Our life and adventures relocating to Cornwall

Continue on with a smile… — February 25, 2020

Continue on with a smile…

I haven’t written a blog post for a while even though this is only a new thing for me and I’ve barely written anything as yet. But I haven’t really been able to bring myself to write anything. I thought blogging would be a good idea to get my thoughts and feelings with our new transitions down onto “paper” but recently they’ve been so mixed up about everything I just haven’t been able to bring myself to write or even talk about it.

When we moved here I thought it would be the “good life” and I’m sure eventually it will, I’m almost certain our new lifestyle will ultimately benefit our children. But so much is happening in the background of the move that the culmination of everything is really starting to creep up on me.

So not only (sand written about previously) was our move and relocation blotted with difficulties. My parents relocation with us is still ongoing, I talk to my mum daily sometimes twice or more a day and hearing her stressed and struggling when she is usually my rock is so so hard. We always assumed that even if we moved before them that she would stay down with me but financially (travel costs) and because of their continuous house sale/viewings this hasn’t been able to happen. Next month she goes to stay with my brother for a month to help my sister in law whilst she has my new baby nephew and to help with my 18 month old niece. She needs a break and to get to see them all but at the same time that fills me with anxiety, it’s sad to say but this is the longest and furthest I’ve ever been away from my parents. I don’t rely on them, I don’t necessarily need them but I enjoy being around them, we are a close knit family that support one another so much that you become to rely on them so now I miss them so so much. I pray that soon their house sells and we have some sort of timescale on when they will finally be here with us permanently.

Jason has once again returned home for another 7 days, leaving me and the three kids to fend on our own. The weather down here is still SHIT… stormy, windy, freezing, hailing, raining. The wind whips around the house and honestly scares the life out of me, especially at night whilst I’m on my own. I really really hate it. During the day I keep busy and have great fun with the kids, but at night I barely sleep so exhaustion just creeps up on me. It’s the most horrible feeling knowing you’re over 200 miles away from those you love and you know you used to be able to call upon within 5 minutes to help, 5 minutes is now 3.5 hours away. Our neighbours are lovely and say I can always call on them but that’s a whole other anxiety… meeting and feeling comfortable around new people!

Since moving here I’ve found myself immersed in social media more. Hence probably the blog. I’ve always felt such a need to fit in from such a young age, I have no idea why. My parents have never been ones to “keep up with the Jones’s” and are very happy being comfortably themselves. Whereas I feel in from the start of the era/generation where media and magazines had an impact on my childhood. Growing up needing to fit in, have the same things and toys as other kids, the same clothes… then as you grow up the same labels, trainers, cool stuff. I was always a “boffin” “mosher” “geek” “emo” at secondary school and I kind of enjoyed being the outcast at the same time envying the “cool kids” wishing I was as pretty as them, had as many friends as them. Even around my friends I always felt like the poor relative, we came from a fairly middle class background with a comfortable family life but then my friends lives seemed to trump me that bit more… with bigger houses, more extra curricular activities, second houses in Cornwall. Again I always felt judged, felt that I wasn’t cool enough, wasn’t worthy enough to be around them. When I went to college and broke away from them my feelings were almost confirmed when all of my “close” friends pretty much immediately wrote me off. I took this as a massive blow, looking back now with older, wiser eyes it was probably my own doing as I spent every waking hour and minute with my first love and boyfriend so ultimately it was me that let my friends slip away… wanting to be more like my boyfriend, more mature, more grown up I chose to go to college when they chose to stay at sixth form. There was also a rebellion side to my decision as my parents were absolutely horrified at my choice (my dad mainly) he dearly wanted me to get A levels and go to Uni but I wanted to grow up and be independent. College was ultimately the making of me… I made my best friend for life, who funnily enough was one of the “cool kids” from secondary school. She didn’t judge me, she didn’t make me feel like I was different, in fact she included me… especially when my boyfriend (of 3.5 years) then cheated on me with my other long term school friend that had come to college with me. Heartbroken, I cannot explain. (I just pray none of my children go through that, although I’m sure they will) my new best friend was there through it all, instead of letting myself get down and depressed she built me up, got me out, immersed me in her life and made me a better person. She inspired me and still does (I don’t think she really knows how much) but I still even sit here feeling like I’m judged by her… why do I always feel judged? Surely she loves me, she made my godmother of her son, she checks in with me most days… but still I feel like I’m not cool enough for her, I don’t go to the gym, I don’t like to drink, we don’t have too much in common anymore but yet we are still best friends (or so I hope) SEE I EVEN THINK SOMETIMES SHE’D RATHER NOT HAVE ME AS A BEST FRIEND?!

