Saturday, 23 October 2010


Following on from our holiday in Devon DH and I have rented a house for 6 months in South Wales.

We decided that we really do need a base, we were tired of living out of a suitcase. It turns out that we might just have needed a good 3 week holiday to get our "fix" of sun, sea and good R&R. You see that was quite a novelty for DH and I. The last time we had a holiday of anything more than a week was FIVE YEARS AGO. The last two week holiday DH and I had was in 2005 when we went to South West Florida.

For now, we do not want to live abroad. I realise that part of the theme for this blog was to escape Britain. But escape to where, well that horse has been discussed and flogged to death by me on this blog. We have discovered that for now we want to live somewhere in an English speaking country with a temperate climate where there are no immigration issues. With that said living in Britain is the most obvious choice.

The other thing we have come to realise is that we all have to be somewhere, and that it costs something to be anywhere. Wherever you are you "gotta pay". I used to rant on and on about the evils of rent/mortgages/bills etc but the reality is that it costs money to live anywhere, and travel is not cheap. Before people start telling me that travel is not expensive let me say that DH and I are not interested in roughing it or backpacking (ive done that before) or trying to live in SE Asia on 2p per day. Dont get me wrong, DH and I love camping holidays, and have often stayed in hostels in this country and Spain, but doing this as a long term lifestyle choice is not for us.

I always wanted to live between the mountains and the sea and that is now exactly where we are. There is a 2 minute drive to a lovely beach and I can see the mountains from my window. Now this is not a place to live if you want to be amongst progressive forward thinking people, it is certainly not sophisticated and there probably isn't a cocktail to be seen for about 12 miles. But I have "done" all that. I would much rather be around "real" people, in a place where people have lived all their lives.

Let me tell you that the house is a small two bedroom modern semi detached and we are only paying £470.00 for rent. That's right £470.00! This seems like a bargain to me. We can afford this. The last time I paid so little rent was 12 years ago! My tip for early or semi retirement or escaping the rat race or whatever you want to call it is to move to an area with a lower cost of living.

For now this feels right. I say for now because we do not know how we will feel in 6 months time. For me I have found that I have wanted and needed different things at different stages of my life. 5 - 10 years ago living where we are now would not have suited me because for one thing the location does not offer what I wanted at that time, for example there is little opportunity for professional well paid jobs in this area etc.

But I dont need a well paid job now.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

I love mondays

In my old life Mondays were something to dread. I would drag myself out of bed, be forced to deal with the issues of hair and makeup, quickly drink some coffee and then out the door into the concrete jungle to the office. More often that not I would be in a foul mood, not having enough coffee and the thought of sitting at a desk doing paperwork for several hours really made me cheerful.

But not anymore. Yesterday was a Monday and how different my Mondays are these days. We have been sleeping until 10.00 am, drinking coffee until midday etc. Yesterday was one of those days when the weather was 17 degrees c and sunny so we went and sat on the beach until 5.00 pm and just read and watched the magnificent waves. The north Devon coastline is so dramatic. There are few people here and we were the only ones on the beach.

I think that my mind is starting to slow down. In my former job I had to be organised I had to plan, plan and plan again. As a litigator you have to be 20 steps in front, always trying to anticipate the next move of your opponent, living by diaries and court appointment dates and other deadlines for fear of missing something and worse still being negligent. The constant fear of being negligent used to keep me awake at night sometimes.

It is so good to have freedom, before to get any time off I had to go through an arm twisting exercise to take annual leave. Of course the boss would not deny me my statutory rights, he would not decline my request for leave but it was almost as if he went out of his way to make it as difficult as possible for my leave requests to be authorised, and that became extremely wearing.

However, I do have thoughts of doubt, sometimes I think that we were mad to give up the money that we were earning, could we have done another year? Anyway too late now. I am learning to quieten the organising part of my brain and just take each day as it comes.