East, west...

There’s a saying;

Create a life you don’t need to go on holiday from. 

Or something like that, if not a little more wordy. 

I go one further from that. 

Create that life, then go away and realise yep, you didn’t need to travel to realise you have it best at home. 

 

I live in one of the prettiest places. I hope I never stop seeing it. I hope I never NOT notice it, looking so stunning  that I need to pull over when driving to take a picture of the view. Or calling out to the kids to look at the mountains today. 

 

If I had a £1 for everyone who said they are just a bit envious of us upping sticks and moving somewhere more ‘us’, I’d be pretty damn wealthy. 

They all say they want to. How they often wish they did.

But, they all say, they couldn’t do it. 

Work. Or relationships. (The family reason does make me laugh— if you don’t live next door to your family you dont stop loving them. Or even stop seeing them, or contacting them.) Or you know the big starting again thing. All a bit scary. They couldn’t do that. 

 

(And sure, I’m fairly sure a muddy welsh hillside is not everyone’s dream)

Tho, there is a voice inside me wondering if you never ever step outside the easier, predictable comfort zone of what you do, of what is expected, of WHERE it’s always expected you will live, then you won’t ever know if you COULD do it, if it could work.  

 

 

I am far to old to ‘begin again’- but we did, and I’m way too old to say I’m living my dream... I switch the word for my ideal, sounds way less cheesy!!. But funnily enough I actually say it every day.  It isn’t perfect - by living the ideal I don’t mean it’s so perfect and dreamy. It’s got rain. Mud. Isolation. Sharp learning curves. A constant to do list. It’s really living my ideal. Not playing.  Doing it. Rough bits and all. 

 

As I write this, I am in a hotel room, having travelled for work.  I drove for hours and through a variety of landscapes. I got to do my favourite job, and also as a bonus see some good friends. It’s clean, has everything I could need, there are many shops and a billion facilities within minutes of here. 

Except of course, my dog. Or those views, that soft morning mist, snuffly pony noses, stone floors, homemade cups of tea, familiar sofa seats, goats that empty your pockets, fresh eggs in straw...  

 The best bit of travel is going home. 

 

 

 


List of five on Friday

My list on this Friday composes of things I have never done before.... 

until living here!

1) Booked a chimney sweep.

2) Built a wooden fence - with screws and drill, not sort of propped type fence up!

3) Hoovered firewood. Its a thing, honest. 

4) Learnt allll about the important bacteria in Cess pits and septic tanks. {all glamour here, obvs...}

5) Cemented anything.

Sunrise

It could be a much longer list. And some of them weirder than others, but I think its just a life skill crash course. right? ;) 

 


Barn beginnings

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Today was an excellent day… 

Not only did the building work in the kitchen finish, (stud wall came down and my kitchen became huge and delightful!) I also got to gawp, drool over and stare at seventeen year old photos of a crumbly white painted barn. 

Surrounded by knee high grass and part metal barn it was not vision inspiring. 

Yet, it became this house that I sit in. The photos I had the privilege of looking through showed the journey of this ancient beautiful barn into a smart house. Not losing any of the good bits -fab beams, solid welsh stone, and views, shedding some not so good bits - flaky whitewash, metal roof, and dodgy hayloft ladders. It was lovely to see, making us appreciate all over again the history and journey of the house. If you think I’m waxing a bit lyrical, you should know I have never lived anywhere ‘pretty’  Granted often the inside became pretty but the outside of the houses? Nope. 

 

 

Giving thanks to the farmer/shepherd/ancient bloke who build the barn, hundreds of years ago, and the {brave} builder who made a house out of it, seventeen years ago.  

 


heading into month three...

So hows it going you want to know, three months in to living a couple of hundred miles away from where we used to be. Swapping edge of city for edge of mountains.  

Its going ... well, I can't concentrate on anything other than how on earth is it only three months? It feel so very much 'home' that it feels a lot longer than three months. 

