I’ve recently come back from being on a nice remote Cornish holiday, where the dodgy wifi was only second to the practically non existent phone signal, I didn’t do any online shopping and, had I bothered watching any, I only had a few channels on the TV. (CBBC was the only one of interest to the small person in the house. Great.)
To some? Nightmare. To me? Bliss. Apart from the annoyance of not being able to talk to people I was missing from home as often as I would have liked, the isolation was, for me, beautiful. No constant phones, no pinging of emails, well intermittent at best. Gorgeous scenery, beautiful countryside, no big shops and buildings, just peace and quiet.
It sort of reminded me of where I grew up. For pretty much my first 18 years of existence I lived in a tiny village at the top of a hill. Population not many. Amenities included a shop, a pub, a village hall and a butchers. The pub was bulldozed much to my Dad’s disgust and total heartbreak a couple of years after we moved in, the village hall was home to playgroup, to birthday parties, to ballet and badminton classes. The shop was the first place I was allowed to visit on my own, usually to fetch a 10p mix of sweets (showing my age but when we had half pence pieces you could get 20 sweets. Utter joy.) The village was where I would wander off in summer evenings, climb trees, ride my bike, just have fun. Loved it.
Until I was about 14. Then the realisation hit that I was a LONG way from any friends and school and I needed the taxi of Mum or Dad (always Mum) to get anywhere. This didn’t happen often. So I begged and begged for driving lessons at 17 and first time lucky (get in there) I passed and the world was my oyster.
And this was the best thing ever. I could get around, do the “town” thing, (mostly involved parties and sleeping in fields) experience the KFC drive through for the first time and go home to my little hilltop house quite happily.
Fast forward a year or so though and I did move, to the “town”. My mind was blown by the fact it had more than one pub, a Chinese restaurant, a shop that opened past 5pm. Happy days indeed. I lived there for eleven years and spent three very happy ones there. (We don’t talk about the other eight….) Then it was time to move again. This time, it was a big move. A cute boy with a twinkle in his eye persuaded me to move thirty miles away to, as far as I was concerned, the absolute bright lights and big city of a town which had, get this, proper shops, (like real ones you’ve heard of) supermarkets that aren’t just big but massive which you can spend all day in with clothes and music and cafes and toilets and stuff and open 24 hours! Takeaways that deliver to your actual house, a park so big I could get lost in it, wow, my mind wasn’t just blown, it was in smithereens. I spent much of probably at least my first year living here getting very lost in that big park, loving the takeaways and did on one occasion fully spend the day at Asda. No lie.
And that cute boy with the twinkle? Reader I married him. A city boy through and through who wouldn’t consider moving to the sticks for a second. No one here thinks this is a big place. Most people I know have moved here because it’s quieter than the bigger cities they’ve lived in before. I love it though, I can get my fix of wilderness in that big old park and even know my way round it a bit now. Best of all I can take my son, my little city boy to a tiny village on holiday and he adores it, he must take after Mummy just a little surely.
So if I had to choose? I’d be lying if I said a little place overlooking the beach in years to come would be a hardship, just need to convince that cute boy now who convinced me all those years ago…..