Tuesday, 14 April 2015

My vision

...Not my rapidly worsening eyesight, you understand, but rather how I envisage my future lifestyle to look like. Here we go......

Photo courtesy of Google images. 

I rise early, awoken by natural daylight streaming through the open curtains rather than by an alarm.
I get up and throw on some practical, comfortable clothes.
I pop down into a cosy, AGA warmed kitchen and place the whistling stove top kettle on to boil, whilst greeting and feeding various cats and dogs, who are all eager to see me.
The kettle cheerfully whistles at me and once armed with a warming cuppa, I slide on wellies and a warm jacket and out we all go, dogs, cats and all, to check on the chickens and have a tour of the very productive acre or two. We might all stop to appreciate how beautiful and peaceful early mornings are from a vantage point with a view.
I make a mental note of some little jobs to get done out there today.
Once all the animals are fed, watered and had some freedom to do the necessary, it's back to the cosy kitchen to prepare the day's loaf of bread. My furry troop of companions all settle themselves back down for a snooze in the warm, whilst I potter about preparing sustenance for the day.
Mr D arrives downstairs and makes himself a cuppa.
We sit and eat breakfast together - poached eggs on the last slices of yesterday's loaf and chat about what we're going to achieve today.
After breakfast, he goes out to start his jobs outside, whilst I finish off the bread and check what vegetables I'll need to pick for today's lunch and dinner - we eat predominantly vegetarian to make the most of our home-grown produce and to be economical.
During the day, we are outside most of the time, working alongside one another (we make an excellent team when we work together), stopping occasionally for a cuppa or lunch. We have amazed ourselves at how much we have learnt along th way, which we didn't know we could do.
By the end of the day, we have worked hard, but it's all been for our benefit and at our pace. We have spent time outside and together, practising the new skills we have gained along our new life path. We have gained a deep feeling of satisfaction in our hearts, peace in our heads and a reassuring ache in our limbs. In the evenings, after our simple meal, we may choose to watch a little TV or read by the stove. Then back off to bed to rest our tired bodies ready for another day ahead.

There are no alarms, no commuting, no consumerism, no excess.
We spend very little on food, preferring to eat our own produce. We are ultra careful with fuel, preferring to put on extra layers rather than heat a house. We use wood, collected as far as possible by ourselves to heat the stove. We think about our water usage and are prudent and not wasteful in everything we do. Clothes are only washed if absolutely necessary and line dried. I make our own laundry liquid, handwash, soap and cleaning products.
Excursions to supermarkets or other shops are kept to an absolute minimum. Clothes are only bought if absolutely necessary and before buying new, thrift shops are searched for bargains.
The house is clean enough, but I am not obsessive anymore, preferring to be outside. I have learnt that people will not judge me on how clean my house is if it's warm, comfortable and welcoming - besides with lots of animals, you can't be too clean! It's an old house anyway so a little dust and lived-in look suits the house better.

Mr D looks about ten years younger and has lost the 'haunted' look he has been wearing for the last ten years. We have much less money and nothing spare for material things, but we are peaceful and happy. There are still stresses and we still work hard, harder even, but we are the bosses. Friends and family love to come and visit, enjoying their glimpse into our 'dream' lifestyle.

This is what I spend hours and hours dreaming about. This is what I'm aiming towards. Is it possible? Are any of you living this dream already and if so how do you finance it? Do I have to wait until all my children have left home? What can I do now, to help this dream become a reality? Perhaps, you have words of wisdom and advice you can offer me to help me nudge closer towards this view of my
future.......

51 comments:

  1. Sounds just like my life .....yeah right!! (Laughs manically into a cushion.)

    I could do an alternative post just like this one .... Lol.

    It CAN be achieved to a level, but you can never leave consumerism behind completely and IT IS a lot easier without children, they are being programmed by society to want more and more of the 'latest' things, I would hate to have to be the one saying "No you can't have" over and over again.

    What you write about is what a lot of us strive towards and indeed we do get part of the way there but it takes time, patience and yes ....money!!

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    1. I'm saving like crazy and I'm hoping that if I keep focussed on the end goal we may reach it, if only in part!

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  2. This was our plan - well sort off - as we had the campsite to run and growing to sell and odd jobs to earn a small living. THEN along come heart problems, very low interest rates so almost no income from savings, prices and bills rising and the whole thing almost goes to pot! ( We do the wood and clothes things and a lot of our own food)
    By the way I loved this post - have you read Elizabeth West - Hovel in the Hills that was the way they lived but is was the 1960s.

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    1. Thanks - I'll look out for that book, sounds like just my thing! And thank you for pointing out potential pitfalls. I need to be realistic!! X

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  3. Loved your post. It sounds a lot like our life, minus the chickens and dogs. It's been the best years of our life.

