She lives in a house, a very big house in the country. (Except it isn’t actually that big, but who am I to mess with Blur?)
Last month we finally made the decision we’d been toying with since I wrote this post and left our teeny flat in London for an actual house in the countryside. From the moment we made the decision, I’d been pretty nervous. I would so miss spontaneous brunches in East London, or evenings out with friends – many of whom were a short train ride away. I would miss variety and options and diversity and… something. Something that I couldn’t put my finger on, but I would miss it for sure.
And then we moved, and everything felt calm. It felt easy and relaxing and… something. Something that I can’t put my finger on, but something I love.
It definitely has its moments. I’m scared of the dark, which is problematic when there aren’t streetlamps lighting your way. It’s quiet, and monsters live in the quiet so I had to have a few stern conversations with myself when I was home alone. My friends see each other for drinks after work and I’m not there, and I can’t pop to the shop when I’m out of milk/wine/chocolate/cheese.
But I wake up on a Saturday morning to silence and, as Spring breaks, I feel nothing but calm. The kitchen is big enough to have an actual table and not one, but two chairs, so when R is cooking we can talk and listen to the radio and spend time together. The living room has a wood burning stove which keeps me warm and rested. Today we spent the morning at the garden centre (which, sadly, is about a hundred times more expensive than Amazon) and spent the afternoon pottering in the greenhouse. The cats run between the grass and the flower beds, clearly wondering how long they get to have fun for before we drag them back to that shoe box in the city.
We’ve only been here for six weeks and who knows, maybe I’ll get lonely. But my parents are nearby, many of my friends are a 20 minute train journey away and London is just over an hour away. When I need that fix of brunch or – more likely – the best pizza in the whole wide world, I can hop on a train and be there in no time. I still get to be busy and make plans and take in the cities for all they have to offer, but this country life is something else.
Above all, the move to the countryside has given me a chance to slow down. I am forced to do less because there is less to do. It’s just the life I needed and the life I didn’t quite realise I wanted… until now.
Every day I walk up to this front door and I smile. I love it so much that as the key goes in to the lock, I do a little jig. (Inside, obviously. I’ve learnt that in the countryside, the neighbours are always watching.)