…something must always lie beyond. I feel as though this is the end of our dream. For good. But even while I allow myself to wallow in self-pity and lie face down in the dark on our bed waiting for the weeping I can’t allow myself to believe the dream itself is dead. Just, perhaps, this version of it. A version we’d invested time, effort, even real folding money into pursuing, not to mention emotion – but in the end, still just a version of the dream. And it might be the best version we’d succeeded in planning for. The best idea we’d had, the best coming together of what was available with what we were looking to achieve. But none of that really means anything if we don’t sell the house, or if having sold the house we can’t even afford to live the dream we’ve fought for. I haven’t felt this low, this defeated, about our dream before. And yet even at the bottom there was still something to bounce off of, regardless of how ridiculous it might be that this, our plan to write about how we get through shit like this is why I can’t allow myself to believe that we can’t get through shit like this? I trudged upstairs anticipating a need to apologise to everyone I know, everyone I’ve ever gushed to about our plans for Alas, for France, and that I could never say sorry to the kids enough having thrown away time with them to reach for something so otherworldly. But even before I went prone in an unmade bed I was already thinking about writing this, thinking about writing past this bottoming out, thinking that actually the only apologising I’d need to do is if I did give up, not if events conspired to force us to change, that this project itself has laid a sort of responsibility on us, on me, to simply not be defeated by circumstance but to live up to everything we’ve said, shoulder our burdens and carry on to the next possibility. To keep going, otherwise everything I’ve written over the last 12 months is worthless guff. Because there’s only one reason to wallow right now, and it isn’t due to the bad news we’ve had, the obstacles being thrown up ahead of us or the unknown challenges further down the line. It’s that we have a decision to make. THE decision. Sell at auction, at the reserve, and jump with both feet into Alas with a guts-out determination to force it to work, whatever it takes. Or pull out now while we have the chance – either because we can show ourselves that Alas simply isn’t possible, or because the idea of it becoming impossible is too much to bear.