When you think of moving to the country and living a more rural life, do you also imagine that you would be living a more quiet, perhaps solitary (barr the kids and husband of course) life? I think I probably did, and it was something I was a little concerned about. How would I cope with not having people who I could call upon to have a moan about the husband and kids to, how would I cope without my daily (and often lengthy) rants at work, how would I cope with it just being the four of us, driving each other up the wall, only having each other to rely on for company and entertainment?
Thankfully this is one of the things I really need not have worried about. Since moving to the country, I don’t think our social calendars have ever been as busy; much busier than they ever were in our previous lives. I have written a lot about the amazing community we have moved into, how supportive it is, how willing to lend a helping hand, how we really feel part of something here. Something that I think we had wanted to be part of in our previous lives, but it just never quite happened. Of course we had friends, and still have those friends but, in the main, we relied on work for building those friendships – although we were fortunate to also make friends with our neighbours where we used to live (every Christmas we’d have a movable feast with neighbours where we’d each cook a course and go from house to house getting steadily more drunk and inevitably eating dessert in the early hours of the morning).
This weekend, we have been veritable social butterflies. Yesterday we had tea at our friends, today was the monthly community lunch, and we followed it up by a cuppa and another tea at a different friend’s house. A very lovely weekend has been had, despite the children being particularly vile yesterday. Earlier in the week, J was off at his gentlemen’s supper, which he describes as a bit like a male version of the WI, but I can’t stop myself from calling it his gentlemen’s club outing. I got to have a walk out with the ponies for a couple of hours of blissful freedom from the children, and a chance to have a vent about the kids and husband (to my friend, not the ponies, though I’m sure they’d lend a listening ear if required).
Sometimes, I have to remind myself we’ve only been here for just over six months, as I feel so settled and comfortable, and not just because of the beautiful surroundings, although that of course doesn’t hurt, but also because of the people that are around us. When drunk, I have been known to get a little effusive about how very lucky we were to end up here, how very different this move could have been for us, without those people and the community we have around us. Because this could have been a move which did result in us becoming more isolated, driving each other up the wall with no relief from the annoyance at the little things which, without that release, build up to become huge things. We could have really struggled with the country life, but this weekend has been a time of counting blessings, and appreciating the fact that the country life isn’t really about the beautiful views and having the place we used to holiday to on our doorstep; it’s about the people we share that country life with.