Thursday, 2 April 2015

Zoom, Click, and Add to Basket

It began with groceries from Waitrose. Lured by delicious images, a few clicks of the mouse, no wayward trolleys or aisle miles to worry about and the goodies delivered directly into the kitchen in the capable hands of a friendly driver. We were hooked. The world of online shopping had entered our lives and secured a place in our hearts.

online shopping for groceries a necessary part of our lives when in the UK

Success in the bidding wars of 'ebay' brought silver pepper shakers and Carlton Ware to us via Royal Mail. Navigating the Hungarian online equivalent, 'Vatera', proved both technically and linguistically challenging but, one happy day, four 1950s 'cocktail' chairs were ours. Amazon secured a rare copy of James Lees Milne and 'Gumtree', most recently, furnished us with a 1920s sideboard courtesy of Neville, a man with a van. As we tend not to be overly fond of shops in general how much better this was, we agreed, to buy from the comfort of home and await deliveries at the hall door.

a 1920s sideboard - a purchase made on 'Gumtree' and delivered by the obliging Neville

the sideboard installed in the dining room of the newly acquired Norwich holiday home

And so, when a house was required as an alternative to our Brighton 'rooms', we 'booted up', 'googled', 'searched' and 'surfed' the world wide web to find what in our mind's eye we were looking for. Rightmove, Primelocation and Zoopla became the tools of our trade. Virtual tours of properties from Anglesey to Zennor filled our computer screens from dawn to dusk.

one of the many online property companies of which we made much use

We zoomed in on Google maps, we analysed floor plans, we walked the streets with the aid of 'Street View', we noted crime statistics, the employment status and age profile of our virtual neighbours via 'Street Check', comparing prices and property trends as we clicked merrily along. Geological surveys warned of landslips and Radon Zones, floodplains highlighted areas at risk and a store locator ensured the presence of John Lewis and Waitrose close to hand should we ever feel the need to make a real visit.

Finally, our target was in sight. Emails to our solicitor ensured that our personal presence in the entire purchase process would not be necessary, as indeed it was not. A small but perfectly formed Victorian, artisan terraced house, dating from 1887, complete with original sash windows, picture rails, cornicing, working fireplaces and two very modern bathrooms was to be ours.

detailing around the sash windows at the front of the house makes for interest

a typical Victorian fireplace and surround to be found in the dining room

a bedroom fireplace, the size of which can hardly have been adequate to heat the room

Airline and 'bus tickets, bought on line of course, would take us there.

Did the reality match the dream? We turned the real key in the actual lock.

the inevitable work which comes with every move - some of many boxes awaiting unpacking

Love at first sight. A very modern romance, we thought, about to begin.

the drawing room on our next visit to be decorated in 'Little Greene' French Grey

212 comments:

  1. Online shopping is the way to go, and it's still amazes us up to now what is out there and how much easier to get and discover them via the net. And that includes house...

    And a fine one it is that you have there, gorgeous and most charming! Congratulations on your new abode Jane and Lance!

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    1. Thank you Mark and Gaz. Since the time we spend in the UK has to be organized in advance from Budapest, the facility to be able to do so much online is an enormous advantage and certainly makes our lives easier.

      In retrospect we think that buying a house unseen could have resulted in an absolute disaster. As it happens we consider ourselves to have been most fortunate.

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  2. There you are. Your new gaff looks very cosy. Are you keeping on the Eastern Block apartment?

    I found this post via Rachel's. I recently took down my blog through boredom, so I think that some blogs do not come up on my alert system any more. I will have to put it back up again so that they do - maybe with a few less entries.

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    1. Well, in truth darling Tom, there we WERE for we are once more ensconced in Budapest which we really do think of as home and from which we have no intentions of moving.

      We are more than a little disturbed that you have taken down your blog and do urge you to reconsider. Along with so many others we enjoy your posts immensely for their intelligence, wit, insight into so many widely varied topics, the way in which they inform, their cynicism and, above all, for their unique individuality. Fewer posts if that makes life easier but do not, we beg you, disappear.

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    2. Oh, THERE you are. I have just put my blog back up, and - hey presto - I am being alerted to yours and Mise's again. In a way, I am sorry you are not down-sizing for the sake of economy, for reasons mentioned in my latest post. There again, I rejoice in knowing I still have somewhere to stay when in Budapest!

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    3. Your return, for which we shall be eternally grateful providing it is not a temporary measure, has already been noted!!

      Now would you really wish our lives to be in such reduced circumstances that we become destined to live out our twilight years in an East Anglian 'hovel'? Lest that should happen, make haste to Budapest now whilst there is still food on the table. You and HI would always be more than welcome.

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  3. You certainly have embraced online shopping, Jane and Lance. I've never heard of anyone buying a house this way, but what a delightful house it is. Love the sweet fireplaces, and your drawing room is most elegant, even without the proposed new coat of paint. The 1920s sideboard is divine! Happy Easter to you both.

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    1. Possibly, Patricia, we are in danger of getting carried away with the excitement of online shopping. Buying a house in such a way could have turned out to be a total disaster; we were, in the event, most fortunate. Whatever, we think that it will make for a very happy holiday home and are much looking forward to our next visit and to the redecoration of some of the principal rooms in rather more interesting colours. We are so pleased you like the sideboard!

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  4. Gumtree? Isn't that Australian? Apart from going out to come across someone to have a disagreement with, I could stay home for quite a long period. Shopping online is great. So far I like what I see of your Norwich abode but I don't see heating panels and I hope you aren't reliant on fireplaces, no matter how attractive they are. What on earth is that dog like creature that appears to be in a metal harness? I am taken back to the television miniseries, Fortunes of War. Do you wheel it around at all?

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    1. Actually, Andrew, we have absolutely no idea and fell across 'Gumtree' completely by chance. Whatever and wherever, it produced a sideboard!!

      No, be assured that the house has a completely new central heating system with a combi boiler which also operates the hot water. We intend to use the open fires but more for the fun of it rather than of necessity.

      The dog like creature is Trevor, a Triang toy of the 1930s, which you will be relieved to know we do not wheel around!!

      More posts to come on house and garden after workmen get underway.

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  5. Dear Jane and Lance - I am just closing down the computer, but before departing wanted to thank you for your most kind and thoughtful comment today.
    I had wondered how your sojourn to Norwich worked out, so I am pleased to learn before I leave that all was well with your new abode.
    I am impressed that your charming Victorian terrace looks so organised and settled already, indeed on the last photo it looks delightful.
    Hate shops too, I do all my Christmas shopping online, much less stressful.
    Au revoir and Happy Easter to you both.

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    1. But this is so kind of you, Rosemary, to find the time to comment when we are fully aware that you have much to occupy your mind.

      Norwich has, after some initial anxiety, turned out exceptionally well and we are delighted with our choice. The City itself has so much to offer of interest and we are now much looking forward to returning. There is still much to be done with the house, largely cosmetic, but we do have builders and landscapers lined up to convert the outhouse into a folly(!!) and to sort out the garden for us - the subject doubtless of future posts.

      We both wish you a peaceful and Happy Easter and look forward to your return.

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  6. Oh my goodness! I've been away from blogger for awhile and come back and you've had all kinds of marvelous adventures! What a wonderful house you have found too. And Norwich? I love it and have spent many happy hours browsing antiques shops, and book stalls there. And admiring all the lovely architecture. Love that sideboard you captured ..... x

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    1. We certainly have had both an interesting and busy few months but are gradually becoming sorted although more on the new little holiday house and its garden must now wait until we return to Norwich.

      The City itself, from the little we had time to see, is an absolute delight, full of charm and interest and, like you, we shall enjoy discovering all that it has to offer.

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  7. What a lucky house - I doubt any other purchaser would have kitted it out so perfectly.

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    1. This is more than generous of you. Thank you. We think, and hope, that it will be comfortable when we have finished.

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  8. So, you actually bought the house without seeing it in person? Now that's very brave! Like you, I love finding hard to locate items on the internet and indeed I did find our current home online, but I needed to see it in the flesh as it's our primary residence. I also found my employment online (I emailed the Taiwan company to inform them that they really should open a European sales office and voila, here I am)! One of my most treasured possessions is a 1930's French sideboard bought on ebay and shipped from France to the USA (when we lived there) and now back in the UK. Your home does indeed look lovely. I shall look forward to seeing both the house and garden as you progress. Best of luck.

