Every couple of weeks I start looking at property websites and planning my next move. The house in which I live now is probably the one I have spent the longest amount of time in (we bought it the year my younger son was born, 16 years ago), but we lived there intermittently, moving abroad twice during that period, for a total of seven years away. I fought tooth and nail to keep it in my divorce settlement, because I couldn’t face the hassle of yet another move. Yet, once both sons have swanned off to university or jobs or whatever they plan to do, I am planning to ‘downsize’. In my case, however, the downsizing might be more a case of moving abroad (in the EU, to be precise), where houses are more affordable (although not the ones I am showing below). I will obviously be spending some of the year in Romania, in a landscape somewhat like this:
But for the rest of the year, there are three places that are calling to me, each with its pros and cons.
Option 1– France – for the skiing, food and culture
Option 2 – Berlin – for the friends and lifestyle
Option 3 – Ireland, County Cork – for its natural beauty and remaining in an English-speaking environment
So where would you advise me to move in a few years’ time? Where would you like to join me for writing and/or reading retreats, coupled with a bit of hiking or Nordic walking?
At the risk of starting to sound more like an estate agent than a wannabe writer, last night I got caught up in a bit of dreaming about what we can never have. Here are some pictures of real houses featured on estate agent websites in the Lake Geneva area where I currently live. Any one of them can be yours if you have a few million euros to spare. I moan about not having time to write, but spent nearly two hours last night drooling over them. Because – of course – I would get soooo much writing done if I only had a retreat like that!
The websites featured include: Affinity Prestige Immobilier, Immofrontiere and Agence Clerc.
However, my own tastes run towards the more modest end of the grandiose spectrum. A traditional manor house with those ubiquitous blue shutters. No pool but massive old trees and an orchard would suit me fine.
I would have a vineyard, keep a few beehives and write all day. Of course, reality came crashing in this morning, with more work commitments in far-flung places which I would rather not do but cannot turn down.