The feeling I wanted to capture is this

Waking up at 2am or thereabouts this morning to give Cal a change and experiencing the half-conscious sensation that last night we’d been captured by an idea that had worked so well but that now, after a night’s sleep and on a brand new morning, it would have to be rebuilt. It’s not the same as wondering whether I dreamed something or whether it ever happened at all. I don’t think Jen ever has this problem. But for me I felt that for a moment I’d held on to something that was so solid, only to wake up and find that daylight now passed through it. But after being with Jen for so long I know that this just means the idea is good, so good that the world is almost fighting back against it. This time the idea is just as radical as when we took on our Cotswold project. It’s just as fraught with risk and what-ifs and sacrifices and change but then all of this just means that it’s just as capable of being a life-changing and future-making undertaking. The Wye and Forest dreams are all potential risks as we’d be moving into an area we don’t know and into a pursuit we can’t guarantee. We’d also, at some point, have to take a risk on planning as until we’d actually bought the place and moved in we’d never have our plans approved only, at most, looked upon agreeably. I’ve no doubt that we could make planning work for us – what is sometimes perceived to be a system designed to penalise ordinary people is in my decent enough experience actually just a system like any other, you plays along and you gets what you wants, eh iTunes? – but it’s another obstacle we have to overcome above and beyond the finding of a perfect or yet-to-be perfect house. But a Wye move would be, for us, quite straightforward. Straightforward connection for family. Straightforward for what we might need. Straightforward even for bookings, given that what I’ve learned from the Wye is that you can be 10 miles or 10 meters from the river it doesn’t matter to the price you charge, or in some cases even the amount you’re booked although it looks like we could be confident of 60% occupancy if we were within even 10 minutes walk of the river itself. Straightforward for work, even if it’s slightly further than now. But the new idea, this island dream that might anyway have always been there since our honeymoon four years ago, is anything but straightforward. We wouldn’t be mortgage free. We wouldn’t necessarily be together for even the first year. We wouldn’t be without pressure. We won’t be without challenge, at home and from family, not to mention actually making the purchase work without crippling us. We wouldn’t be doing our 2017 schedule. In many ways it’s a ridiculous thing to even think about. BUT THAT’S WHY, CHANGING A NAPPY IN THE NIGHT, I KNEW IT’S THE ONLY IDEA WE’VE HAD THAT’S WORTH PURSUING. I say want what other people don’t want, but we still have to WANT what we’re looking at. We look for opportunities that everyone else doesn’t see, or isn’t looking for even, but we’ve still got to want to take it. It’s still got to make our lives amazing. It’s still got to be our dream.

|B

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