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    1. We did indeed. Strangely, Craig, we were totally relaxed about the whole process until we were actually on the 'bus from Stansted to Norwich when we did start to feel somewhat anxious that we might have made a huge mistake. In the event we are delighted with both house and city.

      Well, your own story of online employment is fairly amazing but something that has clearly worked out for you. With regard to 'ebay', it is true that with judicious looking one can come up with some real treasures.

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  9. Your new house is perfection! I'm very impressed that you did this all online. You are are both very adventurous but it sounds like you knew what you were doing, what with "street check" etc.
    Your new sitting room is lovely and I hope you pass many happy hours there xox

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    1. Thank you so much, Dani. We are very pleased with the house, and also with Norwich too which is a charming city, and are looking forward, particularly this year whilst we get house and garden really sorted, to several holidays there over the coming months.

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  10. Hello Jane and Lance, I admit I am still ambivalent about on-line purchases, albeit I am finding them more and more convenient. For books and antiques, I find that the main risk is mustiness. Of course, local shopping does support the community; when the local small shops fail, it is often not pleasant to see what replaces them.

    You were lucky to find such a nice house, on-line or not. The amount of architectural detail will make a perfect background for all the interesting things that we look forward to seeing you do with it in future postings.
    --Jim

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    1. We are certainly drawn to the convenience of online shopping, Jim, although there are some things, for example clothes, where we should always wish to see exactly what we are buying. Perhaps we should apply that to houses too but, at least this once, we have been so very, very fortunate.

      There will, we assure you, be before and after posts particularly once work starts on the garden and outbuilding [to be a folly]. We are hoping to make good progress when we next visit which we plan to do in a few weeks.

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  11. No walking needed, just fingertips. Investigation, though, is a must, and often fun. One thing leads to another, and before long, more things are needed and available. No real money is exchanged right away, but the end of the month, when the bills comes, can be an eye opener. But, oh what joy to see the delivery man with his boxes of many shapes and sizes. Yes, "Add to Cart" is the way to go these days.

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    1. We know!! And isn't it so often such a very convenient way of making purchases? But, as you say, Arleen, it is really important to do one's research carefully and also [which can be tedious] to have some check on how much actual money will be slipping out of the bank!!

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  12. Some things like furniture I think I might have a hard time purchasing on line, your drawing room is so inviting; wondering about the fireplace screen, very intriguing

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    1. Once one is into online purchasing, Linda, it really does become easier and easier and one finds oneself more and more daring!! Now of course that may not be such a good thing!!

      The fire screen, which folds to be put away in summer, is hand painted and dates from the 1930s. We discovered it some years ago in a Brighton flea market.

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  13. Happy Easter to you both...
    What I have seen of your house I like. The last photo looks marvellous. How great it is to be able to shop online, thank goodness for technology.
    Best Wishes....Margaret.

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    1. And a very happy and peaceful Easter to you, Margaret. We are so pleased that you like the look of the little house which we are very excited about and to which we hope to return before very long. Once the interior painting is done, and the garden under way, then, hopefully, we shall have more pictures.

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  14. I think Trevor is wonderful, a miniature Airedale on wheels! Your new home looks very refined and I look forward to seeing many more pictures.

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    1. We are delighted that you like Trevor, Sue. We actually bought him [online!!] from a fellow blogger who, if we recall correctly, had an Etsy shop or similar.

      We very much hope to publish some more pictures of the little Norwich house when we go back to it, most likely at the end of this month.

      Thank you so much for your comment and interest; we shall look forward to welcoming you again. We note, as yet, you do not have any posts!!

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  15. I am so in love with your new house--so much charm and character, perfect for you. I keep thinking of Beatrix Potter and the Secret Garden. I wish you much joy, and am delighted that the world on online shopping has simplified things for you. xo Jen

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    1. You really do say the nicest of things, Jen. Thank you so much. We are looking forward to going back before very long to organize the decorator, who will paint the drawing room, dining room and our bedroom, and the builder who has agreed to convert the outhouse into something magical!! More pictures will follow in due course, we assure you!

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  16. How absolutely lovely your new drawing room is, dear Jane and Lance, and very characteristic of you. The pictures on the wall and mantelpiece are absolute perfection, the fire screen divine, the whole effect both rich and restful. You seem to have very much fallen on your feet with the house, although I suspect it is acumen and flair rather than luck.

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    1. We are so pleased that you, especially you, dearest Mise, should like it and do hope that you will approve of it when you see the walls painted in Little Greene 'French Grey' [scheduled to happen at the start of May].

      Entre nous, as the French possibly say, we are secretly relieved that it has all turned out so well and not the disaster we feared when travelling from the airport on the 'bus to Norwich.

      But the disappointment of the day has to be that following your wonderfully lively and witty post the comment box appears to be disabled. How, therefore, can we and all your ardent Followers and admirers express our joy at your presence in the blogosphere?

      For now, love and best wishes for a happy and peaceful Eastertide.

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  17. Oh, My! Just what I hoped for you---those quiet nooks and comfy corners, with a bit of fancy piping on the gingerbread! I cannot imagine, though i suppose I did, for it's perfect.

    Those two dainty fireplaces are all charm, and will provide just the right touch of warmth and atmosphere when the weather turns once more.

    I'm just SO pleased for you!! This is absolutely splendid---you cannot imagine the dreams of so many of us, realized in your own new home.

    I've been looking thorugh kitchen countertops and cabinets and paint samples for months, now, as well, and we've settled on everything (mostly white, with a surprising wall colour that I love), and just that has been a wonderful adventure, but simply ordering up a new house!! One of the great marvels of my growing up years was a neighbor's new genu-wine catalog house, ordered from Sears Roebuck and constructed in perhaps a week, right there on the nice lot down the street. I considered it a dollhouse you could live in, and much envied the couple who inhabited such a cunning small place.

    I'm so pleased for you, and really glad to see you back amongst us. I've been not so present myself for a good while, with nothing like your reason.

    love and,

    r
    PS might you ever stand on the other end of the online scene and "let" your charming abode through one of the rental sites, when you're not in residence? Just a dream.

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    1. Dearest Rachel, You are such a support and encouragement to us and never reprimand our wilful ways.

      After last minute anxieties at what we had done, we are pleased to say that we are delighted with both Norwich and the little house which will, we feel, make a wonderful base for holidays. Particularly appealing is that during the course of complete renovation [carried out prior to our purchase] so much attention was given to detail in the way of the picture rails, the windows, the coving and cornices, etc. etc. Whilst there is central heating it will, we feel, be such fun to light fires from time to time, something we miss here in our Budapest apartment.

      Your own plans sound so very exciting and may we, when all is completed, be allowed a glimpse of what you have done?!! We are most intrigued as to the colour you have decided on for the walls.

      How splendid to have bought a house as a kit. We, like you, should have loved to have seen the whole process of 'building' it. All rather make believe!

      We have already been asked by a number of people if we will let the house for holidays. We rather think not but would be very happy to lend it to friends for their holidays.

      For now, we both wish you all a joyful and peaceful Eastertide. xxx

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    2. What a sweet thing to say!! I'm not a shopper, a sports-watcher, or a reprimander---all those genes got left out at birth, I think. I just don't see any truth or justice in yee-hawing at someone about anything that's not mean or dangerous. You just don't tromp on dreams, even if they'd be your nightmare.

      Long years ago, I read of a character in a book that she not only was delighted for anything you'd done or accomplished, no matter how odd to the world, but she swore that you looked all the better for it, as well. That's who I've always tried to be.

      r

      PS It's a shade of PINK---not for everyone, but I'm living life in rosy shades of late, and it BRIGHTS me.

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    3. Actually, we too are not really shoppers and where any sport is concerned, we have to confess to having no interest whatsoever but are happy for other people to indulge as much or as little as they like. And good luck to them.

      You are so wise with what you say about the dreams of others [which may well be one's own nightmares] and life is far too short to be putting people down.

      Rachel, we LOVE PINK!!

