravan for the first time! We have a BBQ with us to cook on and a microwave (cooker is gas so we have to wait to be able to cook properly) but it will be so nice to have our first night there together and for us to see how much of a difference it will make for Alan in the mornings when heading to work. 

So exciting and I will be able to paint the last coat of paint in the toilet and put a new toilet seat on and will share pictures soon of all the caravan and how homely we get it with some of our stuff ūüôā 

Upgrade Updates…

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I can not get over the view we are going to have from this caravan, and eventually our new home.

All the best laid plans, I believe the saying is…

So I had some grand plans for the caravan but there have been a few alterations. Initially I was going to paint the interior of the caravan, I did some research about the best way to do it, however upon looking at the caravan again with new curtains the walls are fine.

They are a mixed cream colour and I was going to paint them a similar colour….totally not worth it. I think the main issue with the caravan was the cushion covers and curtains, they are the elements that made it feel dated.

So I gave a sneak peek last time which shows the kitchen cupboards getting a fresh lick of paint. Definitely needed, they were pretty grim. Along with this I have added a few elements to make it more homely, there is now a kettle, utensil hanging thing, drainer and washing up bowl. The everyday essentials. I have also put up a new blind.

Here is a before and after of the kitchen part of the Caravan.

Before…

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After…

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The only thing I have left to do is cover the bit of wood that the pelmet was hanging from but it will make for a handy shelf!

I was contemplating covering the worktop with a kind of Vinyl plastic that is heat resistant and suitable for covering kitchen work tops. Initially I thought it would be necessary. But having put the first bit down, I really wasn’t sure. It’s amazing stuff, it really is and looks amazing but in the end I decided it wasn’t worth the money to put it in, though it only saved us¬†¬£10, but every little helps.

Here is how the plastic covering stuff looked…

So the pale fake pine work top is much lighter and looks a lot cleaner, especially against the slightly peach coloured hob that is there. So for anyone wanting to brighten up their kitchen or just give your kitchen a new look, this stuff is only £5 for a 2m roll and it is so easy to apply. Very effective and a cheap way of revamping a tired looking kitchen. I have a feeling that the work top is relatively new so does not need changing.

With the living room, we can’t go to the extent of changing carpet, and though the colour sucks a little¬†it is in good condition. So I made some new curtains, it was handy that the curtains we have in our house are stupidly long so I have been able to cut them in half to make curtains for the caravan. There was a discussion on re-covering the seat cushions but I decided, after a discussion with my mum, that they would be a nightmare to re-do due to the shape of the cushions. So I cheated……kind of, you will see in the picture below.

Before…

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After…

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So we purchased 3 MASSIVE bed spreads, which I have had in the past (though they were pink and pale blue) to cover a white sofa and armchair. They are slightly more robust that a fleecy blanket or throw, though we do have a shed load of those for when it gets chilly. We also got a few new cushions and stuff to make the sofa bit super comfy. For some reason I didn’t take this shot as wide angled as the last, if I had it would show that we do now have a TV set up AND we nearly have internet complete too!! I do still have some curtains left to make and swap in. Again I will be covering the Pelmet thing and it too will be a useful shelf.

So the other area I have actually made a few improvements too is the toilet, the walls were a bit grim and it’s nice to give it a fresh lick of paint. So I have put an undercoat on the walls and a new blind on the window. The hottest thing I have ever done as it is a small space and the sun was shining through the window….very very warm!!

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So it is starting to look a little nicer. I have again saved some money here, I was going to paint this room the same as the living room, but I have returned the paint and undercoat for that. I used the undercoat from the kitchen cabinets and we have some left over paint from our house which we can use in there instead. This I think was genius as it saved us a further £30.

I will hopefully finish the painting this week. Fingers crossed we can get the plumbing and water sorted soon as we are desperate to stay there, if it is sorted this week, we have every intention of staying there for the first time on Sunday.

We would appreciate all fingers and toes to be crossed and all prayers that the house gets a little interest soon and we can sell it to a lovely family! That is the next and biggest hurdle we have to get past.

Naming our new home! 

So a few weeks ago we had to make a decision on what we wanted to name the house. 

As it’s not on a street we needed to choose a name for the new house. As it’s in Wales it was apparently imperative that it was a Welsh name. This threw up a few issues as we needed the translation of the name to make sense as that is the Welsh way. 

For example another house in the family was Maes Gwersyll which means Camp Field, due to the fact that it a as used as a camp for the workers when the canal was built. 

We struggled to find one that not only made sense but was also pronouncable as we would need to spend the foreseeable future saying the name to people. We also needed it to be easy to spell as we would also spend that time spelling it for those we tell it to. It’s welsh and therefore hard to spell! 

There were a few I liked, Maes Ardwyn was one. Which translated roughly to field on and hill. And though the field is a slope Alan didn’t really feel it counted as a hill. Sadly I had to agree even though I loved how it sounded. 

We then came across Pen-y-cae which translate to End of field. Although a slightly boring translation It works. The house is being built in the last stretch of field in the area where houses have been built and it is the end of yhe field the is owned by Alans family. 

