As I say so often in my blog I will, and have, give my story warts and all. I think that this is going to be one of those posts.
I provide a dog sitting service for someone as part of our new life, and over the last few months, sometimes due to unforeseen circumstances, I have been out of my house for long periods of time. This has affected Rich (and myself more than I realised) because although he does get on with jobs that need to be done, it means that we have been apart, and it has made us question if this is what we came over here for, to be apart all the time. The answer to that is a resounding no.
Our friends, Mary and Den have been over to visit us in the last fortnight and unfortunately an emergency arose which meant that my dog sitting duties ran over considerably and we could not all spend time together, so much so that they decided to cut their holiday short and leave early. Something that Rich and I fully understand. But it has got to Rich, and I understand that.
Our cesspit (and for all those who read the blog you will all feel as if you know the cesspit as if it were an old friend!!) continued to flow over into our cellar until Rich realised that the water from our guttering was also being diverted into it, hence filling it up given the torrential rain that we had been having. So Rich come up with a solution and (touch wood) the cesspit is no longer overflowing. Hooray you may say, except…… we have had a major leak in our cellar, when the main valve in the tank that holds our water finally gave up.; and I mean literally! Rich thought to himself “why is the water pump still pumping” (we use well water) and when he went down to the cellar there was water spraying everywhere, Rich said it was like a fountain; and the cellar, and everything in it, was soaked. Luckily (because I do believe that everything happens for a reason) Den the handy plumber man was here to fix it.
Added to that Rich’s truck, which is only an 09 plate and has extremely low mileage, has broken down!
You would think that would be enough, but noooooooo! Monday night we were battered severely by storm Katy, and I mean seriously. We have lost half of the roof on our kitchen and utility room. Yes we are insured, and that will be my first call tomorrow, but for my poor husband it was one thing too many, and he confessed that he wondered if we had done the right thing, and that he was “not feeling the love for the house right now.” That he lies awake worrying about everything from money, to jobs that need to be done in the house, and the lack of money to do them, to the dread of waking up one day and finding that our dilapidated old barn has fallen down. At that moment in time I think that he wanted to give up the ghost, sell the house, and go and live in a caravan in Benidorm!
Now weirdly I am the opposite. I expected some damage, as I have said we live on top of a hill, we are in a detached house braving the elements all on its own. The storm last night was something that I had never experienced before because I have always lived in suburbia, which is safer (sometimes). But I loved the experience of snuggling in our bed together with the Welshies, with the shutters rattling listening to the storm outside, knowing it would do damage, but feeling safe, and also at one with nature at the same time.
I am not being sentimental, my old life was killing me. If our roof had blown off in England we would have been in exactly the same position, no money, and having to find the excess for the insurance. If the car had gone wrong we would not have been able to have it repaired. Yes I had a good job, but never seemed to have any more money than I have now, because I spent it paying for fuel to go to work, on things such as takeaways because some days we were both out of the house for 14 hours a day, on crap like Sky, and mobile phones and so many things that, since living here, I have come to realise we didn’t need. Rewards for ourselves, for going to my shitty job each day, where people didn’t give a damn about each other, much less the patients they were supposed to care for . (But my old job is another story.)
I could not sleep, when now, weirdly, I sleep well even though our income is not guaranteed , I can’t afford to buy clothes, that I seem to spend most of my time dressed like a tramp (because I am decorating and renovating, and cleaning for people, not because I have become a tramp!!) The difference now is that I don’t work to kill myself, I work to live. I spend more time with Rich (well normally), with our animals, I am my own boss, and I am me.
I made a coffee and sat Rich down. I asked him what was bothering him, and said the above to him. I also asked what makes an adventure an adventure? If it was all good it wouldn’t be an adventure would it? I said that we have only been here just under a year, and that is not long enough to make a completely new life. We have a job to start in June, when we will be taking over the management of a gite complex, and we would then have regular income coming in, even some during the winter months. It seemed to spur him on, he went out into the garden and found himself a prop, got t the hoe out of the goat shed and with these two impromptu tools he set about putting as many tiles back on the roof as he could while I held the ladder. Bless him, at least he has stopped the water pouring in (for now, but they will not last long.)
So why do I tell you all this? Because I said that I would tell my story warts and all. Yes it is hard, yes people will have doubts, but it is all about facing that challenge finding a way round it. I know from things that have happened to me in my life that I would rather have any of these challenges than be faced with serious illness or worse. Life is for living, and, despite it all, when I step outside my door and look around me, hear the owls, see the kestrels and the other birds of prey swooping high above the fields in front of my house it is worth it. The fact that I can be me, and write this blog and not give a shit about what other people think anymore is soooooo worth it.
I hope that some of you are still inspired.