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Penny Outskirts

Welcome - Introduce Yourself

Hello all,

I'm Penny, married to Steve with three offspring 17,14 and 11. Eldest one mine, younger two, OH's.

We have a t-shirt printing business in Cheltenham, and it's our intention to build it up over the next few years, with the intention of Downsizing abroad in the future. The timing of said future is somewhat governed by firstly the needs of the children, (although youngest would probably be happy to come with us), and secondly by making the business secure enough for us to leave it running here and be managed from wherever we end up!

Our original chice was Spain, as my eldest sister already lives there, but property prices are so high there now, it's becoming difficult. More recently, having chatted to Pricey, and seen how beautiful it is, we are looking at Portugal too. We would be quite happy (as soon as funds allow) to buy a property before we are ready to completely up sticks.

When we move, we intend to live as self-sufficiently as possible. My OH is very keen on off-grid utilities, and is very handy too, (he can do most things). We live miles away from anywhere now (as Pricey can tell you!), and are much happier without neighbours too close.

We are practising now by growing our own vegetables, making much of our own food, but as we live in rented accomodation, there is not much we can do about off grid utilities at the moment.

Anyway that's us. Very Happy

hi everyone

brief intro from me: i'm sophie, married to andy, and between us we have 4 children, 3 of whom (aged 16, 15 & 12) live with us and are all home-educated.

we ended up in portugal through chance rather than choice - 4yrs ago we spent some time travelling through france, spain and portugal in a campervan and never actually made it back to the uk!

we live on a beautiful little farm of 2 hectares - - trying to be as self-sufficient as possible whilst renovating our old house (shed!) and doing a lot of computer work trying to earn enough money to be able to continue living here.

we are members of pure portugal - - a co-operative business advertising holidays and property in central portugal.

and we have just started on a new website - - an online info service for 'expat' residents and foreign visitors in central portugal.

I'm Giulia from Urbino, Italy.
Well, actually I live 6 months a year in an organic farm near Urbino and 6 months in Madrid.
My parents started growing organic in 1983 and in 1999 we opened a country inn called Locanda della Valle Nuova. We installed solar collectors and a high output wood-stove for hot water and heating and we serve 80% organic food (most of it home grown/produced). We also make lots of preserves, liqueurs etc. and this summer I hope to try some of the recipes I read on this site!
In Madrid I strongly miss the good and natural food from the farm but 2 years ago we joined a group that buys directly from the producers (most of them organic) so life is much better now!
Hope to see some of you Italy/Spain based (and other) fellow downsizers sometimes!

Evening all, I'm TD and currently living in Surrey, England but in the process of trying to decide where to move to. House is not important but we would love a decent amount of land. Currently looking at the SW of England, SW Ireland and France.

I'm not sure what I can add but it will be great hearing from some people who've moved, are about to or are thinking about it.

Hi , I'm Steve(3Cool & my beautiful wife is Rita(26), We have 2 girls, Jessica(2.5) & Rebecca (1 next week), I also have a daughter from another marriage, Ashlee(9),

I am English, although I have spent at least 12 years living in different parts of the world.
Rita is Portuguese ( Madeira ) and has lived in Guernsey and England for the last 8 years.

We currently live & work on a big holiday park in the new forest. It has been my dream since I was young to have my own little smallholding or what ever you choose to call it. So about 18 months ago, we were in what we thought was a comfortable financial position to start looking. Well that was a eye opener, and we soon discovered that what we wanted here, we could not afford.

So thinking caps on, Rita wanted to go to a country she could speak the lingo,(she is very shy, and needs to understand what is going on)so we started to look at Portugal.1 Hour later I had found Sophie's site, found Fontainhas new it was for me, but there was 1 draw back, the wife, she liked some other places. So we put together a list of 13 I think it was, I took Alberto my brother in law & we went to Meet Sophie.

Two weeks later we went back to pay the deposit, 2 days after getting back Rita had Rebecca, and my wife finally saw her new barn in November. She is very trusting.

