Two months ago today I made the move from Wiltshire to East Devon, and in that short time it not only feels like home but like I’ve been living here forever. Quite simply I love it, which is rather lucky given the bumpy ride it took to get here.
Looking back I realise I was really close to burn out; at the time I knew my stress levels were high but I didn’t appreciate quite how high they were – the combination of useless, unprofessional and often lying trades (included in that list are builders, tilers, plumbers, electricians and stone masons), budget pressures due to the aforementioned individuals, a hugely busy time at work resulting in a part time contract requiring me to work full time (I’d only taken it on because it was part time), the ongoing boundary dispute on The Parents house, and of course my dads health. Thankfully it didn’t break me (although there are one or two people I’d have liked to have broken) but I’m not entirely sure it made me stronger either!
What is it I’m loving about living here? Here are a few things in no particular order:
1. It’s a beautiful part of the country with views so stunning you simply think “wow.”
2. Exeter is a fabulous little city. It’s compact, has some gorgeous old buildings, decent shopping and is less than half an hour away from my new house.
3. Following on from point number 2, I also have five beaches all within a 30 minute drive. So far Budleigh Salterton is my stand out favourite; it’s a quintessential English seaside town that has yet to be taken over by the usual chains such as Costa, Seasalt, Joules and Crew. It’s pretty, it’s affluent and it feels a little like a hidden gem on the Jurassic coast.
4. I look out of my kitchen, bedroom or ensuite windows and can see my horses. I sometimes even get woken up by Ben neighing his head off demanding breakfast. It would be sweet if it wasn’t happening at 5.30am…
5. The local pub is really cheap, cheap to the point you have to double check your bill to see if you’ve been charged for everything.
6. It’s so quite – right now I’m sat outside and all I can hear are the bees buzzing as they feed on the wisteria, birds, and the occasional car passing.
7. Overall the people are lovely and very welcoming. If only I’d made the contacts I have now a bit earlier I think the renovation project would have been much plainer sailing.
8. A more outdoorsy lifestyle – I’m out and about in the fresh air so much that the only rooms in the house really being used are my kitchen, bedroom and bathrooms. 15,000+ steps per day are pretty much the norm. Sadly I’m not getting any slimmer but that’s because I continue to enjoy food too much!
9. Friends coming to stay; it’s brilliant when pals come to visit. A one or two night stay offers a far more quality catch-up than meeting for drinks or dinner ever did – there’s something to be said for those conversations over breakfast.
10. And finally I feel lucky to be here, and what’s not to love about that?
The one thing I don’t like is I appear to have writers block; this is only the second update I’ve penned since I’ve been here and I’ve struggle to do that many. My ideas and writing ability seem to have dried up.