Sometimes the smallest changes can make such a difference. The kitchen at Parsonage Cottage pretty much remains the same and yet there have been many changes over the ten years we have been here.
First came the major renovations to turn this end of the building from a rat-infested old cart shed, which was packed to the rafters with the previous owners' possessions (including an urn full of their Grandpa's ashes) into a family kitchen.
I wanted a comfortable, homely room. I don't like wall cupboards, so we don't have any. I have the dressers and a very large walk-in pantry in the Boot Room. It works for us, but everyone is different.
We used to have a large, squishy sofa in the room, which was nice, but Dobson (the dog) began to regard it as his own because no one really used it as we tend to gather at the kitchen table. The table was orientated the other way to accommodate the sofa.
For the last 9 years I have been suggesting that the table should be turned. Nine years of the broken record technique later.... I am happy to say that the table has been turned, the sofa loaned to Miles and Poppy (permanently, I hope) and the room is as I originally envisaged it.
Everyone likes it. Life flows more easily around it. Such a simple change.
There is one more simple change in the kitchen and that has made life much more comfortable for everyone. Out here in the countryside we are greatly bothered by flies, great numbers of them, especially when the fly-screen doors are left open to lure them inside...dogs and grandchildren are the main culprits.
Fly papers help sort out the nuisance, but there were always a number of the pesky things whizzing around. We had to find a solution. Neither the grandchildren, nor the dogs, were going to change their ways.
Max came up with this solution. A door closure device. We thought about having one of those dangling chain door covers, but that would have meant the cats could come through with their half-dead victims, so that was out. We've been there and it isn't nice.
This little device means that the screen door always closes. The number of flies which come inside has fallen dramatically, the fly papers are almost redundant. Life is becoming more pleasant.
I wish we could find a similar solution for the outdoor eating areas!
ps I took the urn of 'Grandpa's ashes' to the vendors solicitor. It felt a little strange having him on the passenger seat beside me.