Live In The Countryside

My village in ye olden days

Living in the countryside is a strange phenomenon. I have lived in both cities and a large village in my lifetime, and I love each experience differently. The air of anonymity you immediately have in a big city is rather nice: nobody knows your name or your past and you can be whoever you want to be. Nobody cares why you’re walking down the road, where you’re heading, because everybody else also has somewhere very important to be and it’s all a bit of a mad rush: a rat race. Indeed, my favourite place in the entire world is New York…what I wouldn’t give to have the opportunity to live there!  However, I also relish where I live now: a big village (the residents of which would insist that you call it a ‘town’), 20 minutes away in the car from the bright lights of Brighton.

I find that living where I do is somewhat of a double edged sword: it is both wonderfully liberating and crushingly suffocating at the same time. To visit London is fantastic and I love the glamourous shops, throngs of people, fancy restaurants and contagious buzz of the place but at the end of the day, when I’m travelling back on the train to my home, I cannot help but feel the sense of freedom that green grass and open space gives you. You look up at the sky and you can see hundreds of glistening jots at night-time. The air is clean and still – it’s peaceful and comforting, in the morning, to hear birdsong and not the drone of bus engines. That is country living at it’s best. At it’s worst it’s a place I want to escape. You have to strike the perfect balance of being friendly and knowing lots of people without getting too close to too many.  Otherwise when you have a disagreement it’s like a divorce: people take sides, you lose friends and gossip spreads like wildfire. Certain villagers are snooty and despite having buckets of cash, have teeny tiny perspectives and a great lack of manners. But I suppose that’s true of every location and to be honest, I’ll take those few ignorant numpties if it means I also get a lovely neighbour who reminds us to put our bin out for the collection the next day, eggs offered by the farmer when we’ve run out and a cheery hello in the street every single time I pop up the High Street.