We’ve come a long way together

Hello Dear Reader,

In 2015, we came to Brittany for a late summer break and to look for a house. Our search criteria was simple- on mains drainage, structurally sound and it had to be cheap! We found our house that hadn’t been lived in since the 1980s and no one had even visited since 1998. We wanted not only a holiday home but somewhere we could retire to in ten years time. We also wanted to be able to share it with friends and some have already made the most of it whilst we’re not there. It took a lot of scrubbing, elbow grease, drying out, warming up and plenty of paint but we now have a habitable home from home.

If you know my blog, you’ll know we’ve been on quite a journey to get here and we know we’ve got quite a way to go. We’ve made some brilliant friends here and two in particular who have shared their skills and expertise to advise us with renovations. They know who they are and how much we think of them. I can not even begin to thank them for their kindness.

These are not my flowers but I couldn’t resist taking a photo of them. We’ve done plenty of relaxing, coffee drinking, chatting, garden snoozing, walking and reading. There’s been a good balance of hard work and good fun. Dear flower owners, we’ll see you at Christmas xxcc

We love Huelgoat forest and get into it for frequent walks and had the chance to share it with visiting friends from Cornwall and share our little town. I bang on about the place but it really is a special place to us.

Like the flowers, the harp isn’t mine either! I think the musician had gone for lunch.

As we have people staying in the house in the cooler months, we had logs delivered to keep them warm and now have a great local contact and supplier of split, seasoned and very dry wood. We’re also grateful to the local support we’ve received in finding our way to local services and suppliers. Contacts are really useful in a local community where you find what and who you need by word of mouth. Whenever I’ve asked neighbours about trees, wood, chimneys or stones, they’ve popped inside and come back with a name and number jotted on the back of an old shopping list. 

DB has been amazing and is a one man marvel and keeps learning new skills and is building a lovely home for us and visitors. He builds and I paint and tend the garden. He studies, researches and reads and then builds when he’s not a builder. I’m still in awe.

Almost every evening, we walked around the lake and had some wonderful sunsets. We meander back through the square and up the hill. That hill! It must be doing me good…..mustn’t it?

We also had the joy of discovering some great cycling routes and we’ll bring our bikes over at Christmas. I can just imagine being wrapped up warm and riding along the tow path with frosty grass. I should work for the tourist board but you really should visit Brittany if you like cycling as there are hundreds of miles of trails where you’ll never see a car.


Today, we’ve scrubbed and packed the house away until we come back for Christmas. We’ll be back in Cornwall tomorrow night and it’ll be great to catch up with family again.

We still pinch ourselves that we’ve come this far and we have such a fabulous life. Thinking back to 2009 and the predicament we had to dig ourselves out of, we’ll definitely raise a glass to where we are now. 

Until we’re back at Thrift Cottage,

Love Froogs xxxxx

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15 thoughts on “We’ve come a long way together

  1. Amazing, congratulations to you both on coming so far (I’ve been reading since pretty early days..). The house looks amazing , love those painted bannisters

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  2. You and your husband are to be admired for what you have accomplished! The house is looking lovely. I enjoy reading all of your frugal tips! You write one of the best blogs!

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  3. Fabulous post. Well done both of you. We visited Huelgoat on Thursday on our way back from Penmrch in Bigouden to Roscoff for the ferry back to Plymouth. What a stunning village, we love Brittany x

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  4. Wow what progress you’ve made! The place looks wonderful and the surrounding views are to die for! I think I need to hop on a plane and visit the land of my ancestors!

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  5. Hi Froogs. I really admire both of your true grit and determination. Your story is often brought up in my conversations with people who have money worries. Glad to see you enjoyed the wine!!

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  6. Very well done to you both, the renovations are an inspiration! I so enjoy reading about everything. Safe trip home to you both and the dogs.

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  7. You should both be proud of yourselves. Well done its going to be a lovely home for you in the future. Safe Journey.

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  8. What can be achieved if you put your mind to it! Well done both! I love your blog. it’s the first one I go to when I log in. Carry on the good work!

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  9. Looks great…I’d say D B IS a builder now, and a good one at that! (And working 38 years in the building industry, I’ve seen a few!)

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