Most of my childhood was spent living in a tiny village in Shropshire (my friends used to compare it to Hot Fuzz). The only amenities we have are a primary school, pub and church - civilization is only a 10 minute drive away, but there are only about 3 buses a day so getting anywhere without a car is very difficult. So I thought I'd do a post on things you'll understand if you grew up in the middle of nowhere...
1) Nobody knows how to get there
Having friends over becomes very difficult when they get lost on the way to your house. Truthfully, all of the country lanes look identical so it's understandable. But don't get me started on having people over for birthday parties... (plus they couldn't stay later than about 11pm as they had to be picked up by parents - a taxi would cost £££££).
2) When you go to university, even less people know where it is
"Shropshire??!" is an exclamation I have heard many a time during my nearly 4 years at university. I usually end up describing where it is in comparison to a huge city. "Birmingham's about an hour away... London's about 3..."
3) So when you meet someone that lives nearby, you become very excited
And probably compare as many people as possible to see if you have any mutual acquaintances.
4) Learning to drive becomes the holy grail very early on
I remember wanting to drive from very early on in my teens, because I literally couldn't get anywhere else without my parents dropping me off. And even when I passed, I was the designated driver for most of our nights out because I lived the furthest away and was the only one with a car.
5) Everyone knows everyone
Maybe not by name, but by face, everyone knows who belongs in the village. Which is nice as most people will say "hi" to you.
6) Any tiny scandal that happens will probably be talked about for the next 50 years
The biggest scandal that has ever happened in my village was during a village allotment competition (yes, really). The winner of the heaviest pumpkin turned out to have filled it up with water to make it heavier. Other village news of note includes a guy that used to go around the village belching (he made it into the village newsletter), and a stone teddy bear that was stolen from someone's drive - the whole village was outraged because it's owners used to dress it up. It always had a Santa hat on for Christmas and a scarf when a football game was being played.
7) Getting stuck behind a tractor/cyclist/herd of cows becomes a daily occurence
I remember once getting home about 11.30pm from working at our local pub, and having to chase a herd of cows into a field to get them out of the road. It turned out they'd actually all escaped and travelled from a different county. #countrylife
8) You probably like the smell of manure
Home sweet home...
9) Village fairs
The highlight of the village's calendar year is the village fair. Every year, everyone gathers to have a go on the tombola (and probably win back the rubbish you donated)/throw fruit at someone's face/try and guess how many sweets are in the jar to win a sad looking teddy bear. And you know what? They're actually really fun.
10) Power cuts
I have had many an evening going to the toilet in candlelight or dining of fish and chips because our power has gone on. At first it's fun, but after about 4 hours without WiFi/TV/light bulbs, it becomes a little boring.
11) Poor signal
Just signal in general. WiFi, mobile, TV... To be fair, this has got better - but I used to have to either stand right at the top of our garden or lie on my bed with my head against my bedside table to make a phone call from my mobile. We're having BT Infinity installed in our village soon - woohoo!
12) Takeaways were a no-go
Domino's? Pizza Hut? Chinese takeaway? Yeah, come and collect from us - we don't know where you live.
I absolutely love the countryside and all of it's perks, but it could be a little annoying at times growing up and not being able to get anywhere. However I love going back and I miss just being able to step out of my door and go for a walk in a field with my dogs. I'm definitely a country bumpkin at heart!
Today has been a much better day than yesterday for me - I have been a lot less upset and have actually managed to get up and do some work. Let's hope I just keep on improving!
To be beautiful means to be yourself.