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  18. You're in! Hooray! And I buy nearly all my clothes online - have just dived into online rug and furniture purchases, so far with great success. I'd love to know where you'd look in the USA;).

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    1. We are indeed! Although actually now we are back in Budapest and much looking forward to our next 'holiday'!

      You are braver than we to buy clothes online as we are always fearful of the wrong size or not quite the expected colour or material. We must give it a go, as they say!

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  19. My goodness your online purchases are impressive. A house just tops it all off though...and it does look charming. How clever of you both to have taken the plunge and arranged everything with the tap of a "key!"
    I rarely buy anything online...I rather like to touch and feel things before I buy them...and I dislike having to return things if they don't fit.
    Enjoy your holidays.

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    1. Thank you so much, Leslie. If truth is to be told, then we did have one or two anxious moments but happily in the event all was well.

      So far we too have restrained from buying clothes on line for the very reasons you write here and as we said to LPC [above].

      We do wish you a really happy, restful and peaceful Eastertide.

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  20. Dear Jane and Lance,

    What a delight to see this post from you all appear, just after April Fool's Day, so it all must be wonderfully true. I imagine that some less courageous folks would never have accomplished a house purchase in the way that has worked out so well for you. Bravo!

    I also thank you for mentioning various on line sources that you consulted. Others will no doubt begin to do a bit of their own keyboard tapping and clicking.

    Your new house looks to be a gem. You've certainly managed to create some lovely rooms already, and I'm greatly looking forward to seeing what will take place, indoors and out, when you next spend time in Norwich.

    There's something very graceful and wise about embracing modern technology's advantages while also appreciating traditional beauty.

    I wish you all a very Happy Easter. xo

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    1. Dear Frances,

      You are always so very, very perceptive, Frances, for although we wrote the post yesterday we feared to go out with it lest it be thought to be an April Fool!

      Happily what could have been a complete disaster, purchasing a house unseen in an unknown city, has turned out to be even better than we could possibly have imagined and we are delighted with everything. Over the coming months we have arranged for some painting to be done, for the garden to be landscaped and for the outhouse to be converted to become a folly. Doubtless on our next visit there will be things to show [or so we hope].

      We do so hope that the worst of the winter is now over for you and that you are witnessing some signs of spring. We are most conscious of the extreme weather which you have suffered and endured on the East side in recent months which can, going on for so long become, or so we imagine, somewhat depressing.

      For now we both join in wishing you peace and happiness this Eastertide. xxx

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  21. so pleased that your recent move to Norwich appears to have gone well. Your drawing room is so beautiful!

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    1. Thank you so much. Happily everything went without a hitch [apart from an on going saga, too tedious to tell, with British Gas!!].

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  22. The Norwich house looks absolutely beautiful, just perfect for you both! I often shop online (grocery deliveries, Ebay, Amazon, etc) but wouldn't quite have the nerve to buy a house that way. I'm very impressed with the amount of research you put in, and happy that it has turned out so well. Your sitting room looks beautiful with those glorious paintings, bright cushions and that wonderful fire screen happily in place. The fireplaces are very similar to ours, adding a lovely focal point to any room, and I adore the decorative feature above the windows.
    Happy days to come in Norwich, I think, dear Jane and Lance, I look forward to seeing more of your delightful house and your UK adventures! xxx

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    1. Thank you so much, Curtise. This is so very generous and kind of you.

      In retrospect, buying a house on line was, perhaps, at least risky and probably very foolish particularly as we did not know Norwich at all. As it turned out we could not have been more delighted with both the house, which really is very sweet, and the City which is utterly charming.

      We are particularly pleased to have the fireplaces, all of which are in working order, and which we intend to use when we do not need to rely on the central heating for instant warmth. That you should have similar is so nice.

      Indeed there will almost certainly be more to show after our next visit which we are already planning.

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  23. But where is the neighbour's washing line.....?

    It is a charming place...and having been renovated with attention to original detail I can see why it appealed to you. Sash windows too!

    Those little bedroom fireplaces can give out a fair bit of heat - if lit early enough!

    Leo enjoys shopping online...but it seems to go in phases. At one moment we are in the Costa Rican main customs office to collect endless watches that don't work....and when the clerk is used to that it switches to bundles of socks from China....and then bottles of unrefined palm oil....a beautiful sideboard would be a relief...

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    1. Now, Helen, do you really want to see pictures of baby's nappies, Marks and Spencer's underwear and tea cloths blowing in the breeze which, in reality, is a gale straight off the Urals?!!

      We are delighted with the house and are much looking forward to our next visit and to getting a number of projects under way, not least the painting of the drawing room, dining room and our bedroom for which we have finally chosen colours from Little Greene.

      It would appear that you spend much time in the Costa Rican customs office. For our part we can claim half our lives spent in the main Budapest post office. Perhaps it goes with the territory of being a foreigner living in a foreign land!

      Do try 'Gumtree' for sideboards!!! The obliging Neville even took away our much despised old one in lieu of a delivery charge!

      Happy and peaceful Eastertide.

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    2. If Neville's van is amphibious I'm game for go with Gumtree.

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  24. Yes Jane and Lance, we are buying more and more online. So much easier to search than going from store to store...finding parking,etc.
    Your new home is beautiful You guys have such good taste. janey

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    1. We are much encouraged that we are not the only ones to have embraced this aspect of modern technology, Janey, and do agree that for domestic purchases it makes life so much easier.

      Thank you. We are pleased that you like the house.

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  25. Wait now, what what? Oh dear me, it appears that I am woefully unaware of the most recent adventures of Jane and Lance! A new Home? Bought sight unseen online? The mind positively reels. Although I must say that Trevor looks quite content. I will have to Google (there we go again with the internet) Norwich to see where it is.

    I am sending much Love to you both and am thrilled to hear of this new chapter in your lives...May it bring you much happiness...
    Heather

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    1. Something we consider in retrospect, Heather, with the potential to have turned out disastrously. Happily in this instance it was not the case and we are truly delighted with both the house and the city of Norwich and are looking forward to many, many happy holidays there.

      We too send much love to you both and our very warmest wishes for a joyful and peaceful Eastertide.

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  26. I do most of my shopping on line as we live far from shops and also I do hate shopping. But be careful about the 'buy' button - I get my essentials order from Tesco each week (no Waitrose this far north) and accidentally ordered (and received) four jars of Tiptree Orange Marmalade this week, so we shalln't run out any time soon.

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    1. For people such as yourself living far from the shops online shopping really is a godsend and if mistakes happen in the way of Tiptree Orange Marmalade [absolutely delicious], then so be it.

      When we were in Norwich the friendly Waitrose delivery person told us the store had added fish cakes [which were actually exceedingly good] without charge. Now more of that is no bad thing!

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  27. Wow, I am so impressed that you bought a home online, sight unseen! That was very brave. It's a really gorgeous home, what a wonderful find. I can see why you jumped at the opportunity! I wish you well in your beautiful new home. And I have to tell you that I am green with envy over your grocery shopping online, I only wish that were more widely available in the US. I actually enjoy grocery shopping but I wouldn't mind the convenience during the more stressful periods in life. I hope you're settling into your new house and I wish you both a happy Easter.

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    1. Many would consider it exceedingly reckless and foolish, Jennifer, and so we really appreciate your support!! We are in fact delighted with the house which, in reality, is even better than we dared to hope. The renovations [carried out prior to our purchase] have been completed to a very high standard and with a great deal of thought and imagination. All we are left to do is to put any personal touches in place such as repainting some of the rooms a different colour for choice.

      We are surprised that food shopping online is not widely available in the United States since we imagined that it would have developed there. Far back we can remember the very first supermarkets in Britain - such a novelty - and born in your country where, we think, they were already well established.

      And a very Happy Easter to you too.

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  28. You two are amazing!.......and inspiring. I love many things about your process but the best is your 'can-do' attitude. One has no sense of the difficulties inherent in the whole endeavour but sees the enthusiasm for the new and (certainly!) improved way of meeting the challenges. This post is like a breath of fresh air. I look forward to reading more of this holiday house adventure.

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    1. Or very, very foolish!! But, either way, thank you for your very kind and generous encouragement. Of course it is not always the case but in general, and here we are certain that you are the same, we do try to be positive about life for we consider ourselves to be hugely privileged and so very fortunate compared with so many people for whom life is exceedingly hard with little about which to be optimistic.

