We've been here since 1992, in the early years we managed a week or so away each year by having relatives and then the grown up children coming to stay, but recently we've had just 1 week away in the last 4 years. Not because we can't afford it but it's just so blinkin' complicated when there are a mass of chickens and plants and poly-tunnels and a campsite to consider. There is no getting away from the fact that a smallholding like this is a tie and Hard Work.
C's Ha Ha ( Hardly a Heart Attack - Jean at Shrimpton and Perfect suggested we call it this in the hope he can laugh it off!) has made us reconsider how long we can stay here, whether it would be sensible to consider moving to a normal house. Could we stay here without growing to sell and keeping lots of chickens? Would the campsite bring us enough money to live on? Would the inheritance from my Dad stretch to live on until pension time if we moved somewhere cheaper? This place must be worth about £400,000 it would be easy to find somewhere a lot less than that. But would we be bored rigid without a smallholding?
I get restive every winter. It's hard to join in with anything when every event requires a car journey. Walking is no fun here in winter when all the footpaths are a muddy quagmire. Sometimes I feel confined to the house when it's dark by 4.30. In a town there is often things going on after dark that can be got to by walking Mostly I don't mind feeling housebound for 5 months of the year but sometimes I do!
All this is because I looked through the seed tin to see what we needed for next year. We had already decided not to bother with some of the winter vegetables. We don't grow anything to sell once pumpkins and squash have finished. White fly has ruined many of the brassicas again this year despite enviromesh which seems to make them taller and weaker. Then it came to deciding how many tomato, cucumber and pepper seeds we needed to buy this year. If we have a holiday it would need to be before the campsite opens or after it closes. Then we have our eldest daughters wedding to get to in May. When would I start the seeds and how would I leave the plants if we are away?
What ARE we going to do?
Where else would we like to live? ( that's easy for me -- anywhere by the sea where the sea is NOT grey)
Who knows, and how and when do we decide?