Then there was my antenatal friends. Amazing group of lovely ladies. I was the youngest in the group but that suited me fine as I’ve always had an “old head on young shoulders” as my mum would say. It took a while but we eventually all started socialising and getting to know one another. I really liked having a group of women I could relate to, and that I knew would support me. But still in the back on my mind niggled at me that they didn’t really like me, that they were only I including me to be kind and friendly. I wasn’t good enough, we didn’t have as much money as most of them. We didn’t have the high end buggy, the high end clothes. Eventually as Jason moved up in his position as work I then felt the need to get a better buggy when Arnie came along, start buying better clothing brands. Anything for someone to like me, someone to think I’m cool. When ultimately none of that matters, at all. It’s who I am; my personality; me… if someone isn’t going to like me then I need to find a way to be at peace with that. But I struggle so much thinking that no one likes me. They just tolerate me. My opinions are different, my parenting is very different (I’m strict and traditional and can be a bit of an arsehole), I’m religious and although I don’t want to throw it in people’s faces I also don’t want to be afraid to be proud of that. I’m definitely not a liberal person, but I’m okay with people that are. That’s the thing with me, my opinions and beliefs and feelings may be extremely different to others but that should be okay because I don’t care what your beliefs are, I don’t care how you parent your kids (as long as it doesn’t affect my children) I don’t care how you run your house, what sort of thing you eat, how you want to live your life. I just want to be accepted, and liked. I don’t want my children to feel they have to buckle to peer pressure, I don’t want them to feel the need to fit in with brands and designers and toys… I want them to be happy being them so I need to start trying to teach myself and accept that mantra. Social media is such a great platform to share your feelings but it has spurred my need to fit in with others, children’s clothing groups has turned me into the fan frenzy that dresses my daughter in nothing but JoJo and Boden, why?! To fit in, for likes, for someone to notice me. But what’s that teaching her? Why do I need to do that? I’ve been trying to cut down on my participation in these online groups, but when you have barely any friends you try to impress and make friends wherever possible. I crave adult contact, adult conversation especially so bring a stay at home mum. I crave someone who likes the same things as me, has the same interests (which mainly consist of my children and what they’re doing/wearing) some of the ladies on these pages are so so kind even though it’s a virtual relationship it’s still a relationship but yet I still feel judged, I spend too much on my children, I show them off too much, I don’t have the latest things, I say the wrong thing, I post the wrong picture. Some of the ladies have really made me feel outcast, and that was a pretty awful time so I definitely took a step back since then. It worries me that if as a grown adult social media has given me that many challenges what sort of challenges will it create for my three children? I hope by then I have some sort of knowledge in how to support them as they get older. I hope by then I have more confidence in my self. It’s okay not to be liked by everyone. It’s okay to have different opinions. I need to learn not to let my thoughts get away with myself.

