Well that's It!
We have accepted an offer on our home and have made an offer on the property we like in Spain.
Now it begins in earnest.
I would love to tell you more about where we want to be in Spain but until it is ours I am going to keep it very much under wraps. I hope you will understand. So for now, just to let you know what is going on, I'm going to share some of the Nitty Gritty.
The Cats and the Dog.
Our lovely Fergus already has his passport and all his jabs up to date so he is pretty much ready to go. The cats did not have passports and leaving them behind was not an option (would you leave your children behind?) . We started on them about a month ago, longer in fact, since to get each cat up to date with jabs and micro chipped etc is costing around £200 each cat.
So it began with my selling stuff on Ebay to raise the money. And included waiting for zero insertion fee days to save every single penny. It worked. To date I have raised over £400 from stuff that I might simply have given to the charity shop.
I de-cluttered like a fiend in the house. I decided which furniture was coming with us and which was to be sold and which would be given away free of charge. After our trip to Spain and the decision to build a new home from scratch I have added a few more bits and bobs to the 'not taking with us' pile. Somehow some of my prized possessions now seem simply 'old and tatty' when I try to imagine them in a brand spanking new modern villa with cool clean expanses of marble tiled floors. I especially didn't want to put very English stuff into a very Spanish setting. I hate that. When you close the doors at night I don't want to imagine I'm back in the UK. I've never seen the point of going abroad if your house there looks just like a three bed semi in British Suburbia? I suppose some people might find it comforting - I hadn't thought of it that way.
All this de-cluttering is STRESSFUL! It involves the physical effort of clearing out cupboards and delving into the corners of the loft where the spiders live and then, sometimes suddenly without warning, up surface the memories which seem to be tied with invisible ribbons to each and every object you find. Sad memories sometimes. But even the happy memories evoke pangs of 'loss'. Yep that's the word for it. And then comes the decision. Do I keep it? Yes/No. And if it's yes, I have to justify why I need to keep it. Trying to be ruthless the answer is often NO. And then it gets worse - do I sell it? do I give it away to family? do I give it to the charity shop? is it for the dump?
The stress levels in the house have been quite high for the last 6 or 8 weeks!
And there have been panic attacks and anxiety driven disagreements, illness, depression and tense silences. You might ask, why then are we doing this? It's simple really, through it all we have tried to keep the prize in mind - a more simple life, without the stresses of the rat race, doing the things we like, to no one else's timetable but our own, and making the rest of our lives meaningful to us. Our rules. Our life lived our way. We could not afford to take early retirement in Britain. If we did that here, not only would we be poor, but we would be made to feel poor, surrounded as we all are by the 'keeping up with the Jones's' attitude.
And how will we get through this stressful time to achieve our goal? Someone once asked me 'how do you eat an elephant?' the answer is 'one bite at a time'.