I had to go for a long country drive this evening, to get to somewhere a little off the beaten track.
Now, I’m a city girl. I was born in what was then a small market town, but is now a large commuter town. We moved into the city when I was 12 and I’ve been a city girl ever since. I like the fact that if I decide I want a packet of stuffing mix at 4am, I can get it. Ditto medicines, and instant ambulances, and as much smog as I can carry. I like being able to get to a very large shopping centre within ten minutes of leaving my house. I like having a choice of petrol filling stations. In fact, there are lots of things I like about urban living.
But put me in the car and drive me down narrow lanes, show me cottages with rickety dry-stone walls and creepers up the side – and I start looking for ‘To Let’ signs and fantasising about baking my own bread and keeping chickens. Wouldn’t it be fabulous to open your back door and see miles of… nothing? Just green and brown stuff, with the occasional moo-cow to break the landscape up. Wouldn’t it be great to sleep at night with the window open, listening to nature instead of sirens?
Then reality kicks in and I wonder if my chaps would be able to find me, buried in the countryside. And would they even bother trying?