Thursday, 31 December 2015

Why Today Had To Be Different

Good Day Everyone,

It sure has been a while since I sat down to write a blog post. The past few weeks have been incredibly tough, primarily on the health front, although the house renovation has been another source of stress, and therefore a contributory factor to the aforementioned. I'll do a separate blog post updating you on the house soon as a lot has happened, and not always in a good way!

Coming back to the health issues, I've been firing or rather flaring, from all cylinders. I've been experiencing more migraine attacks than usual, and my body and scalp psoriasis has been going crazy. On top of this, my arthritis has flared up quite badly and I've been struggling with severe shoulder pain, as well as intense fatigue and exhaustion, despite doing very little physically. Things got really bad a couple of weeks ago and after several days of wallowing in teary self pity of "Why? Why is this happening to me?" I realised that I actually knew the answer to why, but more importantly, I took the mental step of acknowledging that no-one could put this right other than me (even though I already knew this too). You see, the thing with chronic illnesses is that you are battling those illnesses every single day, in fact it's every single minute of every single hour of every single day. The battle is continuous - there are no breaks, and it is absolutely relentless! With hindsight and some reflection (after all what else was I going to do when I'm in bed day after day), I can now see that I simply got tired of battling. I had no more fight left in me. I had surrendered, not only to the disease demons, but also to the temptations around me, which I fight on a daily basis.
So with the realisation and acknowledgement that I, and only I, had the power to change things, I...  started to change things ;o). Initially, the changes were all in my head as my body physically wasn't well enough to do anything, but over the last few days, I have started to turn those mental changes into physical action. They started of small, like me taking over juicing duties from hubby or being well enough to accompany him on a supermarket shop, but hey a step in the right direction is a step in the right direction, no matter how small, and slowly I'm moving on to bigger achievements.

Having been stuck in a bit of a negativity rut towards the end of this year, I didn't want to start 2016 on a negative note, no matter how bad my health maybe. And this is why I woke up today after a relatively decent night's sleep with a view that today had to be different. It just had to. I didn't want today, the last day of 2015, to be like the past few weeks. The same mundane routine. There had to be something new and there had to be some sense of achievement, no matter how small.
So the first thing I did was to check the weather forecast as it has been raining almost every single day this month and seeing that rain wasn't forecasted for a couple of hours, I suggested a sea front walk to hubby. We used to do these walks most mornings in Japan and found them to be very therapeutic mentally, as well as physically. Despite living next to the sea we haven't actually done many sea walks as hubby starts to work on the house as soon as he is up in the mornings. There was something very inspiring and awakening about today's walk- I started to feel like a weight was being lifted off my shoulders as I took in the crisp morning air and marveled at nature's beauty. The walk turned into a little breakfast stop off, and hubby and I used this rare quality time (we've had a great quantity of time together these past few months but it hasn't been of good quality) to reflect upon 2015, and discuss what we would both like to get out of 2016. Walking back we did get caught in the rain but it was worth it.

Once back home I took my first ever bath in our new bath tub to help my sore joints and whilst it only made them feel a little better and only for a short period of time, I think bath soaks will start to help the more often I do them. After my soak I made our daily juice and then set to work on doing some cooking. We very recently got to a stage where we have a fully functioning kitchen and yesterday hubby got our dining table and chairs out. This has made such a huge difference to the quality of our lives. So even though I was feeling quite tired physically, I decided to push ahead using my mental energy which was buzzing after the walk and bath, to be productive in the kitchen. I made fish pie, for the first time ever. I even made my own butter and parsley sauce, and it tasted great (even if I do say so myself ;o)). I made a batch of them so some can go in the freezer, and I'll be taking a few to my mum's this weekend as she's recovering from knee surgery (cue good daughter points lol).
I did a few more things that I won't bore you with but suffice to say, as I sit here typing this at 10.30pm on new year's eve, that today has been different to all the other days I've had lately. I have felt positive and got a real sense of achievement with today. Even though tonight is a quiet night for us, I feel excited, inspired and ready for 2016 to be a year of positive change for hubby and I. And on that note I shall leave you. All that remains for me to say is, thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading this and all the support you have given me, and I hope 2016 is a fabulous year for you and your loved ones :o).

Happy New Year Everyone! 

