Country Life

Me, I’m a townie. I was born in a town (albeit a small market down lost in the depths of west Wales) and I’ve lived in various bits of London for 12 years now – an alarmingly long time, come to think of it. In that time, I’ve lived in the madness of the middle (off Tottenham Court Road), in Queensway (no matter the time of day or night, there’s a Lebanese restaurant open), holed up in the bunker of the Barbican (love it, but blimey it’s odd) and then out in the wilds of Hackney: the film “Bullet Boy” was shot in the block of flats where I lived. Shot being the operative word. Just to clarify, no, I didn’t live in the posh bit.

And then six years ago, we moved down here, to the edge of London. It’s got a lot going for it: we’re close to Richmond Park, and in that odd fuzzy transition between city and countryside where there’s still shoe shops and decent takeaways that deliver.

But lately, the garden feels like it’s shrunk and the house is almost straining at the seams. This, I’m told, is what happens when you fit a child’s Stuff into a house that was already replete with two adults’ Stuff. And a cat. Anyone who has ever owned a cat will understand that they must always count as a whole extra person when you’re talking about space. They may not strike you as very big, but my god they can take up space when they want to.

We went to see a friend of the Other Half’s today: one who lives waaaay out in the Proper Country. He actually has a ride-on lawnmower, so you know it must be true. There wasn’t a plane to be heard, and suddenly everything London-y seemed so very, very far away. I haven’t worked out yet if that’s a good or a bad thing.

And this leaves me in a very interesting place. I’m just not quite sure where that is.



  1. Ah ha welcome back to your country-ee roots. You know you want to give up any kind of socialising that may still exist after having a child and start rearing chickens!

  2. I know exactly what you mean. We recently moved from the centre of Sydney to Clampett land and it takes some getting used to. There are wonderful aspects; three times as much space for the same price, bird song instead of cars. And there are definite drawbacks; you need to ‘just jump in the car’ for every bloody little tiny thing, apparently restaurants out in the boonies are about 20 years behind the rest of the world.

    As with most things the ideal would be a little bit of both – a huge house in about four hectares of land right in the middle of town ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Oh my, I was just commenting to Simon (Marshall-Jones) the other day that there were two from Wales at Beyond Fiction, which was a high percentage, seeing as we’re only eight or nine at present.

    Now it’s three…

    Beyond Welsh Fiction, maybe?

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