Making Future Plans

2015-08-24 11.02.25

Debbie and I are going to Nottingham today via Cleveleys where we will take a walk along the beach before brunch at my favourite sea-front cafe.  Nottingham is a particular favourite of ours for a city break.  It’s big enough that there’s lots to see and do, it’s got that energetic big-city vibe and it’s a university city, so it feels really ‘fun’.  But it’s not too big, its easy to walk around and we always feel safe.

We both did our first degrees here too, so we have fond memories of the place and we always stay in a Premier Inn, that’s right in the centre of the university district. When I’m staying there I feel 20 again.

On the drive down we chatted about our plans for our future and we’ve both agreed that we are drawn to running a small holding and being more self sufficient.  Our basic plan is as follows:

  1. Buy a house with a few acres of land
  2. The house must be close to water (river, lake, sea) and walking and cycling country
  3. Grow most of our fruit and veg, with some decent sized green house space to extend the season
  4. Rear chickens, maybe ducks and if we have space a cow, which then means we will be self sufficient in eggs, and diary
  5. Debbie is vegetarian, but I will eat less meat, and only of the highest quality and preferably animals I’ve reared.  Debbie is happy for me to rear animals for meat.
  6. Debbie is really keen to bring kids with special needs to the ‘farm’ both while she is teaching and after she retires
  7. We would also consider having paying guests in yurts, cabins or huts
  8. Ideally we would like to get some help at weekends from students as I’d like to experiment with different high and low tech methods
  9. Be more self sufficient in fuel as well, a mix of wood, solar and wind
  10. Continue to live well within our means, i.e. not need to sell anything to live and still have spare cash to pay for food if we need to

It’s a pretty idealistic plan of course, but it’s one that’s been with me since I was about 14 years old and it’s never gone away, its just great that Debbie shares it too.  Of course like all plans I need to be ready to adapt to new information, constraints and circumstances and we talked about two other scenarios that we would also be happy with:

  1. Staying where we are, expanding our existing garden, renting an allotment and spending more time travelling and exercising
  2. Moving to Cleveleys sea-front and maybe renting an allotment there too, living more of a beach centric life, but with some travel as well

We will start to look for suitable properties next year and seriously investigate the options.  I was quite touched when Debbie said how we had started our lives together, working together at university and then at British Aerospace, we had then worked apart, both following radically different careers and this would be a lovely way to work together again.

It was great to find that we were both so aligned to all three of the options.

When we arrived in Nottingham I was dismayed to find that I’d lost my FitBit sometime early this morning, which meant that I had to immediately pop out for a walk around town trying to find another one and although we failed we found several other things on our shopping list for this break.  In particular I found some goggles that I will need if I’m doing an outdoor swim with my Mum on Thursday on our way home!

We are now settled in for the night, I’ve bought Stargate Atlantis on my laptop and a HDMI cable and my favourite chocolate rice cakes, that’s my idea of a fun night in!


The photo today is of Cleveleys beach this morning, we enjoyed this view as we had brunch at Cafe Cove on the sea front, not far from where we would buy a house if we decided on that scenario!

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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