Those of you who know us, or have been following us for a while will know that living in the countryside has always been ‘the dream’. For the last ten years of our marriage we have escaped to the countryside as much as we can, and have dreamt of the day that we could make a rural lifestyle a permanent reality. In November that came to pass when we moved to a village in rural Pembrokeshire and over the last couple of months we have been adjusting to this new way of life.
However, sometimes dreams and realities can be worlds apart and I honestly sometimes wondered if maybe I was kidding myself that I was a true ‘country girl’. I have lived in a town since I was eleven – was I just chasing a fantasy?
Well, no – apparently I wasn’t. Living here has been full of little joys that make my heart sing.
I’ve been trying to think of a way to describe what being in the countryside means to me, but I think you either get it or you don’t. I remember when we lived in Cardiff and would say that we missed the countryside people would often comment that it was a very green city. While that is completely true (and we felt blessed because it could have been so much worse!), when you’re used to being able to easily escape to the mountains and be surrounded by fresh air and unlimited space the city could just not compare.
I wonder if subconsciously my introverted nature caused me hold onto stress when I was constantly surrounded by people and houses in our old area. Our windows and garden were overlooked in every direction, and the school or shop run was surrounded by houses and busy roads.
Of course no home is perfect, but I just love the fact that here our back windows and garden back on to fields and are completely private. Our garden is filled with birds and the school run is past fields of animals and accompanied by a good blast of sea air. I’ve had to buy stouter boots because I’m constantly sploshing through puddles and mud. I love it.
With Josh being the vicar I guess we are more ‘visible’ than your average village newcomer and he has already been around to many of the homes in our area to meet people and has come home with a cake, or more recently a pheasant for our freezer! We have had a few invitations to go and visit farms and to watch lambing in the spring. I grew up in a village on Dartmoor and I have so many wonderful outdoor memories of growing up around nature, and animals and wild landscapes; I feel so blessed that my children will get to have that too.
The main downside of living in the countryside is that we now have no facilities in our village and we have to drive everywhere, which for someone who hates driving is a cause of stress. However, the wonders of the internet make shopping a bit easier and we’re pretty used to not going out to the cinema or shops etc. anyway (because, kids!) so we don’t really miss it. There have to be some downsides I suppose, and the positives definitely outweigh the negatives.
I am so excited for spring, and to watch the seasons change right outside our windows. We’re only two months in so I hope I still feel as positive about it all in the months to come!