Not Such a Great Idea – the ongoing saga

So what was the plan going to be now the market had fallen flat and we were paying to live in weekday accommodation. Too late that we already had new jobs, in a new area too far to commute to our old house.

Of course Mr OCG had said we’d done it the wrong way round, he thought we should’ve sold and moved house and commuted back to our old job until we found new jobs. But as always it’s a chicken and egg situation, what if you’d relocated everything only to find the perfect job didn’t exist in the area you’d moved too. Hmmm no doubt it’s a real dilemma, but no doubt once everything is sorted it will have been worth it! Famous last words!

So back too the drawing board, what about taking extra mortgage against our existing property loan, we have plenty of equity in the Oxford house and we only want a ‘cheap’ house in the Midlands, that might work. But no! Contacting our mortgage provider they were winding down the product gradually and whilst they were happy for us to port our mortgage to a new property they were not offering any new borrowing. Transferring to a new lender entirely wouldn’t work as you need to show you can cope with your normal mortgage for 6 to 12 months before extra borrowing can be arranged.

A google search on options revealed a ‘new type of mortgage customer’ Let to Buy. It seems a whole host of people out there are in the same boat as us, a need to sell in order to move to a new job, but unable to, quick enough. So clearly a new market has emerged, let your house out while you buy a new one. Of course there are conditions attached, the main one being the amount you can ‘release’ from your property to buy your next one is based on the amount you can rent the property out for.

Fortunately for us, Oxford area commands high rental values so our house would potentially rent for high enough to release enough money when combined with our ported mortgage to buy a house (in need of extension and modernisation) in our new area. Perfect, we now have a budget to buy somewhere in the Midlands the additional monthly cost for which is going to less than the cost of our weekday rental. It also means we can start putting down roots in our new area and although the new house wouldn’t be great, after all we still need to wait for Oxford to sell before we can do the big extension and renovations we have planned, at least we are getting started.

Not Such a Great Idea 


So Easter holiday was a blur of getting the house ready for sale, deep clean, sort out all those odd jobs that have been waiting to be done and so on and finally we could get an estate agent on board to sell. The For Sale sign went up, estate agent details were produced and we were on Rightmove and then suddenly…

Brexit negotiations were announced;

A snap general election was called;

Plans to build 4000 homes on land around our village were announced!

All of which, according to our agent, meant “the market has gone very slow” or should I re-phrase that ‘stopped altogether’ but as the agent said, stay calm, be patient the market will pick up as soon as the election is over. So patient we were, and despite the lack of viewings really felt the house would sell and we would be ready to move to the Midlands for September for the start of our new jobs.

Oops how wrong could we be and by the July summer holiday we had to re-think at least the short term. I had heard of where people would list rooms to rent in their homes. Perfect I thought, until I realised after ringing a few adverts that no one wanted couples! We persevered checking the ads daily until finally the perfect advert came up. Someone’s ‘granny flat’ above a garage was available Monday to Friday on a short term basis. It was in a lôvely village conveniently placed for both our jobs and with lovely views!

We signed up and looked forward to the start of the new term. In the meantime we had a couple of viewings but nothing serious. You realise how many people have a hobby of looking round peoples home even though their own house isn’t up for sale. Others who sell their own house then view houses they can’t afford as they are at least £100,000 more.

Still, with no sign of the market in the area picking up, we still were in need of a plan

To be continued……..

#interiors #interiordesign #home #houses

A Good Idea

Have you ever had one of those ‘great ideas’ and are now beginning to re-think it was ever great!

A couple of years ago after much discussion with Mr OCG we decided we just couldn’t bear to have to work until we are 67 so it would be a great idea if we could semi-retire or at least go part time by the time we are 55. We also realised that our 2 adult sons, having moved to the Midlands to go to university were in fact settling down there. Perfect we thought, we can move to the Midlands, where we grew up anyway and where our extended family still live. So we will be able to live closer to all our family but particularly our sons. To make this happen we hatched a grand plan.

Within the next few years we will,

Cash in on our, relatively expensive Oxford house, pay off the mortgage and buy a relatively inexpensive house in the Midlands.

Find new jobs in the Midlands.

Move house with the intention of going part time /semi retirement by 55

What could go wrong?

Haha just 12 months later who would’ve known…….

So thinking that anyone on the wrong side of 50 would struggle to get a new job, last September I began applying thinking I was in for the long haul. Little did I know the first job I applied for, I got! Head of Physics in one of my first choice schools. Oops that threw a spanner in the works, fortunately the job didn’t start until this September so that gave us almost a year for Mr OCG to get a job and for us to sell the house and move.

Mr OCG patiently waited for a DT job to come up in a Midlands school and of course, typically not one came up, hmm what were we going to do…. wait and be patient, thats all we could do.

Then of course all of a sudden just before Easter this year, a great job came up, he applied and got it, hurrah things were dropping into place.

To be continued……..


Craft tutorial – knitted bag

Happy New Year to all you lovely blog followers, I have spent a very relaxing Christmas creating a new pattern for a knitted bag that will be stocked in my ETSY shop ‘studio10oxford’

I thought I’d share this tutorial with you which is a plain version which can be adapted to your own pattern or you can download my pattern from my ETSY shop.

I also stock the leather handles and fabric lining.

For the medium sized handbag which measures approx. 30cm x 20cm:


You will need 

200g of Aran weight yarn

Sew on leather handles (I use 60 cm length)

Lining fabric ( a fat quarter is the perfect size)

optional zip or other closure.

Knitted Bag

Using 4mm needles, cast on 71 sts

Knit 7 rows 1×1 rib

Next row knit

Knit 7 more rows 1×1 rib

Change to 6mm needles 

Stocking stitch (or pattern of your choice) until work measures 42cm from beg

Change to 4mm needles 

Knit 15 rows rib as at the beginning.

Cast off loosely.  

With right sides facing sew side seams..

Turn over rib edge and sew inside bag, knit row should form the top edge of the bag..

Measure the exact size of the bag and cut your fabric allowing 1cm seam allowance for the sides and bottom and allowing 3cms at the top to fold in and attach to the knitting.

Press thoroughly.

Attach the lining to the inside of the bag by pinning then. sewing invisibly to the bottom edge of the rib row inside.

Position and attach the leather handles, they are best sewn on with a thick thread such as tapestry thread.

Optional extras include adding a zip or an inside pocket or a button fastener.

Have fun and i would love to see your results on Instagram just tag @studio10oxford or @oxfordcottagegardener

Photographing your creativity……..

Lots of us enjoy creating things, whether it’s crafts, cooking, gardenening or DIY and once the creation has happened it is nice to be able to take photographs whether to keep for prosteritory or to upload to social media or in fact to upload to a website to sell.

Taking photographs of the creation is often what people find tricky to do, to catch the detail, to try to incorporate some of the story of where the creation has come from and to show the creation in its true light.

It is often good to take pictures whilst you are creating, to show how you are making your product. Take pictures of the materials you are using, the methods and techniques you have  included in the process, all of which builds the story behind the product.

Don’t however be tempted to just snap the picture as it sits on you knee, pay some attention to the surroundings, spend a little time to arrange the work on a neutral background with no distracting elements that may draw attention from your work. Little touches like flower heads or pieces of beautiful lace will help to enhance the picture.

Once completed take time to arrange the items, again paying much attention to creating a neutral background, here I have used a piece of pure linen which I have crushed to add some texture. I have ribbon and lace, items I have been using lately along with the wool and needles used to create the item. I have also snipped some flower heads from the garden to dress the picture.

Happy crafting!