We shifted to our property Fairy Wren Cottage in country Tasmania just over eight years ago.  The cottage was liveable if you liked shag pile carpet in every room including the kitchen and toilet, false ceilings just above the door frame height were made   from masonite and joined with plastic strips, the window frames were mouldy, the toilet had a hard wired beige coloured radio in  it that still worked on an am station and there was an asphalt smell throughout the cottage that came from the kitchen on warmer days. There were plenty of other ‘characteristics’ but I’ll leave them for another day!

We decided to live in our rental property until my husband Michael gutted the cottage, took the extra layers of bricks off the front of the mantle piece, ripped out all the shag pile, replaced the windows and took out those false ceilings.  The asphalt smell came from some kind of asphalt ‘insulation’ held in by chicken wire in the kitchen and Michael found a mini pond underneath the shag pile and rotted floor boards in what would be our daughter Liliana’s room.

We had our first sleep in the cottage just before Liliana’s 7th birthday.

Our new bathroom consisted of a bath and above it a copper pipe as an outlet for hot and cold water but at least we had a new hot water service now that wasn’t a large bucket like contraption that filled up on the roof when it rained, no rain equalled no hot water!


In those first few weeks our kitchen sink was a bowl filled with water from the bathroom.  The toilet was a bucket flush but it didn’t matter, we were in!

Just before bedtime each night I began to look out of the window up at the starry sky, I could finally see it again.

We could settle, get out those notebooks filled with plans for the garden and begin….

Jude x

Shifting to Fairy Wren Cottage.

November 27, 2018



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