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Finding our dream home in Devon

I won’t bore you with the many months that it took to sell our Sussex home. Or the endless researching of potential houses in different areas of the South West which we were unfamiliar with, but I’m a great believer that things happen when they’re supposed to.

So it was quite a while before we had a buyer and were viewing our potential new Devon abode.

When we first saw the property we didn’t really think we would ever own it. We’d come across it quite by accident, (we’d actually been looking at the farm next door), and Mill Farm was quite a bit over our budget, but it already had holiday lets and that was how we planned to make a living in our new life.

So, being optimistic, we booked a viewing anyway.

We’d travelled down and stayed nearby the night before. So it was the next morning that we set off for the viewing, estate agents details in hand, (well-worn from the amount of times we’d re-read them), only half believing that we might own such a wonderful property.

Driving down the pretty, country lanes on a beautiful, bright August day, we were nervous and excited as we passed through the village of Bradworthy with its country pub, (our potential new local). Then, just outside the village there it was. Mill Farm.

Now, most, (normal), people probably put more importance on the actual house when buying a new home but for us the gardens have always been the main influencer and this house had a corker! There were several acres of land, (perfect for all our new animals), but the main feature was a stunning lake in park like surroundings…I know! A lake!

A lake had never been on our wish list, we had always had a pond in our gardens, but this was a real lake, with islands and everything!

So, assuming we were normal people, the estate agent showed us around the house first. We dutifully followed him into each room, as he talked about their various merits, but all the time we were itching to get out into the garden.

Then, finally, we had finished exploring the house and were out and looking at the holiday lets.

They were positioned right next to that amazing lake and as we went inside I was picturing how I’d update them. I’ve always had an interest in interior design and I had so many ideas, but despite all the potential and even looking around on a sunny Summer day we could see that there was an awful lot of work to do.

The holiday lets were very tired and the grounds needed a lot of work but we could still imagine how it could look with a lot of time and money spent on it.

To be honest, I was really concerned that it would be too much work for us. Neil had still not recovered fully from his embolisms and we would be a long way from any help from family and friends. Not to mention we would be investing everything we had, but as we walked up into the fields and looked out over the stunning Devon countryside, the prospect of a new adventure seemed to bring back a light in Neil that had been missing for too long.

Now bear with me, it all gets a bit woo woo here but hopefully you won’t judge me.

Once we had finished the viewing it was time for lunch, so we headed to the coast for fish and chips. As we sat outside in the sunshine, with the estate agents details in front of us, we discussed one of the biggest decisions we were ever going to make in our lives.

Now, when you’re faced with such a life changing decision you might look for ‘signs’ that you’re doing the right thing. So, I looked up to the sky and half jokingly and half seriously, (actually it was more of a 20/80 split), I asked the Universe for a sign.

Nothing happened…

We carried on talking until, no more than 20 seconds later, we both stopped as we watched a white feather falling straight down out of the still blue sky and as we continued to watch it, it landed smack bang in the middle of the table between us.

We looked at each other…Hmm…Well there must be lots of birds with white feathers flying around up there. It’s a bit weird it came straight down and landed right between us, but…Nah.

So, we finished our meal and as we were driving away from the coast down a country lane still mulling things over, a hawk appeared from nowhere and flew out in front of the car. But it didn’t just fly across us. It continued to fly down the lane in front of the car, at bonnet height, for well over a minute, before disappearing off into a hedgerow.

Hmm…Ok, that was weird. Could that be a sign?

Well, me being me, I said, “I’m still not sure but if there were three bird related signs in a row, I could be convinced”.

I think at that point the Universe was getting fed up with my non-believing and it decided to go all out.

As we rounded the bend, there in the middle of the road was…

A pheasant?.. An owl?.. A swan?

Nope, it was a peacock!..A blumming peacock!

After that we were both pretty convinced someone was trying to tell us something. And as if that wasn’t enough, when we went back a week later for a second viewing, we found a white feather stuck to the back of our car, another hawk flew down the road in front of us and even though we were in a totally different area, we saw another peacock in the middle of the road!

Needless to say we decided to put an offer in.

To be continued…

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