One year of country life

Dawn over Basingstoke Common

A year ago today, we packed up our bags and left the Big Smoke. I won’t deny that I had some anxiety about it; leaving friends and (my) family, introducing a 2.5 hour a day commute, having to drive everywhere and more, and with Emily (then merely "Hippo") on the way, it was a fairly hectic experience.

Looking back on the first year of this new life, I have absolutely no regrets. I’ve had barbecues from Spring through Autumn, played with my daughter on our big lawn, grown and eaten veg straight off the plants and fruit off the trees, run and cycled through village after village, made local friends via the NCT, discovered the joy of jumble, DIY and more, and am enormously enjoying the lifestyle. We’ve even found good local Indian and Chinese takeaway restaurants and discovered Papa Johns.

It’s been a fantastic first year. I still miss my friends but many of them are being good enough to visit with some regularity and I’m getting better at heading up for London nights out here and there.

Here’s to what comes next.