“Let’s give ourselves a night off”

We’re both exhausted and have spent the last six months talking about our dream, the plans, the solutions, the problems. Last night I thought it was time we gave ourselves a break. Five minutes or so later our swift-to-respond property finder had changed all that with the responses to Jen’s bout of research and instead we found ourselves reconstructing the entire plan until 1am. But what an evening! Out were the solar showers and roulottes and in came a new/old idea – a fabulous B&B in a UNESCO World Heritage Site. New, because effectively everything we’ve thought and planned for in the past few months drops out to be replaced by accommodation inside, ensuite rooms, communal living space… And old because years ago Jen and I were making the first tentative steps to explore setting up a B&B in the Peak District, and we were looking for basically this exact house. It’s on a road, but not a problem, given the views and the location. It’s got a huge garden, room for everything fun and practical we’d want to do and a layout that gives us amazing scope for chopping and changing. We can make it work. And what’s more, the location means we’d be setting ourselves up with the best possible chance for success – as a tourist trap it’s second to none in the area and really the only place we’d consider running a chambre d’hôtes. But what about the eco dream, the solar power, the off grit (sic) living? Some, we can still do. Some, we’ll have to see. But then, just this morning we were presented with what amounts to the perfect alternative to giving up our rural roulotte retreat – a farm set close to another major tourist destination surrounded by fields and woodland and kitted out with huge barns, space for huge expansion and neat little spots in the land to site all the eco kit and still give visitors their own little corner of the idyll. We’re a matter of weeks into the search, the real search, and I think we’ve already found two real potentials that we’ll spend the next three months (while sanding, scraping, painting and admiring) hoping they’re still there when we land in April. Bring on the sale, bring on the viewings, bring on the dream!

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