Love Sheen xxx
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Saturday, 5 December 2015

Singapore Vlog Part 2: CBD & Orchard Road

Good Day Everyone,

Today I share with you the second vlog from our stopover in Singapore. On this particular day hubby had work meetings and so I headed into Singapore's CBD (central business district) with him. I thought it might be interesting to show you some of the architecture of the CBD area. In and amongst all of the high rise office blocks there are streets of traditional shop houses which have now been converted into office spaces, cafes and and restaurants. There are also places of worship for the different religions within the CBD area including a mosque and the oldest temple in Singapore, the Thian Hock Keng Temple which is dedicated to Ma Zu, the goddess of the sea and protector of seamen.
Thian Hock Keng Temple
One of the things that struck me the very first time I walked through Singapore's CBD area, back in 2011, were the palm tree lined streets and green spaces. There are lots of small parks and gardens for people to enjoy and have their lunch. When we lived in Singapore hubby always used to say that it was a real joy to step outside at lunchtime, after being cooped up indoors with the air conditioning, look up and see bright blue skies and palm trees, and just feel that initial heat rush. Aside from the shop houses and green spaces, there are also numerous water features, some with koi carp, and art installations around the CBD area.
Water and art feature
Shop houses in the CBD
From the CBD, I jumped on the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) which is Singapore's subway system and headed to Orchard Road - the famous mall lined street for a spot of shopping. Singapore's subway system is very easy to use as it is in English. Hubby and I still had our EZ-Link cards which we just topped up with cash upon our arrival back to Singapore. With the EZ-Link card you simply tap on the entrance and exit gates at the MRT stations. It is a cashless travel card which can be used on the buses too, and is available for tourists to purchase. Apparently the Oyster card system that we now have on the London Underground is based upon the Singapore EZ-Link card. You can see more in the vlog below :o).
Once at Orchard I went to one of my favourite malls, ION. This mall is full of lots of familiar brands like Zara, H&M, Victoria's Secret, Mango, Uniqlo, Muji,and the mothership aka Sephora aka makeup heaven ;o). It also houses a lot of the designer/higher end brands too. The basement levels of most malls in Singapore are full of food courts and lots of different restaurants and cafes. I stopped off at IndoBox for a spot of lunch and to rest my joints.
Malay food for lunch at IndoBox
Orchard Road is home to numerous department stores such as Tangs, Isetan and Takashimaya, as well as all the malls. The road is tree lined and is particularly beautiful at Christmas with all the decorations and lights. If you're not a fan of crowds then the best time to visit Orchard Road is definitely during the day in the working week as it gets very busy in the evenings, and ridiculously busy on weekends. There is always something going on at Orchard Road, be it pop up exhibitions, promotions, events or temporary art installations. On this particular day there was a display of Gundams. The Gundam Series is a Japanese science-fiction anime series featuring giant robots and these were absolutely huge!

The shopping malls in Singapore offer a good mix of western and Asian brands, and every year there is annual two month sales event, known as The Great Singapore Sale, which just happened to be on when we were there :o). After lunch I made my way down Orchard Road to Plaza Singapura which is another mall that I use to go to when we lived in Singapore, and this mall had a huge dinosaur display at its centre! I didn't vlog the rest of my day as we were meeting some friends that night for dinner and I didn't think it would be that interesting for you.
I hope this blog post and the accompanying vlog gave you a bit more of an insight into what Singapore is like. Have you ever visited Singapore? Did you enjoy it? I'll be back with the third and final part soon.

Love Sheen xxx
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Friday, 27 November 2015

