An Eccentric Londoner grapples with Country Living

An Eccentric Londoner grapples with Country Living

Feb 03
An Eccentric Londoner grapples with Country Living

I’m a Londoner by rights so I shouldn’t really be in the country. And yet, here I am. I’m not even sure how I got here. Well, I do know of course I do. It’s because I couldn’t hack London In my 20’s. It was all too much. Getting monster drunk on Jack Daniels and streaking down the street wearing a traffic cone as a witches hat. Signing on and living on Cupasoup for almost a year before landing a TV advert that made me famous in Serbia, then back to Cupasoup for 6 months. So I chucked London for Jonji who hates London. And now I have Jonji but no London, which is actually better than the reverse, as who wants all those thrills but with no Jonji to share them?

So I live in Somerset which does what it says on the tin.

Eccentric Londoner grapples with Country Living

My first nine years here I avoided my garden because gardening felt like digging my own grave. And I refused to open my garden to others (the very thought, I’m a married woman for goodness sake). Occasionally I’d make an effort and walk around my garden searching for whatever it is that people find so replenishing about their gardens. There was nothing in the soil so I looked up and there were the birds. Birds are OK I s’pose. Least they’ve got a point of view – especially the chaffinches – but they sounded so like football rattles that I pined for Chelsea matches.

Eccentric Londoner grapples with Country Living

Then I left my garden and walked around the village in search of company. But people in the country are only interested in talking about their dogs. It’s the only legitimate way in. You can’t just stride across a field to someone and say “You look fun! Will you be my friend?” You’d be reported to the Parish News and no one wants that. No. If you want to connect with people you must comment on their dog. “What a marvellous cockadoodle!” or “Ho ho! It’s always the little dogs, isn’t it?” which is nuts especially when you don’t give two forks about your dog and you only have a dog because two christmases ago your daughter put a gun to your head.

Country folk are nice and everything but I do miss the variety of London. Neurotic hipsters. Bangladeshi women in sarees. Japanese teenagers in brothel creepers. Iranian taxi drivers who remember the Shah. Yardies who smell of Paco Rabanne and Saudi princes in Knightsbridge sporting ceremonial daggers.

Look, I’m not a prisoner. I can get to London whenever I want via the station in my village where you could easily imagine Jenny Agutter in soft focus running up the platform calling out “Daddy, my Daddy!” Sometimes I even re-enact that scene and it always makes me cry. Here is the scene so you can enjoy a good cry too. Go on. Let yourself go.

And hey, I’m not complaining. My village is a Hollywood caricature of an English village with armies of incredibly jolly octogenarians striding round the village calling out “Morning milkman, as one might say!”

Plus its only 90 minutes from Paddington when it could have been so much worse. Jonji could have hailed from Herefordshire which is 190 minutes from London. Then I’d be forked.

More rabbit next Monday.

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