Editor's Ramble - Nov 2021

Sat on the train from Paddington heading back to Yatton a few weeks ago, after a gruelling few days in the big smoke of London, the rolling hills, open fields and woodland of the countryside came as a physical and emotional relief; a tangible weight lifting from my shoulders as they came into view out of the carriage window.

It’s moments like these that make you truly appreciate what we have here, how lucky we are to be surrounded by such beauty, in a quiet rural environment, with outside space, fresh air and a pace of life which is not unlike a gentle stream meandering its way through a sunny woodland glade, compared to the fast flowing, noisy, polluted river of city living.

I remember our first few weeks here after moving down from Nottingham, “it’s too quiet”, “it’s too dark”, “nobody understands roundabouts!”, “Our internet is from the 1990s!”

As a city inhabitant for twenty years the things dear to me were all material, shopping malls, pubs and clubs, fast internet etc.

You learn to turn a blind eye to the less endearing aspects of city living. The light, noise and air pollution, traffic and road rage, and the edgy, not quite safe environment of the city, a small price to pay for the “luxuries” of modern living.

We quickly acclimatise to the environment we live in. I remember subsequent trips back to Nottingham for work and my inability to sleep or relax in a hotel room alive with traffic noise & unnatural light from outside, combined with the almost constant human social interactions going on in the street below. Without realising I had adapted to my new environment and was thankful I could return to it (aside from the woeful internet connection, I never miss that when I am away!)

It’s fair to say that now, nearly 8 years after moving, my needs are more spiritual than material. The quality of life and well-being provided by a rural setting, surrounded by nature, shielded from the frantic bustle which consumes many without the same privileges as I now enjoy. Being able to look out of my office window at the trees on the hill, while the horses with their coats on canter playfully, a bird of prey circling high above them, is a pleasure enjoyed countless times during the working day. But it’s now almost throw away, I know it’s there, I’ve taken it for granted, it’s normal.

I remind myself to focus on what we have rather than what we don't. It’s special.


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