We live in one of the most beautiful areas of the country, all rolling hills and patchwork-quilt countryside, picture-postcard villages and a genteel kind of life where the Horticultural Show takes priority in the yearly village calendar.
We have outstanding schools, both primary and (if you are lucky enough to get a place) secondary, and (if you are even more lucky enough to get a place) an outstanding grammar school not too far away.
We are close to a lovely city which has a tasteful arrangement of shops and a few leisure and sporting facilities.
I have family a few miles away, it is a reasonable commute for Matthew and is close to a train line.
We have so much space here. I hadn’t realised how much until we viewed a beautiful house in a beautiful area and I couldn’t put my finger on what wasn’t quite right about it. It was only when we got home and I stepped out into the garden that I realised it was the feeling of space that was missing at the other house.
There is a local park just down the dirt track which we pretty much live at. There’s not much traffic (although village drivers drive brutally fast so no walking along the road unsupervised) and it all feels pretty safe.
We chose to move here for all those reasons.
I love it, I honestly do. This house, that I love so much, has served us well. It has seen us through some really tough times and as a family we are still standing. I would hate to leave it.
But after all these years here, I’m dying to get away.
We moved here from a small but bustling market town where we could walk to everything. We moved there when we only had one child and I didn’t even need a car, there was pretty much everything I needed on our doorstep. It was small enough that you couldn’t walk into town without meeting a whole bunch of people you knew but it wasn’t so small that everyone knew all your business.
In our village, everyone knows all your business. There is no shop, so popping out for milk becomes a military exercise. There is nothing for the children to do. The nearby city has some things for the children to do but not enough. Almost all the children go to the not-so-good secondary school, so if you choose the great school (which is relative anyway because it doesn’t really compare with the grammar) you are the odd-child-out. The local grammar is massively competitive; tutoring is pretty much essential – and that is both costly and takes up precious weekend downtime. The grammar skews the rest of the school system. And you cannot move around here for private prep schools (known mostly as 11+ grammar-crammers). And the schools are in opposite directions so moving into the city/town to be nearer one would be a bit of a gamble.
But mostly, now our children are tweens I am seeing years of being a constant taxi-service looming ahead of me. I don’t mind being a taxi service but I would prefer that the children had a great peer group of friends who live nearby and that they all have good, productive things to do that are close by. It sounds terribly middle-class, writing that down, but those are my hopes.
We can’t go back from whence we came mostly because of schools. So we are on the search for the next place, one which ticks most of (or enough of) the essential boxes: a community with enough going on locally, great state schools, a reasonable commute for Matthew, a train line, affordable housing, a hospital with a children’s ward and a paediatric nephrology hospital not too far away.
Those are a lot of variables but we are enjoying the search. And soon I hope we will be able to say we have found the town we hope to be based in until the children have left home. It feels like a bit of a commitment, this uprooting and moving lark, and sometimes I think it would just be easier to stay here. But in my heart I have already moved. Now we just need to find the right place to move to.
Why do you live where you do? Would you live somewhere else if you could choose to move?
Isil at Smiling Like Sunshine tells us Home is where the heart is.
Jules at I Need Curtains for the Window In My Head posts Why Do I Live Where I Do?
South of the River Mum writes about Bringing up children in London.
Scribbling Mum explains why she lives where she does.
Jacq from Mymumdom posts about why she lives in London.
Rachel at Midlife Singlemum tells us Why she lives in Israel.
Kelly at Domestic Goddesque tells us about Wonderful, wonderful Bromley, and why I live there.
Bibsey Mama gives us 7 reasons to live in Spain in Cool España.
Helen at Cheeky Wipes tells us There’s Always a Compromise.
Jenny at The Gingerbread House tells us about her home in Our house.
Cass at The Diary of a Frugal Family tells us Home is Where The Heart Is.
Jax at Live Otherwise/Making it Up explains Why I live here. Right here. In this house.
Emma at MummyMummyMum tells us about where she lives.
Cara at Freckles Family posts Where I Call Home.
Merry at Patch of Puddles writes Why I Live Where I Live.
Pure Lanzarote tell us the reasons for their choice in Why live in Lanzarote?