To give some context to this post, I practically live in the middle of nowhere. I have no signal indoors (I usually have to resort to leaning out of my bedroom window), I’m usually found wearing two jumpers and a pair of wellies (not Hunters, because I’m poor), and if someone asks me where I’m from, I have to give the name of a city that’s half an hour away, because that’s the only place that anyone’s vaguely heard of in this region.
Not that I’m moaning. I enjoy living in a village with public transport that runs once a day. I enjoy
tottering hiking to the bottom of the garden, doddering around with nature for a bit, and then curling up in the afternoon with a biscuit and a book, or if I’m feeling especially frivolous, reruns of The Chase or even Midsomer Murders.
Talking of potential murder, I’ve literally just heard a shot from the farm. Hopefully it’s a just a yuppie that the farmer’s had enough of.
Everyone heralds the countryside, with its rolling fields and lush hills and random piles of horse shit on the roads, as a sanctuary for peace and quiet. Most days, the only sounds I hear outside are birds and running water, with the occasional yell from indoors when my mother attempts to see how much of our crockery she can smash in one fell swoop. Alas, when the sun comes out, so do the people who, for most of the year, prefer to see their garden rot, rather than burn some calories (which, in some cases, is jolly well needed) doing some work.
These specimens are apparently unused to the notion of peace and quiet and relaxation and absorbing nature, instead preferring to shatter the stillness – and my eardrums – with a blast of ‘The 21st Century’s Most Irritating Pop and Dance Hits’. Bear in mind that we have a few acres, and despite the fact that there were two barns, two garages and a considerable distance between myself and the source of the racket, I, after a few songs featuring sex, drugs and irritating recurring beats, was tempted to take a spade to the stereo and its owner.
Seriously, if you want to play tunes that belong in Ibiza, do it. But only if a) you will do so at a bearable level, or b) if you’re prepared to actually move there and fry on the beaches with the other Wotsit wonders.
The countryside is, genuinely, a wonderful place. We have sky and grass and increasingly impatient teenagers (well, me) stomping around in wellies muttering angrily. Scary, right?
But be warned – we have pitchforks and spades and I’ve become surprisingly proficient at wielding a pair of shears.