Making a pipe dream reality

A new chapter. The purpose of purpose.

Welcome back to the newsletter.

First of all, I’d like to thank you for reading my little missives. I really appreciate every bit of feedback, and it’s so nice to know you’re out there, following along.


the stars are aligning

Back in mid-June, we lost both our house sale and purchase in the same weekend (it was a Solstice). Within a week, we had sold the house again, and also found another property that we wanted to buy. But others were also interested in the same house. After a few weeks of will it/won’t it work out, we’ve just had confirmation this weekend that the house is ours. I’m a big believer in timing and sometimes you have to wait (a little while). This weekend is the end of a Mercury Retrograde, too, which typically means things are starting to move again!

We are both over the moon. A new chapter begins. Life will be very different in Derbyshire. A much more rural lifestyle. Wide open spaces. Farm shops. Our favourite cafe. Local friends and the perfect retreat. A bookshop. Lots of wildlife. And, of course, a gentler pace of life.

Living in Derbyshire was one of my pipe dreams. I envisaged it might be a possibility when I retired or sometime later. I’ve loved the place since I first visited a friend staying in Wormhill. A few months later I booked the same converted barn, and Chris and I have been back to Wormhill, just holidaying at a different barn.

I always feel very relaxed in Derbyshire. I think it’s all that greenery, those hills and fields. Perhaps it’s the fresh air.

To have so many of my favourite places right on the doorstep will be, as we say, epic! Chatsworth, Buxton, Eyam, Ashbourne, Tideswell to name but a few.

And it all came about because I casually mentioned to Chris, after our last visit to Biggin Hall, I’d love to live in Derbyshire. To which he answered, why don’t we?!


what’s your purpose?

For a long time I thought that knowing my purpose would involve some sort of otherworldly sign, that there would be a lightbulb moment and I would recognise my purpose when it finally came into view. There would be an alignment, a knowing, and a sense of having finally arrived. Somewhere.

But reality has never worked like that. I was thinking, just this morning, how I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I still don’t. It’s like aiming for a constantly moving target. You think you’ve got it nailed, then it relocates.

I do think, now, that true purpose is more individual. I’m not even sure whether we’ll know when we discover our purpose (or if we even have that realisation). Maybe purpose is just about discovering who we are, and embodying that. Perhaps our purpose makes itself known when we’re no longer here.

I wrote about purpose in this week’s blog. What if purpose is one of those illusory concepts - the more you look for it, the less likely you are to find it.

What if others identify your purpose for you? I talk about a car park attendant whose simple human connection defined his purpose for me.

read more ...


snail mail during July

I have a Patreon account! It's my main outlet for writing, podcasting and talking about the evolution of A Gentler Pace. From 1st July until 31st July, I'll be sending everyone who subscribes a handwritten photo postcard, featuring one of my own photographs taken during July. You can read my first post on Patreon here. Thank you in advance if this sounds like something that might be of interest to you.

find me on patreon


You might have noticed the format has changed slightly. Much as I love Flodesk (and it’s very user friendly with a lovely interface), I decided it was a small expense that I didn’t need, for the moment. So I’ve gone back to Substack (which I like a lot too).

I’m trying a new idea which is a discussion thread so, in about an hour after this email arrives, you’ll see another one with today’s question. It’s just an experiment but I hope you might like it!

Until next time, thank you for reading.

Nicola