The final instalment of my intensive seven day blog challenge. It has been a brilliant exercise for both my memory and my nose, so much so that I’m thinking up ways in which to do another one! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them as much as I’ve enjoyed writing.
We used to live here. Can you believe it? I’m struck every time I look back at photos just how much of a dream cottage it was.
We decided to get a little bit more peace and quiet after living right in the centre of Exeter in a rubbish flat for six years together. Recently married, we figured it was time to ‘move into the next phase’. After months of scouring the Internet, seeing dozens of properties that weren’t quite right with extortionate rent (that’s Devon for you) I finally came across the Coach House. It was a perfect late summer’s day when we went to view it and I think anyone would have fallen in love with the place there and then.
We moved in November 2011. The cottage had a log burning stove, which was both a novelty and a neccessity, living on Dartmoor during winter months. The scent of woodsmoke was everywhere in the village, drifting from all the chimneys and cocooning our little idyll in warmth and fragrant fire.
I can honestly say that we felt more still and peaceful during the 18 months that we lived there than we had ever felt before. It was truly magical. A nurturing, healing environment at the perfect time. Then along came a little baby girl and suddenly there weren’t enough rooms, only one car and an intermittent bus service to the nearest shop. We knew we’d have to move back to the city at some point, so we did it before we fell out of love with the cottage. The day we left I swear the house closed its eyes as we drove away.
I’ve never felt so connected to a building before and there are times when I feel extremely nostalgic for those granite walls, with their little nooks for house sparrows and wisteria clinging in the crevices. Although our terraced house now is more suited to our current lifestyle, I often long for the soft stillness of the countryside and the warmth of a log fire. Every time I catch a drift of woodsmoke on the breeze, I’m carried straight back to our magic cottage.