      More indeed will follow!! Your interest in our endeavour is very much appreciated.

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  29. On-line shopping is amazing, we have been at it for years now. South African banking on-line was even earlier for us. It was long before the UK had even thought about it. France was even later, and 10 years ago when we bought our house here they were just thinking about it. Most people still write cheques in France, we had not used them in RSA for many, many years. Times are changing :) Your house looks wonderful. Happy Easter. Diane

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    1. You are clearly well in advance of us where online shopping is concerned, Diane, and we are amazed to hear about South African banking on line [something which we really appreciate] so early on. In so many of these respects modern technology really has made a difference to our everyday lives.

      We wish you a joyous and peaceful Eastertide.

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  30. I have been a great fan of on-line shopping for twenty five years. That's correct. I actually began on the other side of the counter, as an EBay seller. Now the only shops I want to visit are interesting places far from home.
    I do relate to purchasing your house from afar. My sister and I purchased this house because of the perfect location and the attached studio. We were city girls who bought a well and a septic and country living. There is a "dumb luck" proviso in these sorts of transactions that we can cash in when required.
    Looking forward to your exterior renovations.

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    1. We are hugely impressed, Joanne, that you have been shopping online for so many years. In comparison we are absolute beginners and even relatively new to 'ebay' where we have had nothing but excellent experiences. How interesting to have been a seller.

      That you should have moved from the city to the country so dramatically must have brought with it many challenges. But in the end we do find that all of these things serve to enrich life.

      There will indeed be more on the Norwich house in due course.

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  31. Jane and Lance: It all seems almost too easy, doesn't it? :) I love online shopping too. Well, I've yet to meet anyone who doesn't. But I like how you house-hunted online as well. Checked out the neighborhood statistics and all and really did a thorough investigation. And you seem to have discovered the perfect house. Thank you for sharing all this with us, m'dears.

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    1. To be honest, Yvette, it really was not that difficult and the whole process of buying the house, usually a very drawn out procedure in England, went extraordinarily smoothly and, thanks to our wonderful solicitor, very quickly. And now the fun begins and we are much looking forward to our next Norwich trip.

      Delete
  32. I am delighted that you are delighted with your house and Norwich, your bravery has been rewarded. I have been wondering how you have been getting on.
    The sash window, cornicing and fireplaces all look wonderful - and not forgetting the dashing Trevor also!

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    1. It is so very kind of you to refer to what could be termed irresponsible behaviour as bravery. We shall hold on to that!!

      The house does have many more period features than we had at first thought which is so nice and yes, Trevor seems to have settled in!

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    2. It just occured to me that this may be of interest to you.

      http://www.norwich.gov.uk/TouristInformationCentre/Pages/GuidedWalkingTours.aspx

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    3. Indeed, yes. How very thoughtful of you and much appreciated. Thank you.

      Delete
  33. I am so pleased you found such a gem, and that isn't to say there aren't loads of them here, but at least you found one with the fireplaces still in situ and the sash windows and no help from me whatsoever. Ha ha. As I sit here in my farmhouse 18 miles away from your delightful house pouring over Rightmove myself looking for an investment property the thought suddenly struck me, OMG, with coicidences as they have been, I might end up with the house next door.

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    1. We really do feel that we have struck lucky, Rachel, as so many of the terraced houses we 'viewed' online had lost so much in the way of original features and, as a result, were largely devoid of character. We particularly abhor so many of the replacement doors and windows which so often can take away from the integrity not only of a single house but also a whole street.

      To have a farmhouse in the Norfolk countryside sounds to be wonderful. And should you find an investment property next door, what fun that would be. On our next visit we may well discover The Forum and find you having an early lunch!! Carry your hat if you wish not to be noticed!!

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    2. I relaxed today and stopped looking out for you when I discovered you are back in Budapest. I may forget to carry my hat though because a hat is always so fixed on my head. I am happy to be spotted in any case so do come over and say "are you Rachel?" or even "Hello Rachel".

      Delete
    3. We were sad to leave as Norwich, from the little we had time to see, really is a wonderful city. We shall return before long, when indeed our paths may well cross, and intend to spend some time there over the coming months at least until the garden and outhouse [to be converted as a folly] are completed.

      Delete
  34. Dear Jane and Lance,

    As yet, I have not bought big items online, but your posting is a very goof argument to do so! I like your new drawing room, even with its present color, though green will be so much more inviting. I don't recall seeing those paintings in the drawing room photograph — all three of them look great!

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    1. To date, Mark, we have not been let down at all by online shopping and for groceries we find it a godsend since in the UK we have no Tímea to shop for us.

      We are pleased that you like the drawing room. We were surprised at how pretty and light the house is for what, after all, was built as an artisan cottage.

      Delete
  35. Wonderful to see you back online again and happily installed in your gorgeous new home. It certainly looks like all your hard prep work online paid off big time, the details you have shown of the house look rather splendid.

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    1. The problem of being away in the UK is that we have very limited access to the internet and so maintaining the blog becomes almost impossible. We are exceedingly pleased with the house, largely on account of all the original period detail.

      Delete
  36. Oh thank goodness, it was a gamble that has paid off handsomely. And you have made it so homely already.
    I should think about 95% of my shopping is now done online. Mostly with the companionship of a glass of wine. The alternative just doesn't bear thinking about anymore. Now if Waitrose could just get back in stock those salted caramel eclairs that I have been craving all would be well.

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    1. Of course, Jessica, we were secretly relieved that not only was the house as we thought, but in so many ways even better and the renovation, completed before we bought, has been carried out, possibly unusually, to a very high standard.

      We can well understand that living where you do shopping online is almost a must. It is so strange how it has become the modern equivalent of telephoning the grocer and placing an order to be delivered.

      Now, life without Waitrose........!!

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  37. In an age when most period houses in England are getting gutted and turned into soulless modern flats, it is lovely to see you've found a little jewel - congratulations!

    It is amazing how many services are now on-line, a very modern convenience and time-saver, and of course, how many items available, both new and old, to feather one's nest.

    Looking forward to most posts from your new digs.

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    1. You are so right with what you say here. The number of period properties that have been compromised in conversion to flats or offices is more than a little alarming. Alongside that are the multitude of 'improvements' made to rows of terraced houses, such as ours, where inappropriate porches have been constructed together with the installation of replacement doors and windows of UPVC.

      Certainly the internet has revolutionised the way in which we all now shop; we should not wish it otherwise.

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    2. Oh, I am all too familiar with the porches you speak of, and those UPVC windows - both dreadful! And on that topic, how sad that vast swathes of houses have lost their beautiful front gardens only to be replaced with car parks in full sight of one's drawing room window. I more the loss of England's pocket gardens.

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    3. We too mourn the overall loss of integrity of whole streets, the length and breadth of the country, in the name of modernisation and where, unless listed or in a conservation area, there appears to be almost no restriction as to what is allowed to be done. Also on the same topic, we deplore the way in which an individual, living within a terrace of brick built houses, will for reasons quite beyond us paint over the brick, usually but not always a startling white. As for pocket gardens, such a delightful description, being made over as a car parking space......!!

      Delete
  38. Most aggravatingly my tablet keeps duplicating my contributions to people's comments. Obviously thinks you can't get too much of a good thing!
    Your Norwich house looks good. I get the impression that those terrace houses get done up out if their tiny minds, lights let into ceilings, bifold doors to the garden, fireplaces replaced by flush glass films of fires, wet rooms, and more in the same vein. Finding one with so much original stuff is a triumph. Hope I get to see it one day soon. Love, Alec xx

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    1. Alec, darling, such are the complexities of modern technology!!

      Having looked at, albeit virtually, so many properties up and down the country we are appalled at what has been done to so very many of them in the way of improvements. The particular horrors for us are 'patio' [does anyone actually know what a patio is?] doors, UPVC windows and doors [the latter with names such as 'The Kentucky'], storm[?] porches, the front garden destroyed for the parking of motor cars, drawing and dining rooms combined as a 'through lounge', etc. etc. We share your views completely.

      We shall email you [do you look at emails?] when we are next in Norwich and you must come to lunch and see the house. That is if you wish.

