Making a mad dash from London to Hampshire for a meeting at Primrose’s new school one evening last week, I had one precious hour in the car to contemplate life, the universe and new kitchens. Having sold our house in the Big Smoke, we are waiting for solicitors to let us know when all is set with the new ‘cottage’. Moving is tantalisingly close now yet still we are in limbo. Patience I know, dear Reader, is required…. However, I am ready to get packing and start carving up kitchen cabinets and fitting an Everhot! Bombing down the M3 with music blaring, I was lost in these very thoughts as I passed field upon field of glorious oil seed rape all sunshine and dayglow yellow in the evening light.
Turning off the motorway, driving through windy lanes and then up the long school driveway, I wondered what Primrose’s new school might have in store for me that evening. Stepping into a room filled with exceptionally well turned out mummies, I quickly breathed a sigh of relief that I had decided to leave my Barbour in the car. Thank goodness I had also dusted the cobwebs off my Portobello Market ‘Mulberry‘ handbag. Where were the ladies in wellies and tweed? This was, after all, a countryside school. A sea of double barrelled surnames rather than shotguns….I felt cheated, dear Reader. Talk turned to our relocation, choice of village and profession and I felt instantly sidelined – a ‘townie’ in their midst. What was I doing? I was never going to fit in in the countryside if these über-mums were anything to go by. Everyone seemed to live within ten minutes of the school and they all knew each other in that rather annoying “Do you remember when little Johnny did such and such at the May day fair?“. It was like being on the set of Mean Girls. Where was the industrial sized gin when I needed it?! Suddenly I could see that our school run of 25mins each way would probably result in no one wanting to come and play with Primrose after school. Too late to do anything about it now though…..as we were about to exchange on our new house and Jerry was set on living a 15 minute drive away from the best commuter station. I drove back to London and went straight to bed, convinced that moving to the countryside was all a massive mistake.
To make matters worse, Primrose had her own wobble the following morning and decided that she wasn’t going to move. Tears and wailing ensued and cries of “You and Daddy are very mean taking me from all my friends…” Our usual morning chit-chat was replaced with sniffs and blowing of noses as I tried gallantly to save the situation and talk up the advantages of having a bigger garden. Neither of us were convinced to be honest, dear Reader. Nursery drop off completed (tears at the door for the first time), I armed myself with strong coffee and the advice of some very sweet friends and headed off to the park with Poppy and the pup. Woodpeckers, bluebells, a serene herd of deer, giggly toddler and a happy hound…..amazing how a good walk and the sights and sounds of nature at its best can restore a troubled soul. Just enjoying moments looking, listening and being able to marvel at all the things which somehow the hustle and bustle doesn’t allow time for. The countryside makes you want to slow down, take stock and enjoy the simpler things in life, like a good walk. With that mantra firmly in hand, I decided that I was not going to let a little wobble about moving stand in our way, nor the cast of Mean Schoolmums either! Turned out that Primrose had had a change of heart too as she skipped out of the nursery doors with a drawing of our new house in Hampshire in her hand………and despite our little wobbles, we are both smiling about our new life in the countryside.