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    1. Thank you I have to believe it's possible!

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  4. Lovely lovely post, pretty much how I envisage my future. Our children are grown and left the nest so it should be a little easier. We will have to earn some money still as my partner being self employed, while I have mostly worked for charities there isn't a nice fat pension to look forward to. Also even though he grew up on a farm, I'm not sure the bearded one would want to go back to cleaning out chicken houses, so it will be me and my future dog doing the morning round. I hope you achieve it, I hope we both achieve it, we can encourage each other when the dream seems impossible xx

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    1. Absolutely! It would be good to have a 'dream' buddy! Thanks x

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  5. Lovely post, that is our dream as well, but earning a small income would be needed for us.

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    1. Thanks. Realistically I think we will need an income too, we're just not sure what or how yet!

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  6. Love your post yes it is possible but you have to make sacrifices, it took 30 years of planning and dreaming for us to get that lifestyle and the biggest sacrifice we make is my husband is away through the week still running our business and it will continue like that until we either sell it or he retires, I do think it can be done with children and would be a great life for them, if they are not brought up to have everything on demand, the younger the better, teenagers would find it very difficult to adjust, keep working towards your dream they do come true :-)

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    1. 30 years planning!! I've probably been thinking about thIs for about ten years, but as for actual planning that's more like one year - oh dear, I fear I may have some serious catching up to do!! If my plan works, we'll have one child still with us - she's not massively keen at this stage though (she's 12!) :(

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  7. What a wonderful post today.
    I think being somewhat younger and in good health helps. Neither I have.
    But it is a wonderful dream and it seems like you have made it come true.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Thank you. I'm certainly working on it - preferably before the stress of my husbands job does home in!!

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  8. I love your vision and I think reminding yourself of it daily will make it happen. I totally agree with your low waste and anti-consumerist values and the longing for deep peace that this lifestyle will hopefully bring. Lovely to find your blog today - it's wonderful!

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    1. Thank you. I'm so glad you enjoyed my musings and I appreciate you taking the time to comment x

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  9. I wish, I wish, I wish. If you say it 3 times does it come true?

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    1. Not sure, but it's certainly worth a try!!

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  10. I suppose we have some of that life. As with everything you are bound to make some concessions/compromises. While you are saving and searching towards your dream learn as many skills as you can, joining local smallholders groups and meet like minded people. We moved to our 2 acre smallholding 34 years ago and I suspect that we would probably find our life physically difficult if we were starting now, ( especially as my job was using my brain not my body). So keep fit and healthy and keep dreaming..You have the right values and attitude.
    Gill

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    1. Thank you - good advice. Yes both of us have had non manual jobs all our lives, but we are both presently in good health so I'm hoping that if we can start our new life style as soon as possible we'll have some good years in us! I'm trying very hard to save as much money as possible too!

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  11. We both retired last year and our life now is similar to your dream life above perhaps not quite so 'rosy' (we only have an allotment not acres) - the best is not having a daily commute to work as well not having to give our time to 'work'. But it took 25 years of working hard and paying into a pension when there were times when I really needed that money to achieve this lifestyle - I read somewhere that retirement is the pot of gold at the end of your working rainbow and it really is - I hope you reach your dream soon xxx

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    1. We're going to get in a financial advisor now to help us ensure that pensions are as healthy as they can be before we take the plunge!! It's a scary thought and we are not natural risk takers, but something has to change! My husband spends hours of his week fighting through traffic getting to work and backs he's leaving earlier and earlier to try and beat it... Crazy!

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  12. Has a lot in common with our life ... but hubby has to work quite long hours and I'm afraid we rent, so the insecurity keeps me awake at night. But the details of the day aren't far out.

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    1. I guess there will have to be compromises for us too especially with four children all still needing financial support!

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  13. Oh I'm gutted, I thought that was your life, I only just found your blog and was just picturing at the Aga. (By the way, in my mind it was blue!) I could smell the bread and everything. I think we all dream of that, similar to Darling buds of May. X

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    1. One day..... :) x the AGA would have to be blue or cream by the way.

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  14. Me again I have a spare copy of the Elizabeth West book Hovel in the hills if you would like it, it was the book that inspired me to seek the lifestyle we now live, drop me an e-mail if you want it uksfdawn@gmail.com or you can contact me through the contact form on my blog. :-)

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    1. That's really kind of you. I'll email you x

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  15. Your lovely post much mirrors our dream. We work towards it, a little step a day. Our plan is that my husband will be able to go down to a four day week eventually. We have four children, and yes, it is a great challenge convincing them that we will be happier living a simpler life, but it is not in vain. They are the next generation, the values we teach them will help shape the future and save the planet from mass consumerism. Thank you for your lovely post and hang on to that dream, l know l am going to! Pam in Norway

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    1. Little by little we will get there and it's a worthy dream to have I believe!

