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Spring Life In The Garden.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Pros and Cons and Keeping Rural Living Real.

This morning I had to go and pay the mechanic who did the MOT on my car yesterday. I needed to drive 2 miles to the post office as that is the nearest place to get cash, then I drove 2 miles home to the turning from where I drove 3 miles to and from the mechanic. Some people may think this is a bit of a jaunt but that is what it takes.

In order for our boys to take part in various activities after school we need to make a 26 mile round trip to Aber but they cannot miss out just because of where they live. Sometimes we are able to take turns with journeys by sharing with other parents but not always so sometimes we have to hang around until the boys have done their thing.

Growing your own fruit and veg when you live in places like we do is something lots of people do for lots of reasons. (I have always wanted to produce and raise as much of our food as we can.)The reasons can be that you just want to know where your food comes from, you see it as a challenge or it can save you money. Now regarding the latter I have not saved us a fortune this year because I am still learning so much about GYO. However, the things I have not had to buy along with the things I have acquired, been gifted, foraged etc. mean that the money we have spent has allowed us to spend money on other things.

Most people feel that wishing to maintain a self-sufficient lifestyle, or as I prefer to call it self-reliant, as well as a different pace of life agree you need some sort of income to run alongside the other parts of that life you are trying to build. We are fortunate to have out buildings which came with the house and with the skills Jon has we are on our way to building a business. The money we have made from the first room has not been a fortune but when Jon needs to spend £40 here and there on building materials or I need to buy extra shopping when guests come it has been a real bonus. Because our nearest, proper supermarket is also a 26 mile round trip you add the cost of fuel onto the food you buy which is another good reason to grow your own. Other people chose to make an income from raising and selling meat, eggs, fruit and veg, any number of things which they are able to produce on whatever land or layout they are working with and what suits their lifestyle. 

I guess I began thinking about all of this as I drove down the hill back to the house, as part of the 10 mile journey, looking at the wonderful landscape we are so lucky to live within. I hope this isn't too much of a ramble but I suppose I was trying to find a way of saying that you have to keep things real. 

When visitors say we have the perfect set up here and you really are living the dream I am always quick to say we do not live our life wearing rose tinted glasses. It IS the perfect place for us to live and we wouldn't change it for anything but it takes work. If you have a lot of money from whatever source then you are more easily able to set things up; if you don't then there is a degree of planning for the future needed and also a certain amount of patience until you are able to get to and....




That's all I think.

Bye for now.

Lou.xx

12 comments:

  1. We spend a fortune on fuel. For our main grocery shopping, it's a 20 mile round trip. Our nearest shops are the Community Shop and PO at Dryslwyn (6 mile round trip) or similar at Brechfa (10 mile round trip). You have to be organized and keep a full store cupboard as sometimes the weather is so bad the lanes turn into small rivers and have standing water in the low spots. Or worse. Or there's a tree down. This needs to be weighed against the (many) benefits!

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    1. Yes, BB, there are many more benefits than negatives but as you say organisation is a huge part of it. Our other shop is at Tregaron, 16 mile all round. I plan on buying flour and rice in bulk next year, if it is economical, although Lidl is so reasonable on flour that it may be cheaper to buy a truck load of it and store well - looking for options. We so hope that by the end of next year we will have our own pork and lamb in the freezer which will be great, even though some time away.

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  2. Lovely post, you have to balance so much when living in a rural location, planning trips out to ensure the best use of your vehicle. I grow fruit in my small garden, not to save money, but for the joy of picking fresh produce, we never grow enough to preserve, but the joy of growing is enough. I never believe anyone is lucky, you make you own choices, and then work hard to get to where you want to be. Good luck, you are giving your boys a good life, something which you don't get a second chance on.

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  3. Thank you Marlene. Definitely part of the GYO is the satisfaction and joy it can bring, without blight. Ha! It is wonderful that the boys love living here nearly as much as we do but great that they understand the hard work we are putting in is for a purpose.x

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  4. We live in a "picture Box" setting which earns us the envy of many as they wander past.
    The reality is that there are cons as well as pros and you have to find the balance and then be flexible.
    We weighted up moving a while ago but when it came to it couldn't bear to leave so are now making changes to enable us to stay here longer.
    Life is not static, sacrifices have to be made to achieve dreams and then to make them work.
    You are doing a wonderful job,not least in teaching your boys the realities of the hard work needed if they want to enjoy life fully. They are also picking up handy skills along the way. Enjoy! Sue.

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  5. Ah thank you for your kind words, Sue. I know what you mean about the envy thing.

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  6. Not just Wales miles from everywhere! Now we are in the middle of Suffolk its 18 mile round trip to nearest big supermarket. Although we do have small shop,doctor, post office and chemist 3 miles away which is OK.

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    1. Oh I appreciate that Sue. I also think it is important to support local shops sometimes, even though they have to charge more for things you need like milk.

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  7. Louise, I do admire your choice of lifestyle, your mindset and determination. The 'pros' in rural living are plentiful, but 'cons' do come along just as part of real world living. After 3 long weeks in UK to do some maintenance works in our house, my husband noted more madness of life that requires never ending spending and everything is so expensive compared to what we are now used to over here. So, my double admiration that you opted a quieter and peaceful living where you are. All the best to your family.

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    1. Ah Annie, how lovely of you to say such kind things. I only discovered your blog whilst reading favourite blogs of other people and now I know you live in Bulgaria I will add you to my reading list; I always enjoy seeing how and what people grow and how they live in different places. All the best to your and your husband, too, for living and enjoying a life that suits you, too.x

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  8. A thought provoking post Lou,. Ste often says to me that I shouldn't think ourselves lucky as we worked darned hard to be able to buy our small holding as we could never have affordednit any other way. We haven't been given money, but we Donahue a mortgage that means we need income to continue to pay it. That was our lifestyle choice and works well for us. One day we hope to make enough money from the small holding and our skills to tick us over living this lifestyle without having to work for someone else. One day! For now I love my life and cherish every moment, hard working not as I know you do too xx

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    1. Jon always says we are not lucky either, two peas in a pod there! Yes we have worked hard to get to where we are.too, as I think you know, and we are with you that we don't consider our life now as working but enjoying. Choice is a big part of life.x

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Thank you so much for finding the time to comment. I really appreciate it and will always try to reply.xx