I am so grateful for our home. When I wake up in the morning I open my blind and I delight for a short minute at the sight of our little reclaimed back garden; it took us years to get rid of the incredibly invasive buttercups – it did feel like a bit of a shame though, they used to put on a right show every April!
We lived here for about eight years now. It’s in the middle of nowhere, we need to jump in the car to get anywhere. As a towny, I kicked and screamed to start with; I missed my town life. But I’m past that now, it just took me a while to transition.
Sometimes I glance out of the window or I walk out in the garden, I breathe in the fresh air, I listen to the birds, the wind, I look at the majestic trees surrounding the house and I think to myself that I arrived in paradise. It really is stunning!
We share the big old Victorian house with twelve housemates. We jokingly and fondly call each other communards, as a reference to the good old times when the house was lived in by a whole bunch of hippies. I am so grateful for all their dreaming and hard work, for they dared not only to dream about a better life but actually got down here from London, bought this house with borrowed money and set up this thriving community, over 40 years ago. Since, they paid back every penny of that borrowed money. They got so used to save for the repayments that even after the money was paid back they still continued to save that same amount monthly. This tradition continues to this day. That money now goes to what we call ‘other than ourselves’ fund and each year we send that money to a number of charities and good causes to show our gratitude for the good things that we are so fortunate to have and wish to share with others.
I love living here – I love the big old house! I love that there are so many people sharing it. I love the woods around us, so full of strong, tall oaks, packed with finches, blue tits, blackbirds, owls, crows, the occasional pheasant that got lost from our neighbours’, billions of squirrels, wood pigeons, some badgers, foxes, deer and only God knows how many more creatures, all loving the woods. In May the woods’ floor turns purple as a carpet of bluebells pops up to delight us all.
I’d love to move someplace else at some point, my heart is yearning for more sunshine. But until then, I am grateful everyday for this warm community, this sturdy old house, the life filled woods around us, the stunning hills, the fresh air, the birds and this paradisiac land around us. #goodthings