For those of us who are lucky enough to live within the countryside, you’ll likely agree that we love where we live, and there are so many reasons that make life in the country special. Here are just a few things that you’ll know if you grew up in the countryside:
1. Being stuck behind livestock or a tractor is a valid excuse for being late.
2. When you’re driving friends who live in the town or city around the countryside, they are always amazed that you know where you are going. The familiar remark ‘all these roads look the same’ is regularly uttered when you’re the designated driver.
3. The people who run the local village shop and pub know everyone and everything. Nothing and no-one goes un-noticed in a remote village in the countryside.
4. You learnt to drive the second you turned 17 (albeit you had probably learnt the basics in the farm truck) and you could never understand why your friends in the city were never in a hurry to get their licence.
5. Animals really do eat homework (or in my case passports!).
6. You will most likely own a Barbour wax jacket or two.
7. A checked shirt and Schoffel are practically the uniform of the countryside for both men and women.
8. Having friends over for the first time was always a complete nightmare. They would constantly be on the phone asking for directions because they had gotten themselves lost attempting to find your house.
9. The hedgerows are full of delicious treats. From blackberries to sloes you are always keeping an eye out for their resurgence.
10. There is little need for shoes thanks to the years of playing outside barefoot.
11. The seemingly never ending fields and woodlands were your playground growing up. Play time was never restricted to the toy box in the front room.
12. You are not afraid to get your hands dirty. Whether you were making mud pies when you were little or getting grass stains and rolling around in the dirt doing god only knows what, mud and stains were a part of every day life and it was all good fun.
13. Bear Grylls has got ‘nothin on you. You’ll know that a nettle sting requires no panic because you know how to identify and apply a dock leaf to soothe the situation. A buttercup held under the chin was a legitimate way to tell if somebody liked butter or not and you could amaze your friends by turning a blade of grass into a whistle.
14. There is never any need to buy eggs from the supermarket. Someone in the village, if not yourselves, can provide dozens of freshly laid delicious free-range eggs thanks to the hens in the garden.
15. The countryside gate code has been drilled into you from a very young age. Leave gates as you found them. If they were shut and you opened it, close it behind you.
16. Getting food delivered is a rarity. There is always an issue when trying to order a take-away for delivery. Either they won’t deliver that far out or they get hopelessly lost so much so that it is easier to just go and pick the stuff up yourself.
17. You would always dread (and probably still do) the ‘where are you from?’ conversation with someone new. You would find yourself resorting to the next largest town and working back from there because where you are actually from is so remote and virtually unheard of to anyone outside of that area.
18. A real intolerance for cyclists. Many of us live in small rural villages often with a one road in and one road out situation consisting of narrow windy roads. The odd cyclist simply enjoying a ride in the peaceful countryside can cause unimaginable frustration for us country folk trying to get passed. Overtaking is near on impossible on these roads. (You’ll likely have noticed this even more in recent weeks!)
19. Relaxing city break? Not so much. The thought of spending a relaxing night or two away in the city sounds lovely but in reality trying to sleep somewhere surrounded by sirens, 24-7 traffic and lights just isn’t going to happen when you’re only used to the odd owl.
20. You are immune to the smell of livestock and manure which city dwellers would often refer to as disgusting.
21. Perfectly painted nails are a thing of most country women’s dreams. We try on occasion, but within hours of work on the farm or with the horses they’re chipped. Even the solutions that claim to be chip-resistant can’t handle what country life throws at them and the pain of a broken acrylic nail certainly isn’t worth it in my book.
22. Your animal husbandry skills are most likely far more advanced than your people skills.
23. Sporting stray strands of hay or straw throughout the winter or corn kernels during summer in your hair is the norm. After a day’s work there would often be a trail of shavings or wheat leading to where you’re sat.
24. Your first experience of alcohol would have probably been in a field with your friends. You don’t need nightclubs when you have some beers, a BBQ and a truck radio.
25. Horses and cows aren’t scary. They are actually rather beautiful. Yeah, they could kill you with one kick but they’re majestic, beautiful animals and they’re not scary… let’s face it you probably learnt to ride a pony before you could walk.
26. Your first love was most likely either a pony, or an orphan calf or lamb.
27. You won’t appreciate how lucky you are to live in the countryside until you spend time away. It may have been a completely different childhood to those who grew up in the towns or cities but it was undoubtedly the best by a country mile.
I hope you enjoyed these little bullet points and laughed at the ones you can relate to. It may be cheeky of me to say, BUT if you’d like to subscribe to In The Country Magazine and start receiving beautifully wrapped, quintessentially country quarterly magazines straight to your door, all whilst supporting an independent small business, you can do so by clicking here. A year’s subscription to this unique and uplifting coffee table read is just £28.95.
Images sourced via Unsplash.