We are no longer Londoners! The contents of our house in Oldfield Road in Stoke Newington (including a good half of the garden plants!) were packed into a large van and driven to Devon in south-west England on July the Eleventh 2002. After the intervention of a pair of tree surgeons, the van was able to deliver our possessions down the narrow lane which leads to Westwoods Farm in Ogwell, near Newton Abbot.
|When he first moved back to London after college, Phil lived in a
short-life housing co-op. This was a form of legalized squatting whereby the local
council gave out short-term licences to occupy property which was due for renovation.
Now, after a brief (18 year) interlude as an owner-occupier, he had returned to his
Admittedly Westwoods Farm was a bit different from the once run-down (but now - fortunately for us - expensive and sought-after) terraces of Hackney. For a start it came with 1.6 hectares (4 acres) of land, including two meadows, an orchard and three separate gardens! The dogs - previously used to a postage stamp-sized area in which to do their business - couldn't believe their luck. But luck was not on the side of Westwoods Farm. It was due to be demolished in early 2003 and replaced by another of the housing developments which already surround it, occupying the fields over which the farmhouse once presided. For a few months however, we were lucky to be able to call it home.
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