There is quite a joke in our house at the moment regarding one of my favourite television programmes. I don't watch a lot of tv during the day and when Zach is at nursery, the tv is off all day. That is until 3pm when Escape to the Country comes on. I love it and the joke is that Zach knows I love it and regularly refers to it in conversation. My mum loves it too and when she is here, we watch it together oooing and ahhing over the rolling hills, the acre wide gardens and the big country farmhouses with gorgeous Aga filled kitchens, grand hallways and free standing bathtubs. It is the stuff of dreams – the stuff of my dreams.
What has become of this however, is that I have spent a lot of time on Rightmove looking for country properties. After sending them over to the other half, he has then been on Rightmove looking at country properties! We have had some serious conversations about moving to the country when we see just the kind of house that we could be living in, the kind that I dream of and the kind that I would just love to be bringing my boys up in.
So what is the problem you ask?
Well, the main answer is that he still needs to be able to commute into London and with the journey times looking at around 2 hours each way and the cost being around 600-700 a month – it is just not feasible. If we did it, he would never see the boys in the week and that for him is simply a no. Even though he only sees them for a short time in the morning and evening, he is home when they wake up and home for bedtime most nights and I wouldn't want that to change either.
And so the reality of the situation (despite him still sending me houses through via email), is that we will stay put where we are. And really, that isn't such a bad thing.
Nobody wants us to move anyway. Our whole family live pretty nearby. My mum is 20 minutes down the road, my sister, half an hour. The other half's parents are about 40 minutes away and his brother about half an hour. In reality it would be blooming stupid to move away from that support network. It would be stupid to move the boys away from their whole family at such a young age. When grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins are such an important part of their lives.
Yes, we could be living in a lovely detached four bedroom house instead of our terraced two bedroom one but really, we are already in the countryside. We are just so close to London, so close the M25 and all of the busy roads that surround it, that it's easy to forget what we have on our doorstep. It's particularly easy to forget in the winter, when we spend more time indoors, that we do have rolling countryside within easy reach.
With Spring arriving this past week, we have been able to enjoy what we have. Able to remind ourselves that we do live in the countryside. We just have the bonus of a small shopping centre across the road, a little Tesco's round the corner. The bonus of being surrounded by schools, having two train stations that take us pretty quickly into London. The bonus of being surrounded by absolutely awesome things that the boys will be able to enjoy as they get older, whether that be jumping on a train to a gig or kayaking down the nearby canal.
What we have is beautiful, easily accessible and overall, absolutely perfect for us at this time of our lives. I know that people move away from their families all of the time. People relocate jobs. People change their lives. I know it's do-able and maybe one day in the future we will do that. But for now, we'll put that dream of the big house in the country on hold and enjoy what we have got. I mean really, I can't actually complain about having all of this within walking distance!