Ultimately this is having a huge impact into how I’m settling in since relocating. When Hamish started at preschool 3 years ago it took so much courage for me to start speaking to mums during the school run. Some mums were very accepting (and I would now call good friends) some mums already had firm friendships with others and came off as quite standoffish. I didn’t let this deter me, I eventually became a part of the committee thanks to the help of one of my good antenatal friends, I became confident to welcome new parents and chat to others. I loved the time both my boys were at their previous preschool, I knew people I was happy to socialise and be myself. Since moving I have lost all confidence, no one makes any effort to talk or say good morning or even smile at this new school. My mind goes into overdrive… is it because I’m not local? Is it because I’m too young? Is it because I live in a big house? (Not being a snob it genuinely is a thought that crosses my mind) I even think that people think I’m a snob… I definitely not 😂 why won’t people talk to me? What can I do to make it different? I’ve immersed myself by cracking straight on with baby group and toddler clubs but it seems that people have already made their friendships, their cliches… I think it’s going to take a long time for me to fit in and I need to accept that but whilst I’m here on my own without Jason who’s my confident safety blanket then it’s going to be a real mental struggle for me. My main goal is just making sure the kids don’t see that it’s affecting me, keep a smile on my face, and a happy heart.

Yet another long blog post that probably makes no sense. I don’t proof read these. I may not even read it again. I just get my thoughts down whilst I’m sat watching crap TV so maybe someone might read it, they may relate, they may reach out? Who knows? Who cares? I’ll probably post this and then sit thinking that people think I’m a weirdo, a dork, assuming once again everyone is judging me negatively. I have no idea why I think this, I wish it was something that wouldn’t affect me so much. I hate this continuous battle of wanting to be liked, wanting to be loved, wanting to be accepted.

200 miles away 🌍 — February 11, 2020

200 miles away 🌍

So we’ve been on our own for (almost) a week. All was going smoothly until a sickness bug hit. Well that’s a lie, when storm ciara hit on Saturday night I have honestly never been so anxious/scared whilst being on my own with three small children. I couldn’t sleep at night, my heart rate was uncontrollable and my health ultimately was impacted. It felt like the storm was never ending.

It all started really well last week. Routines of school and nursery along with starting our first Hartbeeps session really helped the time to tick by. We had a beautiful day together on Saturday exploring our new environment. I’ve been eagerly awaiting the good weather for the boys to explore the beach and it was finally nice enough! The only issue was having three small children and the dog it wasn’t the most relaxing scenario! Hamish wanted to spend the day at the beach, and so did I, but unfortunately it was very busy with dog walkers and although I own a dog, I am extremely nervous around other dogs. Lucky is the best dog we could ask for but unfortunately as he likes to run off (proof of that being New Years Day 2019) he has to stay on the lead all of the time. This can make having him and three children when there are lots of free beach roaming dogs very difficult, whilst watching a tiny toddler waddle around in her puddlesuit. I also find it very difficult to trust other owners of dogs who are off the lead, I worry about their control, their behaviour around not only Lucky but mainly around the children. Flashback – Arnie was knocked off his feet and scratched quite badly by a large poodle that was far too excitable on Weymouth beach a few years ago which has now also made him very nervous around dogs! So we spent a little while exploring but I had to drag the children away as it got busier. We cannot wait to go and explore properly when daddy is back to help!

We spent Saturday afternoon playing in the garden and making the most of the sunny weather before the storm was due to hit. It all went drastically downhill Saturday night. Fortunately the children all slept really well (obviously the fresh sea air had tired them out) but being so close to the coast being battered by the huge winds was extremely scary being at home on my own. Worrying what I would do if anything happened knowing I have three small children to consider as well. The neighbours have been so so welcoming and helpful, telling me I can call on them if I need any help. But there’s nothing like knowing I can ring my parents that live less than 5 minutes away like when we were in Newbury. Knowing I’m on my own and everyone I love is 200 miles away is very scary. So when I woke up during the storm again Sunday night I was beside myself, I couldn’t cope with the stress, anxiety and exhaustion. I said to my mum that I was going to have to ask Jason to take unpaid leave and come and day early and she said if he couldn’t she would come down as she could tell my mental health was deteriorating through lack of sleep. It just so happened the next morning that decision was made for her when I came downstairs with the children the sudden urge for me to be ill was horrendous. I made it through to the downstairs loo and, bless my mum, managed to ring her on speak using Siri and just sobbed “please come and help me.” So she did, she drove 200 miles to come and help for less than 23 hours knowing Jason is heading down today. I literally don’t know how single parents cope, and I have absolute huge respect for them. I have loved having special time with the kids but having absolute no adult company or support has been such a challenge for me!

