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As I wheeled the wheelbarrow across the garden, full of logs to keep us warm this week, in howling winds and driving rain with two mad Welshies running at my feet, I remembered last year and how different I felt then. I can remember RD and I being in the garden, cutting wood to use that winter and begrudging, in some ways, that we had to do it.

When we came here we were both ready to embrace the rustic lifestyle, we both knew we would be cold, with only a log burner and some expensive electric heaters to heat our house. We both knew that living in a stone house would be chilly. But I think we were both looking at the challenge with optimism, and that neither of us really understood how difficult it would be to adjust to a new way of life: a life with no heating at the click of a switch, a life where you had to put the work in to stay warm. In fact in January we considered whether to stay or leave this life we had chosen, for many reasons.

Fast forward now to this year, and as I wheeled the logs across the garden, buffeted by the wind, I smiled to myself because I now respect the fact that I have to put in the effort for what I need. I no longer take heating for granted, I no longer take what this beautiful planet offers me for granted; and because I have to put in the effort I don’t waste what we have. In this world of climate change (living in a rural setting it has become so noticeable) that has to be a good thing.

As always we are open to change, I believe you have to be in life; and one of our biggest lessons has been to not hold on too tight. But next time we will take all we have learned from this adventure on to the next chapter. When that happens….life will show us the way.