Sunday, January 31, 2010

The C word

Steam engine!
The boys who brunch
And Louis' wheels

It's started. I thought I'd be able to hold off for a few more years.... but no. I haven't even been a mum for two years and already I'm wondering: just how much longer can we live in London? Yup, it's time for the C word: the countryside. It's not that I'm suddenly fantasising about living in Dorset, or wherever us townies seem to congregate when we Leave The Big Smoke. And nor have I come down with an early case of inner London school stress. But there is something about living somewhere so urban that it's a good 25 minutes even to a park - and not even a great one at that. Okay, so he could probably kick a football around the council estate car pack at the back of our house but it's hardly ideal.

This particular burst of angst was sparked by a Sunday outing to deepest Kent to visit a very close friend. Or more specifically, his grandfather's steam engine. Sorry, traction engine, to give it its proper name - although Louis still thinks we saw a 'steam train'. He had an amazing day, riding on the steam engine, visiting the sheep, playing with the (little) dog and helping drive the mini tractor. Plus lunch in the very nice local village pub. Granted that's not exactly your typical day in the countryside but there was something about all that space. I get the same feeling when we visit Grandma P: she's lucky enough to live just yards from the sea (even if it is just the English Channel).

I might feel more London love if we lived around the corner from one of the beautiful parks. But that's realistically never going to happen and there's nothing like a long tube journey to take the edge of a park outing. I don't even want to move somewhere less central that is nearer more green because then I'd moan about getting "into town" as I'd have to start calling it. It's a conundrum, but lacks an easy solution. The obvious answer is to do nothing. But I can't help feeling that's not a long-term resolution.


Emily O said...

I can understand this, I lived in London for 8 years but it was before children arrived. Most of my London friends have moved out of London now they have children. I'm in Berkshire now living somewhere 'semi-rural' however the train station is five minutes drive away and you can be at Paddington station from there in 50 minutes. I love London and I like the fact it's quite nearby. With three young children I don't go there much but we can just about manage a night out there if we want and when the children are older we can do day trips there. I find it's a nice compromise. Good luck with what you decide to do.

danyulo said...

Yeah Susie, countryside is calling! Your photos made me think about living in countryside again. (Such COOL steam engine!!)

In the meanwhile though, we may be moving to Kensal Green. Oh well, we have a massive grave yard near by... Sonokox

planb said...

And let's not forget the dreaded HP (house prices....). Our house is on the market and we're off. Apparently for what I want in London (a downstairs loo and a garden with some grass in) I need £1.1 million. Funnily enough I haven't got it. The countryside calls....

Babies who brunch said...

Thanks for those comments. The thing is, it's having the guts to leave.... Am impressed Plan B. Plus the balls to stomach all that commuting. Unless we can think of something else to do of course... And Sonoko: at least Kensal Green sounds a little less like London!! We'll miss you though.

Hot Cross Mum said...

My boys would love that traction engine. I feel your pain - we live in the countryside relative to Dublin city, but even still I long for rolling hills out the back door and chickens roaming around the garden. Ho hum. One day. Maybe?