Today it’s Anna Jacobs!

Joining the fun in the Dream a Little Dream blogathon today is the talented Anna Jacobs who writes amazing, sweeping stories set in Australia and the UK.

Anna writes:

My long-time dream was to have a house in England as well as our house in Australia. It didn’t seem achievable, but hey, there’s no harm in dreaming, is there? After all, as a novelist, I get paid to dream.

My husband and I emigrated from the UK to Australia in 1973 and settled down happily . . . except for one thing. We missed our families. It wasn’t enough to visit them every few years.

We tried house swapping. It was hard getting suitable swaps, because nearly everyone wanted to go to Sydney, not a small seaside town on the west coast of Australia. It was the best we could come up with though, and we could stay longer without imposing on people, so we persevered. (That’s another story. We had some ‘interesting’ swaps.)

But my novels were selling well, so as the years passed, we started looking at small houses while we were in the UK. The big problem was where to buy and how to protect the house while we were back in Australia. You can’t get insurance cover if there isn’t someone keeping an eye on the house, you see.

I started looking at UK real estate on line. I love looking at houses, anyway, and am good at visualizing how a floor plan would work. But for a long time nothing suitable cropped up.

Then one day I was tired after writing for several hours, so I went to look at real estate on line and bingo! I found a leisure village being built on a golf course, not only homes but membership of the golf club (for my sporty husband) and security surveillance. I ran to fetch my husband and he agreed it looked very promising.

We phoned my sister in the UK that very hour. She went to see it for us the next day and she really liked it. So we did something completely against our usual principles. We bought a house without seeing it, on the block of land my sister had chosen for us overlooking a small lake as well as the golf course.

We planned for months how to furnish it cheaply, and of course, we worried about whether we’d done the right thing.

Eventually, the house was finished and it was time for our first summer in the UK.

We were so lucky. It turned out to be one of the best decisions we’ve ever made and we’ve had five summers there already, getting to know our brothers and sisters better, making new friends, avoiding winters in both country.

The two-country lifestyle is good for my writing too, since I set my books in both Australia and the UK. In fact, the whole thing is more than good, it’s splendid!

All because I dreamed a little dream –  and kept my eyes open for ways of making it come true.

To be in with a chance to win a copy of The Trader’s Dream, Anna’s latest book, just comment and tell us where in the world you dream of living – and why. Anna will select the answer she likes best.

 

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Today it’s Anna Jacobs!

  1. Martine

    I dream of having a small bolthole in France. France is my favourite holiday destination but the problem is that therere is too much choice. Should I find a place in Normandie, my mother’s homeland, and while away my time, feasting on plump chcken, simmered with cider and cream, or driving the dramatic coastal roads , enjoying seafood platters and revisting views captured by Monet. Or I could settle for a townhouse in Avignon, where I studied as a student and feed on the cutural eccentricity that is the Avignon festival and have a daily stroll to the Palais des Papes and look over the walls to Le Pont d’Avignon. Then again, I adore the sight of the never-ending sunflowers bowing their heads in the fields in Charente and would surely not tire of visiting the subterranean church at Aubeterre.
    I realise that my dream can never become a reality until I make-up my mind, then I’ll just have to persuade my husband that we will need to make it come true.

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  2. My dream home is about as likely to happen as my dream of a room of my own, though I went some way towards solving that desire by starting my blog and naming it ‘In a Room of My Own’, which just goes to show that there are ways and means of getting what we want so long as we are prepared to think outside the box! Not too sure though how I can render a version of my dream cottage into life – at the moment the dream is situated on the side of a hill overlooking a lake, surrounded on one side by a dense forest, and on the other, open countryside grazed by my own flock of rare breed sheep. There are 3 rooms in my cottage – a bedroom which doubles up as my writing corner; a living room filled to the brim with baskets and skeins of my hand-spun yarn, a spinning wheel in every corner, each one for a different purpose – for spinning lace weight yarns or bulky, and anything in between; and then the kitchen, the hub of my culinary and creative skills, the place where I cook my dinners and steam my hand-painted, hand-spun yarns, where the rich, deep colours of the drying skeins mingle with the tempting aromas of French peasant cooking. Ah yes, I have a dream……

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  3. Angi Holden

    My dream cottage is in a village in France, near enough to an airport for those short getaways, but sufficiently rural to feel that I have indeed gotaway. There is a pot of scarlet geraniums at the door, and my neigbour’s cat patters across the flagstones to mew a greeting as I arrive. The cottage is cool and welcoming. I put my bag down in the hall and see Tante Marie’s basket on the kitchen table: a baton, some fresh fruit, a paper bag of eggs from the farm. I know there will be milk and wine chilling in the fridge. I am home, from home.

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  4. Your dreams sound wonderful. Enjoy them . . . and I hope they come true for you one day.

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  5. Dream destination would be some old but carefully repaired and modernised cottage in Laxfield, Suffolk. (Not Rose Cottage, though, that’s already lived in.) We’ve been several times to visit friends, and see how small, friendly and culturally rich it is. People keep ex-battery hens and have allotments, cheerfully swapping produce; they run their own museum and have a magical old pub. If you’re looking for someone, just ask anyone. “Oh, she’s at the museum/art gallery/allotment. And they’ll be right!

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  6. Liv Thomas

    Lovely interview. I’m tempted to plump for living on Independence of the Seas, as we had such a wonderful time on board, but more realistically, I’d choose Ireland. Not hot, not often dry, but I feel comfortable there. The scenery is beautiful, and I love the sense of humour that the Irish are blessed with They make me laugh – can you ask for more than that? I also think it’s a lovely place to raise children.

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  7. And the fulfilment of your dream is our gain, cos we get to see you more often. gx

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  8. Catherine Miller

    If I could live anywhere, it would be Queenstown in New Zealand. We travelled their as part of our honeymoon. We fell in love with the place and did look to move out there. We decided not to because both of us ended up with health issues and we wanted to stay near family. But seen as we’re both in our early thirties it’s not a dream to give up on. We’re certainly visit there again in the future.

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  9. Angi

    Just interested to know who won this – not me obviously! 😉 I thought they were fascinating dreams, all of them, and wondered which Anna chose!

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  10. No, not me, I didn’t win this novel ! 🙂 xxx

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