I never pegged myself as the country living type. Back when I was the age my girls are now, I lived in Bristol. I grew up as a city kid, in an area called Bishopston, not far from the centre of town. I loved the city and all that came with it; the shops, cinema, bowling alleys on a weekend.
Fast-forward a good few years and, at the age of thirty, I had just moved to Devon and was about to buy my first home with my husband. Now, at the age of 33 it feels like we’ve always lived here, in this little corner of South Devon. It’s where my youngest was born and my eldest started school. It’s where we’ve made new friends and forged a completely different lifestyle from the one I imagined for myself as a hungry new journalist intent on moving to the big smoke. Turns out country living is for me, after all.
When we first viewed the house we ended up buying, I remember wandering around the village trying to get a feel for the place. We were new to the area and the only reason we’d landed at this specific spot was because a) we liked the house and b) it was an easy drive to my parents’ place in North Devon, as well as commutable for the husband’s job. But a short walk around the village told us this was the place. We walked over the road, under a bridge and down a lane which opened out onto a field. On the other side of the field was a river. It was the summer and there were some kids splashing about in the shallow stream, throwing pebbles and trying to fish out bugs with their fishing nets.
For ages, we forgot about that lane. It’s literally across the road from our house, but we were so intent on exploring other places nearby we forgot what was on our doorstep. Recently, we’ve been venturing back across the road again, exploring what’s right under our nose.
On Sunday, the girls donned their new coats from Muddy Puddles, and we took them out for a test drive to the field and river. We spend quite a bit of time outdoors, so having warm, waterproof jackets is a must. These ones are bright with a cosy striped lining and double fastening (zip and popper), as well as a hood and pockets. The kids have barely taken them off since Sunday.
For us, moving to the countryside has been a hugely positive thing. Although I sometimes get frustrated living so far from London (HELLO all the good events and press meetings!), living so near so many beaches, the moors, forests and rivers is always a bit of an adventure. There are still SO many places we haven’t explored yet that are only a short drive away.
However, you can take the girl out of the city, but the city remains in the girl. Going back to Bristol last weekend was a lesson in familiarity. I lived there permanently until I was nearly 19 and then on and off in between uni semesters or gap years. Still, we’re a short drive from Exeter, which means I don’t need to travel far to get my city fix when I need it.
These girls of mine though, they’re country mice through and through…
Thanks to Muddy Puddles for working with us on this post. For more information about how I work with brands check out my Work With Me page.