After a few requests from our lovely Instagram followers, I thought I’d better start a blog to accompany our journey through this crazy, new adventure.
It all began with a little perusing on real estate sites. This is a bit of a hobby for us. After renovating 2 houses and being addicted to the ‘Grand Designs’ type shows for years, it was only a matter of time before this adventure arrived.
It was, of course dependant on finding the right property at the right price. I imagine this is what holds up most people with the dreams and the plans… reality!
When we found the barn, I was absolutely convinced, but as it was an hour and thirty minutes away from our previous home and family, my husband took some convincing.
Off we set, to a property that my husband had convinced himself was a complete no!
Alas, we reached the bottom of the driveway…
Yes, it was rather breath-taking!
The husband tells me he knew from that moment. We put an offer in while we were there that day.
Here are some more photos of the barn and land.
I could talk about it all day, but I wont bore you too much on our first post haha!
The details on the old barn are all stunning. They are ageing, rotting, cracking and quite literally falling to pieces, but there’s definitely beauty to be found in the broken…
I can, without a doubt tell you that life has been absolutely hellish since we chose this adventure.
Once our house had sold, we moved into a touring caravan. Yes, with our 3 children and our dog we moved into a tourer. (This, however, was not the hard part)
We travelled to Norfolk for nearly 2 weeks, which was wonderful. It’s such a lovely part of the UK for dog owners and families. We then stayed a few other places that were all less than idea for us as a family, and here is where the hellishness began.
I find it hard to complain when I know there are so many people far worse off than ourselves, I honestly do, but feeling essentially homeless with 3 children is so difficult. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t the touring caravan that didn’t feel like home, it was not having a ‘space’.
Fast forward through 6 weeks in the tourer, and on the coldest night that had happened up to then (-1’c), the heater decided to break! Ahhh bugger!) We ended up staying in a holiday cottage for the next 3 weeks, during which the heartaches just kept coming for us.
We had 2 cats. Luna and Gepetto. They were staying with a friend while we moved as it would have been unfair to keep them locked up in a touring caravan. My friend contacted me one evening to say Gepetto was missing (this was very, very unlike Gepetto). Unfortunately I discovered quite quickly after asking around that he had been hit by a car, and killed. He was THE most loving cat you could ask for.
I was devastated.
I’d like to say that was the last of the heartache and stress, but unfortunately nowhere near.
During the time we were in the holiday let, we were trying to get services (water, electric, etc) up onto site. We ended up being messed around by numerous tradespeople so M ended up hiring a digger from a neighbour, and spent a whole week, 5am to 6pm, digging trenches himself. This in itself was hard enough on us all as a family.
When we started this journey, I was pregnant with our 4th child (3 beautiful girls already). We booked a private scan to find out the gender early. We discovered that our beautiful, baby boy’s heart had stopped beating at 17 weeks. I delivered him sleeping on the 1st of December.
My heart has never felt so broken.
I will eventually blog on the topic of our loss when I’m ready, as I feel I need to raise awareness into a seemingly innocent virus children get, that is potentially fatal for babies in utero. Parvovirus (Slapped Cheek/Fifth Disease). The time to blog about it is not now though. It’s only been 1 month (exactly), and it’s still very raw.
So, there has been 2 major heartaches. There’s been so many tradespeople letting us down or ripping us off. We’ve had broken heaters, loneliness, we’ve had to move around and feel homeless, we’ve also had broken boilers, burst water pipes, lost deliveries (a LOT!), and a generally horrendous December and festive period.
It turns out this adventure has been more like a nightmare so far.
We are now living on site, in a very lovely (and warm) static caravan. We get THE most stunning sunrises and sunsets almost every day. The kids and dog can just go crazy outside, and they absolutely love it. We have wild birds everywhere and they’re a joy to watch. I have my ex battery hens arriving on the 14th of January, and perhaps a couple of hobby, rare breeds just for a variety… My chicken coop is absolutely stunning.
I’ve ordered fruit trees, fruit canes, fruit bushes and I’m planning my vegetable layout.
I am starting to enjoy the life that we originally signed up for.
I guess, the message I want to convey is… The dream isn’t always easy. You may have to quite literally experience the worst days of our life, more awful than you ever imagined… but if you’re lucky, you’ll wake up one day and it wont feel as bad anymore, and little by little, the hellish days will transform into better days until you’re looking out of your window onto your dreams rather than nightmares.
It has been hard to cope with so much heartache and so many negatives when I’m normally such a positive thinker. That has been a really hard feeling to take on. But I think, or I hope that it’s ok to let yourself fall sometimes. We just have to remember to get back up and carry on.
So, here’s to a new year. A fresh start. Let’s make it a good one.