Our first year of civilisation is almost complete. Cold, damp, mould and rivers of water running down the insides of the windows are a distant memory. Neighbours we have discovered are in fact lovely people. They are keen to chat, help and be helped and have enriched our lives in many ways. Again this has been a revelation. Rural life as described in glossy magazines and high-end estate agents verbiage is a myth. The realities are much colder, damper, more isolating and lonely than it is possible to imagine. Rural folk are not, in general, neighbourly people keen for a chat and to while away half an hour drinking coffee and admiring your vegetable garden. They are busy farmers driving huge tractors at death-defying speeds down country lanes, they work away five days a week in the city and come home to collapse and recover at the weekends or cantankerous pensioners who take pleasure in your discomfort, while telling you that what you have is indeed luxurious compared to the draughty barn they were brought up in. I look back now from the safety of a centrally heated office and wonder how we lasted eleven years.
Our first year has had a number of ups and downs. My eldest daughter came to stay for a couple of weeks to escape relationship that was in tatters. Six months later she moved back to the tattered relationship with hopes of re-building it and a quiet peace and normality has descended. On the upside, my beautiful wife has discovered she is extremely bright and is completing an access course so she can begin nurse training next year. So far all distinctions and merits.
My round-up is almost at an end. All is now well in our lives and looks like it might stay that way for a while. We’ll see.