Its good. I love it. The girls are settled and have friends. I've found a dentist, a Drs, hairdressers, multi animal vet, good feed store, farrier, fencing contractor, carpenter (outside) carpenter (inside), electrician, builder, hay and straw man {best hay ever}  Dans found a garden/farming machinery store {we own a lot of it}  and a huge motor bike store...  We have neighbours, albeit further away than any other neighbours previously, but friendly lovely ones at that.  The house is great. Large, good-looking and quirky enough not to be dull. Owning land is still making me so happy, all of us happy actually. The animals are all flourishing - quite genuinely blooming here, all of them. 

Its not all perfect, don't be under any illusion that this is a my life is so idyllic blog.  Life is also ironing, washing up, laundry, bloody stupid things just like anywhere else.
There is a busy road that runs along side one of our fields and I wish it wasn't there. We have caused a lot of mud, a few months before mud was expected, because of contractors having to drive on field entrances, and I foresee mud being a freaking nightmare in theses areas until spring.  Farmers have quite happily fenced off bridleways and public footpaths and there is no way of knowing until you are far into the route. I still can't get any bins delivered to the right house.  The tv arial is erratic at working on every tv/channel, and appears to come in to the house inside my fitted wardrobe. 

I missed some food from Waitrose so much the other day I got it delivered, from a town a good half an hour away.  How sad does that sound? LOL! But yes it was worth it, even if the delivery driver couldn't find us for some time...  I totally took for granted having every store you can possibly name at your finger tips. I googled my favourite clothes store the other day and discovered its 40 minutes to one, and an hour to the other.  Luckily amazon know EXACTLY where my house is. 

Would we go back? No. Unanimously  no. We do miss some special people, but we love here. Mud, lack of dustbins and all. 


city cynic

The one thing I still have trouble with, and its shameful to say so, is that people around here are nice.  No ulterior motives. Not trying to con us, not trying to find out if we are worth a burglary, not trying to sell us anything, - nope, just being nice, friendly.  Genuinely helpful. kind, approachable. 

Of course people are kind in the city.  but.... not this friendly to strangers, genuinely interested in you, time to talk kind of nice. 
You'd think I'd be a more trusting soul - I was once known for my naivety about people not all being lovely, but apparently thats worn off; with age maybe, or because I married a businessman who has met every single type of dodgy type there is.  I am pretty disappointed in myself for thinking so cynically about people. I can only hope Wales rubs off on me and I stop assuming theres a possible con-man in everyone. 

Everyone is also related to, or lives by, someone who can help you with your next project/is selling what you want/knows the man you need. I love this. I am not quite sure what the heck anyone can recommend me for, but I look forward to making the local 'word of mouth' directory! 

 


three ladies

Threeladies

not easy catching sheep portraits... ( especially when attached to my wrist is a hound on a lead... ) But I am in awe of the 'free range' sheep on the mountains and moorlands of this national park. Its not exactly a sunny sheltered place. 


Faster than the speed of light

We have uber fast amazing broadband. 

It comes via a glass cable ( so he indoors says) and is so fast because the glass cable fibre cable comes into our house as opposed to just our road. 

 

Tho….

This is somewhat dulled by the fact in order to get it through 200 year old barn walls into all rooms we needed to buy this set of technical plastic disks, with blue lights on. 

These bounce the signal. Or boost the signal. Or something. 

Amazing technology. 

Tho… 

You have to have line these things up. Exactly.

If I move one two inches to the left I stop the internet working upstairs. Or if I dust one and put it down ‘wrong’ the internet stops altogether. 

They are UGLY. They do not fit with my farmhouse decor.  They have a billion foot of cables. I can't move them. Or put them at the back of a sideboard. 

I'm pretty much constantly in trouble for attempting to tidy them up and halting the wifi across the house. 

When it works it is very good. 

And when it doesn't… I go walking outside. The view is worth a million loaded pages anyway! 

luckily ;)

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