It was for us, a huge body blow. Possibly our last shot ever at a tenancy, and the difference between *both* girls living at home next year and both leaving - it was a fabulous opportunity and the farm we'd dreamed of all our lives.
I was at work when we heard, and had to hold it together - though I could have cried and cried.
Last night, we sat and talked, and tried to focus on what we can do on our (rented) land.
Today, another thing struck me.
In the last three years, we have:
- tried for three farm tenancies
- looked at and applied for half a dozen shared ownership homes
- made contact with a budding eco village project
- tried to figure out a private sale on a bungalow
- tried with help from friends to buy a field, on which one day to build a roundhouse or similar
I may have missed some.
During that three years we have paid out nearly £30,000 in rent. In the ten years we've been here, we've paid over £80,000. In that time we've raised two lovely girls, both hard working and decent. We've worked every single day of our lives. We've had between us numerous jobs and extra jobs.
We cannot afford to buy a house, a plot of land, a shared ownership house ... we can't afford a deposit. We've lost our last chance at a farm. I am 57 and Neil is 50.
I don't want to say it is over - because I do not know what we are going to do, when we can no longer pay the rent, or when our landlord wants his house back. It simply can't be over. But I'm beggared if I can see what we can do.
This is not about losing a farm. Again.
This is about being one of a growing number of people (AND THEY ARE NOT ALL 'YOUNG') who just simply do not have a safe and secure way of housing themselves for the rest of their lives.
And it's blooming terrifying.
Excuse us while we regroup.