Sunday morning hot chocolate as mummy was so tired thanks to the storm!

Bring on tonight when Jason is home (albeit for 1.5 days!) and then Friday my mum is back down for 6 days! The only reason I’ve been on my own for so long is due to my dad visiting my brother and his family over in America and my parents dogs cannot be left alone so my mum hasn’t been able to come and stay. I cannot wait for their house to sell and for them to actually move down here. I absolutely love being close to my family and knew this was be a challenge but never thought it would be this hard. Especially on the kids they are finding it very difficult not having everyone they’re so used to and adore so much.

Granny coming to save the day! ❤️
7 days of Mummy… why it’s only me?! — February 4, 2020

7 days of Mummy… why it’s only me?!

When Jason was told he got the job down in Devon we were very hesitant and dubious about selling our house and making the first move. It took a couple of months waiting to hear from the powers that be to find out what we should do. Eventually Jason was told we could start the process and they would work around our schedule… great!

So we got our house valued, found an estate agent and marketed our house. We took one of many first trips down to Devon and fell in love with a house… we later revisited the area and decided it was not for us and our family. It was a very difficult time. My parents had also decided to make the move with us (well I wouldn’t have moved without them!) so we had 4 adults needs and requirements to meet. My dad had strong views on what he wanted from his retirement house, one of those things being near a train station so he could commute to his beloved football club. This was proving hard as Jason’s biggest desire from the move was to make our family more rural, have land, have animals, have a pretty secluded life. I was stuck in the middle of pleasing everyone and also not wanting to upset anyone. I dearly wanted to be close to my parents but I also didn’t want Jason to compromise when he is ultimately the one that works very hard for the amazing life we lead. I also deep down did not want to be secluded and cut off from the world, I felt this would only push the children away from us as they grew up.

After what felt like a thousand trips back and forth to the West Country we finally found two houses that were extremely close contenders. Tavistock seemed like the dream town, fairly large whilst still on the edge of Dartmoor meeting everyone’s requirements. The only issue with Tavistock was that it was very sought after, so in terms of gaining more for our money than back in Newbury the chances were fairly slim.

Arriving at the first house it had the character I’ve dreamt of, it had 6 bedrooms so more than enough for us and a guest room. It had so much space. But it was an end terrace… so why downgrade from a semi? It had a really small garden… smaller than our garden in Newbury… and it backed onto a school playing field where they were even playing rugby (loudly) whilst we viewed the house.

The second house was in area on the outskirts of the town, on a third of an acre plot, with Dartmoor accessible via a small alleyway. Ideal. Downside, it had three bedrooms so we’d have to extend. It was absolute top of our budget. The floor space downstairs was also limited. And still only one bathroom and toilet, which when we chose to move was one of my non negotiables!

I think by this point we were loosing the will with the house hunt, with the constant 400 mile round trips and the expense that incurred. So we decided that it was to be between those two houses even though they ultimately weren’t the houses of our dreams. We initially put an offer on the larger house as we felt it was better value for money, but when it was turned down we decided not to raise it as it was obviously a sign it wasn’t meant to be. We then pondered and left it deciding that neither house was for us and we’d have to start the trip all over again. At this point we’d already sold our house and the clock was ticking for us to find somewhere.

After a couple of weeks absolutely nothing was coming onto the market. Because we had our hearts set on Tavistock it limited our options at an already low time for the housing market with Brexit looming. I decided I couldn’t wait any longer, I didn’t want to loose our buyer so I threw the idea out of making an offer on the 3 bed house, trying to make it work for us. We did love the location, and it had the garden we’d always dreamed of. The offer was made and was declined, we went back and forth with making offers until finally it was accepted. Only for the next day to be told another interested party had made the same offer… that weekend was terrible. We were pushed to our maximum budget for a house I ultimately didn’t feel was worth it but felt we had no other choice. We offered the asking price and it was accepted. We were paying more for a smaller house but in Devon than my parents were advertising their large house and garden for back in Berkshire. I just couldn’t see how we were bettering our lives.

