On this day two years ago, we completed the sale of our house in Salisbury and the purchase of our smallholding in Mid-Wales. Two years already that we are living the smallholding dream!! I can't quite believe it because the time has gone so incredibly fast! And yet, if feels as if we have lived here forever!
This morning, as I walked down the lane to go and check on our sheep, with fresh air filling my lungs, the warm sun on my face and stunning views across the rolling hills, still in love with our little piece of Welsh countryside, I felt very lucky and happy with the life we have created for ourselves. City life seems a distant memory now.
Of course, I miss being near our children and I miss my friends. Technology and the Internet thankfully help us bridge the gap and keep connecting with each other when meeting in person is not possible.
After two years, it does feel that we have put our mark on here and set up the smallholding so it works for us and for our plans for a more self-reliant future. Our earlier efforts in gardening are coming to fruition in the garden now with an abundance of potatoes, broad beans, courgettes, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, strawberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants. Winter's bounty is in preparation in small pots in the potting shed and on a trolley outside, waiting for a bit more growth and resilience before they can be planted out where they are to grow and mature. Planning the gardening year is very grounding and a real invitation to live life in the slow lane and in tune with the seasons.
Our shepherd's hut is up and running with a steady flow of guests keen to escape their busy lives and connect with nature, even if for just a few days. Their positive feedback has been wonderfully validating as our vision for restorative and nurturing breaks close to nature is well received. One of our neighbours, a farmer, asked us just the other day how it was all going with the shepherd's hut, dropping something like "I don't see the appeal of having a holiday sitting in a field myself" into the conversation! I guess not every does, and it is easy to take Nature for granted when you live surrounded by it, but we are sticking with our vision of providing a simple, rustic and quirky retreat space to escape to for a few days. We have poured much love into it and we have no doubt guests will love it because we do.
Two years on and we are beginning to explore the area and visit places!! We didn't seem to find the time before!! We are sampling the local eateries more often, fun and of course essential research so we can recommend places to our guests! We took a train ride across to Aberystwyth last week to celebrate our wedding anniversary. A lovely day out. We recently went for a cycle ride along the Montgomery Canal between Abermule and Newtown and back. It was a really lovely way to explore that stretch of the local countryside hidden away from the main road. The partly restored canal with its derelict buildings and locks, and the towpath we followed gave us insights into a time in history when the canal would have been a busy thoroughfare for the transport of lime for agricultural use. We look forward to more exploring as our world begins to expand beyond our 3 acres!
Our adventure is 2 years old... like a toddler... We have reached a stage when, our roots becoming more firmly established into our chosen lifestyle, we are trying things out, learning and practising new skills, gaining confidence, having a go to help us discover what gets us closer to how we want our future and what takes us away from it, trial and error, lots of it... it is frustrating some of the time but exciting and pleasurable most of the time... there are tantrums and growth spurts!
Onwards and upwards as we begin our third year in Wales!