Retirement? I don’t think so. Mind you, I never had aspirations to a lazy retirement – it’s just not who I am. But neither did I expect to get caught by the eco renovation bug.
We’ve lived in our house for over 40 years. It’s a fascinating house – built in 1901 we’re only the fifth family to live here. Given this is a commuter belt where families move often to accommodate new kids that’s an amazing fact. We’ve even met some of them – one a builder doing an extension for us. When we tried to tell him about the pipework, he just said ‘I know – I grew up in this house.’
Under our care the house has been through three major changes before this one. So we are no strangers to building dust and muck. The original coal hole and outdoor toilet was a downstairs bathroom when we arrived. Next it became the utility room, then the conservatory and now is fully incorporated into a wonderful living/kitchen space. Having garden along the side of the house as well as the back has allowed us to spread more than most, so we’ve really gone for it.
A new fascination
After a long career that meandered through teaching, social work, psychotherapy, leadership development, executive coaching, writing, speaking, I’ve found a new and unexpected passion. It going to be a big learning curve. It means taking on social media properly. I’ve flirted with it over the years – done a lot of reading and next to no posting, but now I need to stop messing about. It means being brave and speaking out in the building world that is predominantly male. it means going out and selling what I’ve written. I’ve done it all in the past, but this time carries so much more weight – this is sink or swim. And me – I hate getting my face wet!
Time to change
It really doesn’t a lot more effort to make the house cozy and the benefits are not just environmental – we’ve cut our energy usage by 75% and, at this moment in time, that’s a huge benefit.
So as the book sits with the editor, I’m learning about Wordpress and Elementor (with big thanks to Alison Rothwell who has the patience of a saint) so I can chat with you through this blog. Next stop Twitter and Instagram I’m looking forward to finding out what others are doing and learning more about this amazing challenge and opportunity that faces us all.
We’ve got our Earth to save and I’ve got a clan to look out for – two daughters with lovely husbands, three glorious grandkids, three Cavalier King Charles grand-dogs. They may be sick to the back teeth hearing me rattle on about ventilation and insulation, but at least they know I’m doing my best to clean up my act and leave them with something of value.
There is no time to waste and sorting out our homes is an obvious win – less of a drain on the Earth and the purse.