We did it!!

We made it – Tarkwa Cottage all finished and our first guests arrived at 3 p.m. on Saturday 2 April. I was still hanging curtains an hour before and I just had time to hang mirrors in all the bedrooms and a very few pictures.

On Friday we had 15 different tradesmen in the house and the atmosphere was great – all were on ‘finishing’ their areas of work and it  was a cold bright and sunny day so breaks were taken sitting in the yard watching the sea action. We only got the use of the kitchen sink on Friday and put the dishwasher on for the first time on Friday night only to discover that it didn’t work. Thank goodness for Google and the emergency repair people from Torpoint who were with us by Saturday lunchtime.

My daughters and granddaughters who came for Easter week were extremely helpful and the cleaning team – Amber and Vicky did a fabulous job not just cleaning all the dust but also heaving mattresses around and sorting all the linen ready for the season.

On one awful morning  mid March one of the Corian kitchen worktops arrived wrong ( even after several phone conversations with the supplier) some of the plumbing was wrong and new beds delivered wouldn’t go up the stairs. It all got resolved in time but that had to be a low point. I retreated to the the Boathouse Cafe for a very necessary bowl of home made soup and a good cry.

Duane the foremen builder asked me on one of the last days  if, given the choice,  I would repeat the exercise  – my answer was YES. The kitchen/ dining space we have created by opening up and extending the basement floor is AMAZING. The spacious sitting room is superb, the new water, heating and lighting systems are wonderful and the house feels so much better constructed .

New photos will be done this week and on the website soon

A job well worth doing and a great sabbatical living in the village for most of the first three months of 2016.

Do come and enjoy it

Nearly there!

Well we can see the end at last!

The carpets were all put down last Friday and today the furniture came out of store. There was frantic activity in the kitchen to get it ready for the Corian worktop tomorrow so rather than make people move all the time we queued the items for down there on the balcony in the sunshine and then handball them all down late in the afternoon over the balcony using lots of bodies.

Woody and his decorating team worked an extra day on Saturday and also put down masses of protection for the carpets so that life can go without spoiling them.

We are tired but can really see it all coming together. Very thrilling.

The new photos are being taken next week and we will get them on the website a.s.a.p.

Mad March

Hello again!

I forgot to mention the big doors – wow! They were fitted 29 February/1 March and are wonderful. They are the windows to the seascape and make the experience of being at Tarkwa Cottage so special. They are a Belgian system imported and designed to order by a Lancashire company. The lads who came to fit them loved being here in the village – they stayed two nights at the Half Way House . We tried to get this type of door locally but UK Bifold beat the SW opposition hands down – such an efficient company too – immaculate paperwork and always so pleasant to deal with. Our neighbours used them as well for their new French window from the kitchen and new bedroom.

Mad March

Well we’re not far off the end of this major project!

We have a very smart balcony balustrade and the decking was going down today.

The stairs down to the kitchen are in  – beautifully made by Dean – DCL’s head joiner. The posts and rail are in oak with glass handrails. We were going to cupboard in the space under the stairs but that would be a crime. It will still be a useful space.

I am amazed that we haven’t had plumbers yet this week and only one electrician today –  will I recommend this firm to anyone else ? NO.

The German ceramic  radiators arrived today too but another panto  ensued- a wrong size towel rail, lots of trailing wire ( an abomination to me). No drawings re positions in the rooms didn’t help. Will I recommend this company to others? – we’ll see

When all the heat and water systems are up and running I will be able to control it from an app on my  Ipad – how about that!

The kitchen/dining area is not finished yet but you can already see that it is a fabulous space as is the spacious sitting room. Having to compromise on an all  white house  because of the late finish I can see how spacious it makes the rooms feel.

Our decorating team are village legends – Woody and Jim. Woody is a delight and Jim is mainly a sculptor who exhibits regularly but enjoys helping Woody. We are waiting for Mike to rejoin the team – he is currently in Italy with Francesca , his artist wife. Ironically they used to live at the Lookout which is where Peter and I are living whilst the work is going on.

Friday is carpet day, next Monday the furniture comes back from store


Furious February

Some days there are up to nine men in the house!

