It’s just over two weeks since we’ve moved house. It’s been a really, long drawn our process for us, because we had to sell a flat that had lost money some time ago in the financial and housing recession, and so it’s been the accumulation of two years blood, sweat and tears, selling the flat, raising further funds when there wasn’t enough for a decent deposit, and doing without, and now finally we find ourselves sitting in our own home (the bit that isn’t owned by a bank) and reflecting on ‘What have we done?’
You see we haven’t just moved across the city, or from one town to the other. We’ve actually moved from a small , very beautiful city, to a rural village. The great thing about this village is it’s only half an hour down the road, but it couldn’t be more different to our old home. We used to live in a damp little terrace near the city centre where dog poo was rife, you could walk to work, and your view back and front was another house. Now if we want to go anywhere apart from a walk down the village we have to drive so we need two cars, there’s only one shop that stocks the very basics (no butter as there’s no call for it apparently), and pretty much nothing else. And I love it.
Initially when we started to think about moving, we were hoping to move within the city, however for those of you who know York in the UK it’s a very expensive city to live in, and all that we could get for our money was a one or two bed flat in the outskirts. When you add on top service charges and ground rent it all becomes very expensive, and we wanted a simpler life. We wanted to get up and listen to the birds, to be able to stretch out on a deckchair and listen to bees pollenating, to take lazy walks after lunch with the dogs, and to thoroughly enjoy everything a life without having to work 60 hours a week, and keep up with the Jones, the Smiths or anyone else has to offer. However it wasn’t until a flat we’d put an offer on in the city fell through that we found ourself visiting this little village and considering a much more radical move. As two women who live together with 6 animals, we were always going to stick out like a sore thumb and we were worried about that, but on our first visit we were made very welcome, and it made us feel like this was as good place to call home.
The view of the village from our house
Cue less than three months later, and we’ve committed lock, stock and ikea bags. Village life is very different to living in a town, I guess far more than we realised. Nothing happens, I mean literally nothing. If someone is watering their plants it’s a busy day. The horses clip clopping through the village is commuter traffic, and a dog barking is as close as we get to anti social behaviour (and it’s usually one of ours). The wife has turned into the world’s nosiest neighbour, but we’ve taken to it like a pig in muck. Our little cottage is small but perfect to keep working on our minimalist ideal, and felt like home the minute we brought the first box over the threshold. We still both work in the city so we have the benefit of being able to get everything we need in the daytime and come back to our little oasis in the evening and at weekends.
I am sure there is a honeymoon period for rural living, and there will be downsides of living here (more than likely when it’s no so pretty in the winter and the river floods), and dear reader I shall keep you updated on the highs and lows. What I can say though is this lunchtime I was lying in the deckchair watching swallows swoop over a blue sky. No bees as yet, but I think I need some flowers they actually want to feed on. I always knew that living simply is something I want to achieve. We probably will never have the finances for a small holding, or a big plot for self sufficiency because for us simple living means working less and living more but this feels like a massive life change in the right direction.
Featured image courtesy of BBC