How to survive the move from London to the countryside if you’re under 30
- Buy in lots of milk. There is no Tesco metro and it’s a seven-mile drive when you run out.
- Accept there will be no takeaways. No one delivers.
- Invite people to stay on a regular basis. The average age of the village is 70. This means you get the benefits of years of experience, but no one will share your enthusiasm for True Blood.
- Get involved – but pick your cause. A bigger organisation like the CAB may be easier to infiltrate than the village wildlife preservation committee. The latter will have a long-established hierarchy and you will be considered a newcomer for at least 20 years.
- Slow down. The local Co op runs at a different pace to Sainsbury in Kings Cross.
- Don’t expect a wide gluten-free or vegetarian range in the supermarket.
- Don’t even go there at all if you’re squeamish about road kill or shooting birds as a hobby.
- You will not see a black, young or beatnik face for miles, and your clothes shopping choices are Peacocks or beige-ribbed jumpers from an expensive boutique. To avoid turning into a middle-aged Tory (or if you’re happy to go there, to at least avoid turning into one prematurely), dye your hair bright red and, whatever you do, don’t subscribe to the Daily Mail.
But, do remember that what you lose in busy, over-priced and business and image fixated London, you’ll make up for with better food, better libraries and something good for the soul when you walk to the local pub along black tree-lined lanes and no street lights, looking at the moon; and when you stomp through the mud in the cold on a grey Winter afternoon and come home to a beautiful roaring fire.
Relish the bird song and fresh, tangy pig poo over the sound of self-important morons yelling into their mobile phones and the smell of human pee outside pubs.