When I wrote my last post on this subject, I feel it may have come across as though I was heavily in the camp that country is best. But while it’s true that I am certainly very much in love with my new picturesque surroundings, friendly neighbour folk and oodles of peace and serenity, I couldn’t say I’m a total convert. There is still an awful lot of city running through these here veins and I don’t think I can picture a day when I don’t want to experience the excitement and buzz of an urban setting. There are still an awful lot of things that I miss terribly when I’m not there, namely…
You can’t get good coffee in the countryside. Or, you probably can, but I haven’t found it yet! The only place that serves coffee in walking distance of my house is the local pub, which is perfectly lovely but just not the same as a double shot latte from 200 Degrees (ugh, I just wanted to shrivel and die hearing that sentence come out of my mouth/keyboard. What a spoilt Millennial bitch!!) It also doesn’t open till 11am, by which point murders could have been committed if I haven’t had my caffeine fix so here’s crossing fingers my coffee machine never breaks….
Food & Drink
I have been incredibly spoilt growing up in the city when it comes to eating and drinking out. I have been in the very lucky position that I can eat or drink pretty much any kind of cuisine or concoction I can dream up within about half an hour of leaving my house in Birmingham. All cultures, concepts and bizarre tastes are catered for – quite literally. We have some lovely places nearby here in the neighbouring villages, but I now have ingrained in me intense cravings for very specific things like Sabai Sabai Thai or the paneer from Indian Brewery or Yo Sushi popcorn shrimp. We have so many wonderfully quirky independents with obscure booze collections to die for in Brum and I’m afraid it’s made me one of those awfully pretentious people who finds themselves feeling like only a Bodega Smoky Brisket Burrito is going to fill that empty, hollow hole in my stomach on a Saturday evening and nothing else. I hate me too. Thankfully our local Landlady has great taste in gin so at least there is that!
No Driving Required
One of the biggest advantages of living in a city is that you can get pretty much anywhere at pretty much any time of day, meaning you don’t have to rely on a car. This of course has the added bonus of meaning that it is very easy to partake in one of my all time favourite activities – the impromptu after work drink! With only a pub and a local garage in our village, even a trip to Aldi requires both prior planning and sobriety (not that I’d recommend going to Aldi drunk, of course, that would end up being an expensive trip for sure! HELLOOOO SHPECIAL BUYZZZZ, HIC!!) You can’t even get an Uber where we live. Imagine that? (we do know the local taxi driver on a first name basis though, which is kinda nice!) Yep, I’ve always very much loved the freedom of being able to say yes on a whim to a social occasion without worrying about how you will get home – a luxury we can’t really afford when home is now 50 miles away up the motorway. I say that like exciting plans might drop in my lap any second, which they definitely don’t these days. Still, it’s nice to have the choice, right??
There Is Always Something Happening
One of my favourite things about living in Birmingham is that something was always happening. Whether it’s a pop up food festival, a flash mob or a street art installation, you can always rely on being able to find something interesting going on. Often for free, and even more often, completely unexpectedly. There is nothing more fun than just popping out for a stroll on your lunch break only to find a Jamaican Carnival kicking off around the corner. Or be able to fill your boots with cheese samples at a random farmers market. Then there was that time I got given free wine in the park when walking the dog. FREE WINE!! Life in the countryside is just lovely, and I can happily amuse myself for hours simply taking in the scenery and breathing in the fresh air, but city life always has an air of excitement about it that you can’t quite beat.
Fashion Isn’t Frivolous
I am, of course, a die hard lover of fashion, and that often means my outfits make me stand out somewhat. I can’t count the number of times someone has asked me where I’m off to all dressed up when in reality I was just off to post a parcel! In the city, this is perfectly normal. In fact, the way I dress is pretty pedestrian really – I’m hardly what you would call avant garde in my style choices. In the country though, it’s a different matter. You don’t see all that many girls trotting around in 50s style frocks or bright red stiletto heeled ankle boots around here, that’s for sure. And it can make me feel like a bit of a numpty at times if I’m honest, dressed to the nines while all those around me are very much at home in jeans and wellies. Still, I’ve become a firm believer that you shouldn’t let what other people think affect what you wear, so I shall battle through my insecurities on that one and carry on!
Plus, as that first pic demonstrates, the countryside doesn’t have the monopoly on sunsets you know…!
So it looks as though I still love both the city and the country in equal measure! Luckily for me I get to have the best of both worlds, and that is something I’ll never take for granted!