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  1 month ago

Doing our bit?

A conversation with a lady i don't know while walking the dog got me thinking on the subject of 'doing our bit'. The woman was maybe 50 -ish and we began by discussing a property which has just been renovated for sale which she reckoned was to be a holiday home like so many others on the coast. 700,000 thousand for a modest 3 bed detached bungalow is truly shocking -I agreed with her but her rant moved on to 'people who move here, contribute nothing and dont do their bit'. When she moved there 12 years ago she said 'we were working, joining in local events etc' and i looked sideways at her and said 'we were retired when we came 7 years ago'.

Admittedly my Paul retired early but he was close to mental breakdown and exhaustion not having had a day off sick in 25 years and commuting daily at least an hour twice a day sometimes -11pm. That is the way things are with researchers they work to a deadline for a client and they do not work to rule ever.

I found it hard to read the woman's attitude but clearly we may have fallen into her category of 'not doing our bit'. Yes the holiday home bods maybe don't bring much in for the local economy as they often bring all their own food with them and dont join churches, clubs, committees, voluntary groups etc. But it is true to say that lots of retired over 60s want a quiet life at home doing the garden and walking the dog after decades of being on a treadmill. Is it so wrong to want that?
As for supporting local trade we've tried and failed big time to engage plumbers, window fitters, dog groomers etc who all say they are too busy so we go to Checkatrade if desperate and i groom the dog. We do shop locally now the lockdown is over but given that Lidl is 5 mins walk and High St 40 minutes walk i do the bulk of my shopping in Lidl. On a pension a High St artisanal purchase is usually a treat as they do charge high prices in a holiday resort. I did start buying coffees but they put the price up from 1.50 to 2.95 so it's flasks again for us.
I thought perhaps my social interactions with people on my walks and occasional favours to neighbours who need it might count as 'doing my bit'. I hope so. We are hardly holiday home owners and this is our permanent residence but somehow i am feeling aspersions aimed at us by some locals. I don't know what more i could do really as my own chores and domestic responsibilities take up my mornings and a some of the afternoon and by 4pm i have no energy left except tom browse on here and do surveys for some income. My one state pension isnt due till next year and i have no bus pass yet.
Do you think we deserve to have a life free of community service and full calendar at our age? What we did when we lived in other towns as younger adults doesnt seem to count here but I did quite a lot for the local schools for a start.

This angst about lack of housing for young people is leading to divisions in Devon and blame is falling on 'aliens' buying holiday homes and now spilling onto people who didnt grow up here . My husband actually did grow up in Devon but he spent his working life in Cambs and was born in South Africa. It seems that you need to have been born here, lived here forever and run a business, catch fish or be a councillor to pass as not a holidaymaker now. )o:


  1 month ago
We all have our own way of living hun some may be offended by that some may not. For me Im 70 I had a hard childhood after the war I didnt take a holiday for 17 years when my kids were young I had personal tragedies good times and bad, so now if I want to go on holiday I will I dont look at packaging i look at the product I refuse to pay more because some company put eco friendly on the box. I live as i always have I will not change to apease man. I do agree though that buying second properties to stay in a couple of weeks a years is not only a waste of money but is very selfish.. But if people want to do that its up to them and no one has a right to judge anyone for what they do after all none of us are perfect. Reply


  1 month ago
It’s a free world… Reply


  1 month ago
I do exactly what I feel like doing Yvonne . As it happens , I've lived fairly locally all my life , and use half a dozen of the local shops , but I'm not really one for joining in . Reply


  1 month ago
You must do what you want to do. You are hardly weekenders. Some people like joining in while others, such as myself do not. I volunteer at a dog charity because I want to. You could try, say one afternoon a week as long as you want to and you don’t feel resentful about being pressured into “doing your bit”. The woman could well be trying to recruit for some committee or something. I used to deliver leaflets for the Labour Party - for several years actually and they didn’t like it one little bit when I said I wasn’t doing it any more. It might be better not to start anything unless you want to.
It sounds like you really do need to rest and your husband too. In a year or so, things might change but it’s good not to dive straight into local politics.


  1 month ago
It’s a difficult one.
I’m not one for joining any groups, but I do use the local shops and pub. Not the Deli though as it’s too expensive for me. I would use Lidl too if it was here rather than 40 miles away!
I’ve heard comments about some local groups; WI, A local Trust etc being ‘run’ by English incomers. Truth is the people new to the village have wanted to be a part of the community and have joined with enthusiasm, taking roles as secretary and treasurer when long standing locals couldn’t be bothered.
I’m sitting in both camps. I’m an English incomer and always will be, but after 20 years I’m also a local who can’t be bothered with committees!
There are now a few holiday cottages around but they seem full most of the time. Not like the second homes that sit empty. In that respect we are lucky. The small but steady flow of tourists is good for our economy!


  1 month ago
I think the biggest objection is to holiday homes where the house is left empty for half of the year, making small villages and towns seem even emptier and causing local shops to close. You're out and about and shop locally, even if it is Lidl, so you're doing your bit. I'm sure there are lots of people born in the area who don't join committees etc etc. Reply


  1 month ago
There are a lot of people from towns have moved to our village and some of them don't even speak when you meet them only a few join in with things. Reply

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