Happy New Year from Pengelly!

Welcome to 2017 everyone! 2016 was our year of big changes. We left our jobs, moved to Cornwall and began to set up our new business. And this year the changes are continuing as we move ever closer to opening the doors to Pengelly Retreat.

Meanwhile, back to the mud….

The diggers had just arrived when I wrote my last Postcard back in November. They were with us for 4 weeks in the end and we became very attached to our muddy crew. During that time they achieved loads:

We now have a wider driveway entrance and parking area. Which means I can drive out of Pengelly without scraping my car. And no matter how many builders/gardeners/vans/lorries/skips arrive I can get my car back in again. Hooray! Plus we now have a designated parking area for our holiday homes.

The widened entrance and new parking area

We have our own road access to our property. Double hooray. There’s a lovely culvert and bridge over the stream, just right for a landrover or ride-on mower to go across.

The new road, culvert and bridge

The water now flows through all our ponds rather than being stagnant. This involved laying a pipe underground from our lake to the lower ponds so that the water rushes through pulled by gravity. We also filled in a shallow pond and replaced it with a flowing ox-bow shaped pool with an island. This will make a magical pathway to the Boathouse when covered with plants and connected by bridges (some imagination required here I know).

The ox bow pool and island

We had several large clumps of bamboo taken out, service trenches put in for the holiday houses and a new levelled out bit of land created. This bit will eventually be transformed from a muddy patch to a lovely lawn for our back garden.

Muddy patch that will be a lawn!

It’s really satisfying to start blitzing through the to do list. But the land looks pretty dreadful at the moment. There is mud, mud, mud. But we can see it taking shape- and it will be beautiful. Planting begins next week.

And there’s exciting news about our planned holiday homes too. After looking at various designs and costs for our Boathouses we have decided to build just one deluxe Boathouse in a great spot looking over the Lake. And our second holiday home will be a bespoke Yurt complete with woodburning stove, it’s own boardwalk over the lake and stand of forest behind. Something for everyone whether our guests crave a more traditional house or a wilder option. But both with plenty of creature comforts, privacy and an a-mazing lake views.

The Boathouse Plot – just to the left of this pic

Peter our architect has come up with a really great design for the Boathouse which we love. Hopefully the planners will love it too… it’s due to go in for planning permission this month. For our Yurt, we’ve chosen Meadow Yurts to build it for us: www.meadowyurts.co.uk. This is a fab company run by Pete and Laura who having lived in yurts for many years themselves know what works. They make bespoke yurts to withstand the British weather – and conveniently are based literally 10 minutes up the road from us. Perfect.

The yurt plot – where that big muddy patch is!

Weatherwise, we’ve been blessed with some incredible blue skies and crisp winter days over Christmas and New Year. We had a very festive first Christmas in Cornwall and were lucky to have family with us on Christmas Day itself. We also managed to cook a tasty Xmas dinner for 9 without mishap. Apart from a slight panic when Jim thought we’d bought a turkey with hardly any meat on it… it turned out he was trying to carve it upside down. Apparently all the best chefs cook their turkey upside down :).

Boxing Day at Gwithian

The rain is back again today, but that makes it a good day for paperwork and blog-writing. It’s also Aggie’s first day back at preschool after the Xmas holidays which means I can squeeze in a bit of time to write before I rush off to pick her up. It never stays quiet for long around here. Today the tree surgeons are here to chop down the line of conifers on our boundary. We’ve also got work going on in the house again. Following a friends’ clever suggestion, we are making the new section of our house into a rent-able annexe with it’s own private entrance, wetroom and kitchenette. We will complete this ready to rent out from Easter and it will make a really nice purse-friendly option for holiday-makers.

So ultimately we’ll have 3 holiday homes at Pengelly (if we get planning that is). All at different price points and offering something slightly different. Can’t wait!

And finally, on our visit to the Winter Wood show before Christmas:

What’s Jim got on his head?!?

A tea cosy?  Answers, more news and photos in my next postcard 🙂