Leading the cows to pasture

Wow – you would not believe how much has happened over the past year.

We are now in mid-April having moved to our lovely home in North Shropshire last August. Eight months of huge activity and a life change that you would not believe.

This is my first post – the first, I hope of many over the coming years. Vicki (my wife) and I hope that we can use this as a record of what we are doing in our new life in the country – as well as giving you an insight into our lives, our faith, our adventures and how we cope with all these new experiences that are continually hitting us.

There is much to catchup on, from where we came from, and our journey to date:

Over the past year, we have moved house during BREXIT (not to be recommended!), bought a house in the country that requires a lot of TLC, gained 12 hens, 3 pigs, a dog and a couple of cows! Found that 3 acres takes a lot of work to care for, planted 100’s of seeds which are now germinating nicely to help provide us with a veg garden and had to buy a bunch of tools (boys’ toys) to help us out!

Our current adventure started nearly 3 years ago. We were already home educating, working from home and living in a 4 bed house in suburban Epsom, UK (with one bathroom). Sounds lovely until you remember that we have 9 children with 3 of them being teenagers! A small garden was only allowing the children to ride in ever decreasing circles and build a treehouse in a holly bush!

Over the past 10 years, holidaying in the country on a dairy farm, allowed us to watch the children really grow and stretch out in the space. Christopher (our eldest) got in with the farm and started helping out milking the 500+ cows. It made Vicki and I realise that the dream of moving to the country could actually happen! Rightmove searching commenced and I have to say (to my detriment) house envy started!

One year we found this lovely house in Shropshire. We laid a fleece and said that if it was still on the market in a years time we would do something about it – one of those “nice dreams, but it’s not going to happen moments”. A year later, back at the farm on holiday and surfing continues and I show Vicki – “look – nice house”. She looks at me and say – that’s the one we talked about last year! Oh my! To cut a long story short, we looked at it, I loved it / Vicki wasn’t too sure, but was happy to proceed. We offered but as we had only just started to put our house on the market, they didn’t accept the offer and less than two weeks later they sold to other people!

Eventually we found another property – it had nearly 3 acres, 5 beds with potential to expand to 7, and loads of outbuildings. We viewed it and loved it. Our eyes were open and could see that it needed a lot of TLC, but the potential was awesome. It was also close to a church that we felt we were being called too (more on that in another post). We expressed our interest in purchase but were honest in that we had not sold ours yet! They said they would wait! WOW.

Wait they did – another 15 months before we were able to sell and move…..

During that time, Vicki found out about a lovely TV Program – a Country Life for Half the Price with Kate Humble. A new series that were looking for families to feature.

Vicki sent an email and I think the production team bit our hand off – Family of 11, homeschooled, wanting to get into small holding…..

So now we have cameras following the move and making a fabulous record of the our journey. You can watch it (if you are in the UK) on Channel 5’s My5 (its episode 2).

So jumping ahead to moving – wow – how to move 11 people and 16 years worth of stuff 200 mile away. All credit to Vicki for methodically packing everything! 

We have been at our new home for 8 months now and in that time we have started to build up a little smallholding around us.  The garden is starting to flourish and the blossom is blooming.

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