- Be realistic about country life.
It’s not all roses round the door. You may come across the occasional dead lamb in a field. Farmers sometimes shoot foxes and rabbits might chomp their way through your veg patch. Mole catchers string their victims’ bodies on wires … no, seriously – just don’t ask me why! And petrol is more expensive in rural areas, as are other things.
- Consider your future needs before taking the plunge.
Are you likely to need regular visits to a doctor in the next few years? Will you still be able/want to drive? Is there a bus service? How far is the nearest supermarket or school, and will you be able to get there in bad weather? See tip no.1.
- Friends matter but don’t expect to make them overnight.
There are no shortcuts and you can’t force it; it takes time and effort. https://countryrealist.com/tag/friends/
- The local community is crucial so get stuck in with it.
Unless you have people queuing up to be friends on your arrival, join the local bee-keeping club, wine circle or scuba diving club – whatever floats your particular boat, so long as you’re getting out there and meeting like-minded people.
- Support local events.
Help out with well-dressings, flower festivals, and fund raising events. God knows what my offering for the flower festival will look like but it’ll be fun doing it. If you’re completely cack-handed, turn up in person to buy cakes, second hand goods, and offer support of the pecuniary kind. Read more here https://countryrealist.com/tag/village-life/
- Avoid rocking the boat.
On Twitter recently, there was the story of a farmer whose new neighbours kept lodging official complaints about the smells emanating from his farm. I mean, seriously?! You don’t want everyone thinking you’re the neighbour from hell – make sure you know what you’re letting yourself in for before taking the plunge (see tip no.1).
- The country is a working place.
Farms do smell, and are noisy at times (tip no.1 again!). Livestock represent a huge investment of time and money so treat cattle with respect and keep dogs on leads round sheep. Ask visitors to park considerately; at the May Market, one visitor double-parked and caused chaos because farm traffic couldn’t get through.
- Chickens make great pets!
They’re no trouble to look after and just need a balanced food, fresh water, and a clean, safe place to sleep and lay their eggs. With their funny ways and their little puk-puk noises, they’re so endearing. Those amazing eggs are just a fantastic bonus. Read more here https://countryrealist.com/category/chickens/
- The great outdoors is fabulous for your physical and emotional wellbeing.
I can practically feel tension and stress sliding off my shoulders when I’m on the allotment. When I’m digging and pulling weeds I don’t think about work. At all. Get your name on the allotment waiting list – you might get lucky like I did! Read all about it here https://countryrealist.com/tag/allotment/
- Weather is king.
In a farming community it really does rule everything that goes on. In good weather, silaging might go on til 10pm. In the snow we had early in the year, I couldn’t get to work, but had to defreeze the hens’ water every couple of hours (and we’re back to tip no.1!). Follow the link to read more https://countryrealist.com/tag/weather/
This boils down to tip no.1 – being realistic and doing your homework. If you’ve done that, and you’re convinced the country is the place for you, go for it. It’s an amazing place to live – good luck!
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