The subconscious plays strange tricks. Deciding to acquire Oskar, our new puppy, was an emotional decision and totally impractical given our plans to move house and downsize to a busier, more urban environment with better facilites and transport links to our growing extended family, preferably back in the South East of England where we brought up our children. All sensible, reasonable, carefully thought through and definitely achievable with one older, settled dog (and the three cats who are well used to upping sticks anyway), but the subconscious was having none of it!
We are still enjoying a love affair with our pretty village cottage, very much off the beaten track and on the road to nowhere in particular, and with the gorgeous countryside that surrounds us. We can step out of our gate and be in fields in minutes, well away from noise, traffic and pollution and revelling in the space and unspoilt beauty of this part of Suffolk. Ideal for dog walking and yet within driving distance of so many places we enjoy visiting. Perhaps if we had found another house we could fall in love with, our decision would have been different, although given the cost and disruption of a house move, it would have had to be very special indeed.
I have also had to face the fact that my wish to move is very much linked to a strong desire to turn the clock back. Back to a time and place where I was content with my role as a mother and the hub of our family life, with my own mother living nearby and my work in my children's school putting me at the heart of my community. But life has moved on, choices have been made and for now, it is clear that Oskar has helped us to crystallise our thoughts and, after two years of uncertainty and playing the options, tolerating hoards of strangers tramping through our much loved home, always believing that there would be the perfect house for us out there, we are settling for what we have. We are simply not ready to give up our country life yet. The colour charts have come out and I am having rightmove withdrawal symptoms, but we do have two happy, contented dogs (the cats would be relieved too!).
Of course Oskar is totally oblivious to his role in our decision and is happily getting on with the business of being a puppy but he has certainly changed our lives in more ways than one and I have found out why I needed him in my life.