Annie b asked if we'd always lived in Somerset, and wondered how people come to decide to live in a rural area.
We haven't always lived down here.....for the first 25 years of our marriage we lived in a big town in the Midlands. We'd talked for years about wanting to move to the country when we retired....no firm plans, we just knew we'd like to do it one day. Towards the end of 2009, OH said there was really nothing keeping us in the Midlands....4 months later, we'd moved to Somerset, we've been here 5 years now.
Why Somerset? Our relatives are scattered between the Midlands, London, Wiltshire, Dorset and Cornwall.....we've always loved Cornwall, but so do millions of other people, so that was out really....too expensive and too popular in holiday time. It was actually a toss up between Somerset and Norfolk - we'd been on holiday to both lots of times and liked them equally. We looked in Somerset first, as that was more centrally placed for visiting relatives.....luckily, we found a lovely place (our previous house) within days, so Norfolk never got a look in.
We've both been townies all our lives....although my family did live on a farm for a few months when I was a child and that had always stuck in my mind. We had a touring caravan for about 10 years and went away often....we loved waking up in a field in a rural area, watching the birds and wildlife, and even the cows and sheep! Having become very fed up with traffic, noise, pollution, crowds and petty crime, we longed for a more peaceful and slower pace of life, somewhere where we could look out over fields and countryside from our windows, rather than rows of houses. We've found just that here.
It's not all been plain sailing.....it was a very steep learning curve for the first year or so - living in a rural area is so very different to living in a town, in lots of ways. No shops on the doorstep, for a start, nor doctors, dentists, library, bank etc. - a car is a necessity. Especially since the nearest bus route is a couple of miles away. And there's no nipping out to the corner shop for a paper or when you run out of sugar.....you quickly learn to plan things so that you combine several errands into one journey. And you make sure you don't run out of sugar!
But when you can look out of your window and watch lambs jumping about, see sparrow hawks and buzzards (one day last year we had 10 buzzards overhead), have the neighbour's chickens come visiting your garden for the bird seed, see the little Muntjac deer and hares in the field behind your house, and gaze at thousands of stars in the night sky (no light pollution here.....no street lights!)....then you count yourself very blessed to live here.
I hope that answers your question, Annie.
Oh, and welcome to SimpleSuffolkSmallholder, Marlene Jones and MargaretNan.