A Quieter Life


| 8/16/2018 11:27:00 AM


Well that was the theory.

The gentle bubble of the river, the faint rustle of leaves in the breeze, the chirps, and calls of the abundant birdlife. And just the other side of the study door metal shrieks against wood as the plumber wrenches up yet another set of the floorboards. Do they come up easily? Of course not. The plumber’s mate moves into position with a cordless cutter, the multitool. I can only begin to describe the noise. Something between the high-pitched whizz of a dentist’s drill and a battalion of the most furious buzzing insects you could ever not wish to meet. Only a gazillion times louder than either of them.

The builder, not to be outdone, attaches plasterboard to the bathroom wall, power driving the screws into the supports. My head is pounding, my teeth are on edge, every muscle in my body taut rigid, willing it all to stop. And then, just as sanity itself teeters on the very edge of breaking point…would you believe it, the volume of dust thrown into the air has set the fire alarm off.

demolition on walls
Stripping back to solid walls. Photo by rusty duck

Hello. I’m Jessica, long suffering renovator from Devon, in the south west of England. A few years ago, my husband Mike and I decided to move to a ‘simpler’ life in the country. To purchase a cottage with a bit of land where I could create a garden.



As with Real Estate agents anywhere I guess, the ones in England do their best to make a property sound appealing. Whether any agent actually used the phrase is a moot point, but a property that would ‘suit a DIY enthusiast’ became the shorthand for any fixer-upper. Ours was definitely one of those. While habitable it was dated and in need of a complete makeover. But things are never quite that simple are they.