Monday, December 22, 2008

A winter holiday, V

And so, after a week, they left with a new perspective. The girl knew that she wanted a different life and she felt energised by that knowledge. Her husband let out the worry he had been holding inside, the fear that as much as he needed a life in the countryside his wife needed life in the city and that their two needs would never be compatible, the conviction that her one days had always meant maybe which really meant no.

They started planning a new home, a home they would design and build themselves, a home made from materials that would have little or no negative impact on the countryside that they loved, that would be powered by the wind, the sun and some magical device they would bury in the ground that would give them hot water. They planned gardens of vegetables nourished by a compost heap and possibly a large tank of trout and the boy promised his wife that he would grow her beautiful flowers and a tree that she could read under as she had black fingers of death and the only method she knew for not killing plants was to completely ignore them and leave their care to someone else.

She delighted in the knowledge that this was what she wanted, for she knew that her one days really had meant I have no idea if I want the same thing as you my love, I don't know if I can do it and I'm not ready to make my mind up yet. It pleased her no end to realise that she and her husband wanted the same things after all. Of course it would all take some time. The house that they lived in was a building site and it would take work that they barely had time to do, money that they didn't have and energy that they were lacking to get it finished. And there was the small matter of a little financial crisis that was going on, a property market that had dipped so low the for sale signs in their street were actually giving up and keeling over. Who knew when a time would come when a person might be able to sell their house, building site or not?

Then there was the decision of where to move, for they might know that they wanted to build a home, they might know what materials they wanted to build it out of but as for a place, a plot of land? They were buggered if they knew where they would find one.

And of course there was that thing, that Big Thing that was looming on their horizon. That thing she was trying to think of as An Awfully Big Adventure, as opposed to The Awfully Daunting Ordeal That Might Just Break Her Heart, that thing that was all together too personal to write about on her blog yet all together too important to ignore while writing about The Future. That thing that she felt like a bit of a prat for alluding to but not really explaining and hopeful that her readers and friends would understand her reticence and not think her too much of a tit for leading them on then giving them nothing. They couldn't go anywhere while That and all its consequences was waiting for them in their near future.

But doors were opening, doors that had previously lurked at the end of long dark corridors were thrown wide open, light pouring in. The girl and her husband weren't quite ready to step through them but they savoured the view and delighted in laying plans for the path they would take when finally, they stepped over the threshold.

The End.

Or was it just the beginning?


  1. This is very exciting! I love plans for the future and this sounds perfect.

    I grew up in a mud brick house on 20 acres that our family built together. It was before solar panels were affordable and the technology of heat pumps. But we had a massive vegetable garden, loads of animals, a windmill, water tanks and a dam full of trout. It was heaven!

    We were in the same predicament (although in the reverse) I am a country girl but DB is a city boy. We lived in the city for years and while I loved it, I was always sick and exhausted. I worried that DB would not want to move from the excitement and hustle and bustle of the city. A few years ago we bought our house and whilst it's not exactly rural it has opened DB's eyes, that he won't miss anything and that in fact our lives are so much better for it, he loves it now (and I haven't been sick in years).
    Our aim now is to move a bit further out, not too far from where we are now and build a strawbale house.

    You will love it Peonies, I guarantee it. There is nothing like building your own house, it gives you a completely new sense of the meaning of 'home'.

  2. Madam, that is a beautiful post to end a beautiful story. Husband and I didn't get away for a holiday this weekend, but had much the same kinds of conversation. I am so glad that you had a chance to connect and work out those wrinkles you weren't sure could be ironed.

    I hope that someday we will get to know more about That Thing, but at the same time, I understand entirely. I sure that whatever it is, you will handle it with the aplomb and wit that I love to read and with your boy by your side every step of the way.

  3. your story gives me hope that i'll be ready to move to the country someday too. i grew up in a rural town, but now i'm in love with my city and am scared to leave it and my friends. my guy wants to move to the country, but is waiting patiently for me. i tell him it will happen someday in that big future, just not sure when.

  4. I dream, every day, of a beautiful house in the countryside, and I have to admit it's my country boy who led me to feel this way.

    Reading this story has been magical... it reminds me so much of the first time we went to stay in his family's ramshackle cottage in the (cold steep!) Northern wilds of Cumbria. I'd never been anywhere like it and didn't know how I'd cope! But I surprised myself and loved it, and so now we live in this (rented) ramshackle cottage, and dream together of when we can have our own.

    And ditto what October12 said about That Thing. She put it perfectly.

  5. At the risk of oversimplifying, I would say it sounds to me like you have a plan.

    And what you're feeling right now is the wonder of having a plan. Enjoy it just for that, you have years together to bring it to fruition.

  6. Gosh, all I ever do on holiday is vegetate and read Danielle Steele, with your beautiful story and your oh so exciting plans for the future you are putting me to shame!

    What an exciting time for you and the boy both, long may you dream, and plan, and build, and make those dreams come true x

  7. Deep, warm, heartful smiles for you, and cheers on doors opened, on moonlight, on know and home and light.

    And P.S. I don't think you're a prat.

  8. Oh, that sounds wonderful! DJ and I are about in the same boat - we both want a ranch (though I'm a bit of a city girl, I've wanted one since I was about 12) where we can have our horses and cows and solar panels and a windmill (both at my insistence), and maybe a vegetable garden. I think I'm about as bad with plants as you say you are, so hopefully he can keep them alive. And we talk about this all the time until he says, "I think we'll have to win the lottery," because finances are always a problem, and with the market how it is...well, you know.

    But all the difficulties aside, yay! It's so nice to dream and plan.

  9. I forgot to mention - I've tagged you at my blog.

  10. So pleased you found some kind of inner peace. And whatever it is that is looming, I hope that works itself out as well. x

  11. I love taking photos of things like that gate door. I'm glad to know someone else finds beauty in such things.


play nice.