Old Houses


England is old.

I’m not saying old is a bad thing; there is history, culture, traditions. All that is great.

But when it comes to old houses, I’m not a big fan.

Our house is over 100 years old, and I don’t even think that is considered old by British house standards. I think it’s just average.

It’s something I will probably never get used to, the fact that our house was around before the First World War. In California, I think a building from the 60s is old.

I can still remember when Tim and I first moved in and we were putting up wallpaper. Tim pulled out a large chunk of who knows what from the wall, and explained to me that horse hair was still used for making plaster when our house was built.

Horse hair aside, the thing that really bothers me is the lack is storage. There is no such thing as a built in closet in these old houses.

Thankfully, we are lucky enough to have an amazing brother-in-law, Andy, who knows how to build things like closets and has generously spent the better part of his week off helping Tim to remove a hundred year old chimney so we can have a closet.


I’m annoyed with myself for not remembering to take any “before” pictures, but we had been talking about doing this on and off and it was a last minute decision to go ahead and actually start it this week. I will be sure to take more photos as we go along. I may not have any clue what is happening along the way (what are joists?) but will try and document for everyone back in America.

Here is the artist at work after all the plaster and bricks had been removed.




And a photo of Josh saying “what the heck did you just do to your room?!”


Aside from the day where we had some weird weather, complete with thunder, lightning and hail, Josh and I tried our best to stay out of Tim and Andy’s way.



On Saturday we went and explored Guildford a little. I was the most excited about finding an American candy/sweet shop.


Josh was more excited about a soft play area.


Another nice benefit of having Andy over at the house, meant we had an excuse to have lots of meals together which was a lot of fun.

We even went ahead and had Andy and Naomi, Lucy and Alex over Saturday night for a game night.


Now, having slept on the living room floor the last few nights, I really was thinking it might not be the best idea to have guests over, especially as we would have to eat in our temporary “bedroom!”

But I kept thinking about how my Grandma once told me that when she and my Grandpa were young and had just bought their first house together, they didn’t have much money. She said they didn’t even have furniture. But they always had friends over and always had such a great time. She said those are some of her favourite memories.

So as much as I’d like to have a clean house and clean clothes and nice food to feed our friends, I’m so glad we went ahead with Saturday night! We had such a blast playing games and eating pizza, I don’t think anyone even noticed the mess.

Real friends don’t care whether your house is clean or not.

5 responses to “Old Houses

  1. So true–and thanks for the reminder! It’s really about the company, after all. 🙂

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