SOLD! We have accepted an offer on our house and the adventure on which we are embarking comes a step closer.
Six months ago we were close to finishing the renovation work on our 200 year old cottage, Steve was contemplating his final two years of teaching and our life seemed settled for the next couple of years at least. Friends of ours living in Spain had been encouraging us to move out when Steve retired but that seemed a comfortable distance away with plenty of time for discussion and planning however, the independent school where Steve had been teaching on and off for the past 15 years was struggling financially and after many meetings of the senior management team a notice of redundancy letter was received by all staff.
Christmas is not normally celebrated in the Bosworth household to any great degree but this year I couldn’t raise the enthusiasm to make even my usual token gestures to the festive period. January, February and March seemed especially bleak and in mid March the school revealed its’ plan for the future. Jobs could be saved but working terms and conditions would change considerably , so considerably and without any choice or other options that after some research into the pension situation, Steve and I decided that early retirement WAS an option – in fact, the only option. The tentative plans to move to Spain started to seem a lot more likely and we booked flights for the Easter holiday to go out to Spain to have a preliminary look at possible properties.
Steve’s resignation was accepted with regret and an extremely nice letter from the new Head Master and his sense of relief was palpable. My feelings were somewhat mixed and hormonally influenced. Whilst I wasn’t against the idea of moving to Spain per se, I was happy in my work and life in Frome, very happy in our lovely house which we had spent the past four years renovating inside and out and didn’t feel ready to give it all up. Steve and I discussed the idea of moving somewhere else in England but I felt that if we were going to move at all we may as well go somewhere sunny where we could enjoy the outdoors. We also discussed how we might manage if we stayed in Frome, Steve loves our house as much as I do but has more of the “wherever I lay my hat that’s my home” mentality.
Our house hunting trip to Spain was complicated by major back spasm striking Steve on our second day but we managed to sort out medication, changing the insurance so that I could drive and set off south from our friends’ beautiful home near to Valencia. We had seen several houses on our first day in Spain, a couple had possiblilites but none had the WOW factor that might convince me that I could happily move to Spain but on our second house hunting day we drove to Alicante, met our estate agent and drove north for nearly an hour to the small town of Sax.