So we are the owners of a 240 mt sq barn with sheep in at the mo, 6 acres of land, with fruit and olive tree's every were, to many to mention, a wine cellar-well small house, vines to make 1500ltrs of red wine, 4 natural springs.

We are going to try and be as self sufficient as possible, with a goal of being 90% within 5-7 years, and everyone is more than welcome to come and see us.

So let's not bore you any more and let someone else have a go.


Hi everyone!

I've been out of the UK for nearly 11 years and it is becoming a bit of a foreign country to me these days! We live in Brittany after living first in the Netherlands and then in the French dept of Ain near to Geneva. We are my OH and me and two cats. Very Happy

Finally have the huge garden I have always dreamed of (1 hectare) with a lake, woodland, orchard and huge veggie patch which we spent 3 months digging last winter! We are still working on 'renovating' our land. Never mind the house! Actually the house is habitable just needs some major redecoration but is far less important than what is going on outside. Laughing

Oh and I've got 3 hens who are pets with names! Very Happy Hoping to get a horse in the not too distant future but in search of suitable land at the moment.

I love wildlife and bird watching, gardening (edible and not), cooking and learning (through my mistakes) jam and chutney making.

I'm Tom.
I was brought up in Bolton but lived in London too long before getting a job in Brussels nine years ago.

Terri is Irish (Tipperary) and was an Oncology sister in Cambridge before I recued her and dragged her out here.

We have three children (7, 5 and 2) who were born here.

We moved to Jauche to our own house in December '02, having previously rented closer in. The house needed a bit of 'refreshing', which has taken me too long, so the 18 ares of garden has not been developed as much as I would like. My area is a 7 are plot accessed through a gate at the bottom of the garden. All I have done so far is cut back the trees and plant fruit - there is still much to do. Some pictures are available on my blog - see the www link below.

Unfortunately, I still have loads to do on the house. We want to generate a bit of income from a chambre d'hôte (which will mean converting the playroom into a sixth bedroom), and we also plan to teach English.
Just Jane

I'm Jane, I live in the Ain region of France and work just across the border in Geneva. Have been here for nearly 5 years and moved into a new house with decent sized (but not huge) garden 18 months ago - last summer was spent trying to define the potager, soft fruit area and (unsuccessfully) do battle with the weeds. Have also planted fruit trees which I hope to train into a hedge.
My aim is ultimately to be as self sufficient in fruit and veg as possible (and eventually I'd like a couple of hens although thats not practical at the moment with bird flu and the state of the garden). I try to prepare as much food as possible from scratch and am also interested in crafts such as knitting & sewing

Just Jane


Hi folks,

We have been living in France for over a year now. We live in the Limousin, quite high up in the Ambazac Mountains. Its a very rural area, the village being pretty much the same as it was a 100 years ago. The village has 9 residents, three of them being English (us) and only one woman living in the village!!
We have bought a very run down property with a very large garden. Enabling us to start living the sort of life we have only ever dreamed of. The renovations on the house are going well as are the plans for the gardens. We are planning to re-roof the house later on in the year using 'recycled tyre slates' and are also planning to start using solar power. We have been using a 'dry compost loo' for about 9 months and it works very well.
There is so much happening here but I don't want to take up anymore of your time.
This is an excellent forum!!


Geof (Merlinn)

Hi, we are Ian and Luis - new to downsizer but excited by what it's all about. We are in the fortunate position to be relocating to Asturias in Northern Spain in a couple of weeks time. We spent two years looking for the right area and house. Bought the house last February (05) and love it more and more everytime we visit. Luis is originally from Castille in Spain so that has helped greatly with the buying process and relocation. I am learning spanish (slowly). Originally planned to relocate in 10 years time but as I am fast approaching the big 50 - thought why not do it now whilst I can still dig....... Wink

The house is new (looked for an older property but had tremendous difficulty with planners etc) with land of 1500sqm. We hope to build a workshop and self-contained holiday let on the land and grow fruit and veg. The house is situated in a quiet village near Ribadesella and is half a kilometre from the coast and 10k from the Picos Mountains. Looking to eventually buy another property and more land if possible - occupy ourselves by pursuing hobbies (recaning and rush work chairs, various traditional crafts, walking, yoga, exploring Spain and Portugal and chilling out. Currently building a website about our move for family and friends. Hope to get to know you all better over the coming months and years.

