Before I moved to lovely Shropshire, I had a preview of what it would be like to live in a rural location. I was dating someone who lived on what I would call a farm, but was known as a small holding. It was a farm to me, because the only free range animals that I’d ever seen tottering about, was my pet cat Mr D and my animal like fridge raiding at midnight.
Any way, being there on weekends taught me a few things about living a different way of life and a few I’ve learnt a little later on.
1. Ditch the heels. Muddy fields, uneven paths, and off-road treks taught me that the life of a heel wouldn’t be worth much nor long. Even forget the ballet pumps too. Getting stuck in the mud wasn’t much fun, especially when your new shoes sink. Keep these type of shoes for best. Mind you, I’ve still got a nice collection to admire…
2. Always bring a spare. Now if you’re a driver, this applies to wheels – there are many little country lanes that have pot holes in but I mean it in terms of clothes too. Take it from me, you’re going to get some form of nature left on you, and if you’re trying to impress the guy, like I was; manure stains (albeit discretely hid) are not attractive.
3. Prepare to exercise those lungs. Where I live and surrounding areas, there are lots of hills and people (or the people who I know) seem to make it their mission to get to the top. If you’re unfit (like I was) be prepared for lots of gasping. Tip : stop to ‘admire’ the view whilst secretly taking in as much oxygen as you can… and resume composure.
4. Expect a few looks if you have any dietary requirements. Asking for non gluten, vegetarian cheese and Soya milk, especially at farmers’ markets doesn’t really go down that well. (Queue tumbleweed.) So you may have to go without or be a bit modern and order discretely online. You don’t want them knowing that your feeding your dirty habits.
5. Buy in bulk. Nipping up the shop for just a pint of milk or Soya milk means an hour round trip. Although I’m technically not completely out in the sticks and am blessed with a village shop, it shuts EARLY. This means, if you think you might need it – get it. If think you don’t need it, chances are you will – get it. Even if you’ve never used said item in your life – get it.
6. Accept gender differences. Without sounding biased, city men are completely different to country men. From my experiences the woman out here let men be men whilst they do the traditional things. I’m yet to be OK with this – I like changing my own light bulbs and ordering take out… I can do it with an apron on if that helps?
Oh I could go on, but I’ll stop for now…
Thanks for reading
Chelsea – Louise