However, it hasn’t always been picture-perfect. When Alex and Charlie first moved in, there was a peculiar atmosphere in one area of the house that made them slightly uneasy. Both claim to have had ghostly encounters in the past and they sensed that one of the bedrooms (which had been earmarked for baby Otter) was harbouring an unhappy spirit.
“There was a cold, eerie atmosphere as soon as you walked into this part of the house,” says Charlie. “And I didn’t want Otter sleeping among bad vibes.” They invited Christopher and Veronika Strong, from The College of Psychic Studies, to investigate further. “It’s not an exorcism – they call it a clearing,” explains Charlie. “They clear the house of restless spirits and show them how to move on. Thankfully, it worked and the house feels just as it should now.”
Once the house was free of unwanted guests, the couple started to concentrate on creating a beautiful family home. Alex was also able to focus on his business, Imagini.net, a website that identifies a person’s ‘Visual DNA’ to help them find gifts that perfectly suit their taste. “The website helps people find products that they like and need, while at the same time helping businesses to understand consumers better,” he explains. Alex does have an office in London, but mostly uses the large, elegant drawing room in the house to run the business. “Having a base here in the country where I can think creatively and strategically away from the rat race has been amazing,” he says. “Friends warned me that the minute they moved to the countryside, all their ideas and creativity seized up, but it’s had the opposite effect on me: the ideas just seem to flow here.”