One of their main focuses was the garden, which previously featured a run-down greenhouse and a pig shed. While Roman Kemp's mother managed to maintain the shell of the latter and change it from a "little ruin" to a "very special garden house/studio", she explained the greenhouse was "beyond repair."
"We couldn’t restore everything and this greenhouse was beyond repair but mainly because it was in an unsuitable place sitting right under huge trees. It was badly damaged by the 1987 storm and never repaired so years of ivy had completely taken over. There was smashed glass everywhere which made it dangerous but I did find lots of gorgeous clay pots under all the rubble," Shirlie explained in the Instagram caption.
In a video shared on her home's dedicated Instagram page at the end of September, the Pepsi & Shirlie star revealed the couple had filled a wheelbarrow with broken glass while Spandeau Ballet star Martin hacked away overgrown vines inside the structure. It's likely that Shirlie gave the shelves full of clay pots a second lease of life, filling them with flowers to add to her sprawling garden.
Since posting the clips, Shirlie has been forced to spend more time inside as she recovered from coronavirus following an ankle operation. The 61-year-old shared a photo of her pristine laundry room, with the caption: "Haven’t been able to leave the house for a while. Caught Covid for the first time and it didn’t go well. Really appreciate feeling better."
The comments section was flooded with well wishes, including: "Get well soon… by the way that room is GORGEOUS," and: "Not nice at all to feel so unwell. Hope you're feeling much better and managing to get out for a little while in your beautiful garden."
Shirlie previously admitted that she has always loved spending time at home with her family, even at the height of her career. "I’m a real homebody, I love domestic life," she told The Times.
Speaking about giving up her career for marriage and kids, she added she has no regrets. "Wham! had split in 1986 and Pepsi and I were recording our second album, but I found it really stressful being in a recording studio with my baby and continually crossing time zones. I craved a beautiful home and stability. I just wanted to give my kids a really good life."