Hello folks,

I'm Irene who lives with Fabrice ( a real Frenchie!) and we've a small farm raising Angora goats and sheep with pigs, chickens and a variety of livestock.

I'm Scottish, but lived in London for 18 years, and I've been here in Soth West France for 15 years - and I'm not moving again because I'm never going to grow out of my French garden! Very Happy

I'm a mad keen gardener, love keeping animals and making things, living off the land and experimenting with renewable energy projects. I also teach at an agricultural college, run courses here and this year I'm doing a full-time course myself in "Green Tourism".

Here are some pics of our projects, just click on the subject which interests you:

Irene x

Back in April 2005 I registered with the "creative living for the 21st century" webste which I had discovered thanks to "River Cottage" , and this in turn led me to "downsizer". This is what I wrote as my introduction:

<<<When I look back and see that I bought John Seymour's "Self Sufficiency" when it first came out, it makes me realise that the desire to do something along those lines has been with me for quite some time and that I, like many others no doubt, have instead taken the softer option and done a conventional job. With a wife, two kids and a mortgage, the great leap forward (or backward?) to a different lifestyle is not so easy to accomplish.
But now things have changed dramatically. The reinsurance company I work for has ceased underwriting and we are in the process of an orderly "run off" where we meet all our liabilities. At the same time the government, in cooperation with the employers' federation, has come up with the idea of a structured early retirement programme to help alleviate the unemployment problem. This has forced me to rethink my position – didn't take long! – and opt for retirement at age 57½ rather than 65. It means a large cut in salary from now to age 60 and a similar reduction in pension entitlement forever but in a couple of years' time I can do my own thing at last.>>>

One year down the line things haven't changed all that much - the job is anything but enjoyable (I'm bored) - and the only thing preserving my sanity is the thought that I've got just over a year to go before this misery ends. I try not to complain, there are other poor souls far worse of than me.
What does get on my wick is the thought that I could be doing something far more useful with my time but I'm obliged to turn up at the office every day and pretend to be busy.

My wife is very understanding but frankly does not share my enthusiasm to have a go at "the good life", prefering to cite the educational needs of our boys (12 & 15) as the prime factor for staying put.
We may end up striking a compromise: ideally by finding a suitable location relatively close to where we currently live which would allow me to put my interests into practice, whilst the kids can continue to go to the same school. In reality the high property prices in the area mean a move further away to somewhere less expensive is inevitable and our youngsters would have to change their school, so that's out.
One alternative would be to find housing and a plot of land for me some way out of town, leaving the family home where it is but with an absent father during the week - not exactly the best solution. At a later stage, if and when the boys decide to go to university, my wife and I could relocate there - or maybe much further afield, like France, as she herself has suggested.
At the moment I'm rather frustrated.
Any ideas from you good people out there?


Sorry folks, somehow I screwed up the log-in bit .......

Purple Martin

Hi everyone, I'm Purple Martin and I live in Canberra.

People tend to assume that Australia is a hot place, and most of it is, but Canberra is in an area with cold winters. The other night we had a -6C frost, and the daytime max was only +4C... and winter has barely started. Canberra summers can be scorchingly hot (how does 44C sound), with no rain for several months. This combination of freezing winters and hot dry summers makes it difficult to grow things. An irrigation system is an absolute necessity, and so is plenty of mulching. Australian soil is notoriously poor quality, so plenty of compost and manure are important if you want your veggies to succeed.

