Friday, 2 January 2009

Pros and cons of country living

It's been almost a year since we moved to rural (well, fairly rural) Bucks, so it seems to be a good time to look back on the pros and cons of having made the move out of central London.  

On balance I'd say we definitely made the right move - very friendly local community (we actually know all of our neighbours), the school seems really good (will be able to judge that properly when she actually starts next week, gulp!), we could afford a house with a garden, and the countryside is very beautiful.  We went on a lovely walk this morning along a bridlepath, through two woods (or copses, or whatever the technical term might be) and it was gorgeous (pic below), although very cold.  Well, cold for the UK anyway - I've got some colleagues who live in Minneapolis and go ice fishing, so I guess I can't really complain about the cold when it's only 2C.  As my colleague says, "there's no such thing as too cold, only the wrong clothes". I still can't imagine living somewhere where temperatures can fall to -24C, or more.  Ridiculous.

All of the downsides we've found so far have been fairly minor irritations: we're right at the end of the Tube line so the commute into town to go to work feels very long, particularly when the train crawls past our old station after about an hour of travelling.  And having to get timed trains, rather than any old Tube, takes some getting used to.   But the worst thing is the takeaway issue - Brent had great ethnic takeaway food (as it should - being white and English actually put us in an ethnic minority in Brent!), but Bucks is severely lacking in this department so far.  However, Husband is ordering Chinese tonight from a place we drove past the other day, and this may solve the problem.  Based on past experience with the Chinese places we've tried so far I'm not holding out much hope.  Will save a draft of this post for now, and update on quality of Chinese later on this evening! 

OK, the food has been ordered, collected and consumed, and the scores are in......and the results show that the Peking Empire scores a not particularly grand 6 out of 10.  Which still makes it the best place we've found in the last 12 months.  Taste-wise it was not bad, but not much sauce so it was a bit dry.  On the plus side, it actually tasted "right" - some of the others we've had have been so bad as to be inedible.....yuk.

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