A 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The sky is quiet. It’s like that time a few years ago when aeroplanes were grounded. We get the occasional flight from Bristol overhead or local small planes but there’s no constant hum (we did used to be in the Heathrow flight path). It’s still.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
I still love going back to London. We all do. When people ask if we miss it it’s a difficult question to answer. I think my husband does more than me. I love being back there – the buzz, the scale, the opportunities – but I’m seeing it through different eyes now.
I don’t feel like it was the best place for us to continue our family life, and that was one of the most important reasons for moving. However, I didn’t fall out of love with it (when you’re tired of London etc.) and I’m glad it’s still only an hour and a half away. My sisters live there as do some really good friends and I do miss them.
I’m enjoying our life here and making friends at Scrip’s school, our local toddler group and in the village generally. I love the fresh air, big skies and space. I love the fact we can hear owls in the garden and see buzzards overhead. We can walk to school past fields and hills and head out to pick blackberries from our door.
So, I do wish I could bring some of my London life here – particularly my family – but I appreciate why we moved and everything we all have here.
So, we’re in and it all feels a bit surreal! The walk to pre-school past fields, sheep and a few ponies. The need for wellies everywhere! The frost in the mornings and stars at night. The pheasants on the high street (well, we’ve seen one). The shops that don’t open for milk until breakfast is over (that definitely caught us erstwhile Londoners out!) We’re in rural South Gloucestershire and I can’t quite believe it.
Scrip has done brilliantly so far and baby D LOVES the tractors. While I’m still absorbing it all here’s a taste of life over the last few weeks. I’m all boxed out (and there are still 15 to go…)
So, as of last week, the big move out of London is on…
With any house move comes organisation, paperwork and expense, but also the fun stuff like planning new bedrooms for Scrip and D and of course, us. I’ll be sad to say goodbye to our airy loft room (although it does reach extremes of heat in the summer and cold in the winter), but my Pinterest account has also been buzzing with new home decor pins.
I love neutral shades that can be accessorised, so we’re going for alternate walls in light green and yellow for D and light peach and yellow for Scrip. We’re recreating our calm light grey walls in our bedroom whilst most of the house will be off-white.
As for bedding, I’ve recently discovered Yorkshire Linen, a British, family-run company who offer luxury bed lines online or via one of their stores. I like the range and the site is easy to navigate. I also love The White Company for stylish inspiration.
For the children’s rooms I usually head to Ikea for cheaper styles, Vertbaudet for reasonable bed linen (look out for sales) or the Great Little Trading Company which has some great fun designs.
I’ll try and post as we get into the decorating and accessorising but in the meantime, my dream (affordable) home will mostly be emerging via Pinterest.
This is a collaborative home furnishings post.