If you’ve been following my column in Exeter Life Magazine (pg 92) you may have noticed that we have had to find a new place to live (again).
Initially we were devastated (it would be our third move in two years) then it dawned on us that we had a fantastic opportunity to try something new. We had been talking about village / country living for a while and this was our chance to try it out. So when the hubster saw a beautiful country house in a lovely local village for rent just a few miles from the city centre, it was love at first sight.
We viewed the property, asked all the questions and had a rather rigorous and friendly (if a little unusual) interview with the landlord’s relatives (they were on holiday at the time).
Net result: They liked us, we liked them and we took the house and moved in last weekend!
It’s a beautiful old Farmhouse that has been well loved, redeveloped and brought to life by the family we rent from. It is (originally) over 200 years old, with a large outdoor area, allotment and patio. It’s lush and we are very happy!
Here’s a quick list of the things I have learnt so far about living in the country:
Houses in the country sometimes don’t have mains gas and are often powered by liquefied petroleum gas, oil and sometimes gas canisters. Who knew? I didn’t, and never before have I felt like such a townie.
When you live in the country mud gets EVERYWHERE. Wellies become an essential part of day to day life, washing clothes takes on a whole new dynamic of prewash / presoak and gardening gloves never seemed so appealing.
It’s very dark in the country at night. I first discovered how dark the country is at night when I drove up the A30 sometime last year to see a 4 of swords production at the Fulford Estate. Life without streetlamps was a revelation to me and it is one of the things that makes Devon living very different from London life. On our first night in the new house we revelled in how clear the constellations are without any light pollution and saw our first shooting star together! (we are taking that as a good sign).
Big farmhouses can be quite scary in the dark. This is especially true when your friend comes over for a glass of wine, tells you ghost stories before you go to bed and the front door opens by itself!.
Greenhouses get very hot (even when it’s cold outside). I have a limited experience of greenhouses, I remember that my Grandad had one in his garden and on his allotment and I remember sneaking in and stuffing my face with beautiful ripe tomatoes, I don’t remember it being that warm though!
The only downside so far is that we have to drive on the school run (we were walking distance before). My record is 16 minutes, which is actually quicker than the walk from our old house AND we have to cross Exe Bridges in rush hour!
Country life is treating us well, we have been sowing and planting in the garden. We will be sharing our allotment stories with you over the coming weeks and months, this week we have planted lots of vegetables including; carrots, potatoes, peppers and aubergines.
And we found a slow worm in the compost at the bottom of the garden!
Exeter really is a country city. Let the next adventures commence!