I walked my dog today. Actually, I walk my dog everyday but something happened to me that would NOT happen anywhere else but in the countryside. I’ll tell you about that in a minute….but it made me think about other “hazards” of living in the countryside.
Walking in fields.
Don’t you just love walking in a green field with your dog or children or both. Striding across a field is the right of the British isn’t it? Visions of buttercups and wild flowers making perfect Instagram shots of dogs, children and dreamy sunshine….Until you very suddenly meet sheep. How do they do that?? Sheep tend to suddenly appear don’t they? Especially when your dog is off the lead! My dog would chase sheep if she could so beware of the hazard of sheep. Oh! And sheep shit….it’s sneaky stuff especially in white trainers. Then of course, there are cows. Cows can be scary and dangerous actually so just don’t walk amongst them basically. Oh and watch out for their shit too because dogs love to roll in it….ugh. And just sometimes you find out that by walking in fields you make your husband allergic to pollen forever…..funny story that. I was trying to be romantic!
Walking….but not on a track, trail or path
Again, that path that looks like it leads to a beautiful glade where you could take some fabulous photographs of the children running through the bluebells? Well. just. don’t. There was a field near me that always had loads of poppies in it laced through the wheat in the summer. People would actually stop their cars to take idyllic shots of their children in the field ffs…….only to be chased away by the farmer. So beware of the hazards of the scary farmer! When I was young we had a game where we had to run away from the farmer……he caught us once. It frightened the living daylights out if me. Never again will I venue down an unmarked track……
The local pub
I love the local pub! Cozy corners, blazing fires, a great pub garden in the countryside! Actually, a proper local is one where everyone knows each other and I mean everyone. The local teacher, the local farmer, a smelly dog, your mum. Just don’t try to have a quiet meal really or go there underage…..My friend and I tried that once when we were about 15 and met…you guessed it, her mum. Unfortunately this also includes the local club or Young Farmers disco….even the bouncers know your friend’s mum…(God, why is it that everyone knows mum!!). I used to hate that! Also, don’t go into the local pub and expect food. Many do offer food but if you ask, they will look at you as if you are bonkers….”food?? No, no, no, sorry luv.”
Getting a mobile signal
Don’t expect a phone signal in the countryside. Things are better than they were but there are limits with service. So again, don’t go down that track to the perfect poppy field expecting to upload photos to social media. Or, don’t rely on your phone to get you to Gertlushville because you will end up down that track and you know that the scary farmer lives down there….
Beautiful bird song and peace and quiet
Ahhhh. The countryside. Waking up to only bird song and not hearing traffic or city noises. Actually the truth is being woken up by owls hooting at 5am or by crows making their nests is soooo noisy! There is also the sounds and sights of mating animals to make anyone blush. Bring it on I say but it can be unexpected when you are imagining being “in tune with nature.”
Culture, fitness classes or popping to the shops.
Now I live quite near to the city of Bath so I could go there for a museum or for the cinema but it’s still a drive.You can’t really “pop” to the shops. In fact, in the country you drive a lot. You can’t really rely on the buses to come on time so you do have to have a car. Hope your car doesn’t break down either as there’s no cafe to pop into whilst waiting for the breakdown truck. You know that scary farmer may turn up and actually help if you hadn’t been caught down his track in the first place? My children get on the bus to go to Bath but they are not that regular and are non-existent after tea time. Here’s you thinking we walk everywhere and that’s why we all have rosy cheeks in the country! No, actually we are all unfit bastards as there are no decent fitness classes either…unless you want everyone to know what you look like in that old pair of leggings. You can guarantee that they will be talking about that in the pub! Oh and the rosy cheeks are possibly due to all the alcohol we consume at home as we can’t just pop to the theatre or try that belly dancing class.
Do NOT change anything about your house.
You want to change the posts on your gate? or to replace the wall with a fence? In fact, do you want to paint your house pink? Don’t. Old Mrs Jones will be round to tell you off! You know her? Yes, she’s married to the scary farmers brothers cousin. You see the pace of life is so slow in the country that everyone remembers EVERYTHING that happens since the dawn of time. The other thing is that everyone knows everything because they all gossip about it at the only pub or shop. There’s no mobile signal you see and she was just on her way to see the Scary Farmer and was “just passing.”
What to wear.
I wish I could “do” fashion but do you know what? There is absolutely no point. I wear jeans, T-shirts, the odd sweatshirt, country boots, jumpers and an old coat. I sometimes wish I could smarten up a bit and I do wear quite nice stuff to work. I have clothes I never wear so now don’t buy them. To be honest, once my lovely white trainers were ruined by sheep shit I decided that long, brown boots are definitely the way forward. They also protect from ticks (yes, really). And jeans are just so practical…..
So, now for what made me think of this blog post…..I was happily walking the dog this morning and could hear that a tractor was coming. I only walk part of the way along a tiny country lane so I often meet no one and very rarely see traffic. The tractor slowed down and the driver told me that as he was pulling a trailer would I mind moving back to the gap in the hedge. So I dutifully did that and he passed by. Thank goodness I thought as I saw his trailer was basically full of shit (he was muck spreading the fields I expect). I carried on to the woodland where I let my dog off the lead. I’m enjoying the sunshine and generally having a relaxing walk. What I didn’t notice was that the same farmer was spreading his muck in the field that runs alongside the woodland…….
Well, I couldn’t get out of his way in time so, you guessed it, I was basically sprayed with flecks of shit! Great…..OH THE JOYS OF LIVING IN THE COUNTRY WHERE SHIT IS EVERYWHERE……
PS I still love it though 🙂
A blog about my life in The Old House, a mum to teenagers, a primary school teacher and my passion for gardening.