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Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Moving to the Country

So, it's been a veritable passing of life. Time has flown by so quickly and I haven't put finger to keyboard to write for so long, truth is, I have been living the dream.

Other half and I saw that life was ticking along nicely in the heady smoke of London and so thought we would do well to throw a whole tool box, not just a spanner, right into the works, and head out of London to the country where everything is different and where children, specifically ours, could be free to roam and ransack that which they would, while we stand back and sip something country in the meadow leading up to our cottage. We said it was "for the children" and, with hindsight, I now know that what that really meant was "that's the only really viable excuse that anyone is going to believe, especially us?"

I am London born and bred, and apart from everything that is wrong with me, there is very little wrong with me, so why not stay in London and bring my children up there? Apart from 8 years at boarding school in Dorset and every other weekend with my  mother, the country was somewhere that you heard people talk about. But no, that is what we all needed in our lives, a hardy helping of quaint old Dorset, where cows read books and farmers skip around the fields in their lovely shiny traaa'ers.

The move went very smoothly, we found our Cottage in the lovely village of Hinton St Mary, just outside Sturminster Newton, the metropolis of everything. The girls had a bedroom at the other end of the house to ours, the garden was adorned almost straight away with our newly purchased football pitched sized trampoline, puppy was purchased (to keep "older dog happy") and wellies were fitted to each and everyone's feet almost permanently. The first two weeks were amazing, people coming down from London to check that we'd not gone mad and were in fact embracing all that the country had to offer. We'd get leathered and regale them of antics with dogs and the local pub and villagers and space and "you've got to try this, this is what life is about!" They'd leave on the Sunday night and take a little piece of our soul with them, a piece of our soul that could barely be found at the bottom of the 3rd bottle of wine let alone the 5th.

Time passed in this way and sometimes we'd see no one for days, literally NO ONE. Man cannot live on bread alone, this is true, he can't. Man (from London) cannot live, with 2 children and a dog, and a puppy, on people weekending. Social networks were null, some people hadn't heard of the Internet, let alone Facebook. I think the clincher to my stay in paradise was being woken up at 6am by a wild, inbred, stuttering farmer shouting at me to move a car, that wasn't mine, so that he could move his space ship past the house that was, by  now fully scaffolded, so that there was nowhere to park in the whole of Dorset, let alone in the parking space outside my house. The children were miserable at their new nursery, where children were happy to chew grass for a whole morning, god knows what they did in the afternoon. Everything was a thousand miles away and not one of us was truly happy.

Not quite defeated, we decided that less urban was what we needed. The children needed more amenities. They needed children, they needed clubs and classes, they needed to be able to go to the shop at any time and get a pint of milk any day of the week. They needed TAKE AWAY... So we packed up and moved to Wiltshire, to this place called Salisbury, where the streets are paved with gold and people do things. Normal things.

We still have the large trampoline in the garden, but like most trampolines, it's gathering rust, because our children are at a nursery where they feed animals and go swimming and learn french. Mummy and Daddy can go and get a coffee that sounds like a physics experiment but it's standard. There are people down the road who know of this London place, but, like we are now, are happy that they left it,they are welcoming and we are friends. We see people everyday and the girls have friends again. We are 90mins from London and that's far enough. No one wants to go back there, but it's nice to know that it's there, always there should we need it.

So, should you move? Yes, you absolutely should, but to a place that you know and where people are happy to let you be one of them. Children? Do you think they care? Do they know that there is more out there? I don't know, but I do know that they are happy, and isn't that what all this is about?