Spring has sprung, which means it’s time to say goodbye to Lygos Farm and venture out into the big wide world again. We have mixed feelings about this. We’ve really enjoyed working steadily on our projects and all of the comforts of living in a house. We’re a bit worried that going back to live in Nettle is going to feel like roughing it.
We were absolutely spoilt rotten with this house-sit. The home-owners, Anne and Mike, are probably the loveliest people we could have hoped to house-sit for. It’s sort of like having adopted Welsh grandparents.
We set up our workspace in the rustic kitchen — the office at one end of the table and the studio at the other.
Taking Zoe for a walk every day brought more conversation and quiet time into our daily lives and greater appreciation for the changing landscape. We’ve resolved to continue with our new routine. Hopefully, this is something we will manage without a furry ball of excited energy to motivate us.
If it weren’t for our daily walks, I wouldn’t have noticed how the landscape takes on different hues depending on the weather, or how the branches of the beech trees turn purple as spring approaches.
Or just how cute pine cones really are.
We only left the farm a couple of times. We ventured out to celebrate our fifth anniversary and were rewarded with an unapologetically British meal in an old people’s cafe with floral carpet. Mike’s quiche came with a surprising side of corn chips and my “smothered chicken” turned out to be a very 80s meal of chicken and bacon smothered in cheese and brown sauce (think vinegar with a sauce-like consistency). We picked up some olive and rosemary bread and French brie to take home, which was possibly the best thing I’ve ever had in my mouth. Quite the culinary see-saw.
We started discussing going back to Australia for the first time since we left. We’ve even decided to get a visa for only one more year when our current visa expires in June, and then head home. This means we’ll only see a fraction of what we intended to when we first set out but we’ve come to realise that we’re perfectly content with that. I wouldn’t have thought my itchy feet were merely a symptom of curiosity before we left but it seems my curiosity about Europe has mostly been sated. I can imagine when it has been completely sated I’ll be perfectly happy to stop travelling. I don’t feel a need to visit a lot of the places that were originally on the to do list because, whether valid or not, I feel like I have a sense of them. I feel like I can extrapolate from the places we have been and imagine what a lot of the other countries are like. This is in no small part thanks to following our friends’ very detailed journal of their cycling tour through Europe!
We discussed buying a house when we get back. I spent a glorious day researching this big new dream and gathering inspiration for interior design. Building our own business felt achievable when our only goal was to cover expenses for travelling Europe and living in a motorhome. This new financial goal makes it much more daunting and serious. I hope that by the time we go back to Australia our business is stable and profitable enough to make a mortgage viable and that we’ve saved a decent deposit. It’s pretty amazing to think that what we first thought was a long-term trip through Europe morphed into time out to build a business and a low expenditure lifestyle that lets us save money!
Despite mourning hot showers, loads of room and plumbing, we are looking forward to finally seeing a lot of the places that were on the top of our list when we first embarked on our travels, yet through many twists of fate have yet to visit — namely, the Lake District, Isle of Skye, and the Alps. Hopefully, we’ll adjust to washing our undies by hand and taking navy showers in no time!