Friday, 5 June 2015

My 1701 Post

Who knew that when I wrote THIS post in January 2009 that I would still be writing this blog over six years later, that so many of you would have followed us on this amazing journey from living in the middle of a town in Cumbria, to living in wild wooly and rural Oxfordshire, Berkshire and now in our final destination North Wales.

Make yourself a coffee, and pull up your chair and pretend you are in the front seat of my car .... we are going on a journey.

Who knew that when we set out along this track ...

... taking a photo at each bend in the road.

With the mud splashing the car ...

... not knowing 

... what was at the end.

Bend after bend ....

... until we came to a farmhouse, knocked on the door and Jill jumped in her car ...

... leaving her dog to guard the house ...

... and we continued along the track.

Past farm vehicles sat in the muddy grass ...

.... past barns and even more old and new farm machinery.

Past the tractor that stayed in exactly the same position as a landmark ...

... for all future visitors ...

... who travelled this well worn track to see us in the middle of nowhere.

Round more bends than you can imagine,

... through the fields where one day we would walk our dogs.

Along the almost final straight ....

... until there is a glimmer of what might be there ahead of you.

Until finally in the distance ....

... the house that was to start our adventure and be our home for the first three trial years of self sufficiency.  

Of learning about country ways, of joining in with Farmers Markets.  Raising chickens and pigs, growing veggies and fruit.  Spending time with family and good, good friends made along the way all through our journey.

Who knew that my musings would one day be read by thousands of lovely folk all over the world,  who joined in with us, despairing when things went wrong, buoying us up when times got hard, wet and miserable.    Who encouraged us when we took in rescue chickens and learnt with them how to scratch for our food in the earth.  When we bought and raised pigs, wallowing alongside them in more mud than we had ever seen before.   

All along the way you were there watching our successes, our failures, our fun, joining in our laughter, loving our animals almost as much as we did ourselves.  Sadly the original trio are no longer with us but they paved the way and opened our hearts to other furry characters that have overlapped, joined in and found their little bodies warmed by our open fires and their tummies fed by food grown by us, aided by them and watched by you.

Who knew that one thousand seven hundred posts would go by and still we would be here ...  it's been a journey, as long a journey as that first drive through fields seemed at the time, exciting and never quite knowing the direction things would take, being one step ahead of ourselves and at times one step behind where we should have been.  Thank you for sharing it with us ..... we are still on the path of learning that is this rural country life and enjoying almost every minute of it.

I hope you will continue with us as we carry on living ..... Our New Life in the Country

(The drive you just accompanied me on was just over two miles long ... and our route to the village and civilisation for three years, we only got snowed in a couple of times amazingly.)

Sue xx


  1. Great post
    . I joined your journey just before you moved to Wales (I think) Fancy thinking of taking those photographs they really set the scene. It has inspired me to see if we have any before and after pics.

  2. It's a real journey in more ways than one and a steep learning curve isn't it, this new life in the country business! We started our own new life in the country a year after you, in 2010. We are now in our (we hope) forever home and working towards being as self sufficient as possible.....well, in the fruit and veg department, we won't be having livestock. I always enjoy your posts Sue, your blog is one of the first I read every day.

  3. I was new to blog land from earlier this year but decided to read your lovely blog from the very beginning... I'm getting up to date with things at last! It's been a very interesting read and along the way I've picked up loads of tips.

  4. I love your blog Sue, funny this week I have started right from the beginning I have have just read the post on Rosie when she first joined you, although I don't have any land or big garden at the moment, I have picked up many a useful tip and some very good ideas x

    1. It was Rosy's 6th birthday last Sunday .... so you've still got a lot of reading ahead of you. ;-)

  5. I love peeking in on your New Life in the Country. And the little 2 mile road is my kinda ride! My road home is about a mile and I love it too. We are the last house on our road before you hit pure forest. I have a poker buddy from Cumbria, last name of Jenkinson. Small world!

