Tuesday 17 July 2007
Another day and another report into rural living. Today the study of the Commission for Rural Communities reported that it costs £60 per week more to live in the country. I haven't tried to put a price on the cost of living in such a rural area but now someone has done it for me. I am not surprised, we cannot walk anywhere from where we live and anyway there are no pavements and no street lights. When I say that we cannot walk I mean that it is too far to walk unless you have nothing else to do. In Surrey we used to be able to walk to the shops, the railway station, the library and the GP. Now we have to drive to all of them, so a car is an essential. There is the occasional bus to, I am not sure where, but the bus stop is a mile away. The nearest shop is one and a half miles a way so I try to be organised and not run out of things. We don't have gas, even though we can see the field through which the gas pipe up to the Wirral runs. We have oil fired central heating with the oil stored in a tank which looks like a big green pig. And we don't have drains - we have a septic tank. We have got used to the drains blocking up and my husband has become a dab hand with drain rods. What we do have is a cottage up a quiet country lane. Quiet because there are only three houses up the lane and at the bottom of the garden is a pond and a field with cows in it. This may sound idyllic, but the views are spoilt by unattractive farm buildings. However, I have to admit that I have lived in worse places than this.