Everything then progressed from there are usual. Solicitors, surveys, searches etc. Only when our building survey was completed we found out about this horrible little thing called Mundic. It’s only prevalent in Devon and Cornwall from mining times. It is a certain type of concrete that cannot be mortgaged because of the progressive way it deteriorates. A fight ensued between us and the sellers of who should fund the £400+ test to prove the house was clear, due to the age of the property… all whilst trying to enjoy a holiday in Weymouth! Eventually we gave in (thanks to generous parents) and just decided to pay to get the test over and done with so the sale could move forward as we had the estate agents breathing down our neck about when our buyers could exchange contracts.

It felt like every single step of the way with that house something stressful occurred. And then the stresses with my parents move began. They had sold their house and had found a house 1 mile away so their chain had begun, only for their buyer to pull out and the chain fall apart. This was the deciding factor. Mum rang devastated. It was now or never if we had doubts to pull out of our move. We were supposed to be possibly moving in a week and a half but I suddenly felt we’d been given a lifeline. Someone was finally listening to all my uncertainty about the house. I loved it, I loved the location but I didn’t feel we’d paid the right price. I felt it would hugely impact our family life, almost downsizing for more money. We’d have no money to save to extend. We’d have no guest room for our family and friends we’d left behind. The nail in the coffin was discovered there was a covenant on the house which meant we had to get additional permission from the original builders of the estate to extend. This could end up costing more money, and was an uncertainty we didn’t want to risk if permission was denied. We pulled out. We lost roughly £800 in solicitors fees and my poor dad lost the money from the mundic test.

We were back to square one. But I felt unusually happy about it, proving to me that moving to the Tavistock house would’ve 100% not been the right thing for us. I know I would not of been happy. This time we well and truly decided to take a step back, we were not going to faff about viewing houses that did not meet majority of our criteria. Remembrance Sunday we were at my parents after the parade, flicking through Rightmove once again. I spotted a new build house near the coast, within commuting distance for Jason, and hugely under budget with 4 bedrooms. I showed it to Jason and my dad and they seemed keen (surprising as Jason hates new builds).

That next week we booked to come and see 4 more houses. All of them meeting most of our criteria but none I still felt 100% about (I honestly think I always had reservations about the move in general so found it hard visiting any house). First house was amazing, picture window over Dartmoor, wonderful little village just down from Tavistock which we loved. But it was on a road, needed a lot of work and had a driveway that was almost vertical down a hillside… not for me. Next house was in a new town in Cornwall that didn’t have the best reputation but was gorgeous and very big. Again this house was lovely but I could still hear a road (something we couldn’t in Newbury so why get a house that’s worse?!) and when we checked out the school we weren’t overly happy. So another no. Off to the hotel feeling disheartened. Honestly debating whether or not to move, would we ever find what was right?

The next morning it was dreary like our moods but we got out early to explore the village of the next house on the list. Parking up we discovered the first tick on the list… the school was literally minutes walk away. We strolled down the hill into the harbour hand in hand and fell in love with our surroundings.

Why would you not want to bring your children up so close to this?! We hadn’t seen the house but already knew this was the place we had to be. The issue with this house was that it was technically already sold. We had begged the estate agent to give us a chance to view it (we’d had our viewing cancelled when an offer was accepted) and they reluctantly agreed. We approached the house and opened the 5 bar gate knowing this was the one. The only issue was how would we secure it?! Luckily probing enough with the estate agent we discovered the offer was lower than the asking price. On our drive back to Newbury we couldn’t wait any longer so pulled over and made an offer for the asking price. We would’ve done anything to secure the house but our hopes were dashed. The buyers were local and the sellers wanted the house to stay in the community. Jason stood his ground and made sure the offer was still submitted to the seller convinced they would hopefully rather the offer of more money. And explaining desperately to the estate agent that we weren’t buying a holiday home, that we wanted to become part of the community. Then it was a waiting game. They had decided to give the family a chance to sell their house (whereas we’d also already sold… to a couple from rented so we were the start of the chain). Another draw to the house was that it was chain free due to having been a rental property, we could make a quick turnaround having messed our buyer around enough already. After a few days wait we decided we couldn’t let the house pass us, we offered over the asking price (as it was still below budget) and thankfully this succeeded and secured us the house!

