Now, I’m not one to complain but…
Over the years I’ve entertained many people in my little home in Bardon Mill.
It’s a small thatched cottage with just enough space for two bedrooms, a bathroom, well-equipped kitchen and boxy living room; as people say ‘It’s not much, but it’s home’. Despite my relatively humble abode (and it really is that pokey, I’m not being modest!) I’m often showered with compliments from visiting guests who effuse with enthusiastic notes of jealousy and coo with envy at how privileged I am to live somewhere so peaceful, away from the hectic noise and smoke of the city. Of course, these urbanites never stay long enough to appreciate all the little disadvantages that can sometimes make living in the country a real pain!
You see, despite being an out and out country mouse for over decade now there was a time when I lived in a city, which made making the move out to Bardon Mill a little tricky at first. Just like my friends and family, I’d always been in awe of the beauty and tranquillity that the British countryside offered, but hadn’t quite cottoned onto the consequences of living there. Moving homes to the country was a trial by fire, wherein I was to discover just a handful of the little drawbacks to living in the Garden of Eden.
My troubles began almost as soon as I decided to move. With only a pokey Nissan Micra in my garage I was faced with the intimidating challenge of moving my entire life from my apartment in London to my new home in Bardon Mill.
I had to call six removal companies before finding one to hear me out (most companies in London prefer taking extortionate amounts for shorts trips around the city, rather than leave the safe bubble of the city limits) but of course the final asking price was so high that I ended up just hiring a van and driving myself.
Once I’d made the trip I had the joys of discovering all the little nooks and crannies that the previous owners had done such a good job of hiding before, like the busted Belling oven elements (which would take months to track down and replace), the battle-scarred counter worktop (previously hidden with classy chopping boards) and the metric tonne of garbage that he was kind enough to leave me in the loft. Solving these problems would have been small fry in the city with a litany of services at my disposal, but together they formed a gargantuan task that I wouldn’t overcome for months.
There were other cultural changes that I had to get used to of course, like the lack of world food, the distance to cinemas and major music venues – but these were less problems and more teething issues. Once my home was in order I found that I soon began to acclimatise to my new home. Today I can say that these minor gripes have been firmly set aside: with the countryside, fantastic pubs to eat at, activities galore and high speed internet now worming its way through rural England there’s never been a better time to live in the countryside!