Singapore Vlog Part 1: Dinner & Night Sights

Good Day Everyone,

When hubby and I left Japan, we did a stopover in Singapore where we had lived prior to Japan, before returning home to the UK. It was an absolute joy to be back in Singapore. It felt so familiar and comfortable, and best of all communication was easy :o). Singapore has four official languages of which English is one. Although living in Japan was an unforgettable experience, I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy being back in a country where I knew my way around, could order things of a menu without having to resort to a translation app first, and use public transport with such ease that it was as natural as breathing. Oh Singapore, how I missed thee!
The Gateway Building
The Gateway looks two dimensional from certain angles
I vlogged bits of our time in Singapore so that I could share some of the sights and architecture with you. Singapore is a great place for modern, contemporary architecture and is home to some iconic structures. I love The Gateway building which you can see in the photos above. These two structures actually look two dimensional from some angles, almost as though they were made from a thin sheet of paper due to the particularly sharp angles. You can see the first of the three Singapore vlogs below.
As we arrived on the weekend, hubby and I spent some time catching up with my cousin and a couple of our friends. In this particular vlog, we headed out for dinner to the Arab Street area of Singapore where there are lots of colourful shop houses. We had some delicious Turkish food, including this vermicelli dessert that was topped with crushed pistachios and sat in a pool of ever so slightly sweetened cream - yummy! After dinner, we headed to one of Singapore's oldest tea places so that hubby could have his favourite teh tarik - a milky sweet tea made with evaporated/condensed milk that is served in a plastic bag with a straw! The elderly man at this stall has been serving teh tarik for decades and his little stall is always busy.
Vermicelli Dessert
Now no trip to Singapore is complete without a night time visit to the Marina Bay area. This part of Singapore is home to some of it's most iconic buildings and the whole place looks incredible when it is all lit up. I've always felt that Singapore looks particularly beautiful at night, and it's so much easier to enjoy when the temperature and humidity has dropped a little, although I was still a sweaty betty ;o).
Singapore Flyer (ferris wheel), Helix Bridge, ArtScience Museum (white lotus flower shape) & Marina Bay Sands Hotel
Whilst walking off the calories from dessert, we saw that there were numerous Ferrari cars parked outside the iconic Fullerton Hotel (which is a stunning building and used to be the old general post office), and naturally the boys wanted to go take a closer look.
Ferrari on Tour
I hope you enjoyed this little peek into our stop off in Singapore and I hope to have the next post up soon :o).

Love Sheen xxx
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Friday, 20 November 2015

From Stables To House: We Are In!

Good Day Everyone,

I am beyond excited to type these words - we have, after almost six months of living in Cora the Caravan, finally moved into our house! We are no longer living in a space that was about the size of our bathroom in Japan. Hubby and I can now move without bumping into/stepping on each other and it feels wonderful :o).
Apologies for the poor quality photo but I've not had chance to take any recently
Whilst the sense of space feels wonderful, the reality is still some way away. The house is very much a building site. We have no internal doors, no finished rooms, nothing to sit on bar the bed but we are inside, and that is the most important thing. It has very much been the weather that has accelerated our move to the inside. The torrential rain was one thing, but coupled with the gale force winds, it was becoming increasingly difficult to sleep in Cora. Especially when we could hear the trees creaking as they swayed crazily above us. Oh the nights when we've laid awake debating the possibility of a tree coming down on us! The wind has been so severe on some days that Cora has actually rocked and swayed herself, and I've wondered if we'd wake up finding ourselves drifting in the sea in our metal home... dramatic I know, but very real in my dream let me tell you!

In an ideal world, we would have liked the renovations to be a bit further along before moving in but the temperature has dropped significantly this week, and with there being no end in sight on the rain/wind front we decided to take the plunge. Luckily the basic necessities are in place. We have heating, hot water, a working toilet, sink and bath (no shower yet), and we have a kitchen sink and hob (but no refrigerator so we continue to use the one in Cora), oh, and a bed of course.

Now that we feel a bit more sheltered from the elements, we can hopefully start to sleep a little better - once we become accustomed to all the strange noises the house itself makes ;o). It also means that we (when I say 'we' I mean hubby, for the most part) can carry on working later into the night and make some good headway in the coming weeks.

If you're facing weather conditions anything like what we have here in the UK, then I hope you manage to stay safe and dry :o).

Love Sheen xxx
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Thursday, 12 November 2015

From Stables To House: #4 General Update

Good Day Everyone,

I finally have another update on the From Stables To House renovation. If you missed the previous update then you can catch up here. I haven't done an update for a few weeks and there are a number of reasons for that. Firstly, a lot of the work has been a bit more behind the scenes (like sorting out the wiring, plumbing and reconnecting our mains water supply). Secondly, hubby and I have been finding living in a caravan a bit tough lately. We have been living in our metal tin for five months now! Five very long months! The weather has turned colder and we've had a lot more rain recently, which means we barely get any sleep on rainy nights because the raindrops make so much noise when they hit the caravan roof. Even if the rain stops, we then get water dripping from the trees above falling onto the caravan. We are also experiencing some very severe winds at the moment, and being by the coast means we are getting the worst of the crazy weather. I've spent nights wondering if the trees at the back of the house are going to come down on top of the caravan!

