Again, being there, driving and walking around, rejecting places we thought we might like, having doubts about the suitability of places for the kids at all ages, has us feeling blue, on our return. It’s been really hard work. Stressful, tiring, emotionally draining. Trying to think of every possible angle to making the dream happpen. Trying to stay positive, and trying to stay on the same page as each other. Ben had a wobble. He felt unable to feel secure in the dream because he had no real, physical toe hold in the area. There was nowhere, no village, no house that we were centreing in on. No place we could base the dream in and dream out from.
Home again. It felt good to be home, look around and remember what we’ve got here. It’s valuable, beautiful, rare. It will sell, we’ll get good money for it. But what do we talk about now? What is left to be said? What’s the point in watching renovation shows if we’re no longer thinking we’ll extend. Back on rightmove questioning whether we can afford anything that would be what we really wanted. Having chosen the villages we want to be near to, can we afford anything that would fulfil the dream?
We had to strip it right back again and think about what the dream boils down to. What would we need from the dream to be happy. What wouldn’t make any difference to our sense that we were living the dream. No matter how many ways we think of acheiving the dream with a small mortgage or porting our existing mortgage, we keep coming back to the immoveable realisation that we absolutely will not be living the dream if we have even the tiniest mortgage. Make our plans more modest, make our ambition more modest, aim for a modest house and a modest business. But it must be exciting. There must be trees, and bird song, no road noise or the beep beep of farmyard machinery. There needn’t be far-reaching views, but we must have a pleasant outlook into our own garden. We might see the rooftops of neighbouring houses, but we shouldn’t feel we are on a housing estate.
Fantasising about a day in the life of the new life really helped weed out the things we had been getting stuck on thinking were essential. What we actually need to make the dream feel met is waking up having a good night’s sleep because we’re in the real countryside. Fresh air, walking from the house, no major trunk road, no glaring street lights outside our window. I want to wake up to peace. The kids playing and laughing in another room, mom in her separate space so I don’t have to worry about what the kids are doing, or how tidy the house is. Ben wants to be able to go out for a half an hour’s circular walk, experiencing changing landscape as he walks, to focus himself for writing in his shed in the garden. I’d be inside around a big wooden table homeschooling with the kids. We’d bake something for lunch, feed the rabbit, guinea pigs and chickens, new hatchling ducks, tend the fruit and veg we’re growing in the garden. We’d walk to the village shop for some fresh bread, later we’d walk to the pub. We’d sit out and star gaze in the unpolluted sky. Sit around our fire pit eating dinner. The holiday let and mom’s annexe might not be seen all day. The kids would play among the trees. Freedom and peace.