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  39. I'm so glad it was love at first sight. I look forward to seeing how you transform this beautiful little house into your home. With love and best wishes at Easter. Jane xx

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    1. There will, almost certainly, be more to come on the subject of the Norwich house and garden, Jane, and already we are looking forward to our next visit.

      We send you our love and warmest wishes for a peaceful Eastertide.

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  40. My dearest Jane and Lance,

    You both have been very much in my thoughts these days. I've been thinking of your move into your new home in Norwich. But I am very much reassured with this enchanting post after I read that everything went superbly well.

    It seems to me that the new house in Norwich had truly captured your heart. I take my hat off to you for being so very decisive and instinctive. I am nervously irresolute as far as shopping online is concerned. I couldn't even make up my mind in buying a plant online (never mind a house which one has never seen!!).

    I have a few moments of 'oasis of calm' while I am looking at your interior pictures of your home. Although it is your new home, it seems like you've been living there for a long time. All your soft furnishings and new as well as old and well-loved furniture fit in so well with your new surrounding.

    Thank you both my dear friends for giving me constant inspirations with your good taste. Wishing you a happy Easter and a good weekend.

    With warm wishes, ASD

    PS. How I adore that beautiful fire screen in your last picture! And art-deco style sideboard is absolutely exquisite.

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    1. Dearest ASD,

      Thank you so much for your concern. Happily what could have turned out very badly has, in the event, proved to be so much better than we could possibly have ever imagined. Fortune was most certainly on our side but now, looking back on the whole process, we are not so certain that we should take the risk a second time.

      Where the two of us are concerned what you generously describe as 'decisive' and 'instinctive' could so easily be interpreted as 'foolish' and 'reckless'. That said we have always been great believers in the maxim that any decision is better than no decision, and that once made one lives with it whatever the consequences may be.

      There is still much to be done with the little house, and especially the garden, but at least we were able to leave it straight and so our next visit, which we plan for in the not too distant future, will not be at all daunting. An online order to Waitrose and we shall be set up!!

      We both join in wishing you every blessing this Eastertide.

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  41. wow what a joureney..... a leap of faith well made....happy easter!!

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    1. 'A leap of faith' indeed but one which, happily, seems to have paid off on this occasion. Maybe though we should not risk our luck again.

      Happy Easter to you too.

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  42. oh that darling small victorian fireplace!!!! i'm dying...i want it! gorgeous!!! x

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    1. The fireplaces in each room, all of which are in working order, are certainly one of the things, along with many original period features, which first attracted us to the house, Janet.

      Happy Easter!

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  43. I just knew that it would be perfect Jane and Lance. A beautiful home and love all of the original fireplaces and features { something that is essential for me.
    I buy practically everything online and shopping with Ocado and Waitrose is brilliant. …. delivered to your front door, carried in and deposited in one's kitchen …… what could be better ?
    Wishing you both many, many happy times in your new home. XXXX

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    1. From the start you have been so very encouraging, Jackie, where so many others have doubted the wisdom of the whole project. Certainly now, in possession of the house which has proved to be even better than we dared to hope, we look back and think that we have been exceedingly fortunate in a situation which could so easily have turned into a disaster.

      We totally agree about Ocado and Waitrose and what a bonus for us to find an excellent John Lewis right in the centre of Norwich and no more than a ten minute walk from the house. It takes us back to our days of Peter Jones in Sloane Square!!

      We wish you a peaceful and joyful Eastertide. With our love, xxx

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  44. "A small but perfectly formed Victorian, artisan terraced house, dating from 1887, complete with original sash windows, picture rails, cornicing, working fireplaces.... was to be ours." Perfect! The right era and the right amount of original features still intact.

    Spouse and I had a late Victorian house (1890s) for many years in Melbourne and what I loved most was the L-shaped veranda and wrought iron lace work.

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    1. As you will surely know yourself, Hels, it really is becoming increasingly difficult to find Victorian property of almost any description which has not suffered at the hands of would be 'improvers'. We have been most fortunate.

      Your previous Melbourne house sounds wonderful and we can readily imagine the verandah and wrought iron work. You must miss it except that, most likely, you have something equally fine.

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  45. Dear Hansel and Gretel - hello, happy spring and A Fine Easter to you both!!!! And congratulations and happy tidings to being in the new locale! I must say, I absolutely love your style and taste. I do believe I could find myself quite comfy with you two and a nice cool Pimms with cucumber, orange slice and mint. The room is so cool, chic, and homey all at once. Here's too many happy memories in this new abode, and thank you for your lovely message, I've been absent of late myself.

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    1. Well, it is to be hoped that the house will prove to be of greater substance than one made of gingerbread and that there are no wicked witches waiting to jump out at us!!

      We are delighted with it all and are now looking forward to having some of the rooms, arranged for our next visit, painted in what we think will be more interesting colours. Then we shall be ready for that Pimms with cucumber, orange and mint. Delicious [sigh].

      We both wish you a very happy and peaceful Eastertide.

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  46. Dear Jane and Lance,

    I love your new home - such wonderful details with the fabulous fireplaces and ornate window detailing and know you must be so happy and comfortable here.
    I often think how lucky we are to now be able to buy goods on line from anywhere around the world - how wonderful the sideboard is and such a great find.
    Happy Easter and best wishes for settling into your new life
    hugs
    Carolyn

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    1. How really kind and generous of you, Carolyn, and we are so pleased that you like the house. We shall use it for holidays and think that it will prove to be an excellent base from which to explore not only Norwich but also East Anglia and we are already looking forward to our next visit.

      The sideboard [an online purchase!!] happened by chance but is just right for the dining room.

      We both wish you a very happy and peaceful Eastertide.

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  47. This gave me a big chuckle! My husband is the stereotypical man – hates shopping and when he has to go into a store he goes straight for what he needs, buys it and gets out – NO wandering around. But with the advent of internet shopping, he suddenly needed a 12-step program for shopaholics! I believe that before he gets cured I should steer him towards a website I found with houses for sale in the Cotswolds!

    I adore what I can see of the house and am impatient for a more thorough tour! Welcome home, dear folks! (Why are there underpants printed on the side of your mover’s boxes?)

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    1. We really do think that where shopping is concerned, Kim, men and women approach it in entirely different ways. Certainly though the internet has made life much easier for those people who have a real dislike of going into shops.

      Be assured that, following our next visit and at the risk of becoming tedious, there will be more on the Norwich house and garden. As for the underpants on the remover's boxes, Pickfords are supporting a children's charity and they are to do with that.

      Happy Easter and maybe a house in the Cotswolds will pop out from an Easter egg!!

      Delete
  48. That sideboard is gorgeous!!! My goodness! And your new home is so very charming with all that exquisite detail! A big congrats to you both on all of these new and exciting changes!! Nicole xo

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    1. We are delighted, Nicole, that you like the sideboard which we happened on quite by chance and for which, embarrassingly, we paid very little. In addition Neville, the delivery man, took our old, much despised one away.

      Happy Easter.

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  49. Oh good heavens! What a wonderful tale and so like you two adventuresome people!! Love this story and so look forward to more tales of your new home. Happy Easter to you~

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    1. But, Jackie and Joel, if ever there were people up for adventure, then it is the two of you. We appear very staid and conservative in comparison!

      More will appear, we assure you. Meanwhile, our warmest wishes to you both this Eastertide.

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  50. 1950s cocktail chairs! Now THAT is something I was hoping to see a picture of on this post. But the other pictures are interesting, too, with a lot of detail to look at.
    Here in Germany, groceries shopping online is still in its earliest stages. Nobody I know has ever done it, and most of our best known supermarkets do not offer it (yet), or if they do, they charge so much for delivery that customers tend to just do it the old-fashioned way.
    For me, food is just round the corner in the shape of an Aldi at about 5 minutes walking distance. And if I want something different, I can walk 10 minutes to the market square were large farmers' markets are held every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I then have the added benefit of the sights, sounds and smells only a busy market provides.

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    1. Perhaps we should write a post on the 1950s 'cocktail' chairs, Meike, which have since been recovered in a plain linen fabric and which now help furnish the spare bedroom here in Budapest.

