Friday, June 11, 2021

Friday FUN

We can't travel because of the lockdown, but we enjoy imaginary getaways by watching old reruns of "Escape to the Country", a British show in which couples want to move from busy urban areas to quiet country homes. Each show features three different properties as well as a brief scenic tour of the county and two segments of local crafts and historical features. I can't decide which county I'd move to; they all sound glorious!

There are some differences in the homes there and the ones in Canada, so I hope you can help me out with a few questions Ron and I have.

  1. What is the difference between a cottage and a house? Cottages are often large homes with several sitting rooms and many bedrooms, not the small structures I thought they would be. 
  2. Where is the refrigerator? The large farmhouse kitchens usually have an Aga (a type of stove we don't have here) and plenty of cupboards and furniture, but we hardly ever see a fridge.
  3. The ground in front of the house is often covered with gravel, and looks immaculate. Where are the weeds? Ron works daily to keep weeds from popping up in our flagstone driveway.
  4. Why is it called "semi-detached" when a home is actually attached to another one?
  5. Without a basement, where do you store all your stuff?
  6. What's the history behind the pennants? Most houses have at least one room with pennants strung across the wall, and I usually also spot them in village streets.

Don't get me wrong. The homes are all impressive, especially the barn conversions. I'd consider buying one if I won the lottery.

Here are some signs seen along the way from one house (or cottage) to another.

Stay safe!

From Hermione's Heart


Roz said...

Hi Hermione,

Love the funnies, these are hilarious. Thank you for the giggles.

As to your questions, hopefully one of our UK friends can provide some answers. I stand to be corrected, but my understanding is that having a number of houses in a row atached to each other is common in the UK and so the term semi detached refers to where two properties only are attached to each other. They are attached to another property at one end and unattached at the other end. Hence, semi-detached.


Simon said...

Originally a cottage was a small rural dwelling for the use of farm labourers but these days the term is used pretty much for any rural house and often used inaccurately to add value or cachet. I was intrigued so I watched some episodes of the programme and I'm afraid that in most cases I could spot the fridge although UK fridges are often smaller than those in North America. It's true that not many British houses have basements, except in London where due to the price of homes they will have been converted into a flat. Mostly we store stuff in the garage which these days rarely holds anything as mundane as a car.

kdpierre said...

I haven't seen the show you mention, nor live in the UK, nor live in a cottage. (I thought only reclusive woodsmen and witches lived in cottages?) But, I will venture to say that the answers to your clever questions may very well all be answered by realizing its TV. The weeds you didn't see were likely there prior to filming and are probably back by now as well.

I agree a "cottage" implies a rural structure, perhaps with a thatched roof, where there might be a bedroom, central living space, and cooking area with a cast iron wood-burning stove to throw errant children into. ( Witch optional.)

Without a basement you keep things either in storage, or live a monastic life where possessions are eschewed.

Pennants? Well, I hear a lot of people get all worked up over soccer and perhaps that is the answer. I personally find a game that forbids the use of our most versatile appendages a bit baffling.

No fridge? Well I've heard the British drink their beer warm. Perhaps this is why?

So can't you just picture the idyllic scene with an Englishman in his cottage, watching the 'big game' of some regional rivals with names like Horcrux vs. Woozeley, with warm bitter in hand, since all his stuff is in storage, and he's stuck in this damned cottage ( which was obtained in a foreclosure from the local witch who is now plotting her revenge) with nothing to do....especially now that the TV crew already got rid of the damned weeds for him? But I could be way off base, so forgive me if my ramblings seem semi-detached. ;-)

As for the images? Clever as usual. (The McDonald's one is a clear fake though.) The bar sign was the best.

WendelJones said...

People that host the Home shows should be spanked silly in the middle of the immaculate front yard with the antique paddle they bought at a garage sale and refurbished to hang in the kitchen as decoration. I work with film set design and construction as well as photography. It takes a professional landscaping crew of 12 about a week to get the property ready for a 30 sec camera shot across the yard. Not to mention you can only film at certain times of the day because of lighting. The Misses will see these shows and then complain and question why our house is not as nice. After a good paddling in the kitchen she goes back to liking the house the way it is.

Supposedly Pennants hanging on a wall makes the room look bigger.

Love the signs. Thanks for the laughs.


Joe said...

Sorry I do not have answers to your questions but thank you for the laughs the signs were all great.

ronnie said...

I've not watched the show.

Can't add anything more to what Simon has already said. Roz is right about semi-detached houses.

Signs made me smile. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

Very funny quotes. Thanks for the smiles
Bottoms up


1/ Cot was an old English term for a liveable shed. Now it is just morphed into cottage and is used as an inaccurate marketing term

2/ I have only ever had one friend, with a large farmhouse kitchen and a wood burning Aga. That family had a walk in pantry. The fridge and the freezer where in there

3/ Every time you see a little weed poking through the path or gravel, pour a small pile of table salt on it. The weed will go away and in that square centimetre, stay away. Never do this on soil, it will make that patch of soil poisonous to all plants for a very long time. This is only for paths, gravel and terraces.

4/ Semi detached, because it is only attached on one side as opposed to terraced or town houses, that have houses attached to both sides

5/ In the garden shed

6/ I have not got a clue. You have me there


Anonymous said...

Well I live in the UK and I'm not sure I can answer all of these questions.
1 I suspect it is just people wanting to make their house sound rural and quaint to call it a cottage!
2 A lot of old houses had a walk in pantry from before we had refrigerators. They were designed to keep things cool so people have probably put it in there if it's not in the kitchen. We do tend to have smaller ones than you do in North America.
3 I can assure you weeds grow just as prolifically over here!
4 Roz was right about the semi-detached, though if you are the last house in a row of terraced housing, it's called an end terrace rather than semi-detached.
5 I have a basement now, though didn't in my last house, but there it all went in the garage and the car stayed in the drive!
6 Haven't a clue about the pennants, not into them myself.

Hermione said...

Thank you all for your enlightening answers. I learned a lot!

As for television home shows, I understand that for the American shows, one of the homes will already have been purchased before filming, so the supposedly prospective buyers already know which house they sill buy. As for home reno or makeover shows, two or more endings are filmed then one is chosen, and some of the crises are invented for the camera.