A year ago we decided to relocate from the Scottish Borders to Devon. Our previous move to the little fishing village of St Abbs, from the outskirts of Edinburgh, had filled five years with an abundance of friends, visitors, art, drama and choir groups and a childhood for my daughter by the sea.
Like the winter waves against the beautiful cliffs, life was colourful and unpredictable .
It was also a little too cold for me, and after finally getting a clearer diagnosis on the rheumatoid and osteoarthritis plaguing my thirties and forties; we made a decision to edge closer to the sun. It wasn’t an easy decision.
There were a lot of faces to leave behind.
And a house of memories, which we created, as a team; she and I.
During lock-down we nested. Safe in our Ark. But pretty much alone apart from a house full of animals and a tiny but mighty rescue team.
Two years later, after a solo exhibition, with a growing Art collection and a growing teenager, the time came to stretch our wings . With the spark of new love, and hopes for a fresh start, we loaded the car full of animals and a capsule wardrobe, and headed for the Devon coast.
The road to England was long , we just had no idea in how many ways that was to be true .
Squeezed into a one bed chalet and sleeping in a kitchen with all the animals
Days turned into weeks and months waiting for everything to align. Seasons changed, and Christmas was enjoyed in the second chalet.
Six months ago we saw a beautiful house. A house found by chance by my daughter. A house we fell in love with. A house with space and potential and that certain something familiar.
We put an offer in. And we waited. And we waited some more . Meanwhile we lived a life in miniature, both with the space we were in, and the things available to pursue in our day to day lives.
Weeks and weeks went by . School terms were completed, time sped up and slowed down at once. In the absence of people friends, animals were therapy. Light changed. Our fingers were crossed.
And without warning, despite being assured we were first in line, we lost the house. The floor slightly fell out of the world.
Weeks of painting and writing followed . Whilst various Scottish details were finalised, the chalet became an Art studio.
As the funds decreased and hope got harder to find. With two homes to make into one we had a deadline which kept getting extended into a fuzzy distant place. Not knowing when you can create a home is tough, especially with work projects to refresh and the itch to be making and teaching .
Ah.. the lure of a fireplace and a proper hearth…. Above Illustration for ‘flame’ week. One of the Online gallery projects.
Although we looked at other houses, nothing quite felt the same. We had to try and fall out of love. To imagine oneself anywhere else was so hard by then.
All good stories have their twists and ours was no exception. We still had a feeling about the house. Thankfully, it turned out to be right.
After months of feeling cooped up and isolated, several hospital emergencies, teenage frustrations, and pets desperate to run free ; having no permanency to begin new projects and social activities, meet new neighbours or really start to explore – our patience was rewarded. Finally, after three months of still hoping, our prayers paid off. Because, suddenly, out of the blue, another viewing was arranged, and the house had become available again.
We made a new offer. And it was accepted. The dream moved up a notch. A further three months of roller-coastering followed while the logistics took shape and formed an orderly queue. As the chalet space shrunk, a bit of hope grew. Not jinxing our luck, we told almost nobody. Nails were being bitten until the very final minutes.
Today however, we are delighted to say we got the key!
At last we can begin this long journey to bring this house and our creative family back to life. Finally we are able to open the door to our new home .
Thank you for your patience while we had nowhere to entertain you…
Thank you to Rob and Lorraine who made it possible with their chalets and their friendship and their impossibly cute dog
It’s been quite a journey
Welcome To our Home!❤️