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Turning 40

It wasn’t as bad as I expected. Actually, I’m not sure what I expected. I’ve been doing a countdown to my 40th birthday for about 2 years, wondering what “luxury item” I’d treat myself to for the occasion. A car was top of the list for a while – either a BMW or a 4-wheel drive. A new watch also featured – one of those fancy ones you see the tennis stars modelling in the glossies. In the end I opted for something with far more longevity than any of those items – I chose this life.

This life, here in the beautiful countryside, surrounded by people we know. Nothing to hear but birds chirping, cows lowing, Beelzebub doing what Beelzebub does and the mile-long cargo locomotive passing in the distance twice a day. Food from our garden, eggs from our charming little hens. Money can’t buy this life – and I love it.

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We were hoping to be into our new house by my birthday but it was always going to be a challenge and we didn’t quite make it. I’m glad we had it as a target, though, as it forced us to knuckle down to get the work completed – and we’re almost there. All construction work has been completed. We have electricity, water and internet. We have a working bathroom. We have doors in the important places. All we really need in order to move in is for the kitchen to be fitted, which will hopefully happen today or tomorrow.

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Now that I can see how beautiful the house will be I just can’t wait to move in and enjoy it. In the meantime I am enjoying being one step closer to our self-sufficiency goal. We now produce most of our food ourselves either by growing it, rearing it, bartering with neighbours for it or making it from scratch using supermarket staples. Yesterday’s supper, for example, consisted of a tossed green salad of lettuce and broccoli spears from the garden, egg mayonnaise using my own eggs and homemade mayonnaise, and homemade soda scones using milk from our neighbour’s cow. It was fresh and vibrant and utterly delicious.

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We kept our vegetable garden deliberately small this year, planting small quantities of a number of vegetables just to see how they grow in our weather and our soil. Some are working better than others. We have an abundance of green and white beans, plenty of broccoli, far too much lettuce and enough onions to get us through the winter. I plan to sow more broccoli over the next few days as it’s one of our favourite vegetables and it’s quite expensive in the supermarket here. (It doesn’t feature at Farmers’ Markets at all – it just isn’t that popular for some reason.)

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We have also inherited a number of fruit trees. We did have bushes heavy with both red and black currants but the birds stripped them bare in about a day. We have lots of apples and damsons ripening which I will put to good use in the autumn – apple jellies and jams with the apples and jam and wine with the damsons. There are fewer pleasures as enjoyable as sipping a glass of wine that you made yourself, perhaps with a slice of homemade cheese made with milk from the neighbour’s cow.

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Getting to forty was an interesting journey, full of fun, laughter, pain, sorrows, adventures, hard work and many, many wonderful people. If the next forty are half as interesting I’ll be very happy, indeed.

PS: I got a very interesting gift for my birthday from my husband, details of which I hope to share with you in early August. You’re going to want to stay tuned for this one!

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32 Comments Post a comment
  1. Happy belated birthday. I reached 40 many years ago and I was glad that I got there. My age never really bothered me. Especially when I lost an aunt at the age of 30 to cancer. My sister-in-law lost her battle with colon cancer at the age of 47. I have outlived them both now. You sound like you have a wonderful life and a wonderful place to live. Many happy birthdays to come to you. It sounds like the perfect place. I have a wonderful life on our farm with my Hubby and animals. I am too lazy to do things as you do, I am afraid, but you sound like you are happy. And that is what counts. I do enjoy your blogs. I am just late in getting to them.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 4, 2014
    • Thanks for stopping by and for your kind remarks. This blog is here to be consumed at your leisure – there’s no such thing as “late” here. Just happy to have you along for many more birthdays to come!

      Liked by 1 person

      August 4, 2014
  2. Forty’s good, enjoy every moment. Wait until it’s fifty or sixty or… but I’m happy to reach such milestones. What better place to be than in happy in your life, at this moment.

    Like

    August 2, 2014
    • I’m looking forward to all of those milestones, Kate. And the bits in between, of course!

      Like

      August 3, 2014
  3. HI June. Lovely post. Wish you a very Happy Bday 🙂 You know I am turning 30 next year and I am dreaded attimes with that thought. Seeing your post when you are completing another milestone, I am sure it will not be that bad.
    Me and my husband also wishes to stay in a country side of the UK when we turn 40 🙂

    xx

    Liked by 1 person

    July 25, 2014
  4. Veg looks fab, looking forward to seeing photos of the house not to mention hearing what that birthday present is 🙂 Belated happy birthday. 40s are great x

    Liked by 1 person

    July 24, 2014
  5. Happy birthday June! Should you not not have been called July 😉 anyhow you’re gonna love your 40’s – I’m halfway already and it’s not so bad! K

    Liked by 1 person

    July 24, 2014
    • I get that question a lot, Karen! I may have been a few weeks overdue! Thanks for the positive outlook on the 40s – I’m actually looking forward to it!

      Like

      July 24, 2014
      • Yeah I thought it might be a comment that are sick of hearing- sorry. June is a lovely name – and incidently the month of my own birthday!

        Liked by 1 person

        July 24, 2014
  6. Happy birthday, June. Welcome to the 40s.

    Liked by 1 person

    July 24, 2014
  7. Happy birthday! Sounds like you’re right where you want to be 🙂 Looking forward to hearing about the gift 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    July 23, 2014
  8. longchaps2 #

    Forty and fabulous! Happy, happy Birthday June. I don’t have a smidgen of a green thumb, so I’m dully impressed. So many accomplishments. I’m tottering on the edge of fifty, so let me tell you, forty is a little easier, lol. Looking forward to the big reveal, although I think I have a little hint from my blog last week.. hmmm….you’re killing us …lol…

    Liked by 1 person

    July 23, 2014
    • Thanks Susan! That clue on your blog is actually another, separate surprise that I have up my sleeve! Lots going on here at the moment!

      Liked by 1 person

      July 23, 2014
  9. Happiest of birthdays, June. Forty is a great decade, and with a new house, lush, edible garden, and loving husband things can only get better for you. Enjoy every moment of this special life you have created.

    Liked by 1 person

    July 23, 2014
    • Cheers Jolandi! I’m looking forward to it all!

      Like

      July 23, 2014
  10. Happy Birthday, June! Your garden looks real good and lush 🙂 Can’t wait to learn about that gift though *sigh* I’m not good with waiting, and I love love love spoilers 😉 That’s yet another reason for me to look forward to August – to learn about the gift you’ve received and my car trip.
    Glad to hear renovations are about to be finished and that soon we all here will be happily reading about the house warming

    Liked by 1 person

    July 23, 2014
    • Thanks Asta! I love teasers. Might throw another one or two in between this and the “big reveal”!

      Like

      July 23, 2014
      • I sure hope that those teasers would be spoilery, or I might start chewing my elbow in despair 😉

        Like

        July 23, 2014
  11. Congratulations, you’ve just hit your sexual prime 😉 Beautiful garden btw.

    Liked by 1 person

    July 23, 2014
  12. Hang on, you told me you were turning 26…

    Liked by 1 person

    July 23, 2014
    • Oops! Must be getting old. Need to write my lies down so I can keep track! 😉

      Like

      July 23, 2014
  13. Happy Birthday, June 🙂
    August?! I’m on tenterhooks!

    Liked by 1 person

    July 23, 2014
  14. Im 37 and this is inspiring – makes me look forward to being 40 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    July 23, 2014
  15. Happy birthday, June!

    Liked by 1 person

    July 23, 2014
  16. Well happy birthday! Your garden looks amazing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    July 23, 2014

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