I’m just back from a long weekend in Wiltshire, once again looking at our dream house to try and force us into a decision about whether we’re really going to sell up in London and head for the countryside…
We seem to be almost chronically unable to finally make the decision – torn between the idea of raising the kids in a bucolic idyll (there really is land for that alpaca herd that I’ve been dreaming of all these years) and the convenience, culture and fabulous diversity that is life in London.
On the one hand, we’re already a bit cramped where we are now. Every day when I walk out of the front door with the pram, I crash into one or other child, or the walls, or a pair of shoes that’s been left lying around, and swear under my breath, desperate to go somewhere with more space for two active boys to run around.
My husband and I both grew up in the countryside and always had the tacit understanding that we wanted to raise our kids the same way. Fields, cows and grubby knees, not tower blocks, exhaust fumes and savvy five-year-old tube aficionados.
But every time we think “”That’s it! We’re definitely going to go now!” I remember all the really great stuff about London and get terrified about leaving it behind.
Where we live now, we’re a two minute walk from an amazing park, five minutes on the bus from the fantastic Horniman museum (where we go every week) and within a mile from our house are three great primary schools, probably 50 good cafés, an arthouse cinema, endless excellent independent shops, another amazing London park and… … oh, you get the picture, the list goes on.
Our local school is a brief stroll from our house and I’m already friends with people I just happen to see when they’re doing the school run every morning. I worry about giving that up for a drive to school each day, wrangling the kids into their car seats, never getting any fresh air or bumping into people.
My sister and her family live ten minutes from us now, my other sister in the centre of London and my brother an hour or so south. Does the promise of a bigger house and garden make up for the lack of family close by?
And – far more importantly – would I change the name of this blog if I no longer live in London?!
These, my friends, are just some of the endless debates that keep me awake at night, my brain ticking over and over, treading the same paths and reaching no conclusion.
But our visit this weekend was the third to our dream house, already strung out over a couple of months. It’s time to bite the bullet and make a decision.
I’ll let you know what we decide.
(All pics here are not from the actual place we’re planning on buying, nor of the house itself because, y’know, this is the internet, but of the nearby and very beautiful Lacock that we had a good mooch around on a drizzly Sunday…)
PS. I had another post written for posting later this week to introduce you to our chickens. But *gulps and tries not to sob* a fox came and snatched Nero yesterday and ran off with her before I could catch up with it. I am feeling rather ridiculously traumatised by the whole thing and want to cry every time I see the other two chickens wandering around calling for her. (The sproglet, however, has taken it very much in his stride and said to them, “she’s gone, girls, she’s not coming back. The fox took her and eated her all up…” so I guess that’s one good thing at least!) Anyway, I will have to re-write it to, sniff sniff, only introduce you to the two still living, but look out for a lot of chicken chat in the next week or so.