Are you a list maker? I guess it crept up on us but we can easily confirm these days that we're definitely in the list-lover camp. Very little happens around here without a list (or multiple lists) guiding our progress. It's sometimes been a bit of a love/hate thing. Those days when you're looking around the place and all you can see is jobs on top of other jobs that are all equally vying for attention.
But we often remind ourselves that 'Rome wasn't built in a day' and there seems to be something gently empowering about taking pen to paper and laying out each task to bring a little order to the chaos. And when it comes to completing a task, is there anything more satisfying than 'knocking the bugger off'? (as Sir Ed would say).
The power of a list really hit home not long after we moved to Northland, rediscovering a one we had created in Wellington when we were on the search for our new life. We put aside the 'how' and allowed ourselves to simply imagine what it was that we were in search of. I wrote about this list in a blog a few years back and I think it really illustrated how the simple act of writing stuff down somehow puts your order in with the universe for delivery sometime in the future.
While this one was more of a 'shopping list', since living here I have to admit that most are usually dominated with seemingly mundane tasks that require plenty of hard graft, extra cash and grit, so we're under no illusion that it's not just a matter of creating a list that is what will deliver the goods!
To keep from becoming overwhelmed, we always manage to sneak a few aspirational, future-focused items on there and this in turn has created many carry-over lists. At the end of each year we'll often consolidate and revisit our works in progress. As far-fetched or mandatory as some of the items may seem, if they're incomplete but still part of the bigger vision, (I mean, will 'seek balance' ever be off the agenda?!) they will make it to the new list. In between times, there's numerous micro-lists that keep us on our toes.
For the first part of this year, we made the decision to dedicate my time to the property, even though we're still fighting our way out of the financial hole left by Down the Road Eatery & Deli, it felt right to bring our attention back to the little business that fueled our love of discovering and sharing a local escape with others. While we definitely want to expand the offering here with more boutique accommodation options, it was time to to give the Orchard Cottage a bit of a 'glow-up'.
So this is when the list making takes on a whole new meaning. The project at the Orchard Cottage up until this point had been represented by a couple of of one-line items; Re-orientate living in Orchard Cottage, Baths @ Orchard Cottage. But achieving them would require a whole plethora of lists which primarily lived on my phone, portable, editable versions that never left my side. People to call, construction dimensions, materials to order, you get the picture... The pen and paper lists only seemed to feature as deadlines quickly approached and over a glass of wine the next days tasks were many so the prospect of striking a line through each item as they were achieved was the motivation require to get the sh*t done!
So the reno at the Orchard Cottage has gone pretty much to plan, it's always a bit risky doing something like this, trying to schedule a building project in between guest bookings is almost like asking the planets to align just right so we can turn from construction site to 'business as usual' so visitors are none the wiser. But we did it, lot of the changes inside were about using and repositioning the existing joinery to take advantage of the North facing views and sunshine. Enhancing the 'shabby chic' styling, there were a few 'new' vintage furniture additions and some handmade touches like the macrocarpa shelving.
The outdoors have taken a little longer than anticipated and will continue to take shape as the newly landscaped area grows up to create a lovely subtropical space in front of the cottage. This area is now home to two side-by-side outdoor baths, which is something that we've wanted to add for a long time. We got creative here re-imagining two concrete troughs which now provide extra large soak tubs so the experience is full relaxation and exclusive for guests to enjoy.
There will probably be another blog dedicated to the renovation project but for now we're loving sharing the refreshed cottage with lots of winter guests. The feedback so far has been fantastic and we've even had some return visitors who have enjoyed the pleasant surprise of these improvements since the last time they were here.
So the list life continues around here, always looking ahead to the next step, they help to keep us moving forward but constantly remind us that the good life is not a destination but a journey.👣