      We are most surprised to read what you say here about online grocery shopping in Germany as we always consider your country to be in the vanguard in Europe of all new initiatives. In the UK, as you may well know, it is increasingly popular with all major supermarket companies offering it as a service.

      Here in Hungary Tímea, rather as you do, shops daily for us in the local market - a tradition we very much like.

      We wish you and your mother a happy and peaceful Eastertide.

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  51. We have a fireplace like that and I'm looking forward to seeing the new painted walls...keep the pics coming ! and may you enjoy health and happiness in your new home.x

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    1. How lovely to have similar fireplaces. We certainly intend to make use of ours. Thank you for your good wishes and we return ours this Eastertide.

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  52. How fantastic-you have your new place and it looks stunning, I sincerely hope you enjoy every moment.
    We use a mixture of on-line and personal shop visit shopping. I love visiting our local shops and chatting with the shopkeepers. Yesterday I went to the butchers and the greengrocers in Brixham and came home with some delicious produce.
    Your buys are rather wonderful!

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    1. This is so very kind of you. A start has been made and we are now looking forward to going again to oversee the decorator who is to paint the drawing room, dining room and our bedroom more interesting colours.

      Brixham, from our somewhat limited knowledge, has some exceptionally good shops selling fruit and vegetables as well as meat. In fact we are sure that you will have been spoilt for choice. Here in Budapest Tímea shops daily for us in the local market.

      Have a very happy and peaceful Easter.

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  53. Been having a terrible time loading the sites of blog-friends who use blogger! But, finally here, and just wanted to say your new place looks splendid, and I suspect, in fact, you were able to obtain more and better information, from what you describe, by researching all this online. Not to say, though, that it isn't a high-wire act that takes enormous acumen and an eagle eye for details, both of which you have in plenitude. Happy landing!

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    1. We are so sorry to hear that blogger is playing up for you, Susan, and really do appreciate your taking the time and trouble to comment. We know how these things can be and how very frustrating it is when things do not work as they should.

      Actually, we are rather relieved that we have 'landed' and without too much in the way of turbulence. Whether or not we would take off in quite this way again, which in retrospect appears full of risks, is another matter.

      Happy Easter to you both.

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  54. I've never read a post with such a heart in throat sense of pending doom as this one. An early introduction to obliging Neville, 'a man with a van' only added terror while the Buffalo Bill character from Silence of the Lambs came to mind. I winced, looked away, recharged my party cup with Diet Mountain Dew (it's not yet noon in Chicago btw), and decided if I am to mount a rescue mission, I'll need all the data so I read on with great trepidation.
    Could this possibly end well?!?! I wondered as P.T. Barnum's (of the circus Barnums don't you know) famous refrain of "There's a sucker born every minute" echoed and enivisioned 'Flim-Flam Freddy' rolling the bones in Monte Carlo with the Hattattian fortune riding on '7' or '11' to bring the House to it's knees...
    ...so there actually was a real key to go in a real doorlock to a real house that charms?!?!
    In 3 minutes,I'll add a splash of something for my cough to party cup of Diet Mountain Dew and raise in relief and thank Michael the Archangel, the Patron Saint of Paratroopers, who I tasked with insuring this possibly reckless transaction went well.
    It is a Good Friday indeed!
    Happy Easter Darlings Jane and Lance!!!

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    1. Darling G,

      A very happy and peaceful Eastertide to you.

      How very kind of you to have been concerned on our behalf but, as you can see, all is well and the Norwich cup runneth over. Looking back, to have bought a house unseen in a city we have never before visited may not have been the wisest of moves but, happily, on this occasion we have struck lucky and the 'Hattattian fortune' [as you would have it] remains undiminished. We are now much looking forward to our next visit, to having the garden sorted and to the outhouse being transformed into a folly worthy of a seventeenth century pleasure ground. No matter that the garden is the size of a pocket handkerchief!

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  55. Greetings, Jane and Lance~
    Such a beautiful drawing room! I adore the artwork and cushions - a lovely mix of old and new. I'd be so happy sitting there reading one of your garden books :) And the sideboard is very graceful. Congrats!
    Cheers,
    L
    PS - So many wonderful fireplaces!!

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    1. A very happy Easter to you, Loi.

      Such praise coming from one who we know to have impeccable taste and style is praise indeed. Thank you so much. We are pleased with the house but are keen now to change the wall colour in the drawing room, dining room and our bedroom and for work to start on the garden which will be exceedingly formal and very minimalist, the crowning glory of which [at least in our minds] will be the conversion of an outhouse into a startling folly.

      How go things for you in Maine?

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  56. Dear Jane and Lance,

    Congratulations on your new home! The parts that I see on your photo's look really elegant! I can imagine how excited the two of you must have been. So daring to buy straight from the internet, but such a good choice!

    Your cabinet looks as if it has always been placed against that wall. Really pretty!

    Hope the two of you will have a wonderful time there! Enjoy the sea, sun and salty air.

    Happy Easter!

    Much love,

    Madelief xox

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    1. Dearest Madelief,

      Let it not be too long before you see it all for yourself. And you know how very welcome you will be at any time. For now we are delighted with the house and Norwich is a city of great charm. We look forward to spending time there.

      We have delayed responding over definite dates as we have a slight complication in May/June which we are waiting to be resolved. As soon as we know what is happening we will email.

      For now, take care and have a lovely and peaceful Eastertide. We send our love and warmest wishes to you all. xxx

      Delete
  57. Was that a welsh terrier, i spied on wheels next to the fireplace?
    Bet it was

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    1. Well, John, if anyone should know, then it should be you. Whatever, his name is Trevor and he was born in the 1930s!!

      Meanwhile, many, many congratulations to you and Chris.

      Delete
  58. How does your new Norwich home manage to look so finished already, Jane and Lance? I'm filled with admiration at your organisational skills. I agree entirely about the joys of online shopping. We found our present home that way and our groceries are also ordered from the comfort of my study, so much more pleasnat than braving this chilly weather. Enjoy your new home.

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    1. Well, Perpetua, in all seriousness the house is not large and we do not have over much in the way of furniture and effects with which to furnish it. And that is no bad thing for here in Budapest no-one could describe us as minimalist!

      On a chilly but sunny Saturday we both wish you all the peace and joy of this Eastertide.

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  59. dear Jane and lance,
    I wish you a Peaceful Ester time ! all the best, saluti

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    1. And we both wish you every happiness this Eastertide.

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  60. Oh, wow! It's what you've already done to your drawing room that tells me your new home couldn't have found better inhabitants. I'm glad you've been spared the rigours of an actual hunt. And I can't believe how easy you've made it all look! Bravo, Jane and Lance. I wish you many happy days there!

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    1. Thank you so much, dearest Faisal. Happily the house is quite small and so has not taken too much in the way of time and effort to get straight. But as you well know yourself, there are always things which could be done and improvements to be made.

      We are now very excited at the thought of what can be done with the garden although as we will not be there for much of the time it will need to be very low maintenance. But that should not mean boring, or so we hope.

      For now, we wish you much joy and peace this Eastertide, wishes which come with our love.

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    2. That love is reciprocated, Jane and Lance. You seem to be able to make wherever you go a place of good feeling.

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    3. Thank you, Faisal. Kellemes hétvégét! xxx

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  61. Yes, it’s very convenient but also addictive. Here in Lanzarote I am very grateful to the internet for purchases impossible to track down on the island. However, I often find that when buying art and craft items that I overbuy just to ‘make it worthwhile’.

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    1. It is rather similar here in Budapest where, we find, so much has to be brought from the UK largely on account of relatively little choice here and also the difficulty of obtaining what we like.

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  62. Wow... Jane and Lance you are back and the house looks great so far... I have never shopped on line for items yet, I go there and check them out then purchase at the store but I have heard there are so many great deals that are had to be on line...

    It is nice to see you back, I look forward to more pictures and stories of your new place...The side bar is gorgeous, incredible xox <3

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    1. Thank you so much, Launna. Whilst there is not too much to be done with the house [although we should like different paint colours in some of the rooms], the garden, both front and back, represents something more in the way of a challenge. We shall certainly post on these improvements, as and when they take place!

      Delete
  63. What an amazing house you found without driving over hill and dale for days, weeks or months on end. This house would be the ideal place to read Anthony Trollope, I am on a Trollope kick at the moment.

