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Perfect home for Jill and Jaffa.

But now it's farewell to a rural retreat as a new life beckons

Who lives in a house like this? Jill Benton and her terrier dog, Jaffa. Jill has recently turned 60 and has now retired but previously worked for Calderdale and Kirklees Careers in Huddersfield in the information team. Since leaving full-time work, she did some exam invigilation at Shelley College and hopes to do some freelance proof-reading and editing for a careers publisher when she moves.

How long have you lived here? Jill moved here from Holmfirth eight years ago.

Describe how you found it, and what it was like: I was taking a friend to Wakefield station and passed the house, so stopped on the way back to have a look. As it was empty, I peered through the windows and there and then decided I must follow it up. I found that it had been empty for quite a while and when I first went inside, it was a bit damp, was poorly decorated and had a smashed lightbulb in the middle of the sitting room floor but I felt very positive vibes and just knew that with a lot of tlc, it would be the right place for me.

What mad you fall in love with it? It has wonderful views and feels very rural to someone originally from London, it seemed the ideal cottage in the country. There are many lovely walks across fields, tracks and moors - essential for a dog owner! And it's very interesting living near a farm, looking out on to fields full of cows and sometimes watching calves being born - you don't get this in London!

Improvements you've made: A garage has been added, a downstairs cloakroom put in, a new kitchen and bathroom, the damp solved by tanking most of the front and side walls, a new combi boiler has been installed, it's obviously been redecorated and carpeted throughout and the garden transformed.

Who do you think it would suit? A single person, a couple, or a family. In addition to the garage, there's parking space alongside, so two cars wouldn't be a problem.

Favourite features: The Yorkist range, with its open fire and two ovens - so welcoming in winter! The garden, which initially only had eight blackcurrant bushes in it but has now been opened for two of the Shelley Open Gardens events, in 2003 and 2005. As the garden backs on to fields, hedgehogs often visit.

Your home style: Comfortable but sometimes rather like living in a greenhouse - there are an awful lot of indoor plants, especially in winter, when they have to come back in from their summer airing!

Where are you off to? Jill is hoping to move to South Somerset, to be a bit nearer the sea, and to be near good friends in Dorset. She's looking forward to starting a new garden!
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Sep 5, 2006
Words:479
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