Thursday, July 22, 2010

What I did on my holiday

It all started 4 months ago when Freya read an article in the Sunday Times about a guy called Greg who runs Under The Thatch - specialising in quirky, interesting places to stay in Wales. Freya knew of UTT because she'd been trying to let their Romany Caravan for years, but found it to be always unavailable. The news that the Romany Caravan was for sale, along with 19 other Welsh properties, was quite exciting.

Alas it was also too expensive. We're not rich - my BBC salary plus Freya only having been in work for about a year, don't add up to much - but I did buy my first house in 2000 and have benefitted from the rise in the house market over the last ten years. I've been keen to do something with that equity for a while now, and when we saw Greg's three welsh log cabins on sale for about £40k each, they seemed like the perfect investment.

Alas again, all of his were already under offer. But he was kind enough to put us in touch with some other people selling theirs, and so we came up at Easter Weekend to stay at Penlan Holiday Village and visit a few cabins. 

We were worried at first, as a lot of the ones we saw were quite chintzy or bland, and we've always had quite strong views on how places to stay should have character and individuality. And then we saw our cabin - owned by the same couple for more than 30years, and broadly unchanged from the 1970s, we fell in love with it immediately.

Pine panelled throughout, it instantly felt warm and cosy, bright and inviting. The kitchen was adorably cute, made out entirely in red and white. And out a large picture window, this stunning view, over our deck, across fields on to the Preseli hills. 

We put in an offer immediately, had it accepted the same day, and three months later, the cabin - rechristened Cabin Ishbel after my tidy Welsh Gramma - was ours.  So this past week has been about sprucing up the cabin ready to receive guests, the first of whom will be the aforementioned grandmother who has no idea we've bought it!

Jobs have included replacing the kitchen (same layout, just new cupboards), making all new curtains (Freya and her trusty sewing machine), replacing mattresses throughout (that's seven in total), destroying built in wardrobes, tearing up tired carpet, and lots and lots of cleaning.

Seven days later, we're ready to receive guests, but quite knackered. Not much of a holiday maybe (a change is as good as a rest?), but we've now got this amazing place we can come and stay at any time of the year, and just look out at that view, and it'll all be worth it!


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