Despite the fact I was born by the sea, I have always been a city girl at heart. I mean, sure, the sound of the ocean makes me feel at peace and I love a good bit of scenery, but an urban landscape has always been home to me. Birmingham, my beloved home town, gets a lot of stick. It’s mostly by people who haven’t ever visited, or at least not since the 70’s, but still, us Brummies are used to being the butt of everyone’s jokes and it’s made me fiercely loyal. That’s only the half of it though. It isn’t just Brum I love. I’ve loved pretty much any major city I’ve been to. I know many people see them as dirty, crowded, unfriendly places, but having spent the majority of my life living in one, I find city life exciting. I love the fact that I have what feels like the world at my fingertips – that I can jump on a train at a moment’s notice and be anywhere in the country within a few hours. I love that I rub shoulders with people from all sorts of different communities and cultures everyday. I love that I can eat food from pretty much any country in the world on a whim if it takes my fancy. I love that there is never a shortage of new and interesting things to do on a normal day, and on those special days – which are actually fairly frequent – you stumble across something new and interesting to do completely by accident. When people ask me what I love about the city, that’s what I’ve always said – there is always something happening, like a street food festival, or a secret film showing or a free concert. I guess a lot of it may be down to the fact that it is what I’ve always known, and of course there are days when I grow weary of the hustle and bustle and crave some peace and tranquility, but the bright lights and buzz of the city run through my veins, and I’ve never imagined living anywhere else.
If you’re a regular reader you will know I recently agreed to move into the new house my boyfriend bought – a bungalow in a tiny village just outside Loughborough. It’s not exactly the wilds of Scotland or anything and it’s only an hours drive from home, I don’t even think you could class it as rural, but it is certainly an adjustment to what I’m used to and there are many things I’m worried about. Having been able to rely on public transport my whole life it’s only now, at the grand old age of 34, that I’m learning to drive, and suddenly it’s become a necessity that I crack on and pass rather than just a thing I thought I ought to get around to! The days of popping out for an impromptu ‘quick’ drink after work only to find yourself stood on a table encouraging the whole pub to join a rousing rendition of Sixpence None The Richer’s Kiss Me at 2am are probably done and dusted – those kind of nights out will require prior planning from now on (though that perhaps isn’t such a bad thing!). I’m going to have to get to know the local taxi driver a lot better as I’m not sure Uber frequents the area all too often! And what about my wardrobe? I’m pretty sure the locals are going to think I’m a little odd, trotting around the neighbourhood in circle skirts and high heels while they’re all in wellies! I am definitely a little nervous about making the change, and keep thinking about how much I’m going to miss being able to access pretty much anything I want almost straight away – city living has definitely made me a little lazy.
There have been things already though that I love. More than one of our new neighbours has been around to introduce themselves. We even came back from holiday to find one of them had dropped a note through the letter box saying they’d taken in a parcel for us that had been left on the doorstep as they were worried it was advertising that we were away! I also love how peaceful it is in the mornings when I wake up, and that Bonnie has fields upon fields at the back of the house to run around in on our walks. And if worst comes to worst, the local pub is a mere 2 minute walk away – and it’s dog friendly, has an impressive selection of gin on offer, plus rabbits in the garden! So there are definitely pros to outweigh what I’m missing.
Will I ever love the country as much as the city? Only time will tell, but I’m enjoying finding out, and for now I have the best of both worlds as I’m still in the city everyday for work, but can go home to my peaceful haven at night.
How about you – are you a country bumpkin or a city dweller? Any tips for a newbie?