Downsize Diary: Love living in Hornsea but how I miss my AGA!

What a time to move!  Snow, ice, downpours – and today winds from the Arctic are predicted to hit us all!  But in our house in Hornsea we just don’t care.  We are toasty warm and feel so cocooned from all that is horrendous out there in the East Yorkshire climate (except when we take Fizzi and Daisy out for their daily walk – then we get blown away and we marvel at the cruel waves of the North Sea, pounding our shores, filling our noses with ‘good sea air’ which clears out our sinuses and makes us feel so healthy).

So here I am, at 5.43am, back to my old ways of sleeping well and waking up early.  Everyday we empty more boxes, and try and sort out a room.  We filled 200 cardboard boxes at our old 3-storey, huge Victorian house, and now are trying to fit everything into our much smaller 2-storey 1920’s one – a feat of amazing engineering and skill, believe me.  And the weather doesn’t help, either.

Lovely weather for moving in to our new house !

Are we downhearted?  Not one bit.  Tired maybe, from all the physical work, but not downhearted at all.  Yesterday we had a breakthrough, a really good idea.  Our office was going to be downstairs, in quite a large, dark room, still overflowing with boxes, mirrors, pictures with just enough space for 2 computers on a desk (with no room to sit). But upstairs, under all our clutter of bedding in plastic sacks, cardboard boxes, bits of small furniture etc, we re-discovered the most amazing fitted office furniture in light wood which is fixed onto 2 walls of what was going to be another bedroom.

Once cleared of all our debris, Erik and I looked at each other, both having the same thought.  This room is smaller than the one we had planned for our office, but somehow nicer.  The size of a small double bedroom, with this lovely oak office furniture and filing cabinet, and overlooking some amazing trees on our street.  So it is from this room that I will be typing my early morning posts, and Erik will be creating his plays and updating his book.  Just have to get rid of the floral wallpaper and do a little painting, and maybe add a coloured blind to the large window.  The room downstairs is quite large, and will be another big double bedroom, right next to the shower-room, so guests should be happy!

We have all settled in well, even Fizzi, Daisy and Sophie the cat.  The dogs have a lot less space to spread out and collapse, but when we build our extension that should more than solve that problem.  Of course, when the good weather comes, our garden is huge which will suit them, and Fizzi has already worked out her garden touring agenda:  charge up the lawn, round the sunken garden (a few sniffs here), round the back of the shed, (more sniffs, searching for the fox), charge across to the far end of the garden, do a few circles and woofs, back round the sunken garden, through the shrubbery and saunter to the back door.  She really loves it, bless her.  Daisy is a bit creaky, but takes a gentler route.  And Sophie, when we let her out for the first time at the weekend, sniffed every single twig, jumped in the air at every new plant pot and chair, then suddenly ran, like a mad ball of black fur, and hurtled up the tall trunk of the larch tree – she climbed up to about 20 feet, stopped dead, looked up then down, and obviously thought “Ooops – why did I do that?”  Then proceeded to descend, claws clinging to the bark, very slowly.  Both myself and Fizzi were pleased to see her back to ground level!

At the moment, Erik and I have eaten every meal on the coffee table in the lounge.  As a writer of a Food Blog, maybe I shouldn’t admit that.  But our dining room is overflowing with 2 dressers, boxes, chairs and I think the table is somewhere underneath.  One day we will find it.

Our dining room – soon to be our kitchen (without boxes hopefully!)

The exciting thing to me is that this room is eventually going to be my new kitchen, created by me (with a bit of help from Erik) from scratch, and I can’t wait to do it.   As for cooking at the moment, we have a quite adequate double oven and an electric hob, but somehow it’s not the same.   Love living in Hornsea,  but how I miss my AGA!  Both for cooking, and finishing off my laundry.  For 16 years it has been my main cooker.  I drank my morning espresso, sitting on my wooden stair-seat, snuggled up to the AGA’s warmth.  There’s nothing to match it. When we manage to empty the now dining-room, to measure it (and eat at it’s table), we will have to make a big decision – will we want an AGA (more to the point, can we afford an AGA?), and would it fit in to the new kitchen. We’ll just have to be patient.  I keep looking at the AGA Living website, hoping there will be a competition to win an AGA – you never know.  I think a trip out to Country Warmth, the brilliant cookshop and AGA Specialist in Malton, North Yorkshire might be on the cards, and Erik and I could combine it with a day off from emptying boxes.  Dare I say it – maybe even lunch out at one of the great gastro pubs up there.

This last weekend we started to unpack cardboard boxes as usual.  Am I getting sick of this? Just a bit!  Then we had a phone call from one of our oldest friends, Paul, asking if we were in, and could he come and see us (travelling all the way from near Ilkley).  We jumped at the chance.  On the Sunday, we groaned at the thought of opening more boxes, but settled down to that task again. Another phone call rescued us, from sister Gina and husband Peter.  ‘Could they drop in?’  Course they could, and it was lovely to see them. Whilst they were still here, son Ant and Amelia rang, and asked if they could also ‘drop in’ with their gorgeous Twins to visit us.  So we had a brilliant weekend, thanks to our friends and family.  Just want you to see our Twin grandaughters, playing around with my ‘Gardening’ hat.  They loved posing for the camera.  Although the lighting wasn’t perfect, here they are ……

Tilly with my hat

Bella, also with my hat!





























Meanwhile, we are discovering great new places to buy bread, cakes and meat, and cafes and restaurants to enjoy (more of those in later posts) and we still have to update the computers, visit Katrina at Kat Productions, and begin to create a new Kitchen Garden from scratch (looking forward to that), begin to think about an Outdoor Kitchen, measure up for a new kitchen and bathroom, plan my Orchard and Wild Flower Meadow and the flower garden, write and cook a lot more recipes for the blog and hopefully just enjoy life.

So “Yes” to all our friends and family who want to know if we have really settled down in our new home. We love living in Hornsea, but I really do miss my AGA!

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