I’m sitting in my garden in Exeter looking at a Dahlia that was given to me a few weeks ago by Debs, John’s wife who lives in Dowland. I repotted it and it’s now three times the size it was, and it’s covered in blooms. My tomato plants are covered in small green balls that will soon turn into juicy tomatoes and I’m finding I only want to be in my garden and nowhere else. Tending to my plants here in Exeter as well as running my business is making it near on impossible to get to Pi Acres, but we’ve had an offer on the business and it’s brought us to an interesting crossroads in our life. My son Oliver leaves for university next month and we don’t have to stay in Exeter. The world is our oyster, and it’s prompted some interesting discussions about what we want out of life.
We had to postpone our honeymoon and are off to France this week instead, and so in the interest of considering all our options, we are looking at a house in Brittany that has an acre of land. It could mean living where we are doing our project; where I can tend to a garden, and write my next novel. Being near the land I tend to has become a priority, but we have realised selling the business and moving abroad is not the only option. We could rent out our flat in Exeter and rent a house in Dolton, thus being near Pi Acres, and of course, near my garden (which I would have to move – it’s a van load of plants, all in pots ready to go, so it’s doable). Rather than selling the business, I could pay Claire (my star member of staff who is virtually running it anyway) to run the shop and we keep our income too.
There are other factors to consider in this; money plays a large part and perhaps we are not ready financially to retire. We still need to earn an income for the next few years until the mortgage is paid off. Could promoting Claire make owning my business so stress free, it could be a feasible way to work the land, push ahead with our project and have the life we desire very, very soon?
What would village life be like as an Autistic person? I’ve stopped trying to be friends with neurotypicals now, so I wouldn’t do what I’ve done all my life which is run around trying to fit in and make people like me. I’m reclusive by nature, but have bursts of wanting to be around other people. Sadly I’ve always found my attempts to socialise exhausting even when the company is rewarding. I suspect I also end up appearing flaky when I accept invitations only to find I can’t face it when it comes to the event. I’m more aware now of what I can handle and what I can’t, so if we did decide to move to Dolton, I hope there would be an acceptance that whilst I look completely normal, I find interaction far more challenging than most and won’t be doing dinner parties or coffee mornings.
The prospect of living near Pi Acres and having to commute to Exeter once a fortnight for a business meeting with my manager, maybe once a month to visit Sidmouth to inspect the shop, and have all the rest of our time in Dolton appeals enormously. We could give our project our full attention, and I could grow more vegetables! I’d have time to make some planning applications to make Pi Acres an outdoor education centre, we could dig some ponds, plant orchards and I could start my next novel. It’s swishing around in my head, and I know it won’t be long before I can’t bear not writing it any longer and it will spew forth from me in a torrent of creativity. I can feel it just bubbling up waiting to explode onto the page. Oh, what to do! What would you do in our position?