A Day In The Life In The Country

ruth crilly family life

There’s going to be a follow-up video to this video, and it’s going to be called Should I Move To The Country? Because I fear that I might have made moving to the country seem like a no-brainer decision in my latest Day In The Life; I feed the chickens as the sun comes up, walk the dog as it sets again, do some work at Babington House and walk around the garden, completely unobserved by another soul, wearing pyjamas and a pair of walking boots. It seems (at least to me) pretty perfect.

To be fair, I could have really hammed up the joys of life in the country – pulled a pie from the AGA whilst a muddy dog snoozes by my feet, filmed myself lying under the stars, the total and utter silence broken only by the manic hooting of the Noisy Owl Collective that lives in our garden. I could have filmed Mr AMR (or his silhouette, being the secretive man that he is) bringing wood in for the fire or doing something practical in a muddy Landrover, if he owned a Landrover, or I could have filmed the house from across the hedgerows and green fields, the windows warmly lit and the chimneys swirling wisps of smoke.

And even though I didn’t do any of these things – I just told it as it is – I sometimes suspect that, to many people, life in the country might seem like an obvious, “dream life” decision. Not always so. Which is why I want to follow this up with a video I’ve been meaning to film for a while; a wild and honest ramble through the pros and cons of moving to the country.

Because for me, it was something that I’ve always wanted – I hate noise, I hate crowds, I hate the sound of trains and planes and automobiles; I crave fresh air and open spaces and I like relatively big distances between me and my neighbours… But for some, it’s not the right decision at all – and even though I don’t regret our move one bit, there are still things that have surprised me about moving away from London and into the sticks, things that have (I’ll admit) dismayed me ever so slightly.

So I’d love to get down a comprehensive list of dos and don’ts, pros and cons for those who are thinking of taking the plunge – if anyone else has done a big move to somewhere rural, please feel free to add your own comments at the bottom of the page and I’ll try to include those in the video too.

For now, here’s my Day In The Life. Kids, pets, chickens, mud and a rare trip to the local Soft Play. (I have recently discovered the benefits of Soft Play centres. They’re amazing, aren’t they, once your kids are old enough to throw themselves down a foam ramp without breaking their necks? You look up every now and then to check on them, but otherwise you can just about get through the whole of Elle Deco before you need to get back home for lunch…)

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  1. Hannah
    January 17, 2019 / 9:38 am

    Country life! Ah, where to start.

    I’ve only lived in a city as a student, and for 12 years we’ve lived in a hamlet in LE16. The nearest shop is 6 miles and the nearest source of milk is a garage 4 miles away. You quickly learn not to run out of anything. Another pain is no delivered takeaways, we have to drive 15 miles round for one!

    The good thing is you know everybody. The bad thing is that everybody knows you too! Memories are long and no social misdemeanour ever forgotten. If you’re going to miss the harvest festival you’d better have a concrete excuse ready. I’ve literally been questioned about my laundry habits by someone who christened me Mrs Washing Line!

    The biggest bind by far is the amount of driving. There is no public transport whatsoever and taxis cost a fortune. Even without kids, I rack up 14,000 miles a year. Once you’ve got all the way home after work it’s difficult to motivate yourself to go out again, so my social life’s taken a battering especially in the evenings.

    The good side is the dark, peace and quiet; clean air and the sense of safety for us and our pets. There is no crime and the odd time the dog’s got out neighbours have quickly returned her.

    Nothing’s ever wholly good or wholly bad, is it?

  2. Elle
    January 15, 2019 / 9:15 pm

    I made the leap to buy somewhere just outside Frome recently, having felt the need in my mid-thirties for some escape from the incessant pace of London. One of the pros is how fantastic everybody working on the refurbishment has been. I may have just been lucky in finding a great team, but it has made the whole process far easier (and less expensive) than I imagined. I still have to work in London, but am self-employed so lucky enough to spend some days working with a view of the river (and “my” family of swans that I’ve been watching grow over the last few months!). The only major downside so far is the crazy cost of train tickets and the predictable engineering works over any holiday period… Glad you love the area as much as I do!

