Well, we have been here one year and two days. And what a year it's been. We have learned so much and worked so hard. I thought we had come here to retire! But we are loving (most of) it. We have wonderful neighbours, a beautiful country, amazing weather generally, great wildlife. We have time for each other, know more people than we knew in the UK. We eat lovely food, more and more of it home grown.
On the negative side. We will never come to terms with the lack of animal welfare. There is so much poverty in certain areas. I wish ex-pats of all nationalities could get on with each other and enjoy this beautiful place. Dave, being more sociable than me, misses friends and colleagues in the UK and the mental challenge of his old job. And Bonnie hates thunder, June is going to be horrible for her.
We are feeling more positive about being able to stay here long term, always the goal but a worry about how the money will last. We don't need to work, just to earn a little to eke out our pennies. This year we should be much more self sufficent in food, hoping that we will only have to buy staples such as dairy, flour, rice and pasta once all the potential produce has been processed. We are hoping that jams and chutneys made from the produce will pay for the sugar, vinegar, gas and bottles we need to process our own food stock. And that the eggs we sell while the hens are laying well will pay for their food. That we get enough from the chicks to pay for rearing them, though they have not been a real success and we are not going to do much of this in the future. The geese will pay for themselves, already two are booked for Christmas. People are getting to know me for cakes and cards and asking for specially made products. Dave has now had on average more than one commission a month for his pet portraits, not a huge amount made, but a little goes a long way here.
I have had an amazing 30,000 page views for my blog, it is hard for me to understand why people from all over the world would want to know what we are up to. Fittingly, this figure was reached just after midnight the day after our arrivel anniversary. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support, for sticking with us, and especially for the comments and feedback we occasionally get, it is much appreciated and thank you so much.