Once upon a time, there were two people who had been telling everyone for years: “When I’m older, I’m going to buy a cottage.” But time passed, and nothing happened. And then these people met each other in 2013. High time, Annelies and Henk decided, to make their dream a reality.
The prettiest little cottage in the world
They bought the prettiest little cottage you ever did see. That is to say: they saw it as the prettiest. It was – shall we say – not quite finished. But for this couple, that wasn’t an issue: Henk was good with his hands, Annelies had a way with tools, and they were willing to spend some time building ‘their’ dream home.
“Tjonge jonge jonge…”
And so began a project that would eventually take over two years. Because a new kitchen had to be built. The bathroom wasn’t finished. The garden needed an overhaul: building borders, making grass into a lawn, pruning the willows and replanting trees. And the part of the house where Annelies wanted to build rooms for a holiday home was no more than a hovel without electricity. And all the time, new work kept piling up. And every time they were surprised by something new, they would say: “Oh… boy” (“tjonge jonge” in Dutch).
That, they finally decided with a chuckle, is how they would call their holiday home. Not in the least because it was such a great wordplay on Annelies’ last name.
Many helping hands
In the second year of the remodeling, circumstances called for emergency troops to arrive. Family, in-laws, friends, friends of friends – they all came to dig, paint, lay piping, and nail down walls. Thanks to those dozens of extra hands, the holiday home could finally open its doors in 2016.
Its name? Tjonge Jonge, of course. Because how could it be otherwise?