Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Dreaming of an Escape to the Country?

Rural Blackberry:  Note lack of touchpad and mouthpiece
Now this is the time of year when some of you have left your city pads and come away to places like Cornwall and Devon where the countryside meets the sea.   For maybe more than a few, a thought crosses your mind.  'Wouldn't it be nice to live here!'  'It is!' would be my very firm reply.   But each to their own.  Some of the obvious advantages that I'd list would constitute an urbanite's worst nightmare.  Before  upping sticks and embracing rural living, here are a few extra things that you need to know.

Illustration 2: Menacing Beasties Follow You
  • A blackberry is a fruit that grows on a spiky bush in the hedgerow (see illustration 1).  It is not a covetable electronic device that might not work properly here anyway.
  • And whilst we're taking about communication, don't expect an immediate reply to emails.  Estimate a quick response time to be about two weeks. 
  • Digital radio - what's that?  You may even be lucky to get a proper FM signal.
  • Definitely more creepy crawlies live here than in the city and they come inside your house to warm up as the evenings get chillier.  Arachnophobes beware!  There's a spider living in each corner of our bedroom at the moment.  Oh! I've just spotted another that needs rescuing from the bath.
  • A thatched roof is mini beast central!
  • A day in a field for a farmer seems to be analogous timewise to office hours.  You'll therefore often be stuck behind a tractor on your way to and from work.
  • Sometimes if you go for a walk, you'll get the feeling that you're being followed.  And often you are! (illustration 2)
  • Everyone will be more impressed if you've got rare breed hens in your garden or can grow a nice marrow.  They won't have a clue if your bag has got a name on it that  it might be a bit special. Birkin?  Wasn't she that  lass who sounded like she was having it away with that French bloke on that record in the 1960s? Neither will they notice that your shoes were made by someone called Jimmy Choo.  Isn't he that bloke who runs the local takeaway?
  •  I'll bet my bottom dollar that the nearest  village store to your dream home will never ever have BOGOFs or stock filo pastry, sea bass, smoked tofu or all your preferred brands of  toiletries at any one time.   Nor might the supermarkets in the towns nearby.
  • Not everyone who rides a horse is rich and posh.
  • If you're a career driven animal and want to live near your place of work, you may have to forget about being promoted ever again. 
  • For the pleasure of living in an area of outstanding natural beauty, be prepared to take a smaller salary but increasing your housing costs especially if one of the essential services isn't piped in.
  • Keep your sights on a charming tumble down cottage rather than that period Georgian pad.
  • Forget it if you really love a shiny car but don't like the chore of cleaning it every time you've popped out to get the paper.
  • And being really green and relying solely on public transport is almost impossible  Our own village has reasonably good links. Even so, if you want a night out sampling the heady delights of Newton Abbot, you need to make sure that you're back at the bus stop at 8pm pronto!


  1. I'm not sure I can afford your water rates! I like to visit but will leave it for the locals to live in.

  2. Please for Christ sake help this poor boy from Haiti.