Finding Enchantment

‘We who live in quiet places have the opportunity to become acquainted with ourselves, to think our own thoughts, to live our lives in a way that is not possible for those keeping up with the crowd.’ Laura Ingalls Wilder

The idea for this post came to me shortly after we moved here in June 2018 yet, as the months have passed , what started as a simple idea (to be explored in further posts) has by instalments grown in to something all together different; something rather more challenging and demanding. It’s occupied my mind while out walking alone with the dogs or digging the garden, peeling potatoes or sitting with the hens. I have spent hours trying to find answers only to find that when I think that I have them, they then poise a whole new set of questions. The more that I work on it, the more layers I peel back: its become a reluctant self analysis. To be able to set down my idea, first I needed to arrive at a better understanding of myself. It’s a permanent work in progress and I’m beginning to wish that I’d never started!

Before we moved to The Red House an acquaintance asked me what was my reason for wanting to sell up our business and move to somewhere so rural and out of the way? Without hesitation I replied that I didn’t want distractions and that I wanted time to make my own work, my drawing and to write. And then, like some kind of disclaimer I added (with a nervous laugh) ‘who knows if I’m even capable? I may very well be left faced with my own emptiness’.


Being faced with the threat of my own emptiness is a somewhat terrifying prospect. In the past I have staved off feelings of failure, inadequacy , hopelessness, grief etc with the obvious and easily available distractions of alcohol and tobacco. But I got fed up with being beholden. They were not the solution and they had to go. Now I had to learn to walk without my crutches.

The idea of us selling up and moving towards a more humble, kinder existence, came to me while making drawings, and linocuts, in the studio at Atelier88 in Alcalá La Real. I needed a break from the ironing mountain and chamber pots and was happily drawing and listening to the radio, completely lost in the zone, engrossed and contented.

And I realised in that moment, sat there drawing, that if I really wanted to face my demons head on, and get on, then I had to re evaluate what I was doing.

I had to get right back to nature. Away from town life, people and endless chatter. To find hedgerows and green lanes again. Rugged wild coast lines and night skies free of any light pollution, Streams and woods. That little girl drawing at the kitchen table, absolutely absorbed in her pursuit while listening to the Tales Of Little Grey Rabbit on her tiny record player: she didn’t need crutches to walk. If I could retrieve something back of that feeling of pure contentment without screwing it all up with self doubt then this was what I must do. .

The moment that I glimpsed the little red house through the trees I was enchanted. Something about the way it sits nestled in to the side of the valley; tucked in on one side by forestry and the rest cradled by a patchwork of meadows. The sound of cow bells carried on the breeze. Before we even pulled up to the gate, I knew that I wanted to live here.


Thank you for reading! The next instalment will be up as soon as possible. I know that I am horribly slow but I have endless distractions and get sidetracked trying to fit everything in. I have added a kind of slide show of extra photos below.

The Red House. Nestled in to the side of the valley.

32 thoughts on “Finding Enchantment

  1. What beautiful photographs of a wonderful place.

    I believe there is an emptiness in each of us. As we search I pray we find it has a particular shape and we find what/who perfectly fits that form.

    I wish you well on your inward journey and you find what you are seeking by experiencing the winders of creation around you.

    I’m looking forward to another instalment, whenever that time comes.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you, Lottie, for sharing your inner thoughts & feelings. It takes a particular kind of intentional vulnerability & I appreciate yours. I look forward to more. Peace to you & yours in your lovely haven 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 🙏 and thank you also for your appreciation. It was quite a challenge to write and remains so but I’ve got started and that’s what’s important. Middle age is a almost more awkward than being a teen again. It’s not a question of ‘What do I want to do when I’m a grown up?’ It’s a question of ‘Wtf! I am a grown up and I still don’t know what to do!! 🙈🤣😱😱bit Im finding a new direction and this is a part of that story.

