Stazjia’s Commentary

More differences between town and country

Posted on: July 18, 2008

The White Horse, Cherhill, Wiltshire

The White Horse, Cherhill, Wiltshire

When I lived in London, I was always going somewhere – different stores to the ones where I lived, to work – I never had a job that wasn’t at least 30 minutes travel time away, to meet friends – always in Central London, never nearby.

Now I’m semi-retired or at least not well enough to work, of course a job isn’t a problem. Since we moved to the country I’ve been self-employed and worked from home which I loved. I could have a lie in bed when I wanted knowing I just had to have a quick shower and go downstairs. I could eat my breakfast at my desk if I was too late to have it in the kitchen. I could work hard and clear my desk and take a day off or work at weekend instead of Friday for example. The only travelling I did was to see clients, usually in London. That was about an hour on the train then a cab ride in London.

We mostly get all our food and household stuff locally. We only go to a bigger town when we want something special like a piece of furniture or more expensive clothes. We can buy reasonably priced clothes for every day wear locally.

I mostly wear casual clothes, jeans, tee-shirts, sandals or boots, waterproofs with a hood. In London I never wore a hooded waterproof jacket, I wore a smart raincoat if it was raining and carried an umbrella (that I usually lost!). During the working week I always wore smart clothes, only wearing casual clothes at the weekend. Then I put on make-up everyday, now I don’t.

I still get the best haircut I can afford and I’m lucky because there is an excellent hairdresser in our town.

Today we went to the local farmers’ market in town where there are real farmers selling their own produce. I bought 2 trout and trout pate from a fish farmer, home made brown bread, and organic raspberries – my very favourite fruit.

Salisbury Cathedral by Constable

Salisbury Cathedral by Constable

Sometimes we go to the big Salisbury market on Saturday. It’s a real headache to park, though, and the city is always very crowded with people on market day. This kind of market is such an old fashioned concept that has been taking place for centuries.

I think the car boot (trunk) sales that take place at the weekend all over the country in fields and carparks are a direct descendent of the traditional markets. Here in Wiltshire, the car boot sales are nearly all amateur sellers trying to sell the stuff they no longer use. It works well – one person’s junk is another person’s treasure. A few weeks ago I bought a watercolour painting of a springer spaniel which I thought was lovely. It is nicely framed and glazed and only £2 (about $4).

My own springer spaniel

My own springer spaniel

Almost everywhere we go in Wiltshire, people are pleasant, chatty and smiley, always ready to exchange a word and a joke. It is a complete contrast to London where that didn’t happen much. I suppose it’s because you hardly saw the same people so never got to recognise them or maybe it’s just that there are so many people around in London that people just can’t be bothered or have time to be friendly.

Read my first blog about The Differences Between Town & Country.

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