All aboard for new life in sunshine
Bus drivers set to swap rural steading for home in Med
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.