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Falling in Love... start of the restoration

About ten years ago I was given an amazing opportunity of turning a neglected North Bohemian farmhouse into a home, and although I didn't know it at the time, this house was going to change my life.

This is the story of my journey: a record of the changes, the progress, and in my darkest moments (of which I'm sure there will still be many) this journal will serve as a reminder of how I started out, where I am now, and will hopefully give me the strength and motivation to continue. This is my story From No 19

I fell in love with No 19 Starý Týn the first time I stayed here alone: it was like I had come home.

I was living in Milan Italy and came to visit No 19 for my holidays with family and friends. I can't say I initially thought the house was beautiful, it just wasn't. It was stark looking and run down and had lost most of its original features. But it had a nice atmosphere and I felt safe in here.

Then my life changed. I found myself at a crossroads and didn't know which way to go. In the end my cat Mario and I packed our bags, left our life in Italy and came to seek refuge in No 19.

I quickly realized there were certain things here that needed to be done. The house smelt of damp and the plaster was coming off the walls... Then there were the things I wanted to do... I didn't have a budget so I knew that anything I did was going to be slow and was also going to be DIY. I loved gardening and I had always been handy, something I learnt from my father, but what I didn't know at the time was when it came to the skills I needed to make real progress, I was starting from scratch!

I took this picture at the end of a long summer holiday of hard work about ten years ago. I remember thinking "wow! we've achieved so much! What a difference!"

If I had truly understood the amount of work that lay ahead of me, I think I would have given up there and then! But I had already fallen in love with No 19 and, whether I knew it or not, this house had already become my future.

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