      It’s great to be connected with you, Samantha xx


  3. lovely photos to match the words Lotts. Takes me back tomyour utterings from Malaysia – keep it up x


    Eamon +447854 903555

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

  4. It was exciting to see the notice of a new post on FB page and as usual I am always entertained by your stories. This one I think, is one of self refection, and it is a story that many of us could surely use as motivation to “go for the gold” as I like to say when deciding to make a life change.

    I really believe in my heart that you have found your personal Eden. I don’t believe that you would ever have been totally happy nor as creative had you remained in Alcala La Real where there was no wiggle room nor time for artistic endeavors. I remember that you had written in an email that you yearned for open spaces, land to grow fruit and vegetables, and enough acreage that would support a few farm animals.

    I loved the scenes that you have posted here. I look forward to seeing many more of your gorgeous property. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yvonne, you’re so right, yes, I did write to you about wanting those things. I remember thinking quite early on that I needed to rethink my plans. Well, what a change of pace and life!

      Each year is a learning curve but I’m going to be writing about all of these things in future posts.

      I love hearing from you and often wonder how you’re doing. I hope things are better and Danny is doing ok . I’m sorry I’ve been so bad about emailing- Xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Really, I am the one that owes you a letter. I just have not been able to get it together for the past two years but I am going to make a determined stab to write. My son is doing so- so and his depression seems to be lifting a bit as of the last few days. I am hoping that he will continue to progress. I am ok and will let you know more when I write. xoxo


  5. Dearest Lottie, You are a kindred spirit and I can’t believe my good fortune to have met someone like you in the wilds of Ortegal! You write so beautifully and honestly my heart is touched, no massaged, by your gentle spirit. You have helped me appreciate being here and have helped me realize that what can only be described as boredom by my unappreciative current partner, is my actual domestic bliss and connectedness to our special place in the world. Thank you for the gift of friendship and helpful realization. I look forward to reading more and I absolutely love having you in my life!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow! That made me cry 😢 but in the nicest of ways. What a beautiful heartfelt comment, Thank you dear Cheryl. I feel absolutely the same about meeting you.

      I am so looking forward to a walk with you soon, I’ve got some seeds to share with you xx 😘

      We are extremely fortunate to have found ourselves ‘washed up’ here.


  6. Dear Lottie, I could not have known, years ago, when we first met in Bali, that the trajectory of your meanderings would resonate as deeply as they have. I feel so synched with the sentiments you express, even though our life experiences have been so vastly different.. outwardly. In near-total isolation (from humans) since Covid came to town (or should I say island), I’ve been mysteriously and abundantly blessed with the opportunity to develop deeper connections to the abundance of nature outside my door; the quiet beach and ocean nearby, with its lapping waves and bobbing fishing boats; the stray dogs I feed and frolic with; the cow I feed who announces her presence even before I arrive in her shed, lest I forget to bring her goodies too. These creatures have buoyed and sustained me, as much as the basil and mint babies I seeded and watered. It continues to be a treat – and balm – to read about your adventures, reflections and revelations!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you dear Amit 🙏 It’s so good to hear from you and to know that you too have found a found a salve in the sea and fishermen’s boats and your herbs and feeding the animals. I used to love walking up that stretch of coast.
      Coincidentally, Wayan rang me today. We both cried buckets! I
      want to save up and go and see her again and maybe you will still be there too! Bali seems so very far away these days. We were so fortunate to have that experience 🙏

      Well it’s the middle of the night here and I must try to sleep. It’s a beautiful starry night out there which bodes well for the planting tomorrow. I have broad bean seeds to plant and various other outdoor jobs to catch up with so must get back to sleep

      Thank you for your lovely comment. Love from Galicia xx

      Liked by 2 people

  7. There’s no more important journey than the trail back to self. I started in my forties when I read the book, Awakening at Midlife by Kathleen A. Brehony. I too feared I was an empty shell. What I found was, well, trust me, your Lottie-ness is a force and you’re powerful beyond your wildest imagining. You’ll unearth both the brilliance and the shadows but I’ve always said, the shadows make us interesting. This is thrilling, Lottie! Keep going deeper.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow! Thank you, Sherry. You’ve inspired me to continue. It’s like unraveling a ball of wool and untangling the knots. like unlocking lots of secret boxes and yes, shadows for sure. I’ll shall be writing more on how I got to this point- it really was an idea for a blog post that triggered all this. I shall look out Awakening at Midlife, it sounds exactly what I should be reading. And speaking of reading, have you published your book yet? Xx


