Wednesday 2 July 2014

A Tale of Two Cities

This isn't really a tale of two cities, rather one big city and a sleepy little town in Devon but that's not nearly as catchy.
Like Chloe I used to live in the Big Smoke and I never ever thought I’d leave. I did leave and of course it involved a boy;  we met, fell in love and I headed down to deepest darkest Devon to make a go of it. You’ll be pleased to know it worked out splendidly - we’re married with dogs and step teens – but it took me an extraordinarily long time to snap out of ‘London Mode’ and into ‘Devon Mode’.  There’s just something about that city that makes my heart pound a little harder,  my feet move a little faster and my brain crank up a gear just to keep up; returning to Devon was a struggle. 

I found myself doing the angry arms spread gesture behind the slow walkers without discrimination, expecting instant everything, wanting noodles in the middle of the night and finding only a mouldy pot noodle from the garage not really cutting the mustard. Now though? Now there’s no comparison. How can there be when I get to see this every day?

 Shall we play a little game of would you rather? Let’s!
Would you rather hop on two sweaty tubes and a bus that smells like feet to meet your friends in the pub or stroll down a little Narnia like path and sip Pimms with a view?
Would you rather take your Summer picnic to a very pleasant park encased between big noisy old roads or munch your sandwiches on the sand (carefully of course!)
Would you rather commute to work on the North Circular or perhaps down a pheasanty lane pretending you’re in Danny Champion of the World? 
Fancy a day out? Would you rather scuttle across the city to stand in a queue to look at the crown jewels with a gazillion other tourists or would you rather spend a day in the fresh air romping across the moorland without seeing another living soul?
Would you rather your acceptable pre dinner snacks be jellied eels or a ginormous scone covered in clotted cream and jam?
Ok the last one was an enormous cliché and of course there are a million ways in which Devon just can’t compete – a never ending list of things to do, building a career, multiculturalism, a glorious anonymity if that’s your thing, meeting new people if it’s not (although having said that a friend moved to London alone for an adventure and ended up joining a football team made up exclusively of people from our tiny home town. All 15 of them!)
London is beautiful and fierce and exciting; a little bit magical in fact and fantastic for a visit but my heart belongs to the Westcountry. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d say!
Where does your heart belong?  
Meet the Writer: Michelle writes Life Outside London and can normally be found harping on about Devon and being a bit of a dog botherer! 



  1. I love this! I like to think that all Londeners eat jellied eels at least twice a week. When I was at uni I had my heart set on living in a big city. Never in a million years had I thought that I'd be living in a teeny little village in Cumbria with no phone signal, but the slower paced life is actually lovely. Of course, you have the wonderful Devon coastline down your end too, which is always a bonus!

    Ann xx
    Prattle and Froth

  2. What a lovely guest post! I love seeing people move from the city to a quieter more scenic place! :) Where I live it is ten minutes to the seaside or ten minutes to the countryside. Great views all round!

  3. After I finish Uni I have my heart set on London, and I don't think I'll be satisfied until I've spent a few years there at least. However I could never see myself staying there for two long, because like you I think I belong in the countryside or by the sea! Devon is amazing, I used to spend all my summer holidays there and I could really picture myself living there one day!

    Imogen // imogenscribbles

  4. God i needed to read this today! Every blogger i have liked seems to be up and moving to London to become another one of 'those' bloggers, which ya know would be fine if it wasn't already everywhere. The countryside is so much better! Why is everyone leaving? It's a trap!

    Made in Hunters

  5. I agree with Emma - everyone is going to London! Whyyy?! The countryside (Devon in particular) is just so beautiful. It'd drive me mad living in such a fast paced city with no fresh air and no huge open spaces where you never see anyone. I'll stick to just visiting London occasionally!
    My heart belongs to Devon.
    Escape to the Westcountry

  6. Though I've spent very little time in Devon, I'd pick it over London any day!
    Don't get me wrong, I can recognise all that is great about the capital, it's just not for me!


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