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    1. Indeed, but to be honest we did spend a very considerable time on the internet and it is surprising with all that is for sale how difficult it is to find something one really likes.

      Trollope is a wonderful writer. Enjoy!

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  64. Dearest Lance and Jane,
    Congratulations on your delightful new home. I love it. Those fireplaces alone have me sold on it. This all sounds like a marvellous new adventure and no doubt you will love having a garden again.

    I believe one can save time and money shopping, on line, for groceries. I have yet to try this.

    Wishing you the joys of Eastertide.

    Helenxx

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    1. Dearest Helen.

      Thank you so much. We are hugely pleased with the house, and somewhat relieved too, and are looking forward to spending time in it and exploring [by 'bus since we do not have a motor car] the surrounding countryside and coastal regions.

      We do thoroughly recommend shopping on line, particularly for things like groceries which takes so much time and is often very tedious.

      Our love and warmest wishes to you this Eastertide. xxx

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  65. Dearest Jane and Lance: Sorry for the delayed reading of this post and writing to you. It has been a busy week, as I am sure you have both been quite busy as well.
    So happy to hear it was love at first sight with your new home!! Those fireplaces are fantastic! xox

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    1. Please, Carol, do not apologise for anything, and certainly not for failing to read something in the Blogosphere! The weeks do seem to go by extraordinarily quickly with so many things happening but that, on balance, we feel to be a good thing.

      A bonus is that the fireplaces in the Norwich house are all in working order. Such fun to be had.

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  66. Oh, goodness! You've done so well already and you've become well accustomed to all of the shortcuts! Yay! Some lovely pieces. here, too! I can't wait to follow along with you both on this adventure.

    Thanks always for keeping up with my little blog and your wonderful comments. And have a blessed Easter.

    Jane xx

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    1. We were fortunate in being able to organize much in advance of our actually taking possession of the little Norwich house, Jane, and now it is really only the garden that has to be tackled. And we have found an excellent person for this.

      Our warmest wishes to you this Eastertide.

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  67. It looks enchanting. It is going to be so much fun to follow you throughout this new adventure.

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    1. We think, Adrienne, that we will enjoy our times in Norwich and getting to explore an area of the country that we hardly know at all. Doubtless there will be more to report!

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  68. Dear Jane and Lance,

    KUDOS on your courage, creativity and coziness!! I can't wait to see the rest of your beautiful new home, which you've already managed to warm up, bot aesthetically and with your physical presence, finally! Judging from the Victorian details on that window shot, we're in for a sweet treat!

    Poppy

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    1. This is most kind of you, Poppy. Thank you. And we much appreciate no reference to what might well be seen as foolish, reckless and irresponsible behaviour!!

      More will, we assure you, be posted as and when things start to happen both inside and out. For now we are much looking forward to our next visit.

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  69. Online shopping is so convenient and saves heaps of time. Your cottage is adorable and I am sure it is going to look very eclectic when you are done with it.

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    1. We do so agree with you, Loree, about online shopping, particularly where groceries are concerned. Here in Budapest Tímea shops daily in the local market but when we are in the UK we have to fend for ourselves.

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  70. I'm so glad it was love at first sight! Your new home looks so lovely, I much prefer buying on line but I'm not sure I would brave enough to buy a house without seeing it first! Sarah x

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    1. It could, of course, Sarah, have been a complete disaster. We are somewhat relieved that it has all turned out as it has. Would we do it again?? Most likely not since we have been lucky this once!

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  71. It's a lovely house, well done.
    Online shopping makes me nervous, not that it might be risky, but for the loss of all our real shops, and the jobs in them.
    Some of my online purchases have been disappointing and I know I wouldn't have bought the goods if I had actually been able to see them and feel the quality, or lack thereof. Yet I can't approve of using quality shops to just check out goods before buying them cheaper on the internet. It might be smart but it's just not fair, when places rely on sales to pay their staff and other overheads.
    Progress is always a complex issue!

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    1. Thank you so much, Jean. It was something of a risk buying a house totally unseen but in this instance it has all turned out well. We are now much looking forward to holidays in Norwich.

      Apart from houses(!!!), it is mainly groceries we buy online when in the UK. We have, for example, never bought clothes or shoes and, generally speaking, we try always to buy our books from small bookshops which, we think, are having something of a hard time.

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  72. Congratulations! your new house is love at first sight. Internet shopping is generally a blessing, but once in a while disappointment is encountered.
    Good luck with decorating the new house, we are looking forward to see the progress from across the pond, thanks to the internet.
    Best wishes.

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    1. We are very pleased, and far more than we dared to hope, with the new Norwich house and do feel that it will make an excellent base from which to explore an area of the country which is almost completely unknown to us.

      A decorator is already lined up for our next visit and so there should be progress to report!

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  73. I think it's going to be a very special and much-loved home for the two of you. I see you've moved Trevor in already to keep an eye on things! Every English house requires a sweet well-behaved dog, and especially on that does not shed!

    Love what I'm seeing and the thought of pale grey walls excites me even more. Now, all you really need is to have Loi come over - with a van load of his amazing furniture and accessories to finish it off! I visited with him last week and wanted to buy the entire shop - all so fabulous. Will be posting on it soon.

    . . . . . . and the other 'soon' is catching up with you - not long now!
    Hugs - Mary

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    1. Yes, Mary, Trevor is well and truly settled although we suspect that he would prefer to have a vantage point from which to observe happenings in the road!

      We think that the grey walls in the drawing room will look less bland than the present mushroomy colour and are fortunate to have already found a decorator who can come in next time we are there. Indeed, how wonderful it would be to have Loi come over and we are much looking forward to hearing all about your meeting up with him. He really does have such style.

      Happy Easter Monday! xxx

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  74. Happy Easter to you both. the new home looks lovely and I quite like the description of the modern day shopping experience :-)

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    1. Thank you so much, Matthew. And we wish the same to you. The new house is coming on and we are sure that there will be more to report before too long.

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  75. Wishing you lots of fun and happiness in your new home. Glad to see Trevor has claimed a cosy spot by the fire!

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    1. As you can see, Marina, Trevor is being well looked after and has settled comfortably into his new home!!

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  76. Jane and Lance, this is so exciting! I am so happy to hear that things worked out well in your online shopping purchase of a house! I am slap looking forward to seeing all of the exciting things that you do to the hour to make it your own.

    How are the gardening plans coming along?

    Have a wonderful week,

    Elizabeth

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    1. Thank you so much, Elizabeth. It could indeed have turned out to be something of a disaster, and an expensive one at that, but happily that was not the case and we are delighted with both the house and Norwich.

      More will be posted following our next visit to which already we are much looking forward.

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  77. If only my Waitrose shopping had been the beginning of a Norwich love affair instead of the beginning of an addiction to Montezuma chocolate.

    It all looks rather lovely chez vous.

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    1. But how positively delicious and not a little decadent! That said, Norwich is a delightful city and we are most happy with our choice.

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  78. Replies
    1. And one which really is only just beginning!

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  79. Beautiful! I love how you're using modern technology to furnish an old home with antiques. I hope you are settling in well.

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    1. It is all proving to be great fun, Sarah. Having bought the house unseen on line, there is now no stopping us!!

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  80. My dears—
    No guts, no glory! I knew that your chutzpah (as we call it in NYC) would be well rewarded, but I'm still glad to see the proof of it in your photos of the cottage. It already reflects the charm and taste of its owners. Sending love and looking forward to more on your delightful holiday house.

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    1. Dearest Alexa,

      In truth, we were a tiny bit relieved that the house has turned out to be even better in every respect than we dared to hope. Beginners' luck?!! And Norwich itself is the most charming and delightful of cities. You would have a great time with your camera.
      xxx

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  81. Seriously, you did not physically look around the house first?! That is so brave! Admittedly, before buying this house I had my Rightmove/Zoopla addiction and I could pretty much determine what the estate agent descriptions weren't telling me from looking at aerial views and streetview - such indispensable tools for house buying.
    I'm not keen on shops either, and I consider Waitress home delivery to be the fourth emergency service.
    Sx

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    1. Truthfully, no. The first time we saw the house was on the day of the completion of the purchase when we were given the keys. Neither had we ever been to Norwich before. That said we are delighted with both and consider we have been very fortunate since it could have turned out to be a dreadful mistake.