So it made sense

It’s easy to pronounce

and relatively easy to spell

Name chosen! And we love it, it’s a lovely welsh name we can say and spell and we have recently had a confirmation through that the address has officially been registered which is very very exciting! 

I spent a lot of time over the bank holiday weekend in the caravan getting it a little more set up and I promise to share before and after pictures soon. I just want to get a couple more bits sorted first! But we will be there this weekend which will give me the chance to get the final bits done before taking more pictures ūüôā 

Here is a sneak peak!

Slowly does it….

So as I mentioned last time, I thought I would post a few of the pictures I captured during the process of the caravan delivery.

Massive thanks the the fellers from Salop Leisure who did a sterling job with delivering the caravan to a really rather tricky location!

So the bottom of the drive has a 90 degree turn which was a bit of a squeeze! Lets just say the lads from Salop Leisure where glad it was only 10ft wide and not 12! Also we were grateful for all the patience and understanding of the neighbours that were around at the time. They watched with interest and kindly moved their cars to make the whole process as easy as possible. We really really appreciated it!

After the initial very tight corner there was a narrow and windy drive to navigate before making it to the bottom of the drive to the field. With my father-in-laws new antique lamppost to avoid and a narrow drive it was a tricky operation. So narrow that the wagon was very close to the slope on the one side which made for a very slow progress up the drive.

Having made it to the bottom of the field there was one attempt made to get it to the top….it did not end well, the second the caravan end of the wagon made it to grass it slid sideways. So they decided leaving it on dry ground and using something a little more powerful like a tractor would be the best way to go. So the lovey guys from Salop Leisure (after a well deserved cuppa) left the caravan with us after nearly 2 hours and we made plans for the following day.

After a little discussions with Alan’s Dad and Uncle Hywel about how to proceed, the caravan was slowly pulled up the field. First pulled forwards onto the building site then reversed up the field towards the space we had flattened out ready. This was a VERY slow process as one side of the caravan required planks of wood under the wheel the whole way up. So Alan was placing the planks inline with the wheel then as it moved putting the next, then taking the first and putting it next. Like I say. It was a slow process.

It was slightly hindered when they had to navigate over a rather deep hole, there was a moment when I thought it was going to get stuck in the middle of the field on the hill sideways, but we were okay.

After 2 hours it was up in place. Alan and his Dad then spent a further 3 hours jacking the van up so that it was sturdy and as level as we could get it.

Now it is ready for us to start sorting out, so we have some plans in place for a few improvements we can make to the interior to make it as nice as possible for as cheap as possible. I will share a bunch of before and after pictures of the bits we do to make the place a lovely little home for us to enjoy for the next couple of years. Fingers crossed we will have electricity and TV sorted this weekend with water and plumbing sorted next weekend.

Let the fun begin….

The Adventure Starts Right Here!

 

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Initially I wanted this blog to be about everyday working as a freelancer, but that has not really worked or provided much for me to write about. I get distracted and forget anything exciting I could write about.

However, life is a funny thing and can give new and exciting opportunities. A while ago I made a decision. Having left my job last august and started working from home doing odd bits here and there, I realised that my husband was still driving 70 miles a day for work while all I needed for work was an internet connection.

I presented the idea to Alan (the Husband) of moving closer to his work and he was hesitant, which I understood, I mean we had only been in our house a year having spent 6 months doing massive amounts of work to the house. A perfect kitchen, 2 bathrooms, walls moving, doors being relocated. It was a lot of work, it cost a lot and we were very happy with the results.

It took me taking him to see where a house I found was and how close we could be to his work before he started to really consider the benefits of being that much closer to work. Taking his journey from 50 mins on a good day to maybe only 10-15.

There were lots of things for us to consider, location; not just for his work but so I wasn’t completely stranded. Price; we only have so much money out of the house sale we can use for a deposit and we didn’t want future mortgage payments to be out of our price range. Size; we are very lucky to have a 3 bedroom house at the moment, and though there are only 2 of us, I need space for an office and we would like to be able to have kids without having to move again.

With all that in mind I went through many days of looking and there were a few options but nothing that was perfect for us. We were then presented with the offer of purchasing a house that has been in Alan’s family since his grandfather built it, ¬†we were tempted, it had lots of potential but there were a lot of things that also made it seem like a little too much work and it was a bit of a tricky location and the price meant we would struggle to afford it an do the necessary work.

Then there was another option. A little back story, Alan’s family have always built their own houses, there are a few properties across the area that they were involved in building and have¬†lived in for many years. I respect that and LOVE the history it creates. So Alan’s parents converted a barn many years ago and lived there and then built the house they are currently living in and have been since 1991. There is a ¬†bit of land that they still own and Alan’s Dad, Gordon, got some plans drawn up and permission to build a new house which he was going to do over the next 5-10 year. So as the house was built he could save the rest of the money needed for the build.

