Posts Tagged ‘countryside’

Why it’s good to be bad at things

March 15, 2012

Without wanting to sound incredibly conceited, I was pretty good at what I did in Southampton.  In my day job I was an accountant, and most of my clients and employers seemed to think I did a decent job. For fitness, I spent my time teaching and participating in bodycombat and dance fitness classes, both of which I had done for years and felt comfortable with. People seemed to enjoy my classes and I loved teaching them, and felt that I was pretty good at what I was doing.

Here, on the other hand, I’ve noticed that I am not good at anything! It’s all new to me. I am doing things like building fires, cooking and gardening. Any of my friends who have lived with me will tell you that I am far from a domestic goddess! Cooking and gardening do not come naturally to me! And even after a fair few attempts I still cannot seem to grasp the art of building a successful fire. Sigh. Fitness wise, there are no gyms within 2 hours of me that have classes, so I’m having to find new ways to exercise. Exercise is all outdoors here, and don’t get me wrong, I love that and it’s a big part of the reason we moved. Going for a run or bike ride through mountains and rivers is amazing. But – I am not good it!! My runs barely fit the description – they are definitely more of a jog. And my bike rides tend to slow down to a similar speed whenever I hit an hill!

As I am something of a perfectionist, I have been finding this a bit hard to get used to. It’s difficult for me to suddenly be spending all of my time doing things I don’t feel comfortable or confident with. I have had a few wobbly moments with this until this week when it occurred to me that actually

this is a good thing!

After all, this is an adventure. The whole point of the move was to leave behind our old, predictable lives and office jobs, and try new things. There is a reason I was good at stuff I did in Southampton – it was because I was stuck in a rut doing the same things I had done for years. Being shit at something means I’m trying something new. It means I’m stretching myself out of my comfort zone. It means I’m learning new skills and finding new things to enjoy. So, I’m trying to embrace it. It’s good to be bad at things!


Thoughts on downsizing

March 8, 2012

We have been in our new house for three weeks now, and I did wonder before we moved how I would cope with the smaller living space.  We have downsized from a 4 bed house with 107 m2 of living space plus 2 bathrooms, to a 2 bed house with 60 m2 of living space plus 1 bathroom!   This was a conscious decision on our part; we wanted to spend as little as possible on our living accommodation so that we could work less and enjoy a better quality of life.

However, I did have niggling worries that we would find the adjustment hard.   Not only is our new house smaller, it is also a little more …. basic.  The single bathroom is downstairs, and has no bath, just a shower.  Heating is provided by a multi-fuel stove which heats water and radiators.   I have always lived in a house with central heating before!  How would I cope with waking up to a freezing cold house, having to clean out and light a fire before we could get any heat in the radiators?  Would we get under each other’s feet all the time in the smaller space?  Would I miss being able to soak in a hot bath?  Would I hate having to make a middle-of-the-night trip downstairs to the loo in a cold house?  Would we feel cramped?  Would the house feel cluttered?

Three weeks in, I can honestly say my worries were unfounded.  I have not once missed the bigger house.  The stove is hard work, but we are getting the hang of it (even if I am permanently covered in coal dust!), and the “hassle factor” of cleaning and lighting a fire every morning is far outweighed by the simple joy of sitting in front of the flickering flames with a mug of coffee.  Buying a small, economical house has meant we are able to take time off from working without having money worries hanging over us.  This is just …. amazing.  We are spending quality time with each other, in beautiful surroundings, doing things we enjoy.  We are reclaiming the art of lingering.  We are out in the fresh air every day, walking the dogs, mountain biking, or running.  See that lovely view in the header?  That was taken at Loch Trool, about 4 miles from our house.

Last week, we spent a couple of hours just watching and photographing the birds feeding in our garden. A couple of times I caught myself thinking “I should stop wasting time with this and get on …” before realising that actually, this sort of thing is *exactly* what I should be spending time doing!

Life here is good 🙂

A longer update!

March 7, 2012

Hmmmm … so much for updating this blog more regularly!  It turned out that working the day job, teaching classes, buying a house, selling a house, downsizing our stuff, and packing took rather more of our time than we had anticipated!  Far from having leisurely 5 day weekends in between my 3 working days, we seemed to have never been busier in our lives!  However – it was worth it, because – we are here in Scotland!!!

This is what has happened since our last update:

We bought a house in Glentrool Village in Galloway Forest Park.  We originally tried to get our “dream house” near Port William, but the one we wanted was just too expensive and between one thing and another it was too hard to house hunt from 400 miles away! So we decided to buy something “cheap and cheerful” that would do us and get us up into the right area.  So……

….. we bought this rather cute little two bedroom cottage in this lovely peaceful village.

We survived tax return season, got our house fixed up, downsized our possessions

massively, got packed up, and moved up here on February 14!

So – The Big Move has happened!!!!! and sooner than we originally thought as well!

I really will try to update more regularly from now on as I have plenty of time to do so! We have decided to take a “sabbatical” and enjoy getting settled into our new surroundings, so we are not going to be looking for work until September.

So far – 3 weeks into our move – I am LOVING it.  This is the best thing we have ever done!