For ten years we were country mice - living 20 minutes from people, traffic, shops, noise. It was very nice.
We had a huge garden, fire pit, trees. It was very nice.
The view was rolling hills, trees and sky. It was very nice.
In the early days of this blog there are pictures of dog walks through the bluebell woods at the bottom of our drive, the river, parties in the garden. It was very nice.
Seven years ago I was done.
- I was shocked by the amount of fuel I used driving anywhere.
- I wanted a bicycle to ride around town.
- I wanted neighbours without the intensity of village life.
- I wanted to be surrounded by the dirt and messiness of life.
So we went from nowhere to perhaps the most quirky and ‘interesting’ street in town. Seven years later I still love it.
- It’s busy and noisy.
- There’s a school at each end.
- A Working Mens Club at one end and a night club at the other.
- It’s a 2 minute walk to M&S (the best corner shop in the world)
- Or 2 minutes to the Co-op, two fish and chip shops, two charity shops, post office with the obligatory chatty postmaster.
- The train station is two minutes in the other direction.
- I can pop on my bike and be at Meeting, friends houses, town or hospital in 15 minutes.
- My knitting group meets in a great cafe round the corner.
- And if I was so inclined it’s a five minute walk to a Yoga studio, gym or to go swimming.
- I can go a week and not need to use my car.
I am planning a research trip to Paris in September for my Novel (how lovely that the characters chose to live in Paris). I’m excited by the high rise apartment buildings, the anonymous intensity of city living, the smells.
There is a huge contradiction in this. I am an introvert and would happily not leave my house for days at a time. I am not part of all this busyness. I need time alone in my study writing or in my knitting chair drinking tea. But like any writer I am an observer - watching, waiting, learning. Listening to snippets of conversations, smelling life, touching the edges of other people as they go about their days.
I enjoy day trips to the seaside and weekends in the country - but it’s in the towns and cities I belong. I am a town mouse.