Now we either have a house that looks like that or we don't; there's not much we can do to change it, but the interior is a different matter. Any house can have a country cottage feel, it's all about hand-made, make-do-and-mend and never throw anything away kind of attitude. Sounds perfect.
Around a year or so later, still in the throws of a deep, unabiding love with a cottage, my parents brought us to Wales on holiday. We stayed in the middle of nowhere, down endless country lanes to a long driveway almost hidden among lush verges and trees, which opened out into a farm yard. This in itself gave my heart cause to bang against my chest and I remember looking longingly at the higgledy-piggledy stone outbuildings with stable doors and cobbled floors.
Sadly there were no horses bowing their heads over the half-doors or scraping their hooves impatiently on the cobbles, but there was a farm house. It was beautiful, even more beautiful than the riding school cottage. Was my fickle heart about to change direction? Absolutely!
This farm house was even more exciting. A solid door was set at the end of a slate path that snaked between flower beds. The door opened onto a tiny porch crammed with red geraniums and offered a choice of two internal doors; this I found most intriguing. One led to a small, cosy lounge filled with mis-matched squashy settees and chairs, crocheted blankets and antimacassars hung over their backs and arms, patchwork cushions covered their seats and rugs scattered over the worn carpets. This was my idea of sheer, perfect bliss.
One day I will live in a small farm house with sash windows, two chimneys, stone walls and a slate roof. It will have a garden where I can grow flowers, herbs and vegetables and lavender coloured hens will scratch the earth between bright orange English marigolds. There will be a field where my llamas or Welsh Mountain sheep will graze contentedly and my old blue Land Rover will wait patiently in the barn until she is needed. If all goes to plan, there will be an Aga in the homely kitchen where I will make steak and kidney pudding, apple pie and farm house fruit cake. It will have old rugs on the floor and most certainly there will be a rocking chair in a corner. For anyone who cares to visit, there will always be tea and cake and my joy will know no bounds if I can send them home laden with fresh eggs, vegetables and homemade jam.
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub!
Enjoy a little day dreaming of your own today. xxx