No one tells you that rural living can be hard; sometimes lonely and isolated. We have neighbours in the strictest sense, but they on the horizon, across fields. I have a number of friends, who like me, have become disillusioned with the rural idyll. It has flaws. And we only live a mile from civilisation! I see so many people, who with young children, have an idea of moving to the country. We did the same. I can vividly remember viewing our house in May, wisteria blooming, with Boo aged three, running across the lawn. My husband and I imagining years ahead of wholesome, outdoorsy fun. Of course there have been those moments but now that our children are older, I can also clearly see the limitations. There is little sense of community unless you live amongst other people. We have to drive everywhere. All the time. First World problems...
So yesterday, we travelled up to London for a day and night. Partly because hotels have heat, which has become a precious commodity this half-term week. We met friends and spent the day around Fulham, mooching around the shops at Westfield and then dinner on the King's Road. As ever with London, I am struck by the sheer number of people, so many, so busy, a million little lives. And the stylish; looking much less incongruous in an urban setting than they do down here with the country bumpkins. I notice the endless stream of neon-clad runners; day and night. The cool eateries and bars. Walking by the oozing Thames River, flanked by low and high rise. The tourists and their cameras.
I conclude: am I a town or country mouse? It's always a pleasure to get back after the city and to see the familiarity of my home town. I don't think the puppy would like London; he is a field-running dog. And our country house? One day it will all be done (and warm) and one day I will master the complexities of the oil tank gauge. I see that we are lucky in many ways.