Coming or going? Who knows…

Rain, sunshine, hot, cold, summer, autumn… I think Mother Nature doesn’t know if she’s coming or going at the moment. I know the feeling.

Smallest Smallholding

So much is right here, but will it be time to move on?

We’ve been wondering for a while if we need to pack our bags and move on. The problem is that there are so many things right with where we live – in the house itself, the smallest smallholding and the town – but then again, there are quite a few things a bit wrong that are starting to grate on me more and more.

Pros – we’re well connected to motorways and railways lines straight into London, so getting somewhere in the UK (or out of it) is pretty easy by average standards. We’ve got beautiful countryside on our doorstep. We’ve got a Waitrose up the road (because it’s always good to have an alternative to Tesco), dentists, doctors, hair salons, restaurants, vets, dry cleaners, gift shops, plumbers, DIY store and a big badass shopping centre all within relative spitting distance. The schools are generally OK here and the high school is one of the best in the county and region. The land we have with our crumbling down house is unprecedented in this area. We’re really quite spoiled.

BUT.

I feel hemmed in. We’re forced to listen to our neighbours’ teenage son swearing and shouting EVERY DAMNED NIGHT as he plays Call of Duty or whatever MMORPG it is that gets him so flippin’ angry and sweary. Then there’s the screaming children. The relentless screaming children and their apparently oblivious or absent parents. The retired dudes with their infatuation with power tools. The railway line. The hum of traffic. The constant and expanding building that’s making the countryside feel like that litter bit further away.

I don’t know if we’ll ever find a better option, on our budget. Rich doesn’t want to go further north (where you get more for your moolah) because his family is based down south. And that’s really fair enough. I’d love to get closer to the sea as we’re about as far away from the sea in the UK as you can get, and I’d like to have a little bit more space to myself. I’m quite an insular person with a very active imagination, so being a little bit more remote would be OK.
So what’s stopping us from moving? Well… nothing. But there are a few obstacles:

1) Cats. We have lots of them. Four to be exact. And they need their own space. So being anywhere near a slightly busy road, on an estate with piddly gardens or in a tiny one-bedroom cottage (which is pretty much our budget in the nicest areas that we’d like to move thanks to rising house prices) isn’t an option.

2) We really HAVE been spoiled and I don’t want to regret leaving this place and the land. I could live in a two-bed house on the smaller side if it meant having plenty of outdoor space to ourselves. But in East Anglia, the South East or South West, I’m not sure that’s an option. Unless we live in the back of beyond with crap Internet (needed for remote working for both of us) and no services.

3) I want to stay in a commutable distance of work (Cambridge). I currently travel an hour once a week for the office and to have face-time with my wonderful colleagues (they really are a fantastic bunch) so adding on a little extra wouldn’t be so bad. But it does limit our options as far as finding somewhere a bit rural, a bit nice, and commutable.

4) Money. Savings. Rising house prices. Ridiculous deposits.

5) I’m going off the idea of older properties, simply because we’ve had constant work to keep this 1919 cottage from falling down. The idea of a new-build is getting more and more appealing but we’ll never EVER be able to do that outside of an estate-setting (what is with estates these days?!) or with enough land. And building our own is just not an option, given the amount of savings we’d have to accumulate.

6) We can’t live too close to working arable farmland because a) pesticides and b) harvesting and cats. We know people that have lots cats to combine harvesters 🙁

7) Everywhere I’d like to live is just Too. Damned. Expensive.

 

How can we make it work? I spend so much time at home that it HAS to be right.

Comments

  1. Hannah Walling says

    We’ve just returned from an amazing week in Norfolk. House prices seem pretty reasonable there and there are lots of rural open spaces. Would Norfolk be an option?

  2. Possibly but the main sticking point is commuting to Cambridge each week… with a distinct lack of motorway connections it would be relatively slow. But we have looked!

  3. Marie mc dermott says

    I have just come back from a small holding course in Devon it was great and gave me and my husband lots of ideas. I have no experience and like reading your blog. I have been having a bit of a meltdown as well where would we go?. How much can we afford? It is just a mine field there is so much information but ultimately it all comes down to money.

    • It’s always about money unfortunately! But if you look at areas a bit away from amenities you can get a lot more for your money. We’re not in a position to compromise at the moment so ultimately we’ll probably be staying, but I can really empathise with your struggle to find the “right” decision and the right place! Thanks for dropping by! x

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