So, we'd stuck a toe in the housing market by putting my flat on the market and after one viewing it had sold!
With this fresh in our minds we headed back to Wiltshire to have a look at the cottage that was up for auction. It was a beautiful sunny day.
No - that's not it!
Although a town, the centre of Cricklade is quite small. There are lots of attractive, mostly Georgian, houses and a peaceful atmosphere.
That's not it either!
This one was for sale, but not up for auction, and not within our budget...
Although part of the plan was to downsize, the aptly-named 'Little Cottage' would be a step too far, methinks. My fabric alone would fill this place!
Yeah - it's not this one either!
We had a coffee in a friendly, independent grocery/tea room and a wander around. We chatted to a couple of locals at some length, about gardens and model aeroplane flying. This does not happen in Aldershot, where mostly people avoid eye contact in case you might dare to say hello to them...
This made me giggle!
We went to the 'Open House' for the cottage. We chatted with the agent and the owner and had a look around. It wasn't a 'love at first sight' moment, more a 'poor little house, it needs taking under someone's wing' type of thing.
The cottage is approached from the High Street, down a passageway leading past the house that fronts onto the High Street. From the High Street you see four large windows and a door to the side, but the door is not the front door to any house, it's a door to the passage leading to the front house and then beyond, to the cottage.
This is the passageway, and that door, just before the gate, is the door to our cottage. The white and stone part is ours, the cream part is the house on the High Street.
There is a rather unattractive rear extension that was added in the 60s. And a falling apart shed. But at least it has net curtains...You need a bit of privacy in your shed!
The garden, though small, is larger than we have here, and it has a lovely old brick wall.
There's also a large, paved area beside the extension.
Inside, the kitchen/diner is well-supplied with cupboards and worksurfaces. There's an enormous range style cooker, but if I was churning out the quantities of food this beast could produce, we'd be hard pressed to fit in all the guests required to eat it. It's also rather dark...
There's a cloakroom/utility room, but the washing machine door bangs into the loo. Loading the washing machine over the loo doesn't seem like the greatest idea!
In the sitting room there's a not too authentic looking fireplace with a condemned gas fire.
Oh and swirly deep pink carpet.
But there is a beautiful, genuinely old door. The first real bit of history we found in the place.
Upstairs, there are three fairly good-sized bedrooms. All are challenged in the decorating department!
That's an old cupboard with a nice old door. A keeper. Not like the wallpaper!
The master bedroom has almost bearable wallpaper, but it also has a useful ridge to trip over in the middle of the carpet...
Leading from the bedroom with the cute cupboard is a narrow staircase to two further attic rooms. No windows here, but 'potential'. Even if they are disguised as a giant billiard table at the moment.
So, not exactly your dream cottage! But it was just crying out 'Love me!'
We repaired to the local hostelry, which you may have seen in a recent episode of Jamie and Jimmy's Friday Night Feast'. Lunch was so good that the pros of the place seemed to far outweigh the cons. We'd go to the auction. I mean, we probably wouldn't get it - we've watched enough 'Homes Under the Hammer' to know these events are always packed with people desperately fighting it out and paying way over the guide price...