Investing in this house build and living in the finished property became another option for us as Gordon really wanted the house to stay in the family. So with the money from the sale of our house, which we would have used as a deposit we are able to put that money in, hoping we can now complete the project in 2 years, maybe less (fingers crossed). This means for the next little while (2 years or so) we will be living in a Caravan. We had options to live with parents but we both felt that was a bad idea, and though we could rent, it is so expensive to rent in that area that we would be unable to save.

Saving over the next few years will be vital!! As we still need some funds to complete the house and we want to be able to finish it really nicely with a great kitchen and so on.

So the reason I have started writing about it now, even though this has been the plan for a few months now, is that the caravan we bought (for the lowly sum of £1800!) is now in place ready. Though getting it there was no easy task! It took 2 days to get it in place and then a further day to get it jacked up and secure. I will post a load of pictures soon showing the process of this.

The adventure feels a little more real today than it has done for a while as things are starting to progress further. I will post pictures of the caravan as it is (it’s a 1998 static caravan so the interior is a little dated) and pictures of the tricks I have found for me to try and make it as homely as possible for us.

So as the title says, the adventure starts right here!

Sneak Peak: here are a couple of images of the caravan being delivered and the lovely views we will have once we are moved in!

‘The Frey Life’

Over the last year or so I have started to watch more and more YouTube videos which has led me to following a few ‘Vloggers’. This started when I discovered someone who had been posting videos every day for the last few years (he is now into the 9th year), including the documentation of him discovering a brain Tumour and the following treatment. This included a video during his brain surgery.

It is mad to think of what people are able to share with the world.

A little while ago I came across a video to do with a very lovely couple and the life they live while fighting Cystic Fibrosis, or CF as it is commonly known. It has been eye opening, heart warming and inspirational to see this lovely lady fight and struggle with this condition whilst retaining a thankful and positive demeanour.

Mary has always had CF and has over her life learnt all that is needed to help maintain her condition to make the most of what she can do. I think it can be difficult when watching the videos to really imagine what it is like to live with such a condition and there are only ever small hints to how much suffering it causes. You see the occasional coughing fit and the impact certain medications have on her system and the way she feels but through it all she is positive and continues to fight.

One phrase which has become a little catch phrase for her is ‘Do what you think you can’t do’ and I think it is astonishing and moving to see her fight and push through the pain and discomfort. She is grateful for the time she doesn’t have a head ache or has managed to keep a meal down having just suffered a coughing fit. Something most people would really struggle to live with on a day to day basis. She has been pushing herself so that she can now maintain a headstand and even walk on her hands. I haven’t been able to do stuff like that since I was like 8!!

We complain and winge about the smallest of things in life, it seems to be the thing our generation does, with the internet providing us with a platform to anonymously and openly complain about every tiny detail in life. And I am guilty of this just like everyone else. I complain my hip hurts or that I have to cook diner for my very loving husband. My daily battles are not so draining and exhausting as Mary who has this exhausting and hard battle to live through.

Her husband Peter is a Pastor so it is lovely to also see people openly talking about religion, it is not bible bashing, in your face or any kind of over kill. It is just very present within the way they act and live their lives. They are passionate about it and it gives them such peace when dealing with difficulties. It is a nice change from the doom and gloom. For someone who has every opportunity to play the victim (and rightly so) they live their lives striving to help and encourage others, to push through and not let things get them down. To see the positives and happiness is every moment and make the most of the times when things are a little easier.

An inspiring couple who live their lives to the fullest and really do have a great sense of peace and purpose. I wish them all the best in their fight against CF especially as we head toward CF awareness month and a lot of charity walks being carried out to raise money towards research on the condition.

Though they are not likely to read this and I am not likely to meet them, they have inspired me the last few months to push myself and to prove myself wrong and to do what I think I can’t do. And for that I am truly grateful!

Here are a few links to all their social media bits;

https://www.youtube.com/user/thefreylife/featured

https://www.instagram.com/freyliving/

https://www.instagram.com/peterfreylife/

https://www.facebook.com/thefreylife

 

 

April!

I can’t quite believe it is April already! Recently I came to the decision that April is my favourite month and time of year. Especially in the UK.  

Over the last few years April has been warm and wonderful to a temperature I can deal with, lovely blue skies, slightly longer evenings. All in all a great time of year. Admittedly it can snow in April, or rain the whole month. Bur recently we have a better summer in April than we do in the summer! 

So updates…our house in on the market, with 2 estate agents in the hope we have some interest. It’s been on the market for nearly 3 months now and we have had no interest at all. Which I am finding very frustrating. I just want to move now and get going with things.  That and my husband is exhausted.  Partly due to work being busy and also wanting to work more hours to help us save. We do have a house to build after all ūüôā 

This week, and last, have been particularly hard with Alan not being home before 8 which means there is not much time before we have to head to bed. But we push through and I do as much as I can to make life as easy as I can for him. This and the thought of a four day weekend for easter help us keep going. 

Fingers crossed the weather continues so we can get the caravan sorted and maybe tidy our garden up a little for people coming to view it. So many dandelions at the moment! 

We will keep praying and pushing for our new chapter in life to start.