Home from home
It feels like we have done a lot of crazy things in the thirteen months since our working lives ended and we cast off into retiree-land, so I suppose our latest venture is really just par for the course. Maybe I need to recap, just as a reminder of how we got to this point.
It all started whilst we were spending last winter in Italy, our first post retirement winter and living for the first time for many years close to my brother as well as being surrounded by beautiful mountains. As the months passed we had slowly begun to realise that something about our retirement plan wasn’t quite gelling for us. For all the thoughtfully prepared choices Kate and I had discussed between ourselves and talked about in the years leading up to April 09, something was missing. We discovered we now wanted something we hadn’t thought we would want and this came as something of a shock. We had discovered that to live aboard a boat all summer and to live in rented accommodation, somewhere different, each winter has left us feeling strangely uncomfortable, even unsettled. What was missing was ‘a home’, and this was odd because we kind of thought we could do without it. The boat is our home for a large part of the year and we are comfortable with this but we now feel that along with this we need something on solid ground, a base, so that even when we are on board we can think of it as ‘home’ and mentally place ourselves there. (If my explanation here sounds woolly then maybe this is something that confounds logic and I therefore give up trying to explain further.)
So this is how we find ourselves in Yeovil, Somerset taking responsibility for a property we acquired some years ago as a buy-to-let investment, planning to make it our home. Now if you had asked me twelve months ago whether I expected to be sitting here at this stage in my life I would have said “No chance” but here I am nonetheless. Although to be honest there isn’t much sitting going on – we have very little furniture to call our own – but at least here we are surrounded by four walls.
There is a small trade-off to acquiring the home, however, which is that the house needs much work done to make it what we would call habitable. We have a sound structure but internally things are not as we would want. So we have a project, a winter project, to look forward to which we think will keep us busy until the sun returns to the northern hemisphere.
After a brief visit to the property it will be ‘business as usual’ as we continue our sailing circumnavigation of Britain. Later in the year, however, this blog could well become something rather different as instead of bounding up and down mountains it is more likely to be a stepladder and instead of recounting tales of rushing rivers or twisted kneecaps it will be all about painted ceilings and plumbing elbows.
Crinan in Argyll is a long way from Yeovil and our journey there by train and bus promises to be no less tiring than when we travelled south. The difference now is that we’ll soon be arriving in one of the prettiest places in the land.