Monday, 21 November 2011

Why I'm moving to the country.

Hello everyone,
It has been quite a long time since my last post, sorry about that. There has been quite a lot on my plate this last couple of weeks, but we are getting there. Still no definite move date but hoping it won't be too long now.
I am back staying with friends in Lancashire now, they live 2 miles from the house I am buying, so it has been good to begin to learn the area in which I am about to spend my life.

Anyway, yesterday morning I got up early, as I usually do on a Sunday and I took my friends dog for a walk in the nature reserve which is just behind his house. It was foggy and dank but everything was so beautiful to my untrained eyes. I am more used to seeing refuse bags spilled over streets, empty bottles lying in the road outside pubs, fridge freezers in peoples front gardens - such are the delights of the Croydon area of London.

Well this got me thinking about my reasons for moving from the city.
I moved to London exactly half my life ago, when I was 19. At the time it was an exciting move, I was leaving home for the first time, to study there and live with other students in the suburbs as you do. Like everyone else, the travelling and the expense got me down. Other friends of mine who had chosen to study at uni in other cities would tell me about their accommodation being a 10 minute walk away from the campus and that it cost them peanuts compared with my ridiculously priced room, 45 minutes away. But still, I stuck it out, delighting in all the things London had to offer, it is true, it really is a 24 hour city and you can never be bored. As I got my first jobs they automatically tended to be in London and I began to make a life for myself, friends still lived there although arranging to meet was full of hassles, because, unless you are very lucky, no-one lives near you and you always end up leaving an hour to get anywhere, be it by car or by public transport. As the years moved on and the travel card became more expensive and the rents began to increase to an un-manageable level, I began to dream about leaving. I would have visions of a small house in the country, roses around the door, no noise at night. But then in my waking hours I would think about starting again by myself somewhere new, leaving behind the friends I had in London and trying to make it work. Sometimes it seemed impossible.
So now that bring me to a year ago. I was 37, very disillusioned with my life there, the country dream was still haunting me every night. Increasingly I was sickened by the waste and commercialism I was bombarded with everywhere I went, the dirt and the mess. No longer did 24 hour London seem exciting and full of opportunity and entertainment, now it just seemed a place where people could waste huge amounts of money and waste their life in pursuit of attaining more money, more possessions, in short, MORE EXCESS.
So the decision became a simple one, did I want to submerge myself in a city where no-one was interested in you, unless they could part you from your money in one way or another, or did I seriously want to put into practice all those things I had been dreaming of for years? Did I want to spend 2 hours a day on a hideously crowded train and underground or did I want to have miles of open space around me? Did I want to live somewhere that money is all that matters, or did I want to earn much less money but have a hugely increased quality of life?

It's what they call a no-brainer.

Now I am on the brink of moving and walking through the countryside early yesterday morning I could feel the years of London beginning to loosen their hold on me, I felt more relaxed than I have for years and although I know there are tough times to come, I also know that they will be worth it.

I will leave you with photos of my walk yesterday, bear in mind I am no David Bailey and these were taken on my rubbish little phone camera, but you get the idea.....


  1. Lovely post, wish we were there.

  2. for a moment I thought the dog was yours!
    white dogs and the countryside......
    they dont go!!! (baths every day!!!)

    when are we going to see photos of the cottage?

  3. Hi, like you, my neighbour used to live in London but holiday in Norfolk as a boy. He dreamed of moving here. The final straw for him after umpteen burglaries was the final one where they killed his very large guard dog so they could ransack the house - he moved here after that.
    Although we live in a village, we have a good general stores, butchers, a P. O. and a school, so are very lucky. The countryside is quite literally less than 100 paces away and the seaside, at its nearest, only 20 minutes away. We live in a cul de sac on a small estate so are not free from neighbours but over the years, (new neighbours notwithstanding, we have learnt to listen to the dogs saying goodnight in the gardens, when central heating gets switched off (glad there as some are noisy). Then, when all is quiet (you can gather I don't sleep well - such is life) the hedgehogs rustle through the garden, the owls call, the stars come out, the moon shines and each night moves into day.
    We notice all the seasons as we see the farmers working in their fields, watch the hedgerows blossom and fruit - remember where this free bounty is for later, go for walks, say hello to anyone we meet.
    This time of year, we watch wood smoke curl from the chimneys, the gardens and countryside go to sleep. walk around pre-Christmas to view everyone's decorations and watch the local hotel's firework display on New Years Eve.
    Your life will be quieter (in another life that would also be my wish) but just as enjoyable, if not more so. Welcome to the country!