Apart from growing the usual veggies, I also grow my own hops for brewing beer. I set up a pulley-and-rope system on the tallest wall of the house, but even so I have to prune the tops of the hop bines after only about 4 weeks of growth because they get really tall really quickly!

Welcome PurpleMartin, I think you may possibly be our first Australian member? (watch half a dozen come out and wave now to prove me wrong!)

I'm sure we have a couple others, gill_didsbury is from down under.

What sort of hops do you grow?
Purple Martin

At the moment I only grow one variety, Pride Of Ringwood. It's an Aussie variety that works for both bittering and aroma. I'm planning on moving house at some point in the next 6 - 12 months, and when I've moved I will plant some other varieties.

Hi Purple Martin, Welcome Aboard hope you enjoy all of the forum. Have you been on all night Laughing

Are you Pom or true Aussie?
Purple Martin

all night? It's been daytime here silly pricey Wink

I was born in England but I've lived in Australia for many years... so long that I can't really remember what it was like to live in England.

Purple Martin wrote:
all night? It's been daytime here silly pricey Wink

I was born in England but I've lived in Australia for many years... so long that I can't really remember what it was like to live in England.

Laughing Laughing It's the middle of the night now Wink

You need to run a B&B, like I m going to do then we can all come and visit.

Downsizer Down under, has a certain ring to it dont you think.
wendy D


Hi everyone

This looks like a great site.

My name is Wendy, currently living in Haarlem in North Holland with my other half Paul.

We are looking to relocate to Northern Spain in the next couple of years and are in the process of looking for land and property in either Galicia, Asturias or Cantabria (I would be really interested if anyone out there has already done this).
In the meantime we are saving our pennies like mad and learning as much as we can before we get there.

Look forward to 'meeting' you all


Welcome aboard! You should find this a pretty friendly place. I expect the locals to descend pretty soon and ask you all manner of questions about the kind of chicken you keep, and such. Just ignore them, they leave you alone soon enough. Wink

Hi Wendy D.

This site IS fab, but be warned, days have been known to disappear because of it Wink

Back on line .......

Hi again this is Asturias calling........just wanted to say hello. Now relocated to Northern Spain as some of you might remember. Only just got a telephone line after tremendous problems with telefonica. Not been around since April but now back in business so keep in touch.

Best wishes to all

Ian and Luis

Great to see you back Ian and Luis!
How are you enjoying it? Have there been any major probs (aside from telefonica, those probs are the same the world over!).
We have been over twice now and we're coming back at the end of October for another look. We're travelling from Santander to Santiago and looking more in Asturias this time.
I'd love to hear more!
Very Happy
Penny Outskirts

Welcome back Very Happy

That was quick Shocked It took my sister, who lives in Southern Spain, four years to get Telefonica to connect them!

How's everything going??

update continued......

Hi Penny and Woodsprite.

Things are really good, the first thing we did was dig three large vegetable plots and got the seeds and plants established, bit disappointing the results but the earth needs lots of organic matter this winter. Built a shed, two large compost bins, harvested fruit and nuts locally, made over 80 jars of jam, chutney, tomatoe frito and pickle, been for lots of walks, swam, ate well, drunk plenty......just having a good time really. Telefonica was a pain but a good old fashioned letter of complaint to the Director general seemed to do the trick. If you are in Asturias let us know if we can be of any help - maybe join us for a drink?


Hi guys. Welcome back Smile . Sounds as though you've had an enjoyable and productive summer, even if the veg plots didn't come up to expectation this year.

That would be fab! I'll pm you nearer the time. It'd be great to meet up.
Very Happy

moved to finland..

