Yesterday was a glorious day.
You’ll probably know this if you’re reading from anywhere in the UK, as by all accounts, it was lovely everywhere. In a (rare) fit of motivation (probably still drunk from X Factor madness), I managed to drag my chap away from the X Box which was no mean feat, I assure you; and headed out into the vast lushness of the Yorkshire countryside that surrounds the suburb of Leeds that we live in.
For those of you who don’t know, we moved house recently, to a leafy, green and all round pleasant area of Leeds – yes, I was shocked to find Leeds had such areas too – and I absolutely love it. I was chatting to my friend about this shift in gears from my city centre (ish) flat in the very heart of urbanity to this suburban leafy paradise, a million miles away (well, about six, actually) from the hustle and bustle of city life that I professed to love.
I, like many other women my age, have grown up surrounded by ‘city girl’ female role models. From the bumbling yet somehow successful Bridget Jones with her London pad and her cosmopolitan mates, to Rachel Green and her job at Ralph Lauren in New York, to Carrie and her endless dates, to countless faceless femme fatales who litter the pages of chick lit novels; making it big in the big city. So it comes as no surprise that I spent a fair few years thinking I was born to live in an ‘apartment’ (read: small, poky flat in a rather questionable part of town), spending my evenings guzzling post-work cocktails with the gang from the office, battling crowded pavements, traffic jams, lack of parking, enjoying no sense of community, inflated prices and no greenery as far as the eye could see.
I was convinced that city life was for me. Or at least I’d managed to convince myself that I was convinced that city life was for me. If that makes sense.
Then, somehow, I ended up moving out to the sticks. I don’t remember how it happened exactly, but it involved a greater proximity to my office in Bradford and a letting agent showing us around a flat that we hadn’t booked to see. It probably helped that on the day, glorious sunshine was streaming through the windows, the trees were an explosion of green, we were a stone’s throw from the local village shops and a real ale pub down the road, we met neighbours who said hello to each other and it felt like home.
When I was chatting to my friend about it, he rightly pointed out that I’d basically moved back to a carbon copy of the small Yorkshire town we’d grown up in. I was pretty surprised by this, but it’s true. I’ve tried the whole city girl thing and it just all felt a bit hollow to me. Now, I can walk out of my door and in five minutes be immersed in a magical woodland kingdom or be strolling by the canal, saying hello to the ducks.
I might not be Carrie, Bridget or anyone in any chick lit book you’ve ever read; but that suits me just fine. I feel at home for the first time in years and I’m happy.