The journey is over…

Disused quarry

It’s been 10 months now since I made the leap from Essex to Derbyshire and started the transition from self-employed Bushcraft Instructor to full-time employee as Head of Courses.  My wife, Sue and I have shared many aspects of this journey and indeed our approach to life before it even began but we’re pleased to say the journey is over… but the adventure is just beginning.

The first 5 months of the move saw me living in my temporary home, a 7.5 tonne lorry converted into a home from home.  The woodburning stove and the insulated roof and walls did their best but it’s safe to say it was a tough winter.  Added to this I was seriously racking up the miles each week with 5 days in Derbyshire and 2 back in Essex while we were selling our house – minimum of 400 miles a week every week for 5 months.  April arrived, the house sold and the lorry became home to both of us, plus Willow the dog and the search for a new home began in earnest.

A surprise view
A surprise view.

The wish list of desirable features was long but not in the way most would imagine.  As those of you that have read our previous posts will know we are all about simplicity, living lightly on the land and connecting to our place in the natural surroundings.  What we found, however, was that the time in the lorry changed this wish list and for that we are truly thankful.  The one thing we were not prepared to compromise on though was being mortgage free going forwards as this would help sever a tie to a system that can have a huge impact on people’s lives.

A magnificent oak
A magnificent oak.

At the end of May we had found what we felt was going to be the home for us and put an offer in.  A little bit of haggling later and the deal was made and mortgage free we would be.  The process, as always, was slow going so moving day didn’t happen until the end of August.  We enjoyed the summer months continuing with lorry life but as moving day got closer the challenges seemed to get larger somehow.  Constantly moving water, cool blocks for the “fridge” and doing laundry at various locations were all starting to become tedious.  But do you know what, neither of us would change any of it.  We got to see lambs born, barn owls hunt, buzzards glide, shrews, wrens, robins, heron, swallows, bats, hares and crows.  It was so of the landscape that nature just seemed to ignore our presence and put on a display of some sort each and every day.

A surprise find
A surprise find.
The diverse edge of the canal path
The diverse edge of the canal path.

This connection to nature was something we wanted to take forwards and for that reason the house we now find ourselves in has not disappointed.  We are nestled on the edge of a woods which is accessed over a little footbridge opposite our driveway.  From here we can disappear into the countryside in so many different directions it’s quite mind boggling the choices we have.  Within a stone’s throw of the house we have a canal that is now a nature reserve, disused quarries from which the house is built from and more nature than anyone could possibly wish for.  Badgers walk past in the dead of night, buzzards soar above us and red deer are close by and a robin and /or wren comes and joins us while we sit and drink our tea in the garden.

Views everywhere
Views everywhere

The house is so of the landscape it has managed to encapsulate the feeling we had in the lorry but with the benefits of running water, electricity, a washing machine, a fridge, shower and more than one room – what luxury.  Because of our time of disconnection, we’ve decided to stay free of TV, landline phone and broadband.  Life slowed down when we lived in the lorry, so we’ve held on to that feeling and plan to carry it forwards.  Convincing the TV licencing bods you don’t have a TV is no easy task I tell you. We both hope you’ve enjoyed coming on this life journey with us but from now on the onward adventure will be ours and ours alone.  Don’t wait for your adventure because that day may never come, make it happen.

Life bursts through everywhere
Life bursts through everywhere.

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