HI everyone Laughing great to be on this site, looking forward to great chats and loads of info... we moved from north yorkshire to eastern finland,close to the russian border, in may of this was a case of up sizing rather than down!couldnt afford any where in the uk but got ourselves a lovely small house on half a hectare in a rural location, great soil,facing south and lots of lovely silver birch trees, 2pigs and 4 chickens and a wonderful harvest Very Happy all now stored in the cellar.
we are learning the language, slowly but its great fun... everyone here is so helpful. we love it Laughing Laughing anyone else out there that lives this far north??? we are getting ready for winter, down to minus 25oc!! look forward to hearing from you all.... Smile woul recomend moving here its brilliant.... Laughing Laughing Laughing
Penny Outskirts

Wow, Finland - think you are probably our first member from that part of the world Very Happy

Was there a particular reason you chose to move there? It would be lovely to see some pictures of your homestead. What sort of crops are you able to harvest?? Sorry Embarassed so many questions, but it just sounds so fascinating!
Blue Sky

Yes indeed, welcome Suomi.

Minus 25 ain't so bad (considerring how much far North you are to us). We have had minus 20 deg.C here a couple of years ago.

As per Penny, I would be interested to hear of your reason for the choice of so far north a location to settle?

Not been to Finland (Suomi Wink ) yet but we will one day.

Enjoy the site.


We have a dream !!!

'Hola, Bonjour, Ciao ...... Hi'ya,

We are relatively new to the forums, so we thought we'd post an intro on here.

We (Mic & Min) plan to downsize in Spain, within the next 3 - 5 years. We have been to the Costa Dorada area a number of times now & like what we see.

We'd like to have some land, with trees, such as Almonds, Carobs, Olives or Fruit, to give us a small income. As well as growing all our vegetable requirements. In essence, we want a 'Smalholding', probably with a number of animals to.

The idea would initially be to purchase the land & a building/ruin on it, to renovate, then build/ or extend the renovation.

At the moment we are ploughing our energy's into a 250 Sq meter Allotment & considering a second one as this is full ..... even in November !!! However soon we will be building up our skills base by attending an array of courses to enable us to do the majority of the renovation ourselves. Not to mention .... saving some pounds, shillings & ... Euros.

If anyone has any advice about Spain, moving abroad, setting up a Smallholding then any advice would be greatfully received.


Mic & Min


Forgot to sign in Embarassed


Mic & Min

Hi there, Mic and Min, and welcome to Downsizer Smile
What's your allotment full of at this time of year ?

Re: moved to finland..

suomi wrote:
H.. we moved from north yorkshire to eastern finland,... we are getting ready for winter, down to minus 25oc!!

You thinking getting used to such warmer temperatures is going to be tricky?

If it gets too cold then stay in the sauna a bit longer.

Hi'ya Gil

Unsure if this is the place to post on my allotment but i'm sure a moderator will move it if not. In the main onions & Garlic.

We have dedicated areas for Strawberry's, Raspberrys, Logan & Tayberry's. Plus other fruits.

We've a late salad bed & also have Chard in there. Then Carrots, Swede & Beetroot.

We've a full Brassica bed (Spinich, Swiss chard, White & Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Curly Kale & Brussel Sprouts. Three beds of Autumn planted Onions & two & a half beds of Autumn Garlic. We had such a success with the onions & garlic last year we have planted more.

We have two and a half beds of Spring Cabbage & a half bed of Pak Choi.

In a seperate row we have the remainder of the Cabbage & a few remaining Coliflours.

I also planted a bed of Carrots & Turnip for Christmas time.

In a Greenhouse I have 3 plastic troughs of Carrots, some Spring Cabbage in Pots & some Rosemary Cuttings. Also groing Elephant garlic in pots outside to.

I would of liked to of put some Peas in, however got to prepare an area for the Broad beans in Febuary.

Hope that gives you a flavour of what's in our plot.



Move to Spain.......

Hi Mic and Min

Welcome - we moved to Spain (Asturias) in April this year after looking for over two years. Never looked back. Can give you lots of tips and direct you to some useful resources when you are ready - keep in touch. Smile

Signed in but......

