This week, I’m introducing to you a new guest editor, Lauren of The Tartan Devil. After a gin-fuelled bonding session in London over the summer, it seemed only right to offer a spot on the blog to Lauren and here she presents her argument for city vs. country living…
I’ve lived in 13 houses. That’s 13 cutlery drawers, 13 sets of keys and 13 toilets at a slightly different heights, so when you first move in, you get a fright when you sit down. Three years ago, I was living in South London and working on Oxford Street. Now I’m up on the North Coast of Scotland where the nearest shop is four miles away. We do have a pub at the end of the road, though. You can always rely on Scots to get their priorities right.
I’ve lived in big cities and tiny villages and love them both for very different, often opposing, reasons. Here are some of them…
I will never understand the people who fly down the stairs in Tube stations and attempt to prise open the doors of the carriage before it leaves without them… even though another one will probably be along in three minutes. You know how long I have to wait on a bus if I miss mine? Over three hours! And it doesn’t run at the weekend! I bet the District and Circle line doesn’t look so bad now, does it? (Who am I kidding, that Tube line is the absolute worst.)
Eating out as a vegetarian
On my recent trip to London, I went out for a birthday meal with a group of pals that included a mix of vegetarians and vegans. No problem. We headed to Mildred’s in Soho and I had the best curry I’ve ever tasted. Back home, it’s slim pickings for anyone with dietary restrictions. A lot of the livelihoods revolve around farming and vegetarianism hasn’t quite caught on yet. As much as I’d love a veggie branch of Pret, I don’t see one opening locally any time soon.
Museums and other free stuff
My rent, bills and travel were crippling when I lived in London and made up 70% or more of my pay every month. Luckily, there is a lot of free stuff to do in London that prevented me spending all my days off eating crisps on the sofa. Because I’m a twat, I like to go to the Tate Modern and see what “art” they are serving up for us. My favourite dreadful installation was a piece of white paper. Really. That was a thing.
As I said, Scottish people get their priorities straight and I am no exception. A night out in London meant a hip flask hidden from the bouncers at the bottom of my bag. In Scotland, no matter how skint I am, a night out isn’t going to break the bank which means never disappointing my friends, and a decent G&T rather than a £4 bottle of wine.
As I become more conscientious about what I eat, yet still lack any form of self control when it comes to biscuits, I’m always looking for ethical alternatives to my dietary staples. Since having to give up bread (but not chocolate digestives, apparently), my morning toast has been replaced by scrambled eggs. My friend Kerry has hens in her garden and if they lay any eggs they go into an honesty box for the neighbours. I see the happy, much loved hens who lay my eggs and that’s something I would never get in a city.
In a city, it’s very easy to be anonymous. As someone who likes their own company and has suffered from pockets of depression, that can be unhealthy. I once had a long weekend off work in London when my flatmate was working night shifts. I realised upon my return to work that I hadn’t spoken to a single person for three days. In my village, that would be near impossible. If I go for a run, I’ll bump into someone I know and stop for a chat. My boyfriend’s mum lives over the road from us. When I’m circling the drain of depression, it’s easy to pop my shoes on, nip to the pub and force myself to socialise with people; there will always be someone I know to have a blether with instead of staying in bed for a cry. Moving to the country is the best thing I’ve ever done… sorry London!