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A Horse in the Bathroom
How an Old Stable Became Our Dream Village Home
An affectionate look at contemporary English village life, from city-dwellers who decide to build their dream home
Maggie wants a house with lots of light. I need one with character. And what we do have in common doesn't help either—we're both stubborn.
When Derek, a former TV journalist, and his partner Maggie decide to escape to the English countryside, they don't opt for the simple life. Instead they set about converting an old Cotswold stables in Stow-on-the-Wold into their dream home. Over the next two years, they wage guerrilla war on the Planning Office, are cursed by everything from collapsing walls to poison gas and dozy apprentices, run out of money, and meet some very strange characters—until in its final stages of construction, the place unaccountably floods. Along the way, Derek takes a quirky look at what makes villages work, or not, in the 21st century. Haunted by the words of a friend who accused him of romanticizing the rural, he investigates a dozen different villages. When it's over, Maggie and Derek survey The Old Stables with its 10 meters of shimmering glass and exposed oak beams, and Maggie asks, "Next time, why don't we try something bigger?"
320 pages; ISBN 9780857656971
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