Could we have possibly chosen a more challenging time in which to build our house and take early retirement? I think maybe not…
A combination of health, wealth and logistics challenges are dominating our lives right now.
I’ve had severe arthritis in both knees for a few years now, and decided that I needed to get this sorted if I was going to be an active helpmeet and partner in croft life.
As such in December last year I had a left knee total knee replacement. The recovery has been slow and very painful over the past few months, and progress has not been as planned or hoped for.
I’m writing this from a hospital bed having just gone through a Manipulation under Anaesthetic to try and break down the scar tissue that has formed (despite physio therapy), and get a few degrees more flexibility back. It’s now massively swollen and painful, but should be able to bend and straighten properly once everything has calmed down.
We thought long and hard about elective surgery in a London hospital as the city is going through lockdown to try and control the virus spread. In the end, the small window of opportunity for this process, combined with the fact that I think that hospitals will be under even more pressure in the months to come, meant that I felt that I should have it done now.
The Coronavirus panic has also caused the stock markets to melt down. In the worst trading week for decades we’ve seen over 25% wiped off our savings for the house and our future life. I hope that this will eventually bounce back, but whether it will do so in time for us is a matter for speculation and great concern. This was already tight, and now it’s even more important that we find ways of cutting the costs to make our build viable. Doubly worrying as costs have only been going in the other direction…
To that end, the builder is arranging to go back to the site next week to look again at the access road and try and work with us to get the costs down. This is just a portion of the spend, but if we start with an element that is three times its original estimate that really doesn’t bode well for the rest.
So, in this time of doom and gloom, what are we doing? We are not giving up. We will fight to find ways to make this work, and are as determined as we ever were that we want this move.
Not that moving to this new lifestyle will solve the worlds problems or even isolate us from them, but we believe that a life of purpose, living closer to nature and with a small community around us will be a healthier and happier way to live.
Bring it on 👍