About Me

This Old House

Wasn’t July blooming marvellous?! If you are not in the UK and you are reading this, we had so many hot, dry days last month that we had to have a hosepipe ban.

People have been walking across an ancient walkway on the dry bed of Spelga Dam which is where about half the population of Northern Ireland usually gets their water supply from.

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Spelga Dam (photo credit Michael Uprichard)

Unfortunately for me all this good weather has not meant that that our building work is racing ahead. Almost a year after we bought ‘This Old House,’ we still haven’t started in earnest. Getting building control approval has been an achingly slow, frustrating process and we still don’t have final approval at the time of writing this.

In anticipation (vain hope) of this being granted soon, we are planning to be out of our house next week to let the builders begin in earnest. Finding somewhere to go though, has been a lot trickier than I imagined.

Temporary accommodation in this immediate area doesn’t come cheap and, with three children in tow, we need a reasonable amount of space. Many of the properties available at an affordable price per month are just not suitable for us as a family and we really want to be close by for an easy commute to school and to keep an eye on the progress in ‘This Old House.’

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Him, me and our three have spent a second consecutive summer uncertain of when we will be moving house and with our plans once again up in the air. Our complicated mortgage offer for the build has just expired and it doesn’t help matters that everything seems to grind to a halt in Northern Ireland in the middle of July.

It has been a protracted and painful process from our initial decision to move to our current impass (you can read all the background here). All along I have had to trust that God’s plan is better than our plans and that things will fall into place but, I have to admit, I have been getting weary of waiting to progress. I had hoped we would be coming to the end of the renovation at this stage and we still haven’t really begun.

We have, however, finally found a great spot to live in while the work is done, less than ten minutes drive to school with enough space and good friends nearby. It has been touch and go but after much to-ing and fro-ing We collected the keys yesterday.

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I’ve had colour schemes, furniture and kitchens in mind for ‘This Old House’ for so long that I am worried I will be sick of everything before a drop of paint hits the walls. I ordered my new sofas in January (I know, I was a little optimistic) in the hope that we’d have the build finished by September. Better make that September 2019!

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The Ellie sofa. Currently on sale at Harvey Norman. Click on http://www.harvey-norman.co.uk

My Pinterest account is huge with numerous boards that just keep expanding. (Sheelagh|Home Interiors Blogger|Decadent Decor). Gathering ideas on Pinterest used to be a welcome distraction but I’m getting to the stage where I can’t look at any more. I just want to put my ideas into action.

I hate the thought of clearing another house. I need to get my de-cluttering head on and remind myself of myself of my Top tips for a smooth move. In an attempt to cheer myself up, I called in with Amanda Ramsay at Interiors and Floor Design (IFD) in Carryduff on the outskirts of Belfast.

I brought along a cushion I bought recently in the Dunnes sale for the handsome sum of £4 to look at some toning fabrics for a grey and blush pink master bedroom. I have a very badly neglected but much loved armchair that I want her to restore and re-upholster and I found a lovely fabric that might just do the job.

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Blush pink cushion currently £4 in the Dunnes sale. Designers Guild Keswick fabric available at IFD Carryduff.

You know your life has become utterly nomadic when Marty, our ‘man with a van’ answers my calls with a cheery, “Hi Sheelagh, where are you moving to this week?” He collected the contents of our garage and brought them to my father-in-law’s barn for storage yesterday. We calculated that there are sofas there that he has moved at least four times. I still love them though and I’ll find somewhere for them once This Old House is finished.

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I have booked him to clear the rest of the house next week and move us into our temporary accommodation. At least now that we have the keys, I can also send the tent to storage. At one stage it was looking like camping in the garden was going to be our only option!

I’m off to start emptying my kitchen cupboards and encourage my kids to have a teddy bear cull. Wish me luck!

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