A friend asked me the other day what we felt about moving out of the city and whether we felt we had made the right move. I could tell she didn't quite get it. People come up here and some say "You are living my dream" while others are too polite to say so but go away clearly thinking we are nuts. I am in list making mode today having been making Christmas lists as an alternative to actually doing something so here are
Things I miss about the city:
- living round the corner from a really good delicatessen.
- the view from Waterloo Bridge.
- slipping out for a curry.
- that sense of being at the heart of things.
and some things I don't miss:
- dirt, rubbish blowing the streets.
- crowds, especially
- on rush hour tubes, where you end up crushed up against somebody's armpit.
- noise and rush and the casual rudeness of a place which is too full.
And the downsides of living in the country?
- Mud. In winter you can't go outside without walking socks and rigger boots and both boots and cars are mired in mud.
- Distance from everything. You need to be organised to live here when running out of butter can mean a forty minute round trip.
- Mud, did I say that?
- Dust and spiders if you mind either or both. They don't really bother me. They are perhaps a reflection of living in an old house rather than a rural one.
- Solitude could be a downside I suppose. There is quite a lot of time on your own but I don't mind that either as long as I have a blast of sociability every few days to stop me going peculiar.
And the upsides?
- Space, a couple of acres to grow things in and wander about in and to really breathe.
- Hens, scratching and clucking and running about and making me laugh and giving us the best eggs ever.
- Views, green and trees down to the bottom of the valley and up to the ridge and the hills green and purple against the sky.
- Silence, broken by the mewing of a soaring buzzard or the distant bleating of sheep.
- The friendliness of people in the village, stopping, chatting, everything happening at a gentle, pottering pace.
- Swallows in the summer and woodpeckers on the bird feeders in winter.
- Starlight and a clear cold moon on nights that are truly dark.
I wouldn't change it for the world.