First Post, first steps

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My first post…what to say! I could tell you how afraid and anxious I am one day only to be filled with hope and optimistic anticipation the next but maybe that’s a bit heavy for just now. Let’s start with my goals for this blog and our change in lifestyle in general.

My goal for this blog is to document our process, definitely as much an exercise for the benefit of my own mental health as it is to give anyone else insight.

Our (my husband and I) goal for lifestyle change is to reduce. Reduce how much we consume, how much baggage we’re carrying around with us, how much we are dependent on income from corporate style jobs and how much of a footprint we leave on this planet and our surroundings. Those are some lofty goals!

The first step down this road, and probably the biggest one is moving house. We currently live in a house that is way too big for the 2 of us, we rattle around only living in about half of the space we have while the other half is full of junk from previous lives. Our goal is to move to a smaller house and shed a large portion of the stuff we’ve accumulated over the years. We’re also looking for something with a bit of land so I can do some serious vegetable and fruit production as well as keeping bees and chickens. Sounds pretty straight forward so far… What you don’t yet know is that I am a serial renovator. I can’t stay away from properties that “need work”. If the choice is available I’ll always go for something old, worn out and in desperate need of TLC over something new that doesn’t need any work. Enter Rose Cottage.

This goal of this change in lifestyle is something that’s been brewing in my mind for a long time now but has really reached a peak in the last couple of years as I’ve found my corporate style employment less and less satisfying. Long days spent traveling for business left me with evening hours stuck on trains and my mind wandering. It wasn’t long before my wandering mind became internet searches. Late one evening on a north-bound train I stumbled across Rose Cottage. I almost completely dismissed it because I thought it couldn’t possibly tick the boxes of requirements that we have. After the initial requirements were surprising fulfilled we did nothing for months, afraid to take that first step because of all the many steps that might follow. Eventually we (well…probably mostly me) couldn’t take the suspense any longer and decided it was time to go and see Rose Cottage.

I think I should point out that while I’m focused on Rose Cottage at the moment it doesn’t mean that it’s all buttoned up. In fact I spend more days than is comfortable waiting for the other shoe to drop, convinced that there’s no way we’re going to pull this off. We’re still just at the beginning of a long list of hoops to jump through and I have no doubt some of them will be very challenging. If it does all fall through that doesn’t mean that we’re back to square one because we’ve already learnt so much that we’ll be much better situated if we have to begin the search again.

Now I want to tell you why Rose Cottage is so interesting to us. When we moved into our current house we knew we weren’t staying. It was a stopping point along the way but certainly nothing we wanted to grow old in. We were imagining ourselves in a place that was further away from all the noise, with land to work, space for recording and broadcasting, a good internet connection, smaller living space, needing some work done and all under 100K. When I looked at Rose Cottage it magically ticked all of those boxes. As with many things it is actually much more complicated than it looks on the surface.

Eight months went by between my initial enquiry to the selling estate agent and the date we finally went to visit it. During that time I scoured the internet for as much information as I could on this old cottage. I found old maps, previous sales posting but nothing recent to show the current condition of the property. The estate agents had nothing that they would share except two photos from decades ago. I spent so much time studying the street view on Google the image was etching into my brain. I was stalking Rose Cottage.

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