I grew up in a town, not very far from London and loved city life growing up. In fact if you go off current boundaries I actually grew up in greater London! Either, or, it doesn’t really matter, it was bustling, buzzing and I loved life.
I remember being 14 and visiting a tiny village in Yorkshire, I hated it, resented the country smell in the air, and the sheep filled fields. I was most definitely a city girl at heart. And them my parents dropped the we are moving to the countryside bomb. I felt like they had ruined my life.
We swapped a black cab and London bus filled landscape for a sheep and cow dotted landscape and I felt like my world had come to an end. But then a funny thing happened, bit-by-bit I embraced Northern life, learned to love it so very much. I still have a Southern accent but I consider myself an honorary Northerner.
We now live so far out with just a few neighbors surrounded by open countryside. The sort of countryside that catches your breath every time you look at it. At one side we have views of the town below, rows of streets that all light up and twinkle as it goes dark, at the other side fields, hills and sheep. I can’t say which is my favourite; they are both breathtaking at different times of day and night.
I can visit London or Manchester and enjoy city life and then drive home to the pretty hills and sounds of the sheep and birds and not much else, it is bliss.
Every now and then I have a wobble and decide we need to move to be near a bus route or train station. Then I go for a walk and know there is no way that is going to happen unless I find this perfection somewhere else. But the truth is we love our quirky little home, it is where our little family lives and we love it.
The one thing you need to be prepared for living in the country is the weather, we are high up so get extremes. And Toby does not care about how wet windy or cold it is, he expects his daily walks.
My two current country faves are these super cool Bogs waterproof boots and ever so stylish yellow Bowline Target Dry waterproof jacket. Although I have to say I have been wearing the jacket in town too, it’s so cool and sort of goes anywhere in a cool country way, I love it.
I have never had a yellow jacket before and here is why.
Joe was 4. You know when they are having one of those horrible nasty toddler moments. He had been told off and really wanted to hurt me. I can still see it like it was yesterday, his little hands shaking with anger his face all screwed up.
He shouted at me you are so fat that if you run up Pendle Hill in a yellow rain coat people will think the sun has come out. One of my close friends was at our house at the time; I remember her spitting her coffee out she was laughing so much.
Of course my wayward toddler was marched to his bedroom for alone time, before I returned to the kitchen and might have giggled myself. I still have no idea where it came from, but it put me off yellow for a while let me tell you. Purely for the fear of resembling the rising sun ha ha.
Anyhow I can safely say I do not feel very sun like when rocking my new jacket, although it has sparked some amusement with the boys, as said yellow jacket incident has become a bit of a family tale that comes out of the cupboard occasionally to raise a giggle.
We also have a wellie rule in our house, one that makes Chris roll his eyes profusely. I believe every county home should have a lovely pair of boots by the door ready to go. Not for decoration but for utility. Should you need to nip out or walk the dog? Its quick and its easy! So I point-blank refuse to but my wellies in the boot cupboard they stay by the door looking gorgeous. And if Chris puts them away I get them back out. It drives him mad.
But it’s a hallway rule along with the no one is allowed the use the coat hooks, it is for wet coats and guests only! Although a certain yellow jacket may be hung there now because it looks so cool!
One thing I do know is we are so very lucky to live here, to see the lambs arriving in their droves, and watch the highland cattle in the fields and the twinkling lights of the town below. Getting the boys around may be a pain, but its one worth enduring for country life.