Re: Lost my battle with water :(
Guys, thank you for your kind words, but I must put you all straight on a few things, especially my background, & how I came to where I am now.
I started life in an orphanage on the dock road in Liverpool. Eventually adopted by a wonderful couple. Full of love, but humble finances (I was always the poor kid in our school). After being a bottom feeder pro drummer for 6 years, I gravitated towards my other skill, engineering. From there, & through hard work, I eventually started managing companies, travelling the globe several times over, & paying a heavy price re: family quality time & health. During this time, we bought our first house on a mortgage we couldn't really afford. A tiny row house in a not good area. We renovated that, & sold it on. Lived in rented accommodation for several years, until we bought a derelict cottage with a small parcel of land. That cottage had mostly 4 walls & a part roof. Took nearly 10 years to renovate that (100% our own labour) once we'd got it past the watertight stage. Sold that & made a good profit. Bought this property 7 years ago, & completed the sale in two weeks. It was rough, very rough. The grounds were in terrible condition (landslip, 6ft high brambles, etc). We had to strip the house back to it's shell & start over. Barn needed mostly rebuilding & converting. Grounds are a result of 6 years of hard work. 95% of the labour has been my own. I've been smart in reusing materials, buying reclaimed materials at low cost, etc.
So, the message is, my property is nothing to do with being wealthy, because I'm not. This property is within the means of anyone who's put in 20 years of hard work, some good civil engineering skills, some good friends, & smart with their purchases.
I'm a "grafter". I know the meaning of hard work, & I never give up. I work methodically until the job is done. I finish what I start. So, no royal heritage, no fat bank balance, just a guy from the gutter who knows the meaning of applying himself.
Yes, I'm proud of what I've achieved. My house & grounds are now complete. I take huge pleasure in creating stuff out of nothing. That's why I love timber built structures, watching plants grow from seed or cuttings, using surplus boulders for landscaping, creating beauty where there was once a wasted opportunity. These backgrounds of natural materials also make great contextual backdrops for photo's of our new drums too ;)