Tag Archives: Country

From city to country – nine months in

City to CountryA lot can happen in nine months, as I know well. And a lot has happened these past nine months. As well as our move to the country, I’ve started my business, my husband’s started a new job, Scrip’s started school, Baby D has started not one but two nurseries, we’ve made lots of house ‘discoveries’ (mostly costly ones), we’ve had some difficult family news, some positive family news and so on.

On balance, I love it here. I miss family and friends in London and beyond but I don’t regret the move. I love the green, the space and the fresh air. I’ve started to make some lovely friends and so have Scrip and Baby D. But every move comes with adjustments and here are 9 that I’ve had to make (and am still making).

  1. Winter = wellies. Not your flimsy, floral, occasional-snow-day-in-London novelty wellies. Here you need hardcore, thick wellies even if you’re just popping to the shops. It was wet and muddy when we moved here last February and it’s starting to be like that again now.
  2. Milkmen make sense here. The village shop is fantastic and well-stocked but doesn’t open until 9am. We’ve made a fair few early morning trips to the garage 15 minutes away to get milk for breakfast but now the milkman is our new best friend.
  3. Amazon is also your friend. We wanted to be close to Bath, which we are, but when it’s all about getting in your car and parking and traffic, it’s so much easier to order online. Plus, if you’re out, Amazon can leave it in a safe place without you worrying how safe that place actually is.
  4. Everyone says hello. I can understand why you don’t greet everyone you come across with a smile and a cheery ‘hi’ in London but I forgot that wasn’t the norm across the country.
  5. The sky is quiet. It’s like that time a few years ago when aeroplanes were grounded. We get the occasional flight from┬áBristol overhead or local small planes but there’s no constant hum (we did used to be in the Heathrow flight path). It’s still.
  6. The wildlife is lovely. I grew up with the great outdoors being a big part of my life and I’m hoping the children will, too. There are beautiful birds of prey all around, pheasants all over the fields, owls in the garden and we think we may have a resident hedgehog.
  7. Whereas Scrip was surrounded by tube trains and buses, one of Baby D’s first words was ‘tractor’ (and it’s still a firm favourite) as they regularly rumble along the road.
  8. We now have serious log burner envy. The smell of woodsmoke in the village in the evenings is incredible. A wood burning stove is on our wish list but is way below things like fixing our external leak, unfortunately, so we may have to wait a while.
  9. Village life is village life. Having both grown up in villages we were apprehensive about moving from a big city to a small village but we’ve been made to feel welcome here, and having children means there’s a lot to get involved with. It’s an adjustment, but one we were prepared for.

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Guest post: Plotting an escape from London

Plotting escape from LondonThe one about leaving London. A guest post from my husband sent to me from a packed tube train.

Reading my copy of Time Out this morning whilst standing in the hot and sweaty aisle of the eastbound Central Line, I got onto one of my favourite topics of the last 2 years: plotting our escape from London.

It’s not like I hate it. I love it and the capital has been great for a number of things: I met my wife here, I had two children here, I built and maintain my career here. So what’s not to like (aside from cyclists, pollution, no space, high prices everywhere, hipsters, artisan coffee snobs zzzzz)?

It’s the nagging feeling I have that being in London is not the best place to bring up my children. This is in part informed by both my wife and I being brought up in the country – albeit opposite ends of the country – and partly because the city, for small children, is crowded, aggressive, oppressive, cramped and full of dangers. That’s not negating all the positives like multi-culturalism, racial diversity, opportunity and countless soft play facilities. But the bad outweighs the good in my eyes.

Re-locating to the country – a long held dream for both of us – brings all the rose-tinted feelings of green fields, throwing open the French doors, birds singing, nice country schools and a decent local round the corner with my tankard behind the bar (did I really just say that?). But it’s what I increasingly long for.

I want Scrip to run around uninhibited, to feel comfortable rather than intimidated in a group and build the kind of friendship set and comfort zone we had when we were growing up. And if I have to sacrifice the home we love, artisan coffee and my current employer (not necessarily in that order) then I’m ready now to put my full weight behind it. As risky as it currently feels.