Tuesday, 16 June 2009

I'm back

TLB and I have been living in the grounds of a stately home in the Purbeck Hills which has been very nice but all good things must come to an end. We are leaving because we want to pay our way in the world and we want our own home. We do not want to outstay our welcome but the tent is not an option at the moment as I need to be able to work from home. Thus, the house hunting started in earnest a few weeks ago.

The reason that TLB and I first moved into a tent was to clear debts and to have an adventure. We have certainly had an adventure and debts have been cleared but I still have a way to go, on both fronts. We have lived rather too well over the last 6 months, getting functioned up with alarming regularity and commuting from Dorset to Reading weekly has placed different pressures on my perpetually dwindling bank balance.

A few weeks ago some people that we know heard that we were house hunting and offered to let us a gorgeous little cottage on their estate. Being within walking distance from TLB's new job and within our budget we agreed instantly. We move in on the 4th July and have both vowed to make use of the tennis court in the garden to get fit. I do however think the role of ball boy will be well beyond the dogs meager capabilities, for he is a simpleton.

The dog is in excellent spirits and has had the best few months of his life, with the last 5 months spent staring at a hole in the garden. At his disposal have been woodlands, gardens (walled and otherwise), fields and pastures to roam about in and he has ignored them all in favour of his obsession with the hole. On day 4 of living here, he managed to catch a rat, a rat which came out of the hole into which he now gazes longingly. He hasn't caught one since. On the occasions that he has managed to make it further afield he has been to a local conservative party meeting in the big house (alone I hasten to add), has diced with death on the edges of the cliffs and spent lots of time squashing bluebells. His new home is bound to have a hole so he can hone his staring and loitering.

Between us TLB and I own enough things to fill one medium sized tent, which means we are starting from scratch. We have no TV, no sofa and no fridge. TV is very far down the list and I am going to start reading books and blogging more, first we are going to raid the auctions and freecyclers of the world so we don't have to sit on garden furniture in the living room. We do have a lovely wood burning stove, a trailer, some plastic crockery and a collection of lovely Afghan rugs.

I now have about £4k of debt, having paid off about £6k whilst we were living in the tent, I have abjectly failed to save since living here but am newly enthused about clearing the burden. The house we are moving to is within our means but we will have to be sensible about things if we wish to thrive. The combination of budgeting and incredulity at the world around me* made me miserable enough to stimulate my creative urges.

We have been incredibly lucky and have met some fantastic people along the way but now is the time to get serious about escaping from the shackles of debt and building ourselves a house. Key phrases to look out for will be vegetable box, on the wagon, joint account and dog grooming incident.

*Gordon Brown. In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king.
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