South Down Farm
I’m writhing in remorse and festooned with guilt. As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve been extremely tardy about visiting my favourite blogs recently. See, the thing is…..we are selling South Down and it’s been all hands on deck getting the house ship-shape and ready to sail the turbulent seas of real estate brokering.
The photographer has been and gone, brochures have been printed, lawns have been mowed, weeds have been weeded and a studio full of paint and pictures has been tidied. Viewing appointments have been made and people have been coming and going and peering and poking and umming and aaahing.
The up-side of it all is that we’re not in a desperate hurry to rid ourselves of this house, so if she (it is a she) doesn’t sell this summer we won’t yelp too loudly and will try again next year. Guy will have to continue his daily three hour commute to work for another six or so months and I can fling paint around my studio again for a while.
The reason we came to this momentous decision – selling a house is momentous – was because now that our girls have established themselves in London and Buckinghamshire respectively, we have found ourselves rattling about in a house that is really too big for just me and Guy on our own. Personally, I would like to live in a Land Rover and travel forever, but the reality is that Guy’s journey to work and back is thoroughly exhausting. Especially in winter when he leaves and returns in the pitch dark. Then there is the upkeep of 1.5 acres of garden and lawn – no mean feat in itself and very time consuming. Weekends are often spent doing a multitude of chores and Guy therefore doesn’t have much time to indulge in his passions for sailing and hiking.
So, potentially, it’s out with the old and in with the new. What will we do if we sell? Probably buy a teeny tiny cottage nearer Guy’s work and thus free up our time for a bit more adventure and exploration. Maybe…just maybe…we could also find a little spot in sunnier climes to which we can escape from time to time. You’d all be more than welcome to visit. I mean it. Seriously.
In the meantime, may I ask you to please excuse me for not having visited your bloggy homes more often? Now that everything is set to go, I will be zipping around Blogland much more frequently. See you there!
This looks like a really comfy house, I love the bright paints and whites of the fabrics. Good luck with the sale and I hope you don't miss it too much once it's gone... but 3 hours commute is a long one.
I will state the obvious...your home is gorgeous like you. And welcoming like you. And, comfortable like you.
I find it really magnificent. And, wish I could drop down into it and keep it for you so you wouldn't have to let it go...
But, I think one of the reasons why I like you so very much is your pragmatic view of things that frees you up to be excited about what's coming next.
I struggle with that so very much and wish I didn't always try to drive me car by staring in my rear-view mirror.
I'd like to be like you seem to me to be: Head up, erect, eyes scanning the horizon with excitement. A bit said to say goodbye to things...but tempered by your joy in what's to come.
I know the person who will love your home is out there and waiting to grab the keys.
what a beautiful home. pity you have to sell it in this lousy market right now. good luck with the sale, hope it doesn't frazzle your nerves too much (you know what buying and selling is like here?)
You've got a fantastic house, which would need a full time maid and a full time gardener to maintain. I'll take the little cottage with a little cottage garden.
Your home is gorgeous but it sounds as if it has outlived it's usefulness to you. Think of the chances for travel and excitement when you don't spend all your rime working around the home. The best of Luck to you!
Oh, the joys of being 'on the market'! You have a simply beautiful home Tessa - I had expected nothing less, of course! No doubt you will miss it if you do sell, but it'll be exciting searching for and doing up the new nest. Good luck!
I was told that I would love your blog by the lovely Absolute Vanilla. She was right!! I've just spent a ridiculously long time looking through your past posts and your gallery.
Your paintings are absolutely phenomenal and I think what you are doing for the Swaziland Project is wonderful!! You are a woman after my own heart...I'm not a professional artist (have had a couple of exhibitions and a few commissions) but a chunk of money from every sale I make goes to support various projects in Thailand. (We lived there for two and a half years)
I shall definitely be back :-)
Ps. I would love to purchase one of your prints but I can't seem to find it within your gallery section. The one I have fallen in love with, and that would look fabulous on our living room wall, is on your home page. It's the African lady in profile (the one with the earring) please tell me it's still available!!
Wow, It's a gorgeous home, of course! I think your downsizing idea is great.. there is definitely a time for it. Wishing you luck with the sale x
omg - your house is so beautiful - Our house has all off white walls and I have been wanting to paint them some shade of yellow - I love the yellow on your walls.