Hi Again....thought I'd signed in but obviously not - Good luck with your plans for Spain......see previous post

Ian and Luis
Douglas in Transilvania

Downsizing in Transylvania

That is exactly what we are doing. Looking for like-minded people. Transylvania is a sacred land which retains its magic and yet needs healing. Downsizing in Transylvania. website coming as soon as we find a designer. Are you interested?

Douglas Mcfarlane[/code]

Where exactly is Transylvania ? All that comes to mind is that song from the Rocky Horror Picture Show Embarassed

What kind of downsizing have you gone for ? Smallholding ? Farm ? What's it like there ?
Douglas in Transilvania

where's Transylvania?

Apparently a lot of Brits think it is just an imaginary land thought up by the author of Dracula. It's real; it's got mountains, hills, forests and rivers;lots of land for smallholdings; and an interesting ethnic mix. At times in the past an independent principality, then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, today it forms much of the west and central romania.[/img][/quote][/code]

Sometimes Abroad!


I've been reading the useful info on this site for quite a while and have decided to join in. Look out for me trying to pick your brains (or more precisely onions) in a post later!

I've posted here because although we live in Lincolnshire we also have a house in Brittany, France. As we spend all the school holidays there we are hoping to be able to grow some vegetables - the 5/6 week summer holiday makes it difficult to look after things in the UK.

I am Kathy and my husband is Mark.
I joined this site nearly 2 years ago now, as we were just beginning to work out how we could retire to France from Devon.
Well, we've been here nearly a year now, and in this house since last November.

I have 3 hens, currently free ranging, 2 chicks who in a couple of weeks will be old enough to join the free rangers.
12 Sasso crosses being specifically grown for the table....they live in a large fenced off area next to the potager.
3 Japanese Banatams, who are gorgeous but too small to be safe free ranging in our garden, so they'll be moving to more secure premises with a friend in September.
The table birds (8 of them) will be culled on the 8th Sept. I'm dreading it, as I have to learn how to do it on that day, and will for the first time, kill, deplume and gut a bird Sad Sad

I have never really grown vegetables besides tomatoes and peppers. We discovered that there was an exisiting, completely over run potager here, so have attempted (very badly) to resurrect it. This year is all about learning what is already in the 1 acre garden, and each day is really new as i discover another tree, or another plant.
In the garden we have chestnut, walnut, hazlenut, conker, apple, pear, peach, quince, and cherry trees.
In the potager there is perpetual spinach (yuk Confused ), raspberry, loganberry, blackberry, redcurrant and a few blackcurrants.
I have planted, potatoes, runner beans, tomatoes, rhubarb, mange tout, pumpkins, peppers, and today planted the sweet potato slips. I am only using about 1/2 the potager as i didn;t want to push myself too hard. I had hoped that mark would help me, sadly he has little interest in gardening and I have to supervise heavily if I need his assistance.
So far, we've enjoyed the potatoes, and I have 3 or 4 mange tout ready to eat, I'll pick some later in the week.
I've been making cherry jam, cherry chutney, cherry liquer, and cherries in syrup. Raspberry liquer, red currant liquer, and today I've start a red berry wine.

I am a member of several forums.

Total France Where I know of several members here, HWH< Merlinn, Boisdevie and MMM.

The website in my sig is very good regarding Poultry and some smallholder animals.

Le Blog
That's about it.
It's nice to be in a postition, at long last, to look around and use this site.
Very Happy

Good to hear from you, sounds like you have alot to do at the moment!

That sounds great, I'm in france at the end of Sept maybe we can all meet up. Going to be at Simon's.

hi everyone
i am andy, husband of sophe (pureportugal).
we live in central portugal on a smallholding that is about to double in size, when we buy the land next door.
our website about us is now:

and we also run a site advertising property here, specialising in smallholdings and farms for the downsizer:

i also still help people setting up co-ops and communities in the uk:

we have horses, chickens, geese, ducks, bees, cats, dogs... and grow most of our own veg, as well as offering info and advice to anyone seeking to downsize and do the good life thing. i have read a lot about peak oil lately, as well as info about what our oil-based economy is doing to our landbases, and so spend a fair bit of time telling people how bad things are, and how we can make a difference by changing our lifestyles... Smile

Hi Andy, hope you and Sophe are well, Site is looking good.


