No Going Back…(unless you have a Facebook account)

We made the move from the suburbs of Surrey, just a 20 minute train journey away from the wonderful (if slightly stinky) London to live amongst sheep, tractors, bunnies and birdsong in the middle of the country. We are now an hour and a half train journey away from London but a £100 return ticket instead of £16. I think I can safely say the honeymoon period is over. Not in a bad way but in a ‘we do actually really live here now and there’s no going back’ kinda way.

Initially it felt like we were on holiday; a converted barn, log fires, country walks, climbing peaks, bunnies in the garden, hares in the fields, owls twit terwoo-ing in the tree outside the house, country pubs and gin & tonics, friends visiting all the time. The visitors have certainly tailed off. That trip around the M25 and those M1 road works when you have a car full of children screaming/puking but you’re not even at Watford Gap can take the shine off things a little bit as the two-hour journey seeps into a four-hour road trip from hell.

The weather lulled me into a false sense of security last summer. This year, so far, I have worn short sleeves and sandals once. ONCE! That might not bother me so much if it wasn’t for the modern day net curtains that is Facebook. Oh, how I sometimes curse Facebook, and not just because of the constant barrage of lost dogs or animals without skin pictures. As much as it’s great seeing friends and family from far away, I feel I have become Hyacinth Bucket. Hiding behind the polyester nets that could do with a wash, twitching them, then saying to the husband, “Oh, such and such are in Hyde Park London having a picnic eating strawberry ice cream with sprinkles wearing (gasps) SHORTS! So and so are at The Shard taking photos of the BLUE sky drinking Champagne,  oh and you know blah de blah, well they’re …” Not that I’m trying to keep up with the Joneses. How can I when they are currently on vacation in Seattle? The lucky blighters.

Only for me it really isn’t about social climbing, like it was for Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced Bouquet).  Honest. It’s just in ye olden days when you moved house, you moved to a new area and never looked back, unless you went for a return visit. You found out what people were up to via a yearly circular that came at Christmas. Now I can see my kids old school friends are at the circus, my friends are happily out eating curries without me 200 miles away (I mean, can you believe their life didn’t come to a complete standstill when I moved? Nah, me neither), and on a day when the River Thames is looking particularly spectacular with the sun going down on it and there are friends enjoying a Pimms outside a pub on the riverbank,  I’m sat shivering in front of my much adored log fire…that is starting to lose its appeal because we’re in JUNE!

When you’re trying to settle in a new place, Facebook flings pictures at you that could make even the hardiest person crumble. And they just keep coming like a carrot on a stick dangling menacingly with an eerie voice saying, ‘Ooh look what you could be doing, but instead you’re warming your back on that fire again aren’t you?’ Yes I am. It’s bloody cold. I know, I know, it’s all about looking forward and not back, and in the wise words of my fave little pocket rocket Dolly Parton, if you want the rainbow, you’ve gotta put up with the rain and we’re certainly not short of that up here…


Facebook in the olden days


5 thoughts on “No Going Back…(unless you have a Facebook account)

  1. My heart crys out to you sister in law, as I read your blog on the veranda of my hotel looking out on the beach and the sea behold in Dubai as the evening sun is still shouting out 35 degrees at 7.30pm, just before I go off the Marina to eat in any of the many beautiful restaurants. All work of course dear sis-in law but so sorry you are having a chilly day xx Hope Crumps & the beautiful girls are well. See you soonxx


  2. I keep reading Your posts and envy Your instagram feed with backdrops of outstanding British country side. If I listen really carefully, it is as if I can hear that charming logg fire burning and owls reminding me that there are more natural sounds than the voice on the underground nagging about overcrowding and the importance of bringing a water bottle for hot summer days, not to mention the never ending gaps.

    One thing is for sure, looking down from the Shard with a champagne glass in my hand, the grass is greener on Your side. Not only on social media, but also in real life!

    Linnéa x



  3. Haha – Jo – I absolutely LOVE your honesty – it’s all so true. My current obsession, is trying not to check the house prices on my old road in South London since I discovered that if we had held on for a few years we could have bought our current house twice – with cash!! Looking back is a nasty business, as it’s so easy to forget the not so pleasant aspects – the ones that enticed you to make the big move in the first place. Whilst I daydream about the delights and convenience of innercity living, It’s easy to forget that on my last day on my local high street, i fought over a parking space with a group of young men (I won) who then double parked next to me, disappeared into the bank and came running out minutes later wielding a safety deposit box full of money whilst throwing a menacing look in my direction – oh, and with a couple of security guards hard on their tail. They’d just robbed my local building society, and I had nearly scuppered their ability to get away by being a ‘GRUMPY LONDONER’…whoops!

    As for Facebook – it’s all smoke and mirrors. Shortly after consuming those ice creams/curries/cocktails they were all chased by unlicensed, pavement defacating Pitt Bull Terriers with stud collars – but that doesn’t make such a pretty picture!

    Paula xxx


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