It would be tough to leave this beauty, but it would be exciting to find a tiny cottage and few extra hours in your day too.
oh one more thing - I heard the word "drawing room" after such a long time. We used to call that in India and then I came to US and it became a living room, except no one lives in it - it is all dressed up and left at that and we do all the living and messing around in the family room :)
Wow, quite the country retreat you have there. Beautifully presented. The photographer did a sterling job!
A little cottage and foreign hideaway sounds perfect. The long commute is no picnic, we know all about how that can steal too much time and energy.
Best of luck with the sale and opportunities new.
Good luck with the sale of your lovely home! And best wishes for new beginnings.
What an amazingly beautiful house.
I'm sure you have mixed feelings about selling her.
We moved to an apartment in Manhattan when the children were launched -leaving 2 acres, 2 streams
a huge studio, pool blah blah
I still weep for my garden though the city has its pleasures too.
One can't have everything and I'm very blessed in what I do have.
Commuting a long time every day is very grim and draining.
Best of luck, Tessa. No worries about not being around much. We'll all be here when you get back!
If it weren't for the terrible commute, there's no way I'd ever leave South Down Farm if I were a resident! It's absolutely dreamy.
tessa, 'showcase' does not come close to describing this lovely home. the grounds are magnificent.
so here we are today, both thinking about homes and homesteads, real and virtual, and both with gorgeous yellow living rooms. i'll send you a picture of mine.
the idea of you and guy in a little cottage, using it as a jump off to travel the world, is darling. and tessa, if not england, perhaps new england. my door stays open too.
Tessa it is beautiful. Or should I say, she is beautiful.
What I love about her most besides the fact that she is your home is that she looks so comfortable and has no pretension at all.
Of course you know I must love the colour of the walls (yellow).
It makes so much sense that you wouldn't want Guy to be making such a big commute.
Love you doll.
Love Renee xoxo
Amazing house...move it to Blogland lane with KJ!!!
Good for you for simplifying your lives. Your place is lovely; but, you know what is important at this time. Good luck on the sale.
Oh My God.
you have a fairy tale life, are you sure it isn't princess tessa?? yes you are, of all things beautiful and warm and special and so is your home and everything. your new one will be too i'm sure, good luck with south down farm...sigh...
Mother of God Tessa!! ;)
Your house is spectacular! It emanates goodness... which is what your gracious life has infused into the walls and the grounds...
Houses have souls. And I can feel this one...
Much love, M
Oh boy! Oh yes, sell the house if only it will reduce your hopusekeeping chores. I so hate housekeeping. Someday I will live in a boarding house or a one room apartment just so I don't have to clean! It is so big and lovely by the way. I see Hestia everywhere in it. I hope you find a buyer who will be able to continue to keep the house in its immaculate shape. A Land Rover is a nice home! Good luck Tessa.
I like the Hiuse and the place. I wish I had the money to buy it.
And I really love the description of your site that life is all about experiencing everything including getting hurt.
The house is a reflection of your beautiful spirit ...which evolves of course ..so the next house will be the new version of yourself.
I'd love to visit ....it's a teeny bit too far.
I'm afraid your house is just too a bit to tidy for me. Where are the dust bunnies rumbling around like tumble weed? The piles of precariously stacked papers ready to tip at any second? And what, no dishes with crumbs sitting about?
In all seriousness, I think it's grand that you're willing to part with such a treasure to re-create your life. Blessings along the journey!
your home is beautiful and reflects your artistc and gentle nature.
You will miss the family home but enjoy a smaller easy to keep place with time for fun..
- I know - we downsized planning to rebuild on the site and now love the small cottage and have no need or desire for a big house...
I wish you well
What a gorgeous house and the grounds around it, are marvellous. You will have no problem selling it. I had a large house like that here in Portugal and for the same reasons - daughters married and gone - we decided to sell it and buy instead something small and easy to maintain. It took us 4 years and countless real estate agents. And then, out of the blue, someone rang the gate and this couple from ... South Africa! came in, saw the house, and bought it. The house had no "for sale" sign, but they knew where they wanted to buy a place and someone they knocked on told them they thought out house was for sale. Just like that. So I am sending best wishes for a buyer to come and ring your bell...and to fall in love with your place, likes the price, and buys it.