From there everything was pretty plain sailing, solicitors did their jobs and we went off on holiday to Disneyland and celebrated Christmas knowing it wouldn’t be long before our big move commenced. Returning to school and work in the New Year we got the call to decide our moving day! Wednesday 15th January, booked the removal company, informed school and preschool and work. Oh… work. The people “who will work around your schedule” informed Jason that he would not be able to transfer until at least May, most probably September. But we had the house we wanted, we didn’t want to loose our buyer?! There was only one thing. I would move with the kids and he would stay with my parents (who still haven’t sold their house!). So here we are… almost 3 weeks in to living the dream. Our new adventure. The move went as smoothly as it could, the kids seemingly have settled amazingly well. But daddy has already been back and forth a few times with work, having just spent a wonderful 9 days at home with us. I’m unsure of how the children will now cope, or how I will for that matter. 7 days of just us, and the dog. But we’ll get into our swing, our routine and we’ll get through these months because I’m certain in the long run it will all be worth it!

(Apologies for the longest ever blog post this evening but it’s been pretty cathartic to write down our journey, and I’ll be honest I haven’t even added all of the details and stresses that it entailed! Thanks so much if you made it through, and have survived my third ever blog post)

Jemima is 2! — January 28, 2020

Jemima is 2!

I can’t quite believe I’ve just finished getting the living room ready for my youngest child to enjoy their second birthday tomorrow. My baby, my last little treasure will technically no longer be that baby anymore and I’m distraught. I was so excited to have Jemima, don’t get me wrong I was so excited to have my boys but those that know me know that I longed to have a little girl. And then we were blessed with our angel, hearing the sonographer tell us “it’s a girl” I literally asked “Really? Double check?” I was so convinced I was having another boy, and that would’ve been fine as we always wanted a big family so I would’ve persuaded Jason (I’m sure) to try one more time! But that sonographer was 100% right and all my dreams came true. When Jason and I met whenever the topic of children came up we’d always say we’d love to have two boys first and then a little princess so she’d have two big brothers to protect her… and it’s funny because that’s literally what God has gifted us with and boy are we so lucky.

I feel like I’ve blinked and you’ve grown from the smallest little dot into (still small) the most independent little lady there is. Your personality shines from you. You are such a little terror, you know your own mind and my goodness don’t you want everyone else to know too! But you are perfect in every single little way my girl, and we love you so much.

I cried when I found out you were coming into my life Jemima Jean. I sobbed the day you were born. I’m crying now thinking about all you’ve achieved already in your little life and all you will achieve. You are truly my princess, my dream girl. And although you test me, more than your brothers ever have, I will forever be thankful for being bless with your presence in my life.

Happy 2nd Birthday my 6lb10 bundle of love… (that still only weighs 23lb wearing 12-18 Months clothes!) 💖

Our Journey Begins — January 27, 2020

Our Journey Begins

In May 2019 Jason came home and said he had the opportunity to transfer with work to the West Country, we thought long and hard about it as we had just settled into life really well as a family of 5, and Hamish was settled in a lovely school with some great friendships blossoming. Our whole life was in Berkshire, our families, our best friends, our beautiful little godson… but we decided to go for it to give the children the best life they could have a move them away from London and all the troubles that may have eventually brought into their lives growing up. We love being outside, we love being by the sea so why not find somewhere to live that lifestyle every single day. We moved on January 15th and it has been the longest, hardest, most stressful journey but we’re finally here! This is my blog, story, diary of our relocation journey and what it’s like changing our whole life!

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