      Yes, than heavens for Waitrose!

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  82. Good April Morning from the Thunderstorm and Gullywasher capital of Indiana!

    We're totally sodden today, with inches and inches for hours and hours yesterday---a bit of sodden carpet off the downstairs kitchen, with fans and sprays and Let's Go Out For Breakfast, Just Because.

    All our measuring and taping for the renovation was done yesterday, so the final specs are in and the ordering done for the kitchen. I swear, it looked so sweet with its faithful old shiny grey countertop all cleared, and the glass cannisters of tea and coffee and pasta twinkling like morning-washed faces, that if the poor old bottom cabinets were not sagging their way into the slate from the once-a-year damp, looking like slumpen shoulders and the drawers like droopy eyelids---I do believe I'd just be purely happy with this familiar old kitchen for the rest of my days. Oh, well.

    I so hope to have it done before my dear friends Kim and Mike (she your ardent admirer and reader, whom I also met online and who have visited us here; we have also met halfway between our homes for lovely weekend visits three times in the intervening six years) will be here in June for a week's visit.

    We look forward to cooking together and chatting and comparing old family souvenirs and photos, and running around the city exploring. Everyone in the family is taking days off from work for this much-anticipated holiday together with such sweet, fun friends.

    Will Timea travel with you to your new home, or will you have a "local" come in for days to "do" for you and cook? Both sound delightful to my Austen-to-now mind of how things are done. You know I live in an imaginary world of crumpets and toast racks---everybody there should have them, and does, in my version an English life. Roasts and puddings and walks and tea-rooms and chintz on a book-strewn sofa are the order of the day.

    I'm just so happy for you, and wish you well and warm with Spring coming into your windows. Our lawn should be knee deep in grass by Tuesday, and we must get out and about to see to things.

    love and,

    r

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    1. Dearest Rachel,

      Poor you. And although you make light of 'a bit of sodden carpet' we really do hope that such rain as you describe has not caused you any real problem.

      How very exciting to have your new kitchen on order. But we know exactly what you mean about the old and familiar and it is always sad to part with something which has served one faithfully over many years.

      It is such fun to meet with people who have come into one's life through the internet. We have formed so many very good friendships in this way and 'meet ups' are always most exciting. We are certain that you will have a good time with Kim and Mike and how nice it is that your family will also be free to join in with all that you do.

      Tímea will stay here whenever we are in Norwich, keeping the home fires burning so to speak. She of course continues to come in when we are not here using our absence to tackle major jobs such as spring cleaning. We shall hope to find a Mr. or Mrs. Mop to help out in Norwich but these days such a person is not so readily to be found.

      We do hope that the weather dries up for you and that you enjoy a relaxing spring weekend. xxx

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  83. I've also never heard of anyone buying a house online without actually visiting it physically! Clearly you found quite enough information to be satisfied that your purchase was sound without needing to cross the threshold! It does look like a charming house. I wish you many happy years in your new location.

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    1. Happily it all turned out for the best where it might well have gone terribly wrong. We suppose that as it is, after all, a holiday home, had we not liked it in the worst scenario we should have set about reselling it.

      We do not know if you have visited Norwich, Nick, but our first impressions are that it is a charming city. We are much looking forward to returning.

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  84. My darlings, how could one ever call you "lazy tarts" with all that you have done. You will never grow old with your adventure and daring! I adore your precious Norwich home and am impressed beyond words that you accomplished so much with the magic of the internet.

    Your garden (yet to come?) will certainly be magnificent, and will make it uniquely yours. I have thought about you often in the past weeks as all of our property burst forth overnight with 50 shades of... chartreuse, combined with the blooms of azaleas and flowering trees.

    The last photo just makes me smile because it is so Jane and Lance. Glad to see Trevor as we all know how our little friends welcome us home. Has he met Teddy?

    Much love and warm wishes to you both,
    Genie

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    1. Darling, darling Genie,

      The most wonderful thing will be when you actually come and visit us in Norwich, which surely you must, since it can so easily be combined with a trip to Paris!

      We should not exaggerate the garden which no more resembles your splendid rolling acres than chalk from cheese. It is very small and will have to be arranged to look after itself during our absences. We can so easily imagine how lovely your own garden must look at this moment with the arrival of spring and we do hope that you have time to enjoy every single moment of it. We are always concerned at how hard you work.

      Alas, Teddy and Trevor have not yet met. Perhaps one day.

      We both send you all possible love. Take care. xxx

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    2. You will indeed have a magical garden and your "chalk" will surely be as memorable as the chalk of Degas with perfect movement and color.

      Cannot wait to see you both again, wherever it may be.

      Bisous,
      g

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    3. You ALWAYS give such beautiful interpretations on everything which is, of course, so wonderful and which makes you so special.

      Kellemes hétvégét! xxx

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  85. Congratulations!! We too rely regularly on the convenience of online shopping. We too have purchased (not one but TWO!) properties (sans house - so we appluade your gusto!) via the world wide web without viewing in person. Rolling with the times - and as Dylan said - they area changing! :-)

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    1. Well, it is we who admire your bravery. To have bought property once via the internet, and been lucky, is one thing, to have repeated the process a second time is quite another. Strangely, although we are delighted with the little Norwich house, we have said that we are not sure we would take a similar risk again.

      The times are, indeed, changing!!

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  86. Goodness, though, you were brave. At one point we were looking for a holiday cottage which we might buy if we ever had any money, and came across a beautiful one, and very affordable. Just as well that I knew that there was a chicken farm out of sight nearby, and that little corner could get decidedly whiffy if the wind was in the wrong direction! But perhaps one could notice a chicken farm on Google Earth, come to think of it. Anyway it worked for you - it looks enchanting! - and I look forwarrd to seeing it being transformed into somewhere even more charming.

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    1. Reflecting on it all, Jenny, we rather think that perhaps we did take something of a risk and are not sure that we would have the courage to do it again. That said we really are delighted with both the house and Norwich itself and, so far, not a chicken farm within sight, smell or sound!!

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  87. Wow, Jane and Lance, congratulations on your new abode. It looks absolutely gorgeous. All those beautiful fireplaces! I love a French Grey and White combo and look forward to seeing more of your lovely home x

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    1. Thank you so much.We have arranged for a decorator to coincide with our next visit so, hopefully, we shall be able to show something of the new colour schemes before too long.

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  88. Dear Jane and Lance - Purchasing a house online is a big surprise to me but I’m happy for you that things seem to be going well. I like antique house for its nice wooden materials and traditional frame but remodeling old house in Japan is much more costly than purchasing a new one because of not only the installment of modern technology but also empowering earthquake resistance, improving heat insulator, and so on. It’s so exciting to make your wish come true by choosing furniture and the likes one by one. I have been marveled at how impeccable taste you have and I really look forward to seeing the result. That process must be tiring, too, but you still have energy to post about it. Take care and enjoy your April.

    Yoko

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    1. Dear Yoko,

      Very often, as you say here, the restoration of an old property can prove far more expensive than purchasing something newly built but one does, in the process, end up with a great deal more character than is to be found in a new house.

      We are delighted with our Norwich house which we shall use for holidays and as a base for exploring East Anglia, an area of Britain which is relatively unknown to us.

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  89. I think I will need you to assist me in my next online purchase. Well done :)

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  90. Hi Jane and Lance,
    My goodness how busy you have been! But your last purchase is definitely the prize. What a beautiful home you are making in Norwich. I noticed your little dog beside the fireplace. My brother has one which belonged to my Dad when he was a little boy.

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    1. Certainly, Jane, as an online purchase the Norwich house is the largest we have made!! Trevor, the dog, was also bought on line from a fellow blogger selling vintage items. How nice that your brother has something similar passed down from your father.

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  91. What a truly XXI century couple you are! Did you really bought the house without having seen it in person before? That is XXII century at least!
    Oddly enough, we are looking for a house in the Mediterranean. But after a thorough internet (certainly google earth street view included) we are going tomorrow to see in person our first selection (of 4 houses) in Moraira. We'll stay there till Saturday too, getting a closer feeling of the place. People of a past age you may think!

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