Late with this one, but for good reasons. A final weekend in the old country emptying a house of a dead man’s things – saving what I wanted, moving and culling my own childhood memories this time. It’s done. No more house in a foreign country, no more wondering which country I’m registered in for tax purposes. Who knows, I may even close up my offshore account…
Selling a house was not something I expected to be doing so soon. I figured it’s the sort of thing you probably never get to do as a member of the outdoor industry until you’re on your first divorce. Within my professional outdoor group set I know of very few people who’ve bought homes that they’ve not lived in, and planned to live in for a very long time.
I think it comes with the mentality. Most of them have bought houses not for their economic value, or even for the value they may accrue, but for the value of the surrounding terrain. Most of my climbing associates live less than a 20-minute drive from the nearest crags, or they tend to have a wall or somewhere they can boulder within 20-minute walk via a tea shop. My paddling buddies, well they either live where they can see the rain falling on the rivers they paddle and beaches they surf, or they live at the get-out or get-off so they can watch the river or waves. My fell runner friends, well they must live far from anywhere that offers grooming or new clothes, but that’s what they love: pure unfiltered mountains.
But the cyclists are odd. Many of them…well they’re type-A people, they lead lives that they demand more from and many of them are pigeonholed into cities and lives that are not best for hitting the trails or roads after work. I think they are idiots. I’m happy I’m not one of them anymore.
How can you do the thing you love by living in a place that reduces your ability to do that thing? Sure, schools-hospitals-shops – they are all important, but you won’t need them everyday. And if you want to waste time moving around stressing about pointless things – sure, buy several houses in your life. Or if you’re smart, buy one in a place you’ll want to live and ride/run/paddle/climb for at least the next 30 years.
A decent pub helps too.
Beer of the Week
Taddy Porter: Samuel Smiths Brewery, ABV 5%
“Brewed with well water (the original well at the Old Brewery, sunk in 1758, is still in use, with the hard well water being drawn from 85 feet underground), malted barley, roasted malt, yeast and hops. Fermented in ‘stone Yorkshire squares’.”
Not to be confused with the band from Oklahoma, Taddy Porter gives me that feeling of a hometown drink, but with real taste. I grew up on that highly exported Irish porter, but it really could be better. Taddy Porter is everything it should be, simple and delicious, and not served cold.