Thursday, 23 February 2012

Fish out of water

London life (and no kids):
  • you walk 20 minutes to and from the tube station every morning and evening, with a sense of urgency
  • you race up and down escalators and steps and along corridors in said tube stations as if your life depended on it
  • even if it is a lazy Sunday afternoon in the park, you still walk dangerously fast
  • skinny lattes are the drink of choice from the work's coffee shop
  • you eat salads from the work canteen for lunch, only occasionally allowing yourself a little spoonful of croutons sprinkled over the top as a special treat
  • you go out drinking straight after work and forget to eat an evening meal, sometimes fitting in a stint in the gym beforehand
  • you go for a virtuous swim on a Saturday morning before some very speedy clothes shopping, this is because a) you have time, and b) you can afford to
  • the skinny mannequins donning beautiful clothes in shop windows everywhere you look keep you focused

Country life (with kids):
  • you amble from the kitchen to the sitting room while polishing off the kids' peanut butter on toast
  • you live in the middle of nowhere so have to drive EVERYWHERE
  • when you do get to walk, you sedately shuffle along with your slow-moving child through a muddy field
  • hot chocolate is the drink of choice
  • you not only eat your own lunch but you also polish off your kids lunch too, followed by pudding
  • once the kids are in bed, you reward yourself for a hard days work, with a pizza, and a chocolate orange, washed down with a bottle of wine
  • you promise yourself that you will go for a swim every Saturday morning but the combination of a 30 mile round trip to the nearest pool and the guilt you feel about leaving the kids with your husband, means you only go once a year
  • this means that the only exercise you get is when you occasionally get the hoover out
  • living near a town where the nicest shop is Primark you feel utterly uninspired

And so you leave your kids and your country comforts, and go on a jolly to London. You put some mascara on, and get taken to a posh club, and you feel like you have momentarily rediscovered your old self.  Apart from you are two stone heavier.  You feel like a whale, despite tactically wearing black, and placing your favourite (Primark) scarf over your stomach.  Apart from one bloke you spot, you are the only one wearing jeans and Converse. And you bet the bloke didn't get his jeans from Sainsburys.  You are put out that they do not sell cider at the bar.  You get odd looks when you get your camera out to take photos of the decor (to show your kids).

You sit on the platform at Paddington station on Sunday afternoon, feeling knackered from the 3am bedtime the night before.  You feel sad that you are leaving your lovely London, and seek comfort from a Cadbury's Creme Egg.  You reminisce fondly about the night before, but you cannot wait to get home and give your kids the London toy buses you have bought for them, and the giant marshmallows from Hamleys. 

You also look forward to sitting at the bar in your local, unselfconsciously eating a packet of cheese and onion crisps, pint in hand, talking to the landlady about moulting chickens, your children and husband playing bendy dominoes in the background.

You can't wait for the train to get in.  


Emma @mummymummymum said...

Just a night in my local bar would do me :-)

I hope the kids liked the buses and marshmallows. xx

Irene said...

It's called 'home sweet home' isn't it?

Vera said...

I guess that means that you are starting to love your country life rather than city life. It takes time to cross over between the two very different life styles - it has taken me nearly four years. We visited a big town last Saturday (tiles for the new bathroom. Half an hour in town and I was getting dreaful feelings of homesickness for quietness of the farm including our animals. Methinks I am turning into a proper country girl!

Expat mum said...

I'm extremely impressed that the single London girl managed a trip to the gym (sometimes) between work and wine bar. I don't think I even had a gym membership - and despite the copious alcohol intake, I was fairly thin too.

Anonymous said...

I could have written this myself! Country life for me any day.

CJ x

DC said...

I don't miss my single city life at all. There are sometimes I would like the spare dosh to buy some more clothes but until I was with O, there was nobody to see them And you spend your days wondering when the person of your dreams will come along instead of trying to spot a half decent singleton. Then you move in with them in the city. and then you move to the country.

And then it all clicks.

Country living for me baby Yeah! All the way!


Iota said...

Very astute observations. Hope they liked the buses.

Metropolitan Mum said...

Hi country girl! I am wearing jeans and converse most of the time, too, and I never left London. It's fun to read your post and think 'this is how my life could look today' - if we we had moved. As you know, we never made it out of Zone 1. Sometimes i am sad about this, thinking about what could have been. But then I am happy, appreciating all the things that London has to offer. I guess you just can't have your cake...

The mum of all trades said...

Another country girl here too. 3 years in a city while I was at Uni was plenty for me. I could never deal with that pace, too much noise and people who don't make eye contact.

xxx said...

Nothing beats going home to the kids :-) Your blog is gorgeous, I'm so glad I stumbled upon it - looking forward to reading more x