Aside from that, we miss being able to take baths and having a nice bathroom... actually forget bathroom, we just missing having a nice home. A home where we have a fully functioning kitchen with a decent sized refrigerator, and our personal belongings around us. Another thing that's been making me a bit unhappy is that our diet isn't as clean and healthy as it usually is. We find ourselves snacking a lot more (on the not so healthy stuff), and opting for the convenience and ease of cooking pasta or eating bread/wraps, given the kitchen limitations in the caravan. I am so carb-ed out right now that I cannot wait until we can start using our new kitchen - I'll be gorging on oven roasted vegetables, smoothies and salads :o).
We now have painted window frames
Finally, we've just had a bit of a challenging time with some of the tradesmen. We've had people accept jobs and then not turn up or turn up a week later than agreed... a whole week late! This obviously has a knock on effect on the works schedule. We've also been a bit frustrated with some workmen just being very careless when onsite. We've had several packs of tiles broken, wires have been drilled through, walls have been damage... all accidentally of course, but nonetheless it still costs us money to then put right other people's mistakes. I guess people aren't that diligent when it's not their money or home that's at stake.We are currently a month behind where we should be and that delay is purely down to people not turning up for work on time and rectifying mistakes made by others.

On a more positive note, we've had our boiler installed and being able to run the underfloor heating is a real joy as a lot of the work we are doing now is inside the house. Things are progressing as you'll see in the video above, and this is keeping hubby and I motivated to push on.
Due to the wet weather, we have been prioritising getting the gutters and drainpipes up. Restrictions from the conservation officer mean that we have had to replace all of the plastic gutters and drainpipes with cast iron ones. As these are quite expensive new, hubby has been collecting second hand ones for over a year now from ebay and various online sites. We've had to buy some new pieces, but overall, hubby's initiative of searching for these months before we actually needed them has helped to keep the cost down significantly :o). In the photo above you can see hubby cleaning up a second hand drainpipe that was painted bright green. Once the paint was removed, we painted it in a rust coloured primer for additional protection from the sea air, before painting it in our chosen colour which is lichen by Farrow and Ball. Lichen is a beautiful sage green that we've used not only on the gutters and drainpipes, but also on the window frames and external door frames. The colour looks slightly washed out on the gutters and drainpipes due to the rusty coloured primer underneath, but on the window and door frames it is a little bit darker and a bit more green. Hubby and I both love the colour and feel that it compliments the natural stone of the building really well with it being quite an earthy and muted green. 
More recently hubby and I have been busy painting the upstairs. The transformational effect of painting the walls and ceilings is quite amazing. All of a sudden we feel that the upstairs isn't too far of from being finished. Hubby has also been working on getting the family bathroom fitted and tiled. As soon as a bedroom and bathroom are ready, we can move out of the caravan and into the house, whilst we complete the rest of the work, and that will be a momentous occasion indeed :o).

Love Sheen xxx
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Tuesday, 3 November 2015

JVlog #26: Last Week In Japan - Shinjuku & Yokohama

Good Day Everyone,

This blog post is a continuation from the previous one (you can read that here) of our last week in Japan. By the time it came to our final week, hubby and I were absolutely exhausted, both physically and mentally. Moving homes is no easy feat and when you add a change of country into the mix then you're definitely taking it up a level. Our bodies and minds craved complete bed rest, but we found that we couldn't just take it easy and chill out at our hotel. We felt the need to be out and about, making the most of the limited time we had left in this amazing country, because otherwise we may regret doing nothing during our last few days. We had to make the most of the time we had left. 
Hanazono Shrine
Hanazono Shrine
On this particular day though, I did leave hubby to rest up in the hotel, as I wandered out. We were staying in a part of Shinjuku that was quite different to where we normally visit and so I took my vlogging camera and went exploring. I came across the Hanazono Shrine which I'd walked past the previous day but didn't have time to walk around then. The shrine is situated on a main road and used to form part of the Imperial Gardens. The buildings at the shrine have been redeveloped over the years to what's currently on the site today as some of them were damaged during World War II. You can see more in the vlog below, as well as the rest of our final week in Japan.

