I wasn’t born in the country.  Being a country-woman (or man) isn’t necessarily a matter of either nature or nurture but heart.  I grew up in the suburbs and later lived in the South before returning to the Midlands where I lived in town.  But I’d always had a hankering for a country cottage with roses round the door, a vegetable garden, and chickens scratching about.  In this insane Helen Allingham-esque fantasy, I’d simultaneously waft round the garden in a flowing frock and straw hat whilst being a total domestic goddess, baking cakes and making jam.  It would always be summer except for when it was Christmas. The cottage would have beams, a real fire, and, of course, an Aga in which I’d cook delicious rabbit casseroles.  I might have contemplated having a gun and shooting the rabbits myself, except I can’t imagine being able to cut the head off one.

Fast forward more years than I care to admit and a couple of relationships later, and I find myself living that dream life.  Sort of.  My partner and I do live in a cottage with beams but it’s rented from the National Trust.  We have a woodburner in the sitting room but the Rayburn is a sodding beast (I’ve called it worse but I’m being polite).  And there’s definitely no wafting going on.

Instead, I live in either jeans or walking gear.  I spend my life in wellies, up to my ankles in mud and chicken poo.  I have an allotment since I can’t dig up a garden I don’t actually own, but it’s not producing anything other than raspberries yet, for reasons I’ll go into in a future post.  I dream of gas central heating and electric showers, and lust after real cookers that actually cook things.

Would I move back to a town or city?  Not on your bloody life!