About Me (the longer version)

Not that long ago my life was very different! I lived in a nice suburban house in Southampton and ran my own accountancy business. Now, I live in a wee cottage in Galloway Forest Park and I make crocheted jewellery. How did I get here?!

I could write a book about it to be honest, but I’ll try to give you a relatively concise version! I got to the age of 38 doing all the normal things I was told you were supposed to do: go to school, get good grades, go to university, get a proper job, get a mortgage, get a bigger house with a bigger mortgage, you know, generally be a grown up. Along the way I met the love of my life, collected two gorgeous furry dogs, and was generally pretty happy with my lot.

Then in 2010, my husband turned round to me one day and said “are we going to do this for the next 10 years?” And we suddenly realised ... nah. We don’t really want to. This is ok, it’s not like we’re horribly miserable, but also we’re not really living life to the full. Life could be better, less stressful, simpler. We both loved walking, the outdoors and nature; we both valued time over money – and so, a plan was forged: sell up, downsize, move to Scotland, get out of the rat race!

I won’t bore you with the details of the year or so it took planning, house hunting, selling our business, soul searching, and trying to convince friends and family that we hadn’t gone completely bonkers. Fast forward to February 2012, when we had sold our business, sold our house, ditched an awful lot of “stuff” and moved to our wee hoose in Glentrool. From a house with 160 m2 of space to a house with 89 m2. From a busy city with shops on our doorstep to a tiny village with the nearest shop 10 miles away. From gas central heating to a log burner. It’s fair to say it was a steep learning curve! There were tears, laughter, ups and downs along the way but three years on, we have no regrets.

Downsizing has enabled us to have more financial freedom, so that we can follow our dreams of doing what we love. We live very simply and relatively frugally now. We only have one car; my husband forages our firewood from the forest, chainsaws and splits it himself (with occasional help from me!); we have lovely local friends and are part of a wonderful community. With Galloway Forest Park on our doorstep to explore, we don’t need to spend money on expensive activities or fancy clothes; all our favourite things to do here – walking, cycling, picnics, stargazing (that's me in the picture!) – are free! I guess my life may sound boring to some – no designer clothes, I can’t remember the last time I wore heels, no nights out at cocktail bars, nothing glamorous! – but I have never been happier.

In my old life I spent 9-5 in front of a computer, usually a couple of hours in the gym after that: there was a set routine and I was nearly always indoors! Now, my days are wandering, free and unplanned, and I am outdoors in the fresh air every day. There’s always work to be done, but now it’s work that I love. If the weather is good we will head out hill walking with the cameras; on rainy days I will stay in by the fire and make jewellery. Every day I get to enjoy this magical place where I live. I walk my dogs amongst mountains and streams; at night the sky is filled with stars; as I sit making jewellery I can see from my window birds, trees, and the occasional red squirrel jumping from branch to branch. And I get to spend every day with my husband. I am so grateful for my lovely life here.