Having just dropped my car off at Hyundai Somerset West Service Centre for its 45,000 km service (sigh, don’t remind me how fast I’m burning through this car!) and then lamenting the fact that we really haven’t achieved much or done much other than raise Jessie this year, it popped into my head that we somehow missed the first year anniversary of having lived here in Country Mews!

Can you believe it, an entire year has already passed! O.o

I’m still very, very pleased with the complex, it is quiet, the people living here are all well behaved, friendly and courteous, things run smoothly and everything is managed well (including municipal services) – in other words there is absolutely no regret of having bought here into this little community. And other than the minor incidents of having our backyard shed broken into and now our black bin stolen (both by vagrants no doubt), it really does feel nice and secure, and I’m pleased to be able to bring up Jessica here.

As for our little home, if I sit and examine what we’ve achieved over the last year, I guess I have to hang my head in shame just a little, because of all the things I wanted to do and am still going to do, I really didn’t get through very much after all!

So let’s review shall we?

In terms of the property, we did repair the damage done to the grass by the previous owners’ dog, removed their hideous spiky reed things from against the wall, planted our shed at the back, settled ficus into its new spot, replaced the lavendar in the front, set up a permanent stand for the outside braai, cleaned up and made pretty the front main flower bed, and changed the driveway configuration numerous times (still in process with the latest change mind you! So, so much of cement slab laying and then picking up again!)

Still to do? Well, there is a lot of weeding that needs our attention, something the bi-weekly lawn-cutting services does little more than hide, I need to finish the rounding off of the new driveway pattern, purchase and install big pots for the corner by the sliding door, put in wooden stake edging for the long garden bed at the back of the property, properly clean out the back garden bed, and install some sort of pot and creeper next to the shed.

As for the exterior of the house, there is still the back gutters which I need to bring someone in to re-fasten to the house, not to mention the sanding down and varnishing of all the window frames and doors. Oh, and I need to set up a doorbell by the wall. That’s turned out to be quite important actually.

On the inside, we did a really good job of redecorating both bathrooms, the study, Jessica’s room, and our bedroom. The lounge is still in need of a few finishing touches to call it complete, while in terms of the kitchen, we did install some extra lights, but are now in plans to change the one cupboard configuration in order to install a dishwasher next to our washing machine.

Sadly, the one room which we didn’t get to for an entire year, is the one room I was looking forward to doing – namely Jessica and my playroom, aka. the dining room/second entertainment room/braai room. We’ve got big plans for this room, but those plans were already laid when we first moved in, which makes it rather embarrassing when one has to return the television stand one borrowed from his brother and which then subsequently stood unused for a year with gardening implements standing on it, next to a cat’s big scratching post and a ladder! (Never mind the sofa sitting in the room which hasn’t been sat on for a full twelve months!)

But despite all that, number 5 Country Mews really is a fantastic home for our little Lotter family, and I am happy here. It feels good to have had a year of free reign to do whatever I want to with my house, and quite frankly, I’m pretty eager to do more!

So here’s to hoping that the second year in our house runs just as smoothly! :)