Restoration of Alderlea Cottage
Hello and welcome to my blog, we are the Muscroft family; Tracey, Pete and Kieran. We were lucky enough to purchase a holiday home back in 1996. It was an old uninhabitable crofter’s cottage which had been unloved for quite a few years. We have lovingly restored it, which took an amazing 13 years to get it livable, and by that time it was too small! In 2012 we made the decision to move in so we sold our house in Lincolnshire, and relocated to the West Coast of Scotland on the beautiful Kintyre Peninsular. The area has outstanding scenery and wildlife, and we are constantly visited by pheasants and deer to remind us how rural we are. We managed to secure some work up here, and our life story began to change as we adapted to the new environment, Kieran has spent all of his teenage years here, so its been a learning curve for him too.
So here is a little introduction ..
Alderlea cottage is over 200 years old and was derelict when we first fell in love with the place. We restored the cottage ourselves as a family and there has been blood, sweat and tears shed over the years. We almost gave up, but we are so glad we didn’t. So from being a planned holiday home, it then became our forever home, sooner than we had expected which brought its own problems. A one bedroom croft with a bed settee doesn’t suit a couple with a 12-year-old boy, 2 dogs, 4 chickens and a ferret, and family that want to come and visit all the way from Yorkshire, a 7 hour road trip! So no sooner was the property ready and finished, we had to start all over again and look at extending, we decided to get the builders in to do that bit!
I believe fate brought us here, things happen for a reason and they certainly did seem to happen in a certain way for us. I’d love to share our moments with you, so have decided finally to get round to writing a book to document all the ups and downs we encountered along the way. You will get to hear about the laughs we had, the problems we came across, like the massive boulder in the living room that we couldn’t shift. Or the time I realised I get visions (no I am not joking). You will get to know the family memorable moments we had, and hopefully you will feel like you are there with us.
Then there is the lifestyle change, and it is quite a big one. Moving from normal suburbia to rural life can be hard and it was, still is at times, but it is also very rewarding. We left our life behind, our family, and friends, and jobs too. Worrying but exciting at the same time. We were very lucky to be able find work quite quickly in such a remote area, and the people of Kintyre are so generous and kind they made us feel like we had found our forever home.
Where life allows, we try to be self-sustaining, growing vegetables, making soups, jams and chutney, tending the hens. (That is a book of its own in the making). My husband has recently developed great butchering skills and thankfully his fishing has improved so we are able to eat very well. Just keeping the log fire burning is a huge demand, we live 13 miles from the nearest supermarket so you have to allow for that too. It can be a tough life, but it’s extremely rewarding, and I for one absolutely love it.