Flaxen posted a little conundrum in the comments to my last brainfart –
Here is the conundrum, Granddad. I’m seriously thinking of retiring at the grand age of 62. This means I have the next 14 months to fulfill my tenure. My poor father died just three months before retirement- very sad. I would like a few years free of work’s absurdity and contemplate my navel, in my own free time. I’m thinking of moving to New Zealand’s South Island. Somewhere sleepy and quiet which suits my contemplative nature; nothing too busy or totally serene. In this regard I might have a problem. Regardless of where we hunker-down it will have to be within an hours drive of a major hospital due to my wife’s medical problems. Anyway, after working very hard for most of my life, I deserve a little time in the sun, until oblivion intervenes.
I had much the same conundrum myself.
There were two main reasons for considering a move.
The first was money. The Manor is worth a lot for various reasons, but of course it may have a value but it is worthless to us. Offering a payment in the form of a square yard or two of land doesn’t work. By moving we could buy a place a lot cheaper and with the difference we would have money to burn.
The second was that this place has a strange layout and is rather old. The age means constant repairs and the layout is tricky in the event that one [or both] of us requires some form of wheeled assistance to get from room to room.
We considered two destinations – France and the south of Ireland, maybe in West Cork.
France was an attractive proposition. It had beautiful scenery [in the area that we used to frequent], we could afford it easily and best of all they have long warm summers, which as Flaxen points out is something we deserve. However there were two disadvantages to France. One was the language. I know we could get by with our current smattering and doubtless our skills would improve, but I don’t think we would ever get to the stage of casual conversation and banter. The second was isolation. If something happened to one or the other of us, the “survivor” would be totally isolated in a foreign land, hundreds of miles from where we consider “home”.
The West Cork option was different. They speak much the same language, and property there is considerably cheaper than here. We had a bit of a health scare a couple of years ago, so like Flaxen we want to be near[ish] to a hospital and it would be handy to be able to walk easily to a shop on tired old bones. The area around Schull has all those qualities and none of the French disadvantages. We could afford a small place that Herself could get around, that would require a lot less maintenance and we’d have tons of cash in the bank, though we wouldn’t gain the sunshine.
We decided to stay put, for the time being at least.
There are two huge reasons for staying. One is the sentimental thing – I built most of this gaff [the bit that doesn’t need constant repairs] with my own fair hands so I literally know every brick and block in the place. The second is that this really is “home”. I can’t go down to the village without lengthy chats in every shop, and my visits have become much longer since I rejoined the library [Herself thinks I fancy the librarian but in fact it’s the other way around, naturally]. Our friends and family are close at hand and we are just part of the scenery.
The second reason is probably more important. Moving house is a massive undertaking, what with people traipsing around the place making sarcastic remarks, having to deal with solicitors and banks, waiting for phone calls that never come and ultimately shifting all our stuff across country. We have moved house two or three times, and each move knocked years off our lifespan [it’s a wonder Public Health haven’t copped that one?].
So it looks like we are here for the long haul.
At least until we run out of money or health.