  8. There is nothing like rural living to meet that emptiness at the heart of who we are…that emptiness that can turn into fullness if we don’t get lost in distractions. We’ve lived in the woods for 42 years and I am still learning about this. By the way, I found you via Yvonne’s FB post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kathy, thanks so much for stopping by. How kind of Yvonne to share this post on Facebook.

      42 years in the woods sounds like heaven to me, how wonderful 🦉but I guess it’s also quite challenging at times. I must admit though, it sounds like somewhere that I’d happily live.
      You’re right about the distractions: I get terribly side-tracked with all my projects. There are not enough hands nor hours in the day.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Yor photographs evoke the peacefulness that you have discovered and are embracing. So wonderful to find this xx


    1. Thank you, Brenda. I’m so glad that you enjoy the photos . I’ve started the next post but as always, things get in the way so don’t hold your breath- just to say that there’s another instalment soon from The Red House xxx 😘


  10. Hi Lottie….it’s been ages since I have peeked in on any of the blogs I used to follow (you had pretty much just moved to Spain) and just as before, I got sucked into your universe. There are no coincidences. Artistic spirits, I feel, have an especially hard time figuring out their place in the world….and with the added anxiety of that question of capability! I’ve been wanting to make a change for some time, but haven’t really felt convicted (or brave enough) until recently. The situation in the US has definitely put a fire under me to get the hell out. I look forward to reading more of your heartfelt journey, fellow traveler. Peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m thrilled that you’ve revisited my blog, Wendi. Thank you! Very good to hear from you 🙏

      I can well imagine your desire to leave the US, we feel the same about the UK. The world seems like it’s in free fall. Our leaders have failed us.

      We do need to radically re think what we are doing, and question whether our lifestyles are fit for purpose? Are we really able to sustain this madness? No of course not! It’s abundantly clear that now all of us have a responsibility to change our ways – this is a work in progress for us but we’ve made the first step. We e taken the plunge and this is what will become the essence of the blog, writing about the realities of living as we do and how it’s not easy at almost 60 and 70 years old but it can be done … step by step.


  11. Lottie,I found this your post thought provoking and dreamy. It is beautifully written and I simply can do put into words how much I loved reading this one. You really have a talent for writing and I would like to say that is has only gotten better as time as goes on. But each life experience that you write about is very unique. I wish I had your talent.

    I am back on my computer now- at least for tonight it is behaving kind of ok. The screen was jumping back and forth from site to site and it was too exasperating to try to type so that is why I am late commenting. I use my cell for FB. I had my computer re-scanned for every kind of bug and a different protection plan installed. I hope and pray it will behave for a while. X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And I hope and pray that your computer behaves itself too! Poor Yvonne, you’ve not had much luck with your computers lately – I wish that I could afford to buy you a new one! We’ve had computer troubles too. Pete’s has now bitten the dust so we are down to sharing one desktop between us! Argh! It’s a nightmare but fortunately we both have phones we can use.

      I should have replied to your very kind comment on here first before I replied to your other one on a different post – you always write such thoughtful and kind comments. I’m made up that you enjoy reading the blog. Thank you, dear Yvonne xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, Lottie for the sweet reply. I have no idea what computer brand is the best, I had a Dell desk in the 90’s and then my last 3 have been HPs. None of them have lasted very long and I just limp along with them until I can get another one. I am not very savvy about electronics but can sort of hold my own. My best computer was the old HP vista which was so easy to use and suited my collection of photos and easy access to them. The one that I am typing on might behave for while and then suddenly start shifting back and forth between windows. And has no sound, I will break down and get a new one when I get really sick and sick of it.


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