As I drive away from a landscape covered with a thick morning mist, with the sunshine battling to come through and burn away the moisture that covers the fields around me I feel no pang of regret for what I'm leaving behind.
I thought this life was the one for me, thought it was the one for us ... we both did ... but we had such differing ideas on how it should be. A simple life is not an easy life, but a true simple life does not need money throwing at it to make it bearable, it's made bearable by the fun you have living through it, building it and then sticking with it and moving forward at a snails pace. You build it together and live it together, the days themselves making the life.
It doesn't require tons of money to live a self sufficient lifestyle once it is set up, but it does require a level of perseverance, commitment and agreement, take that away and the lifestyle is not possible. I have no recriminations, well perhaps one ... honesty three years ago would have meant an earlier and perhaps different reassessment of the situation and perhaps an earlier much different adventure for us ... but there's no turning back of clocks and regret is best left in the past where it belongs. There's no festering from this point on, what's done is done.
For me from now on, my new smaller and simpler life will be town based.
There will be no chickens to care for, lock up at night and have sad cremations for, no vegetable patch to weed, plant, cover and tend, no wood to gather or log burner to feed and no acres of land to maintain. There will be no late night callers asking for help with broken down cars, no strangers pulling in to ask for advice about polytunnels and question our paint colours.
There will still be wellies needed for riverside walks and walking boots for time spent in nature, but the time I gain back from living smaller and simpler with less responsibilities will be my time. The lightness and relief will be all I need to see me through this transition from country dweller back to townie.
Maybe the small town life is the one for me, I know it used to be before we started our new life in the country ... I'll let you know, I pick up the keys tomorrow.