A few things that I plan to do in Devon…after U for unpacking…
A is for admiring amazing scenery
B is for birdwatching
C is for cooking
D is for drawing
E is for eating homegrown, homemade, and local food.
F is for fruit growing
G is for gardening
H is for hiking the coast path
I is for inviting friends to stay
J is for jam-making
K is for Kilner jars for all that jam
L is for Lundy visits
M is for moth trapping
N is for natural history recording in the garden
O is for outdoor lifestyle
P is for photography
Q is for quiches I shall make
R is for riding on the beaches and moors
S is for surfing and swimming
T is for teas…Cream teas….Lots of cream teas…
U is for understanding the country way of life
V is for vegetable growing
W is for walking on Exmoor
X is for exploring North Devon
Y is for….dunno, can’t think of a Y…
Z is for the quality sleep I shall have after doing all of that!
While we wait impatiently for our moving date to arrive, all we can do is prepare ourselves as much as possible for our new life. We study the local map, planning future walks and days out. We look up where our local shops and suppliers will be, hoping for fresh fish from the harbour, and fresh vegetables from local farms.
We pore over the pictures of the house, considering placement of furniture and possible colour schemes. Green in the bedroom? Autumn colours in the living room? We will know better once we are there what will suit the property, but it is fun to dream.
We dwell on the benefits our new life will have, such as beautiful scenery to tempt us out walking whatever the weather. We will get fitter with all the gardening that will need doing. And our water will be soft, so no more furred up kettles and shower-heads.
There will be a down side, of course. I will miss my family and friends, but I am sure they will come and visit as often as possible. I will tempt them with the promise of cream teas…
I was brought up in a village in Surrey, with towns and bustle not far away. But our little community lay protected in a bend in the river, surrounded by broad flood plains, so we had our own small piece of countryside. From a young age I roamed the sandy footpaths and tangled woods near home, and once I was allowed out on my bicycle I explored much farther afield.
I climbed gnarled oak trees, explored every track and lane, and cycled the towpath alongside the river. My friend and I used to hang around at the locks and help the narrowboats with the lock gates. Sometimes we would be rewarded with a ride on the boat to the next lock – in those days an innocent act of kindness which would horrify most parents today – myself included!
I left home to work in London, then married and moved to a market town in Hertfordshire where my husband and I have raised a family. We all enjoy being outdoors, and I have never lost my love of walking and nature. Now the children have flown the nest, we have decided to realise our dream of moving to the countryside, so that we can have a more relaxed lifestyle, a bigger garden, and beautiful countryside to explore.
We have settled upon North Devon, as we have spent many happy holidays in the area, and love its mix of sandy beaches, cliff paths, peaceful moors and wooded valleys. Our house is sold, and we have chosen a nice solid stone barn conversion with over an acre of garden, just a few minutes drive from the coast. I can’t wait to move, and be a country girl again!