Tuesday 29 August 2017

How we bought our smallholding

How we bought our smallholding... A bit of a ( drastically edited) life story really.
Are you sitting comfortably? then I'll begin...
 I met David when he moved into a council house 12 doors away from our council house. I was just 14 and he was all of 15 and a half.
Nearly six years later (1966) we married. My parents, who had to give consent as I was a minor, weren't too keen, but I informed them that if we didn't marry soon we might well have our children as bridesmaids.. that did  it! We rented a terraced house a couple a streets away from our parents. The house had an outside loo and a long back garden, which we never used for anything "useful" that I remember. A couple of years ( and a daughter) later we had saved the deposit for a new house on what was then, one of the biggest new private estates in the midlands. My father, a staunch socialist,  was taken aback and not a little disappointed by us being "owner-occupiers" he thought we had overstretched ourselves, a sentiment we had to concur with a couple of years later when fuel prices went through the roof and the interest rate on our mortgage rose to 15%! Those were the days of  real hardship and only the skills taught to me by my mother, much ingenuity and a frugality that had helped us raise the deposit for the house in the first instance, helped us to hang on until things got better. Around this time our second daughter was born.
Living on a new estate meant that most of our neighbours were of a similar age and we had a really good social life. We met people who are still dear friends today. Two people, in particular, we became close to. Newlyweds, they moved in five doors away.. After a while we saw them daily, went on holiday together, played cards into the night and generally lived in each others pockets. By now David and I had started to grow vegetables, keep bees in a friends large garden, rear rabbits for meat, forage, make wine (I had always cooked, baked, made jams and preserves) and yearn for "The Good Life". Our friends became interested too and when we watched the serial "The Survivors" together we were agreed that we were the types who would survive. Coming across John Seymour sealed our growing ambition which was held back purely for economic reasons! As we spent so much time together we reasoned that we stood a good chance of living together and we began to search for a property that our joint incomes could afford and that was big enough for two families (though they still had no children at this time)
Over the next few years we looked at properties, bought "useful things"  for our future life from car boots, read up and practiced skills that could be useful and after many false starts and horrors we found a property that could, with work, meet our needs.
 In the summer of 1981 we sold our houses and arranged to move in the September. One buyer fell through and we decided to take our chances with a bridging loan . Crikey that was financial fun for the next nine months!  Moving two seperate houses and households into one house (that we had yet to convert derelict rooms into liveable accommodation) in what turned out to be a bitter winter is another story really, as this one is telling of how we afforded our little bit of land.
Twelve years later our lives had changed in many ways and we decided that we and our friends wanted/needed/prioritised different things. We bought our friends out and the smallholding became ours alone. (they remain our close friends and we see each other at least weekly)
In short, we moved from council house, to rental , to owner occupier, to joint owners and finally sole owners of a Derbyshire stone cottage with two beautiful acres bounded by a river.
Here I sit feeling pretty smug in our little piece of heaven, bought entirely by our own means (we have never inherited nor won anything) it hasn't been easy at times for all sorts of reasons, but it has always been worth it.
Anybody want to share how they afforded to buy their dream?
Back soon
love Gillx

Sunday 20 August 2017

Trying to sell things and other stuff

Hello All
Blogger friends, do you remember when you first started blogging and you kept looking to see how many views you received? Well that's me on facebook marketplace! I finally put three items up for sale (loads more to do) and I keep checking to see if anybody has looked at them.
After my last post I decided to try to sell items on fb marketplace within 40k of here and if they don't sell will put them on ebay. I have taken lots of photographs and written descriptions that I believe to be clear and honest. All will be transferable to ebay if needed.
 I remember when I first started blogging and my daughter was my first follower (well she would be as she set up the blog for me!) she said that she would get me started and follow me until I got 20 followers. I couldn't imagine that happening at the time and remember the first comment I received, I was SO excited. I'm not a regular blogger so don't really deserve nor court new followers, but I'm am still pleased when someone new follows!
 The news is pretty awful again isn't it? Unlike many people, I really don't have the answer to the terrorist attacks. Anyone can drive a van into a crowd and everyone has access to a kitchen knife, you cannot legislate against either can you? And if a person believes that they are doing the will of god and actually want to be a martyr there are few punishments you can inflict that they won't embrace or welcome.
The weather has been varied here in Derbyshire and we have struggled to get the right weather to take honey off the bees. many people have called or phoned to ask if we have any yet and we are turning them away. it is very frustrating.
Meanwhile, the odd broody is bringing off a couple of chicks here and there. no big broods, but the numbers are adding up for replacement hens for next year.
"Fake or Fortune" starts again tonight. One of my favourite programmes, I shall be bathed and ready to watch it prior to us going out to friends later.
Talking of painters and cheating, there is a new book out called "Traces of Vermeer" by Jane Jelley, which I really, really want to read. Trouble is, it costs £25 which is a lot for me to pay for a book, but I'm not sure that I can wait until it is available second hand. Perhaps if I sell something on facebook I can use the cash to buy the book!!
 Looking back, this is another random post (really? from me?)
I have started to draft a post about buying a smallholding and thought that a good place to begin would be how WE bought our smallholding, so that will be my next post.
A warm welcome to Chezbobs on the follower bar and California Clippin on Bloglovin.
Back soon