I love London. I do believe, hand on heart, that it is the greatest city in the world. I have lived here alomost all my adult life. My friends and my work are here; friends with whom I have grown up and grown older; work that really isn’t transferable anywhere else. Work I love, but which doesn’t bring a huge income; no pension plan or any other financial benefits, so retirement is just a word, not a date I look forward to reaching.

I would say after all these years that I am a Londoner.


I was born in the country, grew up in the country, and at this time of year in particular the country exerts a huge pull. For the first time in I don’t know how many years, when I came home on Monday, London did not feel like home. I felt my days here were numbered.



This may well pass. I rather hope it does, or it leaves me with a predicament. I could sell my home here and buy something more spacious, more substantial in the country, but I should have no income. In London people walk. The countryside, ironically, is the home of car culture. I’d like to get rid of my car. I should happily never drive again.
I am not rich. I shall never be rich. There are more sands in the bottom half of my life’s time glass than the top. Where do I want to spend the last deacdes of my life? I don’t know. Yes I do. I want the best of both worlds; to have my cake and eat it as I do now, and to make the balance more even so that I am as much in the country as in the town.

Is that achievable? I don’t know.


12 thoughts on “Quandary

  1. Whee know some people who live in a village in Kent and commute into London for work and days out. Commuting isn’t for efurryone but it may be worth thinking about it as a best of both worlds solution!


    • I loathe commuting. I am twenty minutes max by bus to the centre of town. The idea of moving even a couple of miles further out does not appeal if it means a longer journey to work. So no, commuting from outside London would not suit me. I would be in either one place or the other, but not travelling daily between the two.

  2. Isobel, I have just read this and I need to think before I say a thing. But really what it comes down to is what you really feel in your heart. CH and I are caught between two worlds right now so I feel your quandary. When you come home and it doesn’t feel like home, well, that is BIG. What is the white flower, or weed… it looks like our Queen Anne’s Lace which we do not see until mid-summer.

    • This is something that may well change, and perhaps because I haven’t been out of town for a couple of months, my country levels need topping up. As for the plant, I am afraid it’s late and the name escapes me, perhaps tomorrow, sweet dreams.

  3. beautiful images of country living.
    i think the older we get, the more we appreciate being away from the busy-ness of city living.
    a few weekends ago i was away for a couple of days, and one of the things i enjoyed was viewing the tulip fields in the Skagit Valley in northwest Washington, not too far south of the USA/Canada border. and i enjoyed being in a smaller community, Oak Harbor on Whidby Island after spending time at the tulip farm. Oak Harbor is a rather quiet, cozy place, far far away from the urban jungle.
    and while i probably love Vancouver as much as you love London, i found that i didn’t miss the city at all, and enjoyed the slower pace so much. when i am back at home, i find that i find my way back into the busy cycle, but at the same time, it seems much easier to adjust to the slower pace without thinking about it than the other way around – and i certainly didn’t miss my favourite city of Vancouver at all when i was away. in fact, it was simply lovely to be away. funny how that happens.
    and so it sounds like you have a decision to contemplate, and as Pix has said, it is one that you need to know in your heart what it is you would like to do. as you come to mind, i will pray for you for wisdom. 🙂

  4. Such a dilemma, Isobel. As others have said, it’s what’s in your heart that matters. Things have a habit of working out, sometimes in the most unexpected ways. Thinking of you. Good luck with your contemplations.

  5. I think it is all about balance..I am a bit like an opposite to you Isobel.I live in the countryside but was born and bred in a city. I love where IIve but need a frequent injection of London life quite often. Whilst the countryside is green and is calm and relaxing it can be limiting too. There are many downsides to country living…it is 5 miles to my nearest shop so without a car, life would be impossible. The need for the buzz of a Saturday stroll on the south bank or the scrum of Borough market or Brick lane or the emptiness of the square mile on a Sunday is necessary to jolt me out of my rural living mindset and give my creativity a bit of a jolt! So I recommend more frequent breaks on the boat in Suffolk but don’t forget Master B’s harness!!!

  6. Your sentiments really hit home. I’ve been having similar thoughts/feelings lately. But there also does seem to be something seasonal about the draw of the countryside.

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