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  16. Lovely post. Getting rid of the haunted look you describe is very much top of our wish list, even if I'm not really looking to be more self sufficient or anything like that. But whatever our dreams are, reading, learning, saving, linking up with like-minded people and continuing to make those little decisions daily will hopefully move us closer to our goals.

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    1. I need to find a new way of life for us whilst my husband is still healthy enough to enjoy it. Some of these jobs can drain the very life blood out of you!

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  17. Your vision sounds wonderful. I retired 6 months ago and used my pension lump sum to pay of our mortgage. The monthly pension I get is tiny! My husband works but has no pension to look forward to (apart from the state pension at 66 which is a long way off). My vision is sort of like yours but on a smaller scale. I would love to retire to a tiny cottage, somewhere like Robin Hood's Bay. I am trying to un-burden our lives of a lot of unnecessary stuff so my cottage would be minimally furnished, though not to an extreme. It would have just 2 bedrooms and must have some sort of garden, even if only a courtyard to sit out in, preferably south facing too! It wouldn't be isolated as I would want to join in with the local community to get to know others. However, like you, we still have our youngest at home - although she's 22 this year she graduates in the summer and will be moving home. Putting 2 of our 3 children through Uni has cost several thousands over the years and so I would definitely agree that good old money is the main thing!!

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    1. Robin hoods Bay is lovely! We love Staithes too :) I still have all four children to out through Uni (eldest has just been accepted to do graduate entry medicine) so we will need an income for a while to come yet - no retiring for either of us, but I am hoping for a change in direction nevertheless.

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  18. Don't wait until you're retired to start the dream. Sometimes, life gets in the way. If you aren't gardening now, get started--and the perennials you plant now, such as asparagus and rhubarb, will be there for you next year. Either dig up your flower borders for this or get an allotment, or garden with a friend. If you don't have a freezer, start saving for one so you can store your harvests. Do you live where you could have chickens? Most importantly, start saving...you never know where you will run into an Aga. Blue or cream, of course.

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    1. Chickens?? I'm reading your comment the day after I bought them! :) I agree about starting the process of changing our lifestyle now rather than waiting for retirement!

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  19. I am walking away from my well paid job in 12 weeks and 2 days. I started the process of planning financially for this in the Autumn (supported by many more years of substantial saving). I'm 48 years old so I'm not retiring.... just re-focusing! Good luck with all your dreams. Jx

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    1. I'm 48 too. The kids at school all said I was retiring, but as you say it's not exactly retiring, more a change in direction! I read from your blog you're a saver - I try very hard to save as much as I can although it's not always easy with house maintenance, cars and children! I look forward to following your journey x

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  20. Here endeth the dream, let the reality begin ! ha ha
    I wrote an ebook once about moving to the country and your 'dream account' is very much like my opening paragraph.
    I do hope you realise your dream.

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  21. Yes I did, but had to leave it all behind due to circumstances beyond my control. Now I'm working and saving to get back to that life.

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    1. Well I will certainly keep my fingers crossed for you! Life can be a bugger cant it?

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  22. It sounds blissful. I'm aiming on simplifying my home life in order to spend more time travelling. X

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    1. That sounds like a good reason! Personally I think simplifying is just good for the soul whatever the driving force! I hope you achieve your goal :)

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  23. Sounds just perfect. As I new reader I didn't realise until the end that it was all a dream. I hope you can make it real one day. Wonder if you have read Of Mice and Men. I love George and Lennie's description of this dream home and lifestyle and thought of it as I read this.

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    1. Welcome! I have read it, but not for a VERY long time, so perhaps I should add it to my ever growing reading list!

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  24. Have you read Rhoda's blog"Down to Earth"? She really is living this life in Australia. It's a really inspiring blog, so if you haven't read it you are in for a treat! Penny L

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    1. Funnily enough it was Rhonda's blog that I turned to first. I have read and re read her books and am looking forward to her next one. I love her gentle wisdom and total commitment to what she's doing - as you say very inspiring! Welcome to my little blog :)

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  25. What a wonderful dream!! I'm going to start working three days a week in August and have been living as simply as possible. I think your dream is possible and I would love to have a lot of animals and a big garden but I don't think that my health would allow that. I do think that I can get by without using my retirement for 14 months and then start my social security. I want to be able to take care of my yard, house and hobbies. If you wait too long then your health could be an issue. Do things now as we don't know what the future holds. I think I'm making the right decision and see that so many others also want the sloooow life, less stress, less travel, etc.

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  26. Love your post. WE are aiming for a lot of that.

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  27. Keep planning and saving and you will get there. We too are making plans and looking at whether we could give up work and live on very little, hopefully in a year or so. You are right to take into account the stress on your husband; sometimes something has to give and it shouldn't be his physical or mental health.

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