In the autumn of my life I am strictly a country lady. Many years ago now I worked in the centre of town and was used to the traffic, the noise, the people – lots of people. It was a way of life that I enjoyed and I never considered living any other way.
Then I met a man who took me away from all that I knew, he lived in a village twelve miles away from the town – at first I took three different buses to get to my work as I didn’t drive at the time – this was fine – I loved my job as a project manager for a display and design company and wanted to keep it. Eventually though, the travelling got me down and I decided on another course for my life. Living in the country was just so different from anything else I had experienced so far. But I got used to it and began to love it.
Now - we come to the point of this story. I had used the small dental practice in the village ever since I moved there and was quite happy to go even though I moved to a different village eventually. It was convenient, just a couple of miles away - my dentist was gentle and caring – and even though it changed from NHS to a private practice – I stayed with them.
Then catastrophe – the practice closed – and after thirty odd years I had to find a new dentist. But all was not lost – we found out where the dentist had moved to and joined the new practice. The trouble is the new practice is back where I started, right in the centre of town.
I used to know the area like the back of my hand – all the street names were familiar, but a lot of the shops had changed or closed down – and even though I hadn’t been anywhere near town for several years – it had a feeling of ‘home’ about it. This feeling was not to last.
The sound of the traffic was the first thing I noticed – you couldn’t hear yourself speak – and the noise actually hurt my ears. The practice is in a nice part of town opposite a big park – so not too bad – in fact quite pretty really. But there were people everywhere, walking dogs, jogging, people going shopping, off to their work, people of all different colours and nationalities – it all came as a bit of a shock to the system actually.
An hour or so later we were back home – and as we drove down the leafy lanes to the village and saw once again the familiar signposts and hedgerows full of blossom - the tension seemed to leave my shoulders, my fists relaxed and I stopped holding my breath. I can’t remember being so relieved to be home – no cars, no people, no noise – just the sparrows squabbling in the trees and the distant sound of the lowing of the cows.
Of course, the country life doesn’t suit everyone, and it certainly isn’t as convenient as living in a town. We have no bus service, no street lighting, no gas, no shops or school nearby, no entertainment like theatres or cinema – it is certainly a quiet life. But, as with everything, you get used to it and adapt.
So, yes I am definitely a country lady now – town mouse turned country mouse – and there is definitely no going back, except for dental appointments of course - but when I become too old and infirm and unable to drive a move back to a town might be inevitable – but let’s not worry about that yet a while.
‘Til next time – happy gardening – and enjoy the rest of the week.