Tuesday 20 July 2010

Life's too short

I have kept busy making, but I'm not keeping up with getting photos off the camera, so I've been put off posting- after all, a few pictures are a lot more interesting than an essay,and quicker to digest, especially with family life going on!
Well, the pictures are still on the camera, or on the hard drive for whenever I can remember where DH said he was putting them, sigh.

I thought I'd share why/ how I've got into making/doing things 'all of a sudden', and the idea of blogging.
The short answer is earlier this year DH and I agreed we want to move, want to change our lives drastically, but not knowing quite what to do, want to do some research. We like the ideas of permaculture, self-sufficiency, working less and having more family time, but also haven't the practical skills to put it into practice.We enjoy growing our own veg- in pots and in the allotment, and just want more space to do more. DH is really into trees, and would love a wood- coppicing, charcoal burning and woodland management are all on his 'to do' list!
We've been talking for a year or so about living in a field (our parents love that one!), but the practicalities still elude us. Anyway, our research project is to go WWOOFing, and volunteer on farms around the UK. The first idea was to do this by getting a maternity leave ( !!) from work, but then decided it was worth asking about special unpaid leave, which I did and my absence is 6 months next summer. I didn't expect my application to be successful, and in the current financial climate at work, this may not be the greatest timing - but it is right for us as a family. DH has given his notice to his work, he finishes before Christmas ready to home educate K full time- she's too old for nursery after Christmas. Anyway, leading up to our big adventure, we're selling the house, selling our stuff (anyone want a Charles and Di wedding commemorative teaspoon?!) and learning things that interest us, and possibly some things that might come in handy when volunteering. DH is doing more of the latter, so far he's loved his chainsawing course and keen to do another. So that's where bowl carving, sewing, jam making, etc are all coming from.

But there's still the 'why now?' to deal with.
I see our parents after working hard all their lives, with some of the later years a real struggle, finally enjoying their rewards and going on holidays, the odd cruise, that kind of thing.But there's been real ups and downs and worries if pensions would be as good as they were promised ( I gather they mostly weren't) and having to work too hard for their ages, being in unhealthy mental places and then wondering how long they'll be able to enjoy this before ill health stops the fun. Some recent deaths have really brought this home- a colleague in his 50s died suddenly earlier this year, a treasured uncle who wasn't that much older ( well, I reckon under 65) died very recently. Right now I feel what's the point in waiting for retirement ( which'll be at least 65 by the time I get there!) to plan to enjoy life, travel, do what we want? We might not live that long, if we do we probably won't have the health to enjoy it...why wait, life's too short.
The cost side of things are also a consideration- cruises and flights won't be an option in 35 yrs time- oil prices will see to that. Not that I can imagine we'd want that option, but I'd like to think we'll get to see our sisters and families in Canada and Oz a few more times in our lifetime. Hopefully environmental awareness might help new technologies develop so there are different options, but we can't justify flying anywhere just for a holiday. I wonder what the future will bring?

The blog- well, with our planned travels I'd love to have a place to keep note of where we've been, what we've been up to, etc and not rely on me not losing the notebook, breaking the hard drive, so something web- based seemed a good idea. Facebook isn't quite what I was hoping for, so getting the hang of the blog before we travel is my latest idea.
I've been quite lucky having a stretch of time to think and put this down, but that time is up (the luxury of being at work, I'd never get this down at home!) so time to leave it.

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