It’s the good life

As far as I’m aware the only regular reader of this blog was with me last week, so you probably haven’t noticed that I was away. Nevertheless, away I have been, and for the first time in years I’m not really all that happy to come back to this big city. I love London, I love living in Haringey, in Wood Green, in Noel Park. But there’s a part of me that stayed in the country when I returned.

I feel awfully bourgeois telling people that my parents have a holiday home in Devon, but that’s the truth: I always feel compelled to justify it, saying that we started poor we did, we ‘ad ‘ard times, which is also true (although I was probably a bit young to be too fussed). My dad was a pig farmer and as such we lived in splendid isolation, mostly because most people do not choose to live near a pig farm. When the bottom fell out of the market in the late eighties, dad sold up and moved into building and has hit a niche in the Hampshire marketplace, so that the family now have somewhere to go that’s not the family home, but we don’t have to pay for. That’s where I’ve been for the last week, basking in the Devonshire sunshine, roaming a different kind of green lanes from those which I’m used to, and pointing at the sea, and obviously visiting many charity shops.

It’s blissful down there, in many ways. Far from civilization, the community focuses on fancy meat (I saw a brace of grouse for twenty five quid, thankyouverymuch) which is roasted communally, taverns and ale houses, and any number of fetes and fairs. It’s a very English part of the world: not for Devon the wilderness of Cornwall, with its villages beginning with Z and ending with -ick. No separatist movement here: the rolling hills and craggy coastline are very much this sceptred isle.

I’ve always been a townie at heart, even if I spent the large majority of my life in the countryside. I’ve always loved the convenience of the local shop, the bus routes to anywhere, the proximity of everything.  But maybe I’m getting on a bit: there’s a small part of me that hankers for a bit of isolation now; to be rid of the noisy neighbours, to not have sirens every 5 minutes (the Wood Green Chorus); to not have to worry for the axles every time I go over a Haringey speed bump.

Maybe I’ll move back out to the sticks at some point, who knows. I’m settling slowly back to the big city for now, even if I’m resenting it.


One Response

  1. just to relate…i raised pigs for a bit growing up. spotted poland chinas, mostly and, interestingly, hampshires.

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