Today as I trudged around the village recreation ground I pondered on the pros and cons of living in the country. The country being the countryside of England; actually the very middle of England. I live about 120 miles to the sea going east, west and south. Going north the sea is blocked by Scotland so you can’t count that. My nearest BIG city is Birmingham, about twenty miles away, and then there is Coventry to one side of me and Leicester on the other, both about ten miles away. (I would point out here that in the UK a City is a town that has a cathedral or has been given City status. It’s not just any large conurbation, those are towns; smaller ones are villages).
In between these cities and me there are several smaller towns and villages, and when you take into account the roads and the railways, that means there’s not really much countryside at all. It’s a wonder we manage to grow enough food to feed us! But that’s what it’s like in England. It is small and compact, not like the wide open spaces of the USA, Canada and Australia (and any other country that has wide open spaces, I can’t be expected to know them all) where you can go miles without seeing a building let alone a town. Where people think nothing driving hundreds of miles for a quick trip to the shops!
So what is it like living in a village in the heart of England. Not what it used to be, for sure. Big supermarkets have virtually wiped out the local village shop, it simply can’t compete with the prices. Which is a shame because we would much rather walk to the shop than have to get in the car and drive, even if it is only a couple of miles.
On the plus side we still have three pubs and a club in the village, although none are actually thriving. I put this down to the aging population. The customers keep getting older and don’t want to come out any more. Or worse, some have actually had the audacity to shuffle off this mortal coil.
But the best thing about living in a village is the peace and quiet. You can sit on a bench in the rec and hear – absolutely nothing, no traffic, no trains, just the gentle breeze in the trees and some birds singing. Inspirational. That is when you have a day that is warm enough to stop and sit on a bench. Such days have been few and far between this summer, I can tell you.
It is the perfect environment to sit and write, to let ideas flow and words drip out of your fingertips. Would I swap it for a town or city just to be nearer to the shops? Never. Would I swap it for a place in the sun that is equally quiet? Tempting. I’d have to think about that quite hard.
The great thing about writing is that it can be done anywhere. At least anywhere that has power to run my computer, I couldn’t do this by hand, I’d never be able to read what I write. And as long as there is internet access I can keep in touch with the rest of the world, talk to my publishing partner, keep things going without ever leaving home.
So as peace descends over the heart of England, watch out for more great writing coming your way from Blue Hour Publishing and its growing band of authors.
See you on Amazon!!