For some time now I have been pondering a move out of London and in to the country. Even though I grew up firstly in rural Essex and then on the Isle of Wight, I have always been a city girl at heart. But lately, after nearly fifteen years in London, I have been considering a change of lifestyle and am drawn to the big skies and quietness of country life.
Last weekend I took a trip to Suffolk to visit my brother. It was a glorious, sunny winter's day so we decided to blow away a few cobwebs with a walk along the river Deben at Woodbridge. It was cold but still and although there were quite a few people around I couldn't believe how quiet it was. Maybe a little too quiet..?
Over the last couple of months I have viewed a few properties that I thought were ideal on paper, and were absolutely gorgeous inside, but the reality of living in a rural 'idyll' suddenly hit home when I was driving through the south Suffolk countryside.
It got me thinking about what I would miss most about living in the city. There'd be no nipping to the shop for milk (ok, wine), popping out for brunch with friends or spur of the moment retail therapy sessions at Westfield...I'd have to plan stuff!
Also, I'm not quite ready to hang up my heels just yet. I still like to have the odd impromptu night out even though the hangovers seem to last longer these days! Having a night cut short by rushing for the last train home does not appeal. I like the fact that no matter where I end up I can always get a bus home (even if sometimes I do fall asleep and wind up in Tottenham - eek!).
Being able to live (almost) mortgage-free is a big draw to country living, obviously, but it would come at a price. Can I have the best of both? A home that is country on the inside but that still allows me to live a city life?
Yes, it's called Suburbia. And that scares the crap out of me.