Keith & Clare in central France

We are Keith and Clare, and had been planning to retire to France when I hit 60 (in 2009). Towards the end of 2005 I was made redundant, so took early retirement and set about finding a new home.

We eventually moved at the beginning of June, 2006 to our home here in Puy-de-Dôme. We are right on the edge of the Département, 5Km from Allier and 15Km from Creuse.

We have neither of us been keen gardeners in the past but now find ourselves with 3800sq metres of pastureland that we are trying to turn into an orchard and vegetable plots.

Excellent, good luck and I hope we can be of some use


I've just found my way here from the River Cottage Forum.

My name's Alex. I moved to France with my husband and daughter in July 2006.

We have about 6.5 hectares of pasture land for our 4 horses with our sights set on our neighbours 2.5hectares of woodland (fingers crossed). We didn't move far from the UK, we are just outside Boulogne sur mer.

My husband has kept his UK based job so we don't have income worries, not sure how we would manage otherwise.

We want to be as self sufficient and eco-friendly as possible in our new lives. We are just beginning work on our vegetable garden/orchard. Can't bear another year of supermarket veg!

So that's us in a nutshell.

Looking forward to browsing the forum.


Welcome Alex. Glad you could join us.

Hi Alex, hope you enjoy the site, go and have a good read Very Happy
Green Rosie

Bonsoir Alex - I did it the other way round and found the River Cottage Forum from here. We moved to France this summer and hope to have our veggie patch fully operational by next summer - we don't buy supermarket stuff unless we are really stuck - there are some great markets round here and some even sell organic fruit and veg. Enjoy the forum Very Happy

Hello everyone, my name is Janet. As a little girl I lived in Colchester, Kilmarnock and then spent the rest of my childhood in the Hague Holland where I met an Australian. We moved to Australia, back to Holland and finally settled in Ostfriesland in Germany.

We bought an old farm with 10.000 m2 of land and have just finished our first year of downsizing. It has been a very exciting but also difficult year and there is still so far to go. We do love living here, the neighbours are brilliant, the country side beautiful and living off the land is better than I anticipated. So no complaints there. BUT on the other hand, the house is cold, old, damp. It needs lots of work and there is never the money or the time.

Then you think back of your warm, insulated terrace house that you left behind where all the work had virtually been done. The house I could not wait to get out of but that did look nice and that was comfortable and warm. Where your washing would dry overnight instead of the 4 days it takes and then still needs to go into the dryer to finish it off.

We have 4 boys 13, 11, 10 and 5 who are all in different schools here. One goes to the regular high school, one to a Steiner / Waldorf school, one to primary and one to kindergarten. It keeps you pretty busy all round. Getting kids to school buses (the first one leaves before 7 the last drop off is 8.30), looking after animals and the garden, processing food.

My husband works 3 days a week in Holland. I give courses 3 evenings a week and occasionally work free lance for an interior design firm.

I have been reading here for quite a while now and really enjoy the posts, we learn from them, they inspire us and at times help you through insecurities.

hi all,

Thanks for the welcome, I'm having a ball so far!

we don't buy supermarket stuff unless we are really stuck - there are some great markets round here and some even sell organic fruit and veg.

