Saturday, 26 July 2008

Country LIfe

There is something about living in the country that cannot compare. Our village is probably much like any other village, it has it's own rhythmn and traditions. I love the familiarity of country life as each month unfolds into the next. January brings our first Wine & Wisdom and is the start of the yearly round of fundraising. Mothering Sunday is very special and all the children of the village give posies of flowers to us Mum's. I still remember when Isabel was first born and one of the congregation plucked her gently from my arms, took her up to the vicar who handed her a small bunch of primroses. It made her laugh and I had finally joined the sisterhood.

The annual fete has now been and gone and raised over £4000 this year. Tradition is important, with maypole dancing and a brass band. The tea urn bubbles away and the hot water is poured into old fashioned brown teapots.

Around us the crops in the fields are ripening and the valley is now a blanket of gold on all sides. The sun beats down and the insects buzz and dance in crazy circles. The hair sticks to the back of your neck and your feet kick up the dust.

The lack of rain makes everything look lightly jaded now.

The cows and sheep huddle together under whatever shade they can find.

There is as much or as little to do as the fancy takes you. We have a keep fit group, art classes, bell ringing, bee keeping. Our W.I has around 30 members and we have a done everything from indian head massage to belly dancing!

Autumn sees the harvest festival, another steadfast tradition, something to look forwards to for when else can you sing "we plough the fields and scatter". We have an auction night to raise money for a school in Africa which we sponsor. Such a fun way of getting people to donate and where else would you pay £5 for a marrow or £6 for a jar of Mrs P's homemade strawberry jam. (That was man person and his arch rival in these matters).

This is Isabel's tree on the village green, planted for her first birthday in 2000. We have watched it burst into life each spring and drop it's leaves in the autumn ready for it's winter sleep... continuity, a feeling of being part of something. When she is an old lady, she will hopefully be able to tell her grandchildren that "this is my tree".

I love being a part of this village and look forward to each event as it's turn approaches, tradition, continuity, memories stored away for future reference.

Dev X


Herzblatt said...

Hi Dev,
wonderful, your pictures, it really looks very similar to where I live. Did I send you pictures??
I love living in a small village, too. It`s so quiet and the contact to people around is more intensive than in a big city. Sometimes we visit my son who lives in Berlin with his family. It is a very interesting city and I love being there but after some days I also love coming back to my village.
My daughter loves living in a village, too but my son prefers this big city and he never will come back.
best wishes

Sal said...

I love the idea of Isabel having her own tree.
You can't beat living in the countryside! ;-)

Curlew Country said...

Oh Dev this was just the most beautiful, atmospheric post that sums up just how I feel about living in the countyrside too. I adore the pictures (especially the bunting!) and your descriptions - just like reading Susan Hill's Magic Apple Tree which, now I've finished all her non-fiction books, I've been craving something more of the same so thanks ever so much.
Hope the weather holds for you.

Heidi Ann said...

Hi Devina, What an absolutely lovely post! Your descriptions of life in a rural area is just charming! A few years ago our family live in a very rural area of upstate New York state. It looked surprisingly like your area!...& I loved it!!! Thank you for taking me back to the countryside today!..Enjoy your day!...Heidi XO

Marja Kristiina said...

Don't worry about it, Dev! I was just showing my effort of beautifying the overhead rangehood but everybody thought it was hideous.

I'll be back in a bit to read through your lovely post carefully and to leave a comment on that.

Marja Kristiina said...

Dear Dev, upon finishing reading this post I had tears in my eyes. What an absolutely lovely tribute to your village, beautifully written; it was like a wonderful, peaceful, yet colorful painting had been placed before my very eyes.

You are truly, truly blessed to be living in such a caring rural community, as an important part of it, amidst all the traditions and events and joyously seasonal gatherings.

Sure, life is not peaches and cream anywhere, and one usually struggles with the same problems in England as well as in Finland but it's lovely how you can find comfort and solace in your peaceful countryside.

Marja Kristiina said...

Thank you, dear Dev!

My town is some 40,000+ people. I know our immediate neighbors but that's about it. The people living in the two houses closest to us are also the ones that we sometimes do things with (BBQ and so forth). Other than that, we only socialize with friends that me and my husband have from childhood, school, university and work and none of them live in the same town.

So no, don't really have that sense of belonging you described. Sometimes I really miss it.

But in a way I also like my space. I lived in the States in a village of 2,000 people and it was at times really tough to have everybody know everybody's business. You know.

I'd love to live out in the country, I really would.

Marja Kristiina said...

PS. Have forgotten to tell you: my daughter's middle name is Isabella :-)