…because the reason I got so excited about doing this, recording our pursuit of the dream, was that I wanted to document what went into making the dream possible. How we saw the dream, realised it and made it happen. This is all about pursuing a dream and not simply indulging in a fantasy, and the difference is significant. Dreaming of winning the lottery is fantasy, but making decisions and taking risks to create a dream life is an actuality, a reality, something that we can at least make as best a fist of as we possibly can even if the long term life of it relies on risks paying off and our ideas and ambitions becoming successful. I wanted to document how we structured our dream, rather than the details of our fantasy, to try and illustrate how anyone could make something like this happen if they really want it enough. I might drive into work now or sit sometimes in a turgid meeting and fantasise but that’s because we’re going to have to wait for our dream to kick up a gear – most notably through our first recce next April. I can’t say anything interesting about a fantasy, and a self-indulgent way to survive a difficult day isn’t going to say anything to anyone. It isn’t going to prove anything or reaffirm someone’s belief that they can make a dream life possible. A fantasy has no value outside of my own head, outside of my longing it to be, maintenant (actually ‘right now’ is one of my son’s favourites, we should get him using the French). And my own baseless daydream escape is unlikely to inspire a pursuit in another person, let alone provide some evidence that a dream life is anything but an intangible fantasy. A few weeks back I bought a lottery ticket and immediately, farcically, regretted it. What if I won? Even if it wasn’t the jackpot, what if we won enough money not to wait any longer but just to go and to hell with everything else? Winning the lottery would make a sham of this diary, a joke of my belief that anyone can pursue a dream if they believe enough and commit to it. It would make a fantasy out of what I believe to be a dream reality. A reader can’t learn anything from a lottery win, there’s no lesson there. It’s really important to me that we do this the hard graft way, that we don’t just ‘luck’ out, but that we build what amounts to a demonstration of the possibilities, if not a template of how to turn a fantasy into a dream. Which is why the praise we received only recently from a friend means so much – it means a great deal that someone can see what we’re doing, how we’re doing it even now when we’re still in the ground and yet to complete the foundations, but see that what we’ll build will eventually provide comfort, inspiration, joy or a kick up the arse for anyone reading it who wants more from life and doesn’t accept the perception that good things only happen to other, luckier, people.