All aboard for new life in sun­shine

Bus driv­ers set to swap ru­ral steading for home in Med

Evening Express (City Final) - Home Life - - DREAM HOMES - By Lau­rna Robert­son

COACH driver Jac­que­line Shafe has de­vel­oped a handy tac­tic for busy house hun­ters – giv­ing your po­ten­tial home a score out of 100. She spent 18 months view­ing more than 80 prop­er­ties around Aberdeen­shire but had no prob­lem pick­ing out her favourites with her rat­ing sys­tem. And at the top of that lengthy list was Cole­hill Steading with 96%. “It had ev­ery­thing we wanted – in fact I can’t re­mem­ber why I didn’t give it 100%,” said the 58-year-old driver for Burns Coaches in Tarves. Jac­que­line who bought the steading with part­ner Steven An­der­son said: “This prop­erty has a pri­vate court­yard, land, a tra­di­tional coun­try house feel and – best of all – an abun­dance of char­ac­ter.” Jac­que­line and Steven, a 48-year-old bus driver for First, bought the prop­erty six-and-a-half years ago. Jac­que­line had been liv­ing in New­machar, while Steven lived near Udny Sta­tion. But they de­cided the five-mile dis­tance be­tween their homes was just too much. Jac­que­line, who is orig­i­nally from Bel­gium, said: “We were fed up of hav­ing two houses and not liv­ing to­gether – there was no point at all. “We both sold up and bought Cole­hill Steading, as well as a hol­i­day flat in Cyprus.” Their new prop­erty was in a good state as the pre­vi­ous owner had left it in tip-top con­di­tion. How­ever, the first thing that Jac­que­line did was buy a stag’s head for the liv­ing room to com­plete that coun­try home feel. She said: “We both re­ally like the rus­tic look and, with its ex­posed wooden beams, grand gran­ite fire­place and gallery area, this room was al­most per­fect. “The fin­ish­ing touch was the stag’s head above the fire­place which I got from an an­tique shop.” In be­tween work and in stages when they were able to, Jac­que­line and Steven also re­dec­o­rated a cou­ple of the bed­rooms and re­placed a cou­ple of win­dow frames which were start­ing to rot. Then last year, the cou­ple de­cided to re­place the bath­room. Jac­que­line said: “The old one was a bit worn so we went for a mod­ern white suite.” The bath­room is the only room where the cou­ple have cho­sen mod­ern over tra­di­tional. The rest of the prop­erty is full of au­then­tic farm­house charm. Jac­que­line said: “I find my­self most com­fort­able in a cosy, tra­di­tional prop­erty and this al­ready had the ex­posed beams, the tra­di­tional fire­place, the

wood-burn­ing stoves and the ex­posed gran­ite. “I added an­tique bits of fur­ni­ture and other pieces like the chan­de­lier in the liv­ing room that kept the tra­di­tional theme.” Along with the in­te­rior of the prop­erty, the court­yard was a big pull for the cou­ple and they’re of­ten found sitting there on a sunny day. The prop­erty is near El­lon and the cou­ple rarely need to go be­yond the town for ameni­ties. How­ever, if a trip to Aberdeen is nec­es­sary, their house is five min­utes away from the A90. While the cou­ple have loved re­lax­ing in their steading when­ever they have free time, they’ve al­ways had one plan – to re­tire to their flat in Cyprus. So they’re sell­ing up and wav­ing Aberdeen­shire good­bye. “We’re ready to put our feet up and re­lax in the sun­shine,” said Jac­que­line. “If we could take our home with us we would as it’s been a dream place to live.”

GO­ING PLACES: Jac­que­line Shafe and Steven An­der­son are mov­ing to Cyprus.

COSY: Cole­hill is a for­mer steading near El­lon. Right, the spacious rus­tic-look­ing kitc

COUN­TRY LIFE: The lounge with wood burn­ing stove and gallery area. In­set, the court­yard gar­den and one of the bed­rooms.

chen with room for din­ing, and, far right, the din­ing room with its ceil­ing beams and wood-burn­ing stove.

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