Well until recently we were a one car family, in fact two but it took me a year to pluck up the courage to go to the prefecture and register my little smart. For a week were were a two car family, with me able to pop out to Desvres for shopping. The smart coughed and spluttered (after a year of inactivity Rolling Eyes ) and now we are back to one car. What I'm trying to say is, when I get my car back I shall be certainly going to the market on a tuesday, as it is, I'm restricted to the wretched supers because my husband is at work mostly when the market is on. But good suggestion thanks, I shall be heading off with my basket in the near future! Very Happy

Hi everyone, my name is Christina, I am new to the forum having stumbled across it on my husband's laptop - so you are the guys he's been talking to Smile .
I am the OH to Kevin who told you all about moving to Niedersachsen at the beginning of 2006. I work in the automotive industry which is cut-throat and horrible, making me appreciate coming home to our house and garden, in the midst of one of the valleys of the Weserbergland, all the more Razz
After 20 years in Norn Irn, living in Germany (again, in my case, as I grew up near Paderborn and left when I finished school) has come as quite a shock.
Germany is still in the dark ages as far as providing good, fresh food (never mind organic!) to the general public is concerned, and I can't wait for next summer when we will hopefully get our first home-grown fruit and veg in. I MISS the wonderful farm shop in Northern Ireland I used to go to!
The good thing, however, about moving to Germany is that it has given us the opportunity to start downsizing - one job instead of two, living in the lovely green countryside instead of town, the kids running wild in the woods and fields, stuffing themselves full of fruit, nuts and berries instead of having to be kept indoors for fear of being mown down by traffic...
I enjoy reading the posts on this forum and will "pop in" during my lunch break whenever I can.

Moving to Galicia

Hello all, after some time spent lurking on the edges of this forum we think its about time we introduced ourselves. We are Tim and Nicky and we have almost completed on the purchase of a smallholding in Galicia. It has been a year of struggle (Spanish paperwork sigh) but we think we are on the home stretch..... (not holding breath).
Since we have started the UK property market has collapsed, the pound has collapsed and our nerves are in a similar sorry state but we are still hopeful.
IF we can sell our UK house in 2009 we hope to be in Galicia by the end of the year, if not then it will be a holiday home for a bit. We intend to run a smallholding for personal consumption, pigs, goats, bees, veggies and poultry. Also after some renovation work we will start a B & B to bring in an income so Tim can give up his current job in IT. We aim to do all of this before we get too old and infirm to wrestle the livestock. Looking forward to chatting to you all some more.

Hello Tim and Nicky. Welcome to Downsizer. Very Happy

Re: Moving to Galicia

tim_and_nicky wrote:
Hello all, after some time spent lurking on the edges of this forum we think its about time we introduced ourselves. We are Tim and Nicky and we have almost completed on the purchase of a smallholding in Galicia. It has been a year of struggle (Spanish paperwork sigh) but we think we are on the home stretch..... (not holding breath).
Since we have started the UK property market has collapsed, the pound has collapsed and our nerves are in a similar sorry state but we are still hopeful.
IF we can sell our UK house in 2009 we hope to be in Galicia by the end of the year, if not then it will be a holiday home for a bit. We intend to run a smallholding for personal consumption, pigs, goats, bees, veggies and poultry. Also after some renovation work we will start a B & B to bring in an income so Tim can give up his current job in IT. We aim to do all of this before we get too old and infirm to wrestle the livestock. Looking forward to chatting to you all some more.

Welcome Tim and Nicky - Lovely part of the world - Good luck in your new venture.
Graham Hyde


Hi, I've been a member for a few years but have not had internet available until recently. I'm Graham, joined whilst I was living in Abu Dhabi but retired to the Philippines 3 years ago. I have plot on the beach in a remote location with beautiful views across San Miguel Bay to the Pacific ocean.
I grow mainly coconuts, harvesting 1,000 nuts every 45 days, papaya, mangoes and pineapples. I keep chickens, ducks, geese and pigs.
The region is third world standard, the majority of the houses in the two villages on either side are bamboo frame with nappa thatch. None have running water, most have electric, none have glass in the windows. All cooking is on open fires or over charcoal.
I have enjoyed reading the old posts and have been inspired by Sally in Wales and have begun soap making.
Great site.
Nicky Colour it green

welcome Graham Smile
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