  4. I predict that you won't regret one minute of your life change :)

    Just so exciting...

  5. Good for you!

    You won`t regret your change of lifestyle. I spent my student years in London but would never go back to city life.

    Hoping that all goes well with your move and your change of scenery. Imagine how lovely those Lancashire woodlands will be as you watch for the arrival of spring.

  6. Lovely pictures, thats probably what Croydon looked like 1000 years ago !!

  7. lovely pictures - especially in comparison with the one of Croydon! It looks beautiful though..

  8. Great post and lovely pictures. Your going to love it in the county I can tell.

  9. I`m so pleased for you and your up and coming move. You will enjoy the freedom to roam, the
    slower pace of life and will not regret a thing, in the end. Wish you all the luck in this world and a happy new life style!!

  10. Yup, you really do get the idea, it looks so peaceful - those type of moments are good for the soul! I love the pic of the dog with the stick, brilliant :)

    I agree with Dani, even through the hard bits you'll not regret a thing. I'm so excited for you - country living rocks!

  11. I love your photos.

    Well done for making your decision.

    You are really lucky to have found work in such a beautiful part of the country.

    Sft x

  12. A lovely post Dan, and great pictures. My sister disappeared to London when she was 17, and reappeared in our lives 17 years later. She was alien to me - not just because of the fact that she had been away from us for so long, but because her ideals and her greed were so far removed from the way we had been brought up and the way that I have lived my life. I recognized her when you talked of the need for more money, more posessions and more excess. She disappeared from our lives again quickly - we just weren't her kind of people. Your tough times will be worth it. I've just had a bit of a wobble, but when I look around me,I see my lovely neighbours, and I listen to the peace and quiet I know that we did the right thing.Hoping the next few weeks run smoothly, and you are living in your own piece of Lancashire very soon.

  13. Thanks to everyone, your comments mean a lot to me. I agree with John about white dogs and countryside - she was so dirty whenever we got home! There is a slight delay, but the plan is to exchange on 5th December, so nearly there! Then, I promise some photos. No regrets and so excited for my new start.

  14. Interesting post. I'm originally a Lancashire lass but used to live a little south of Croydon and worked in London for 13 years. As a young woman, I enjoyed it - yes, it was exciting - there was always something going on, people to see etc. But, as you say, the travelling and cost took their toll, and I took the opportunity to give up working in London, and went back to college to re-train. Some years later, we moved to Wiltshire - I was in heaven! But, our roles were reversed and now poor OH was working in London. 10 years ago we took the leap and moved to rural France, and although it hasn't been easy financially, I would never, ever, go back to the city. Good luck to you - I'm sure you will love it.

  15. One of my friends moved out of London in August to run a tea room in a village in Sussex and it's made such a difference to her; better health and well being all round and a walk home in the fresh air after work rather than a commute on a crowded train. I'm sure it will do you good, and good on you for taking the brave decision to move rather than settling with a life in London that no longer worked for you.

  16. What could be more peaceful and serene...
    My hometown is Cheshire, once Lancashire, I miss village life :(
    Best wishes for your up and coming move, such a wise decision.

  17. Hi, I'm sure you are very busy moving at the moment, just wanted to let you know I have nominated your blog for the Liebster Award. If you have already got one, please feel free to decline. If not, you can check out my blog post to see what it means.

  18. I think it looks a beautiful spot - bet you can't wait.
    By the way,I like your blog so much, I am sending you a Liebster Blog award (more info over at my blog). Hope you have a great weekend!

  19. Hi, just popping by again to pass the Leibster award on to you. It's for blogs with fewer than 200 followers. I hope you'll pass it along to your favourite blogs. More details are on my blog.
    Love from Mum

  20. Only 2 days to go before the exchange! Im thinking of you and sending happy thoughts, Im sure everything will go smoothly.

    I know I've already commented on this post but I wanted to tell you I've given you the Liebster Award! I think your an inspiration to so many and I love your blog, so honest and well written, I cant wait for your next post xx

  21. I too have nominated you for a Liebster Award.

  22. Food for your soul, what a beautiful piece of the world you now live in.