By the time I'd finished wandering around the shrine, hubby had joined me and we spent the rest of the day in the main shopping district of Shinjuku before heading back to Yokohama the next morning. 
Cruise ship at Osanbashi Pier in Yokohama
Back in Yokohama, we had to finish packing up our shipping boxes as they were being collected soon. We did, however, take a break from the packing and head down to the bay one last time. It was such a glorious day that we couldn't spend all of it indoors, especially as it was forecasted to rain on our last day in Yokohama, so you know... we had to make the most of it ;o). We headed to Rinko Park, our local park, and walked along the waterfront where we spotted a huge cruise ship at Osanbashi Pier. Naturally, we had to go take a closer look. We then went to Nihon Odori back to the Turkish restaurant that we'd been to numerous times to say goodbye to the family that run it and grab a bite to eat. 
Minato Mirai 21, Yokohama
MM21 all lit up at night
We ended the day with heavy hearts as we walked back from Nihon Odori, taking in the sights that we'd become so accustomed to, one last time. That night we'd be moving our suitcases into our final hotel near Yokohama station, and we knew that we would not be coming back to Minato Mirai 21, the place that had been our home for the past nine months, again. So we lingered around just a bit longer, taking in the sunset and watching MM21 light up at night, for the last time (and wiping a few tears as we did).
Cosmo World amusement park, Yokohama
Whilst leaving Japan was very sad, hubby and I were immensely grateful for having had the opportunity to live in one of the most unique countries we'd ever visited. It also made me glad that I'd taken the somewhat bold step (bold for me anyway) of vlogging as now we had captured memories that we could relive via my videos :o).

Once we'd boarded our flight to Singapore the next morning, the excitement of arriving to our previous home was starting to take over from the sadness of leaving our current one. I did do some vlogging whilst in Singapore and I hope to share that with you in the coming weeks.

Although this is my last Japan vlog, it is by no means the end of my Japan blog posts (or videos about Japan) for I have many things that I still want to share with you, including all the things that we bought before leaving Japan. However, all that may take a little time as we wait for our shipping boxes to arrive and try to progress with our house renovations, but I will get there :o).

Love Sheen xxx
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Monday, 26 October 2015

JVlog #25: Last Week In Japan - Odaiba

Good Day Everyone,

When hubby and I were getting ready to leave Japan we had to sell all of our furniture as we had rented an unfurnished apartment. Luckily, we managed to sell/give away everything a week before we handed our apartment keys back. However, as a result of having no bed to sleep on, we had to spend our last week in Japan staying in hotels. We decided to split our week between Tokyo and Yokohama (where our apartment was).
Views from Sunshine City
Whilst staying in Tokyo we visited places that we'd not manage to see thus far. This included a quick visit to Sunshine City in Ikebukuro. There is an observation deck, Sunshine 60, on the 60th floor of the complex but unfortunately on the day that we went the observation deck was closed. However, we did manage to get to the 59th floor where there are bars and restaurants, and so we still got to enjoy the views. Looking out of the floor to ceiling windows, we got a real sense of just how built up and expansive Tokyo is. I love how amongst all the high rises you get little pockets of coloured roof tops.
The elevator up to the 59th floor was probably one of the quirkiest elevators I've ever been in. Not only did it show the speed at which we were travelling, but it was decorated in a spacey/starry night kind of theme with pretty lights, as you'll see in the vlog below - very cool!

