Victoria Cottage

DIY secret cat door

DIY secret cat door | Hello Victoria

If you’re not following along on Instagram, then you might not know that we got cats! Yes, like so many other people in the midst of a pandemic induced lockdown, we decided to get a pet. But of course this wasn’t a spur of the moment decision. Richard and I have always wanted pets. We’ve been planning on adopting cats once we moved out of the flat and into someplace with a yard.

When the first lockdown hit, we started to seriously talk about getting cats. We’d always figured we would adopt a couple of older cats, but had intended to wait until the major building work was finished. But after being stuck at home every day, we started really wishing we had something furry to love and care for. I found myself surfing rescue sites in the evenings, but none of the centres were open to allow adoptions. And that’s when it hit me… kittens!

See cats don’t understand things like lockdown. They’re still out there, getting preggers and having kittens. I figured there might be some in our area needing a new home. I’ve always wanted to have kittens, but since we both work 9-5, we wouldn’t be around enough too look after them. But hey, now we’re stuck at home all day every day!! Suddenly this lockdown has an upside – we could get kittens!

So we looked around in our area and sure enough there were some Maine Coon cross kittens available nearby! I’ve always been of the opinion that the larger and fluffier the animal, the better… so a kitten with even a hint of Maine Coon was right up my alley! (Not sure what I’m talking about? Just google Maine Coon and you’ll see!)

Enter the cutest little fluffballs you ever did see… Moose and Smudge!

I can’t handle the cuteness…

They really made lockdown just the absolute best. I still find myself looking back at photos and videos from when they were wee little things and it makes me want to get more kittens aaaaaall over again. (Richard keeps saying no.)

Moose and Smudge | Hello Victoria

So cute!

Anyways, what was this post meant to be about again? Ahh, right. My secret cat door.


Victoria Cottage: layout + before shots

Victoria Cottage - front of house before | Hello Victoria

Okay, are you ready to meet our new house?! (Side note – did you know that “?!” has a name? It’s called the interrobang, which I think sounds hilarious.) This is going to be a super long post, but full of pictures!

If you follow me on Instagram (or you’re related to me) you’ve probably seen these spaces as we work on them. They’re a long way from done, but already look so different! The few months since we got the house have been crazy, so we haven’t been able to do as much as we wanted before moving in.

The layout of the house hasn’t changed drastically since it was built, way back in 1890-ish (still researching to nail the exact date). It was built as a two up, two down. So there are two main rooms on both the ground and first floors, divided by a very narrow staircase.

On the ground floor, the two original rooms are the living room to the front of the house and dining towards the rear. Back when the house was built, the dining was most likely the kitchen, with a scullery and toilet out the back. I found plans at our local council’s archives of a near identical house built on our street, which had them labelled such. Will I ever know for certain? Nope. But hey, I like to make uneducated guesses. (more…)

Hello… Victoria Cottage!

Introducing Victoria Cottage | Hello Victoria

That’s right folks, the upcoming project that I alluded to a few weeks ago is our new house! We bought a house! I feel like a proper adult now…

Waaaaay back in March, we listed our flat on the market and started hunting for the perfect house. We debated a few areas and neighbourhoods, but in the end came back to the good ol’ London Borough of Bexley. Our new house is actually just around the corner from the flat!

When it came to the neighbourhood pros and cons, we looked at commute (we both work in London), schools (both for resale and in case we’re still living here by then), house prices (could we afford to live there), resale potential (could we make money) and the overall ‘feel’ of the neighbourhood. Some of the areas seemed amazing on paper but when we visited them and walked around… just didn’t feel right.

Some neighbourhoods were too ‘up-and-coming’ (to put it nicely). We knew the value could go up over the next 5-10 years but didn’t really feel comfortable living there. Others were too pricey (here’s looking at you Hither Green); we debated Sevenoaks, because we liked it’s ‘quintessential English’ feel, but the commute and prices just made it unsuitable.

So we sat down, talked through everywhere we had looked at and realised that we both actually liked living in Sidcup! It’s not that we were lazy and didn’t want to move – Sidcup has a lot going for it. I actually can’t understand why the market here isn’t more expensive!