We have done it! Escaped to the countryside, moved to Shropshire. A county which we had only visited twice before moving, and that was to view this house. For those of you who don’t know where it is (quite a few people, we’ve found), it is to the left of Birmingham, next to Wales. We are in the hilly part and it is beautiful. We moved in two days before Christmas (not recommended) and have been here six months now. The whole moving process, the stress of completion, the worry of whether the lorry containing all our possessions will even make it up the lane, and adjusting to life in the sticks in the middle of the worst winter EVER, has meant that it has taken these six months until I felt like I was strong enough to write about it.
Life has been very busy what with unpacking, settling in and shifting around new routines and school runs. Now we have four chickens, a not too shabby looking veg patch and a hive and a half of bees. We have also had more family and friends come to visit than ever before. Nosey parkers.
It has also been a huge and unexpected learning curve. I have to say that I thought life would be pretty much the same as suburbia just with more farm-yardy smells, longer car journeys and better views but I was very wrong! I was also right, it is those things too, but these are a few differences that stand out:
1 – Spiders are everywhere. And are bigger. If they get anymore daring we would probably wake up like Bilbo and the dwarves in Mirkwood being trussed up for future feasting (*shudders*). Totally expected this but it’s hard to be sublime about it when a two inch specimen plops into the bath you are sitting in as you pull the shower curtain closed, or falls on your head as you are watching tv in the evening. Yes both happened.
(1.5 – We’ve also had a case of sofa-mice, and subsequently, a case of under-sofa-dead-maggoty-mouse in the trap we forgot about…..this is a new experience)
Now an ex-mouse
2 – In the country, no one can hear you scream…very useful
when if I lose it with the kids at bedtime (or any time…), which obviously never happens. Hypothetically then, if I have to shout things like ‘no don’t pee in the flower bed!’, ‘stop licking the car!’ and, ‘why are you naked again?!’ I don’t have to worry about what the cows think of my parenting.
3 – I have found out (don’t ask me how) that being late for school pickup is acceptable if say you were stuck behind a tractor. Very useful to know. I can state with absolute certainty that I have seen more tractors in six months of being here than in the previous 30 years of my life. There are no school run traffic jams, just school run tractors. They are pretty cool though.
4 – Winters are loooong. It has been a long winter everywhere this year but, my word, winter feels even longer when you don’t have central heating. We knew there wasn’t a nice modern boiler, obviously, when we brought the house. But to be honest it wasn’t something that was given much thought on a sunny June weekend when we viewed it for the first time. ‘It has only got a wood burner which heats a couple of radiators upstairs, how quaint’ we thought, ‘how rustic and cosy’, ‘it could be much worse’ we said to ourselves. Yes. It could. It could be the longest coldest snowiest iciest winter for decades, and we might just move in bang in the middle of it all…..brrr.
So. Much. Snow.
5 – Dishwashers are amazing. Not a country thing I know but essentially, from my point of view, all we did was buy a really expensive dishwasher and move 200 miles to live in the same house as it does. Totally worth it.
Well there you have it, I finally found my way back to a computer and stopped faffing around enough to write something. So much has happened, I just didn’t know where to start. Still can’t believe we have made the move, and although I miss the people we have left behind and a couple of conveniences about town living (like central heating….), I am so glad we have done it. It is amazing here.
This blog post was originally posted on www.blackberrymummy.com in June 2018