So we had to turn the house upside down. 

Until very recently this would have been a picture of our lounge. We loved the room and enjoyed living in it. But then, Mix, our ancient Dog's Trust Dog, developed some of the symptoms of old age. He is no longer able to climb stairs, he's very stiff and he has become incontinent -- but he is still our dog. He's sixteen years old and then a bit more. We've had him since he was eight when he came to us from the Dog's Trust near Glasgow and we got him because he had been terribly mistreated in his earlier life. But he has become a wonderful dog and it is sad to see the years catch up with him. Our local vet suggested that we wouldn't have him beyond a year past Easter but we found a fabulous vet who has helped us care for him and one of the things we have had to do is adapt our house. From the picture you'll see that Mix now has a fenced-in area at the side of the room. But that's not all ...

You'll see that we have removed the bottom part of the window and put in a sliding door so that Mix has constant access to the garden. It's something he really appreciates and it enables him to have a normal life. However, this wasn't quite enough because after all the years of coming upstairs to sleep in our bedroom Mix couldn't bear to be left on his own during the night. So Rachel and I took it in turns to sleep downstairs on a camp-bed to keep him company. (I know that many of you will think we are crazy but dogs become part of the family.) I suppose that we didn't think that Mix would last long but the weeks turned into months and so we decided to turn our house upside down.

The solution was to move our bed downstairs and turn what was the lounge into our ground-floor bedroom.

Our decision was certainly approved of by our other dogs!

And, just to make sure I haven't given the wrong impression, here is Mix on his mattress out from his fenced-off area. He certainly only escapes there to get some peace or to sleep at night -- and isn't he looking good!

The problem now, of course, is that we don't have a room suitable to entertain groups of people, or even to have a meeting of any size. It's crazy because we now have so many small social rooms.

Here are three views of what was our upstairs bedroom.

It's a fine room but not large enough for more than two or three folk to sit in comfort.

And it is a lovely light and airy room.

Across the yard from the Granary is the Bothy which Tom and I created out of the place where the previous owners held their bonfires.

It's another lovely room for a group of not more than five or six. It's a lovely setting too and it's where I keep all of my non-theological books but still not large enough for a meeting.

Moving through the gate and into the Hen House garden I've arrived at the summer house. Here are my theological books and this is a great place for a meeting so long as there are no more than four or five folk present.

In the summer months this is a wonderful place. It was the first place we built when we arrived nearly seven years ago and it has remained my working base. I love it.

Our final social room is upstairs in the Hen House. It's a building we are working to complete and I hope to have it all done by the end of the year but the lounge has now been fitted out. It's another splendid room ...

and one on the walls of which you can see souvenirs of many of the important moments in our lives so far. With so much 'stuff' in boxes we are trying to get buildings in order so that we can rescue things from storage before they get damaged.

It's a lovely light and airy room, something which we appreciate because our new downstairs bedroom in the Granary does not get a great deal of natural light.

However, as you can see, it is not large enough to have a meeting! I guess that the solution is that if I want to have meetings (and we only have a tiny hall at the Church) we'll have to start on our project to build a small theatre in one of our remaining barns. Watch this space. But for now Mix and all of us are very happy with out upside down house.


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