  6. Amazing journey but pleased you have found your final destination closer to home in lovely North Wales!

  7. Sue, I do think I would have turned around at one of those curves to go back. Congratulations on your adventure and on the beautiful spot you found so far down the road.

  8. I love reading your blog.. don't always comment but always read. It's been an amazing journey thank you for sharing it with us :o)

  9. Wow, I haven't read your blogs from 2009, so now I will. Your blog is one of my favorite. I enjoy reading about all the farm things you do plus the minimalism. We are in California and have chickens and cats. Our doggies(Newfoundlands) passed to doggie paradise a few years ago.
    Congratulations on the 1701 blog. I'm almost at 400,and am enjoying the writing too!

  10. What an exciting journey and one which I have enjoyed going back and reading about. I'm very pleased you're still writing!

  11. Gosh it is amazing it has been six years already - to think I have been following you from the start! I don't comment much, but always follow your adventures and progress and you really have done well and achieved so much. It makes the realisation that nothing has really changed here (partly due to chronic pain for me and final schooling for the boys) even harder! Must actual make some change!

  12. Congratulations and continued happiness. Thanks for sharing your part of the world.

  13. Love this post. I'm coming up to 500 and thought I was doing well! I'd love a drive like that. Yhink of all the noise I could make if I was that far away from people!

  14. I wish I'd read your blog from the beginning but so glad to have discovered you along my way. Long may it continue. Thanks Sue xo

  15. I didn't start reading your blog until I started mine in April 2013 and hadn't realised you had a move in between cumbria and berkshire.
    Keep up the blogging and we will all keep reading. ( That was one heck of a Front Driveway!)

  16. Amazing Sue, I have followed your blog for the last three years and enjoy it immensely.
    Always something interesting and I know it is written from your heart.
    I feel I know you and your family, two and four legged and I'm excited to continue on your journey along with you.
    I look forward to every post.
    Many thanks,

  17. Crikey Sue. 1701. Congratulations!

  18. It's been a pleasure to come along with you. You've been such a help to me with; blogging, hen keeping and now managing a charity shop !

    I've loved reading about your adventures & think it's lovely to see some new readers have gone back to the very beginning. xx

  19. From Margie in Toronto - I found this blog after someone referred me to your 365 pounds in 365 days effort - and I am now a daily follower. I love that you keep your sense of humour but at the same time don't sugar coat how tough it can be at times. You and your hubby have worked so hard and I think you are a very valuable resource to those who might wish to follow in your footsteps. Congratulations and I hope to read your blog for many years to come.

  20. Great post, proof positive that dreams can come true. Well done. Looking to still reading about your life in another 6 years time ( hopefully our dream will have come true by then and we will be living on the other side of the globe).
    Best Wishes,

  21. Can't believe I have been reading your blog for 6 years. I don't often comment but have learnt so much from your blog over the years. Keep on writing, you are an inspiration

  22. Can't believe I have been reading your blog for 6 years. I don't often comment but have learnt so much from your blog over the years. Keep on writing, you are an inspiration

  23. As a very new blogger after a year or so of reading other people's, I congratulate you on achieving all those posts. As I have dipped into your blog from time to time, I now intend to go right back to the beginning and read the whole story. (And I now realise that you are the sweet Sue who supplied JG with those mini-Scotch Eggs when he was feeling particularly low and lonesome; thank you for that.)

  24. Great post, life is a journey isn't it, often taking us on roads we never thought of, mine is certainly like that at the moment, here's to many more of your excellent posts :)

  25. I've only just found you, but hope to still be reading in another six years. :)

  26. Just read the first post you linked to. Wow, sometimes we only know how far we've come by looking back. I am envious of all that lovely growing space you have, and the livestock, existing, and future, whilst at the same time not wanting to be a full time smallholder. My life at the moment is an absolute whirlwind, I spend a great deal of time socialising, and I love it. It must have taken a great deal of courage to make that leap into a new type of life


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