  3. Rebecca
    January 15, 2019 / 2:31 am

    This video was so sweet. You must be so proud of the life and family you’ve built. What a magical place for Angelica and Ted to grow up. Hope you’re finally feeling settled after all the moving!

  4. S Kettley
    January 14, 2019 / 3:00 pm

    I love you and I love this. This could be me- bar the fact I’m in a tiny bungalow and expecting another baby lol gahhhhhh

  5. Kate B
    January 14, 2019 / 2:34 pm

    That was a great video Ruth, hilarious the getting out of the house bit, I only have one little boy a bit younger than ted and it takes us about an hour to get out the house! And 2 activities in a day (soft play and walk in woods) is LOADS of stuff to fit in!!

    • January 14, 2019 / 4:18 pm

      When people say “oh I just pop with the kids to the park” and I think HOW?!!!!!!!

  6. Rachel
    January 14, 2019 / 11:26 am

    The biggest possible ‘con’ always seemed the commute. I imagine, with your job that you don’t need to commute daily into London. If you do decide to do a followup vlog, I would be curious what your husband’s take is on his presumably(?) longer commute into the city, and/or if the move meant you two had to change your work so that you don’t have to commute too often.

    • January 14, 2019 / 4:19 pm

      He’s never had a commute either, he’s a portrait photographer so never works every day, just when he’s wanted! But yeah it’s a ball ache for him as he has to drive with all of his equipment.

  7. Clare Shah
    January 14, 2019 / 11:12 am

    Great video, seems like normal family life to me…and you are right, keeping everyone safe and happy IS the thing! Just wanted to comment on what you said about jeans being uncomfortable….I seem to be struggling with jeans lately. Had to return a pair as they were soooo uncomfortable and the sales girl gave me such a pitying look when I told her why I was returning them! Maybe we loose our tolerance for uncomfortable clothes as we get a bit older? Anyhow, I seem to have lost that dark art which enables successful jeans buying now, not sure if it will come back…

    • January 14, 2019 / 4:20 pm

      And not just around the stomach, uncomfortable EVERYWHERE! What is this fresh hell? x

  8. January 14, 2019 / 10:00 am

    I can think of quite a few downsides of moving to the country, the complete lack of child care that caters to my working hours for example, but I admit you have made it look very intriguing.

    Anne – Linda, Libra, Loca

    • January 14, 2019 / 4:20 pm

      Childcare isn’t too bad as there are always people available wherever you are, I suppose it’s just the drive TO the childcare rather than it being on your doorstep maybe? x

  9. Catherine
    January 14, 2019 / 9:36 am

    Motherhood is the most demanding and exhausting job ever. I don’t have kids, and sometimes I am very sad about it. And then sometimes, not! Not that I can go to the loo alone still, as dogs come too!! Also, I love Mr Bear. Making me want a cat again.

  10. Lucy
    January 14, 2019 / 9:30 am

    Hi Ruth,
    Looking forward to your follow up video. Currently considering the big move to the country with my family.Weighing up the pros and cons!
    Lucy x

  11. Claire N
    January 14, 2019 / 6:14 am

    You capture perfectly what is like to be a stay at home mum to small children, the exhaustion gets to you by evening even though you still have things to do. It doesn’t seem like you do much but just being ‘on’ all day looking after little ones is tiring especially if you’re an introvert. We moved from the city to a small town 2 years ago and it was a complete shift in lifestyle, we’re still renting a flat at the mo but hope to buy a house this year with a deposit from the bank of Mum and Dad. Your house is beautiful, definitely a dream house. I don’t think I’d want a house in the middle of nowhere, altho my husband wants one, but sometimes the idea appeals lol. Yes definitely do a b/vlog about moving to the country, it’d be interesting to hear your point of view about it. I grew up in a smallish town so it was just a case of reverting back for me but for my husband who was born and bred in the city it was a huge change. It’s so easy to just go out to the country and go for a walk and then just come back home. Going to the city feels weird, it’s faster, busier. Winter tho is harder, it’s colder, more difficult to get to places when it snows heavily. The local supermarket doesn’t stock some things, you have to order them in or go to the county town or the city. Ditto for clothes/shoe shopping. Love your blog and vlogs, you have a very relatable style x

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