Thank you for your lovely comments. Where did you grow up in South Africa?
Tessa I feel like tossing myself on one couch and you tossing yourself on the other couch and as we lay on our respective couches we talk back and forth.
Love Renee xoox
What a magnificent property. I'm ready to move to England and buy it right now. Small problem, we can't sell our own house. Terrible times. I wish you all the best and hope that you find a buyer who will love it as much as you have.
dit was so snaaks maar so lekker om jou woorde te lees vandag...geniet jou naweek en moneie te veel huiswerk doen in daardie pragtige huisie nie!
Oh I must have been a heart breaking decision to leave such a kitchen!!! But ever so smart. Better to have a life. Enjoy!
Bloody Hell :)
I mean that in the nicest possible way... your home is extremely large and beautiful.
Well done for creating such a wonderful space.
Best of luck with your sale.
Your attitude to life is to be admired and therefore I feel confident that whatever happens for you all will be more than well.
You're very lovely and it's making me smile.
these photos and views, this reality, take my breath away. how suitable a house for you, Tessa. how gorgeous. I have always lived in the tiniest possible way and there is something to that. But oh, there is something to this as well. Best of luck to both of you. A three hour commute is much too much.
What a beautiful house! And what a great thing to move forward, reduce your husband's commute, and live in a space better suited to your needs. If everyone was this reasonable, the world would be a better place.
I'm visualizing that just the right people/family find your beautiful home, that you feel great about selling it to them, and that soon afterwards you find a lovely cottage not too small and not too big where you can live happily ever after.
Best of luck to you!
You guys are wonderful! Thank you so much for your encouraging and very kind comments. It will be sad to leave South Down, but I'm quite certain that whoever eventually moves in will be just as happy here as we have been.
wow wow wow, what a beautiful home. I'm sure you will miss it and the grounds surrounding, but I'm sure whoever is lucky enough to call it home will love being able to do so. I hope the transition is a smooth one - as smooth as selling and moving can be. It is not easy, I know, having done it several times. Much peace and understanding!
Excuse me, may I ask where this house is? It's fabulous and I might have a buyer.
wow! what a gorgeous home! I love it!!! It is idyllic and inspiring :)
I'm sure there are buyers out there that would fall in love with your home on the spot!
Good luck with the sale.
I can see this home on Blogland Lane, it is so much a fantasy, but in real life. You are adventurous in leaving and starting something new. May that anticipation soften leaving your lovely home here.
oh my, this is a lovely home BUT I can certainly see how there would be a lot of upkeep, especially on the grounds and a 3 hour commute??! Yes, a nice little lovely place and perhaps another tiny escape would be even lovelier ... holding out that you get all you deserve for this beautiful property and that it happens THIS year!
Tessa, I can only imagine living in a place this beautiful. I agree that it does reflect your unpretentious style and charming personality! It's a showpiece and I wish you the very best in selling it.
I also wish and hope that someday you'll be able to return to your beloved South Africa.
Meanwhile I know many of us around the world will keep our doors open to you!
Oh my goodness, that is a gorgeous house - I love the front and the back of it! How long have you lived there?
As beautiful as it is, though, there is something so nice about being "lighter" in one's property. I hope you find shorter commuting times, more sunlight, more sailing and more travel time . . .
Oh, dearest Tessa,
You are so beautiful, inside and out. Your warm message gave me strength and courage and helped to keep me afloat during the darkest days. Thank you for the prayers. Thank you for the thoughtful wishes. And thank you for your friendship. I am blessed and so very grateful that there is a bridge linking me to you.
I enjoyed basking in your bright, colorful, incredible paintings once again. I'm sad that you will be leaving this stunningly gorgeous estate, so well cared for, and obviously so well loved. But as someone who also had to leave a cherished home, I know that the best part of the home is the love and the memories that were fostered within those walls. And those, you can always take with you. Good luck with the sale, my dear.
Wow, a home as gorgeous as you and your art! It looks absolutely wonderful! I am sure it will find just the right person to love it as you do so you can be free for the next great adventure! Hugs, Silke
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