In March this year the property market in my area of SW Scotland suddenly came out of a long hibernation, shook itself and got busy. Very busy. After getting all sludged up with last year's Sottish Referendum, weighed down by twelve months of over-eating and no exercise, a long winter and a national election it decided that it should make up for such stagnancy and get going. It was like NewYear at the gym , the overweight, unhealthy property market embarked on a fitness regime with the zeal of the convert and sprang into action. All of the smallholdings I've been idly watching for the past twelve months while waiting for my own house to sell suddenly sold and it occurred to me that if my house followed that pattern I would have nowhere to go with my four dogs, cat, chickens and cockerels.
Whilst mulling over this mildly alarming thought my house sold, the buyers wanted in within six weeks and it was a fact rather than a thought. I had nowhere to go with my four dogs, cat, chickens and cockerels! Eek! A few weeks of chaos ensued as my Dearly Beloved and P arrived armed with boxes and I tried to find somewhere to live while I began my slow motion version of packing up and cleaning. And packing and cleaning. And packing and cleaning...
As there were no suitable smallholdings left on the market I started looking for rental properties whose landlords might consider my menagerie. I wasn't optimistic. Option B was that after ensuring that no such beast existed I would buy a bottom of the market motor home and myself and the dogs would live in that until we found our smallholding. The other beasties could temporarily reside with various family and friends. I started perusing Auto Mart.
But Fate is a funny thing. Whilst inquiring unsuccessfully about a house with kennels (no dogs, I mean why would you advertise kennels with a no dog policy?) the agents said there was a property due to become vacant whose owners might take the dogs. They would inquire for me. We sat with fingers and paws crossed until they got back to me. Yes, they'd take all four dogs (yes four, more about that in a later post) because really the house was set up as an equestrian place and most folk with horses also have dogs. Hang on, an equestrian place? Yes, it has stables and land.
|It does indeed have stables and land!|
Will they allow the cat? Yes. Chickens? Yes. Cockerels? Yes. Surely a miracle!
So to cut a very long story short I am now writing from my new rented home across the Solway in Cumbria, a very lovely house with stables and nearly four acres of land.
The house sale went through smoothly and very quickly and I've been here a week and finally decided it is real. Not a dream. It has truly happened!
Dogs, cat, chickens and cockerels love it. And as of yesterday so do the horses and ponies. Everyone is here and we are all together again. Joy.
So as I said, the Chimaera is firmly in my sights. For a stop-gap this place is exceptional. So exceptional that the difficulty will be giving it up to get my own far inferior ' shed in a field' type place! There's no way I could afford anything remotely like this and I am feeling incredibly lucky and spoilt. But for now me and the beasties are smiling a lot as we wander about the fields.
To go back to dictionary definitions I think 'oasis' aptly describes our new, temporary home. ' Oasis - A situation or place preserved from surrounding unpleasantness; a refuge.' Not that the world outside is unpleasant, indeed it's the most peaceful country setting only ten minutes drive from Carlisle. It's just that this place is so tranquil and calm and free of any hurly-burly at all. Especially so after the upheaval and stress of moving house. At the end of a long gravel drive-way we shut the gates and relax in our own little world. The nearest neighbours are a field or so away and it's lovely and secluded without being remote.
It's a haven for birds and deer and around the house itself there are no less than nine House Martin's nests in the eaves, all with young. In my book that is the ultimate seal of approval.