When I was younger I moved house quite a few times but always lived in a fairly built up area, there was a corner shop, a main road and lots of other people around us. However, the year I went to university my family moved out to into the sticks which was fine when I was at university because I lived right on the edge of Winchester and it was vibrant and busy when I wanted it to be and back home was quiet and very “stepford-esque” When I came back from University I lived at home for a while and that’s when I first began to realise what proper country living meant. Now, ten years later and I’m back in the village and there are definitely some things that I miss…
SIGNAL & BROADBAND – In the village it is very rare to have more than one bar of phone signal in the village so spend a lot of time relying on our WiFi . I live in a house full of gamers and add me as a blogger into the mix and the Internet is so important to us… some might think that’s rather sad but it’s my living. We have had to put up with horrendous Internet for so long but recently were one of the first to get fibre optic broadband . All the gamers in the house did a celebratory dance and I can’t say I wasn’t pleased to get this much more reliable and very much quicker Internet… almost feels like I’m living in civilisation ! In a survey done by Flogas, almost half of those surveyed stated that they would miss their phone within a week…. a week?! Try within 24 hours!! I know it’s sad but so true!
PUBLIC SERVICES – Let me tell you that I never thought I’d miss this at all. Up until 2/3 years ago I didn’t drive (you can read why in Look.Swerve.Crash!) so living in the village made going ANYWHERE a real task. We “officially” have 1 bus a day … when it chooses to come and it is a 5 mile cross country walk to the nearest mainish civilisation . Now that I drive it’s not so bad but it is still difficult or annoying if all you’re after is a pint of milk! We have no village shop, we do have a village pub which has just been brought back to life but have no Street lights meaning that stumbling home after a few drinks could be a bit hairy… isn’t it strange that one of the things I miss from town living is a street light?!
HEATING – Now this one might be slightly misleading …. don’t panic we do have heating and are not sat inside in our hats and scarves though sometimes it’s tempting . You see , we have no gas in the village – at times I’m surprised that we have electric ! Now because we have no gas that means we rely on oil central heating but if you’ve looked at the price of oil these days then you’d be in for a shock . It’s so expensive and unlike gas bills is not spread out over the month and needs to be paid up front. It can also take a long time to be delivered and in extreme weather conditions like heavy snow the village gets cut off and we’re marooned… once for up to a week! If you run out of oil at this time like we did one year it can be pretty tough. We were lucky that we had order some electric radiators direct and were able to plug these in to keep warm as they do chuck out quite a lot of heat. I have to say that village and remote countryside life would be a lot easier if we had a bit of gas . When Flogas did a survey, for most people gas was a huge necessity, obviously not quite as important as running water but still, 64% of people in their survey stated that it was a high priority!
TAKEAWAY – Come on sometimes you just can’t be bothered to cook or sometimes you just fancy a treat… well in our village if you fancy a treat and a takeaway that involves you taking it away yourself! We have one independent business that delivers out to the village but they are a bit hit and miss so if we fancy a takeaway we have to drive into the nearest town and get it ourselves and being a town that’s controlled by quite an old and traditional council and residents we have no chains at all…. what I wouldn’t give for a dominoes sometimes ! For a while there was a chip van that went around the different villages on different nights of the week but for some reason that stopped… that was a sad day.
There you have it… isn’t it amazing the things we miss! I never thought I’d miss Street lamps and a corner shop or be living without gas or a proper sewage system ! I think village like mine is wonderful for children to grow up in surrounded by other children all playing together but I think once you become aware, for some it is just too remote. Hats off to anyone who lives off grid because I don’t think I could do it … I have enough problem with slow internet let alone none at all. how about you ? Could you live off grid ? Or are you a townie?
This is a collaborative post – all opinions are my own