Duane is in charge – he is the younger Elliott brother. He brings whoever is necessary for each day. The kitchen/dining floor is now down on top of the under floor heating and the kitchen fitting  will start by the end of this week. Also the bathrooms have their items in them but not yet plumbed/fixed. The one month  time delay early on for the piling has now been cut down to two weeks. I keep them going with chocolate digestives and we have site meetings over lunch at The Lookout.

Woody our lovely Cawsand painter and decorator is on standby to get in when he can ( I booked him in last October as he is in such demand)

Early next week the boarded up look will be transformed by the arrival of the big windows – this will definitely be worth watching.

Onwards and Upwards


The finished yard

The finished yard

 Measuring for the kitchen island unit

Measuring for the kitchen island unit


Plastering the living room ceiling





Sitting room ceiling being plastered


Basement stairs going in

Stairs to basement going in

The Big Build

There is progress!

The basement extension is built and roofed. The big windows got measured yesterday and should be fitted in 2/3 weeks time. Kitchen and bathrooms all ordered. Those great lads work in all weathers and are cheerful with it!

Such  difficult working conditions with the narrow streets and small footprint – they have shifted 22 tonnes of rubble through the front door in bags onto small vans. But they love being there  – watching the Navy games and the bird life. Fabulous sunrises too!

We have just had two weeks in our rented flat in the village  – Kingsand/Cawsand has building going on everywhere and the builders are keeping the cafe and pubs busy. We’re in the flat above the cafe and the smell of fried breakfast is so……….. tempting  in ‘trying to be good’ January.

Some big seas and windy days  – we had some good walks in between spending large sums of money ! Kitchen and bathrooms all ordered.


Happy New Year to You All

It’s all happening at Tarkwa Cottage. They decided we were originally built in a cove!

The footings for the extension had to be piled with the ones furthest from the house going down 9.5 metres with the last two metres in rock.

The concrete for the base of the extension was delivered in a very novel way – the lorry parked on the top road just under the Fort and then the liquid concrete was piped down the 96 Duck Steps ,across Garrett Street , through the front door , across the living room and out down to the base

The piling has caused a one month delay but hopefully now everything will press on for completion by Easter. I will be down there for a lot of January and February to keep a check on things and help make things happen without more delays.

Super builders – well done lads!

Work in Progress at Tarkwa 2015(2)

Work in Progress at Tarkwa December 2015

Work in Progress at Tarkwa December 2015(3)


Moving Out

Well it has all happened

We moved everything out last week and the builders started on Monday!

The removal firm took all the major items – very clever shuttle system in the narrow streets of Cawsand village. They used a small van and left the large removal van with containers ready near Millbrook. The superking mattress which was originally delivered through the bedroom window from the roof of a van was gently rolled and tied to come down the stairs  – much better idea! We kept the best buckets and spades, deck chairs , body boards and blow up dinghies.

The cleaning team came in the next day and between us we carried all the paintings, bedding, the contents of the kitchen and dresser , crockery etc. to the top floor for storage .

Finally we had another  man and van team who took everything left or not needed any more to the local tip

We’ll be open for business again from 2 April 2016 and bookings are already coming in.

Tarkwa Cottage emptied for building works

Tarkwa Cottage Empty

Even better Tarkwa Cottage

Regulars will have noted that the cottage is not available from 30 September 2015 to 2nd April 2016 . This is because we are going to be doing a very exciting building project.

The basement ( engine room ) is being extended and the kitchen and dining will move down to that floor . A  new kitchen with range cooker with gas hob is to be installed and a utility room / shower room created. The access to the yard will be sliding glass doors.

The ground floor will then be just one very spacious sitting room again with huge floor to ceiling glass opening out onto a new and larger balcony. So the views out to sea will be even better!

On the first floor two double  bedrooms and a new bathroom will be created .

So Tarkwa Cottage will still sleep 8 people with three bathrooms  and will be THE place to stay in Cawsand.

Tarkwa Cottage Cropped

New Tarkwa Cropped


Beach Ladder

The old beach platform was ripped off in the storms last February

So now there is a new platform and ladder all in stainless steel – it looks very smart!

We were very lucky that this was the only damage sustained – many of the houses by the sea came off much worse. Building work is going on all over the village to get everything shipshape by the summer