Having recently moved to the delightful town of Shrewsbury, I am a Townie again and it’s Grand.
Silence, broken periodically by the thunder of a milk-tanker passing the house at 80mph or a nearby cow in labour pain, has been replaced with the glorious revelry of Friday night drunks. Just now a party of hens has staggered by, singing badly but with commendable enthusiasm – an exultant symbol of Life (though I wouldn’t want their heads in the morning).
We can walk everywhere – river, park, shops, restaurants, theatre, school… in fact the latter is so close to the house that once I’ve taught my country bumpkin children a bit of traffic sense so they can see themselves over the road, I shan’t even need to get dressed until it’s time to nip to the Deli for elevensies.
I was, towards the end of our rural life, going quietly insane. Whilst village life and a small school were quite brilliant when the children were small, we’d all pretty much outgrown the Good Life and the negatives were beginning to niggle. I was utterly sick of the sight of green fields (I know, I know, it’s an awful admission) and the sound of silence, and it was a royal pain in the bum to have to get in the car just to buy bread.
We miss our lovely friends – though we’re not far away and they all have an open invitation – and the dogs miss the rats. But other than that, life here is just Grand. Of course, there is a potential downside: a person can’t spend much money in a shopless village, but in a town full of designer shops… Well. So far I’m being very good.
But last week I saw this gorgeous coat in a little boutique…
3 Replies to “On being a Townie…”
Love it. In a way we kinda did the same. We still have to jump in the car to shop but at least it's 5-10 minutes away, not half an hour's drive down a freeway. Yes, country life can pall.
I was once a metropolitan girl. My friends all laughed when I announced that we were moving to the country. They tried to frighten me with tales of mud and weather, told me I'd never be able to wear lovely shoes again and that I'd have to hang out with squirrels and badgers. And for the first six months I was, I admit, a little traumatised, but ten years on, I love it. I'm only an hour away from London – so I can get my fix of town as and when, but I could never give up my green world now, or the thrill of hearing owls at night, or the joy of waking up here each day. I am a country girl!
We had a year in what the French themselves call 'la France profonde' – no street lights, nearest neighbours a quarter of a mile away, peace and quiet and quite regular nights just looking up at the Milky Way. But most Sundays we were at someone's house for lunch, which meant a long table, a dozen or more guests, food and booze from midday till 7ish and then (presumably – memory is a little hazy about this) the drive home. I loved it.