Things I didn't know about living in the country
It’s been two months and one day since I swapped my heels for a pair of Converse and moved to the sticks. The countryside met me with its relaxed way of life, sunshine and quietness. It sent the birds to wake me up in the morning, lit the stars for me to admire in the middle of the night and enveloped me in its serenity, shedding stress and tension like an outfit that no longer fits.
And as with any great relationship, ours has gone past ‘Dating’ and arrived in the region of ‘Familiar’. As a result I started seeing the country for what it really is:
There are flies everywhere. It’s not just the noise - they getting in your eyes, up your nose and under your clothes. It’s like all the flies have been banished from the cities and into the country. My Google history is full of search words like ‘fly deterrent’, ‘insectocutor’ and ‘how to get rid of flies’. So far I’ve spent two months’ worth of my shoe budget on various fly killers and nothing has worked.
Living in the middle of nowhere means everything is far. My nearest pint of milk is six miles away, let alone the emergency bar of chocolate, Chinese take away or a decent bottle of wine. I had to bribe the man from Dominos to deliver pizza this far away from civilisation.
You have to get up REALLY early to catch a train into London. My alarm clock forgot what 6am looks like as it’s no good here. Unless you get up before 5.30am, you are already late.
Cats eat birds. I know this is a common knowledge but until you see your cat casually eating a pigeon he had just dragged in - with feathers flying everywhere and other unsightly things deposited on your freshly mopped, still wet floor - then you have no idea what it really means.
I have developed a desire to kill. Sometimes I lie in bed at night and scheme various ways of murdering the cat, as the visions of that pigeon all over my kitchen floor haunt my dreams.
When I look back at the London life I used to treasure so much, I realise the value of everything I have left behind is indeed in comparison.
I thoroughly enjoyed living next door to an M&S garage and satisfying my midnight cravings by walking less than five minutes; loved rolling out of bed at 7am to catch my train to London and still being the first in the office; and didn’t even realise how great it was to live in cat and insect free environment.
But as I sit in my lovingly-constructed writer’s cabin, wallowing in the sunshine, listening to music and sipping tea (while Mr Chateauneuf is cooking something delicious in the kitchen), I realise that the country life isn’t that bad either.
After all, getting up at the crack of dawn is actually satisfying (once you get used to it); some of the fly traps do work – I just need to find them; and a cat’s life span is on average 15 years, so I only have 14 to go.