From Ikebukuro, we made our way to Odaiba, an artificial island on Tokyo bay. It is a huge entertainment and leisure area with numerous shopping malls, restaurants and bars, as well as iconic buildings and sights to pass away the time. The area is particularly busy on weekends and is a popular place for young people to hang out, as well as being a big tourist attraction. On the man made island you will find a replica of the Statue of Liberty, a huge gundam robot statue, Megaweb which is the exhibition centre for Toyota, games arcades and a whole lot more, including a large ferris wheel. Interestingly, Odaiba is one of Tokyo's proposed sites in its bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.
The Daikanransha Ferris Wheel - an Odaiba landmark
View from the Yurikamome of some cool buildings
The Yurikamome (an automated transit system, a bit like a monorail) stops at various places in Odaiba. We used it to cross over Rainbow Bridge just for the sake of it really and to enjoy the views, before getting back on the train to come back to Odaiba. The first place we visited in Odaiba was a mall called Decks which features a mini Hong Kong and a Sega Joypolis (an amusement park). However, our main reason for visiting Decks was for the great views it offers of Rainbow Bridge. We were also pleased to discover a Bills - one of our favourite places to eat where we were able to enjoy a light lunch.
Looking out at Rainbow Bridge
Rainbow Bridge
Lunch at Bills
From Decks we made our way to the Fuji TV building. This is one of Odaiba's most iconic buildings and we've seen it from afar when we did the Tokyo Bay Cruise (you can see that here). There is an observation deck in the building but unfortunately we just missed the opening times. Can you tell that it just wasn't our day when it came to observation decks?! We did manage to go up a couple of escalators to get a bit closer to the iconic sphere that sits at the top of the building :o).
The iconic Fuji Television building
The Fuji TV building to the left
Next we headed towards another mall called Palette Town, next to the iconic ferris wheel. Given the petrol head that my hubby is there was no way we could go to Palette Town without spending some time at Megaweb, Toyota's exhibition hall. Inside there were some pretty cool things to see, including the Winglet. In my vlog above I actually managed to capture a few seconds of the Winglet advert that was playing on a screen, in case you've ever wondered about the Japanese style of advertising :o).
The Winglet
As it came close to sunset we went on the Daikanransha ferris wheel which is 115 metres tall. From the top we could see all of Odaiba and much of Tokyo, including Tokyo Tower and the Tokyo SkyTree. We could also see aeroplanes taking off and coming into land at Haneda airport.
Daikanransha Ferris Wheel
View of Tokyo and the Tokyo SkyTree from the Daikanransha Ferris Wheel
Venus Fort Shopping Mall in Odaiba
We ended our time at Odaiba by visiting Venus Fort, a Venice themed shopping mall - not quite what we expected to find in Japan, but it's Japan so one should expect the unexpected. There is a lot to see/do in Odaiba and I don't think you can really see it all in one day. We spent an afternoon there and barely scratched the surface. There is a wide variety in the things that you can see/do in Odaiba from enjoying popular Japanese culture/anime/music to architecture/museums/technology and even a beach. I'd recommend doing your research and prioritising, if you've only got a day in Odaiba just so that you don't miss anything that you're especially keen to see/do.

I hope you enjoyed this peek into our last week in Japan. I will have another vlog of the rest of our week coming soon.

Love Sheen xxx
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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

From Stables To House: #3 Stairs & An Exciting Delivery

Good Day Everyone,

We have stairs!!! I recently came back onsite after over a week at my parents to find that our staircase had been installed. This is very exciting indeed! I have not been upstairs for such a long time that I'd actually forgotten what it looked like. As well as stairs, we also had a very exciting delivery. Our cast iron radiators arrived. We took a bit of a gamble on these as we ordered them online without seeing them in person first, but the gamble paid off. These are absolutely stunning - I love them :o). The intention had always been to go for matte black cast iron radiators... until we saw these. We loved how these had a modern twist and we also like the different colours and how they change depending upon the lighting.
Cast Iron Radiator

A closer look (please excuse the dust)

In the above vlog, I take you upstairs and show you how we have split the upper floor. Historically, the upstairs was split into two rooms - one very large open room with a dividing wall and door that led to the smaller room with cupboards and a kitchenette. Each room had it's own staircase.
The old larger room with it's own staircase
Door way from large room into smaller room
Old small room had cupboards & a kitchenette
Old small room had it's own staircase too
The upstairs space is very rectangular and when it came to rejigging the layout we had to work around the existing windows. We were not allowed to change the position of the existing windows nor could we install any new window openings. So we decided that the best way to maximise the space would be to remove both staircases at either end of the rectangular space, and install one that was slightly more to the centre. This way when you go upstairs you could have rooms coming off to either side of the landing as well as in front - it makes sense when you look at the photos below of the new layout :o).

Reworking the space allowed us to create a master bedroom with an ensuite wet room, a family bathroom and two further bedrooms. We were allowed to install skylights into some of the rooms with no/very small windows as they do not change the overall silhouette of the building, thus adhering to the conservation restrictions. The whole of the upper floor is built into the roof space. This means that every room has sloping ceilings, making the rooms feel quite cottage like.
The new layout
The new layout

Originally, we intended to have painted floorboards in the bedrooms and landing, however, most of the floorboards turned out to be very rotten. Not surprising given that the building is over 130 years old. In the end, we managed to salvage about 25% of the floorboards. As our floorboards are so old, they're a different size and thickness to what's currently available on the market. After ringing around a few reclamation yards we got lucky and found some that matched our existing ones. The reclaimed floorboards are from an old hospital, and aside from being dirty, they are in immaculate condition. There are no holes or nails in them whatsoever. In fact, hubby cleaned and sanded a small part of one and the wood looked so good that we have decided to sand and oil them, instead of painting them. Don't you just love it when things work out differently but better?!

I hope you enjoyed this little update on our renovation project.

Love Sheen xxx
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