City to Country: Taking the bull by the horns

I have been dreaming of a place in the country for as long as I have lived in cities. Whenever I’m tired of booming traffic and fumes coating my mouth, or school kids smothering my front door with sticky confections [a Lochend tradition, apparently], I transport myself to the country retreat of my imagination. There, it’s all dappled light, carefully made cups of tea with homemade bread and jam, and endless time to read good books in the garden.



We all know how silly fantasies can become when you nurture them too long.


On my 35th birthday, I decided I was tired of waiting, and was also a bit worried that my country-living dream was becoming overly fantastical. Perhaps inspired by a particularly extraordinary birthday cake, I decided with Taurean zeal to take the bull by the horns. I needed to have faith and make the leap. I’d leave the city, and camp in my parents garden until something turned up.


I called my estate agent and told them to put my flat on the market.


Two hours later an email arrived from a friend of a friend, with a post-script mentioning an empty cottage up the road. Not any cottage, mind. But a cottage I’d gazed at longingly for years. It wasn’t officially on the market, and the owners needed persuading before they’d rent it out. But fate smiled, and within 18 hours of nervous waiting and hearty convincing, I had bagged my dream cottage.


There are two conclusions to this little tale:

1.     It does seem true that when you open your heart and really set your intention, the universe responds.

2.     When fantasy becomes reality, utter elation is swiftly followed by stomach curdling fear.


The thing about fantasies is that while confined to the imagination, they are designed expressly for your pleasure. When translated into reality, they become independent little beasts equally capable of granting your heart’s desire, or stomping unceremoniously on your dreams.


Of course I am thrilled to finally be starting this countryside adventure. It feels like an absolute blessing, and for the most part, moving to my new home can't come soon enough (lets just ignore the eek-inducing fact that I have less than 3 weeks to pack up my life). But inevitably, I am also afraid that the reality won’t live up to this long-held dream. And if it doesn’t, what will I dream of then?


That is a bridge I'm willing to cross should it ever come. For now, bring it on.