Fast forward a few months and we still loved our allotment – it was our favourite place to be, but it was hard too, it was just too far to walk with then 3 young children, you had to walk up 2 fields to our plot from the car park if it was wet, carrying everything up. We couldn’t get there daily to water so all our plants had to be grown at home then driven there.
We felt desperate to be able to grow in our own backyard, to be there daily, to make it our life rather than a small part of it. We began to feel our house was hugely too big and a small house with a big more outside space would suit us so much better as a family.
We begun browsing Rightmove and Zoopla and looking into other ways we could move somewhere with a little bit of land to care for. We just kept hitting road blocks, we found that most houses with an acre or so of land were coming in at 400-500,000 and above as they often had huge houses with them, which was way out of our price range and also not what we wanted.
We ended up realising that to get the kind of simple lifestyle we wanted, we would likely have to move somewhere more remote – Wales, or Scotland, where land was much cheaper. We holidayed in Wales and looked. We loved it, and a lot of the places but we felt heartbroken at leaving our families and friends behind, knowing the 5 hour drive was so hard with little children in tow that we would hardly ever even visit. We had such a lovely community of friends here. Could we do it?
We felt incredibly torn. Then one night rightmove turned up a little semi detached house, near the next town to us. It was part of an old land settlement and had 6 acres of land. I phoned the estate first thing the next morning. It has sold. I phoned them to see how far along the same was. Too far to accept other offers. I phoned them one last time and begged them to put my number on file in case anything fell through and they did. I spent the morning feeling absolutely gutted, and in the afternoon my phone rang. The sale had fallen through, we could go and view, but it had to be that afternoon as the vendor was on holiday for 2 weeks afterwards. My mother in law and nephew had just arrived visiting from the Midlands but we practically threw everyone in the car and raced there.
It was perfect. Everything we wanted. A modest, cosy, small house and a beautiful garden with a couple of little outbuildings and some stunning old fruit trees. It needed some work to be liveable and we’d have to live in a touring caravan for a few months while we did it, but it would be so worth it. We offered the asking price there and then and luckily the purchase and the sale of our old house proceeded from then on without a hiccup.
It was like a dream come true – little did we know how stressful the first year would be, which left us cracking and then massively simplifying.