Another Day in Paradise
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything,
That's how the light gets in.
Before I start I had better say that this is not a 'complaining' blog. How could I complain about living where and how I do? And watching the Phil Collins video brings its all home. (Dear Phil, he used to be a neighbour of mine when we both lived in the same Sussex village).
Let's face it, to have a roof over our heads makes us lucky when so many in the world are starving and/or homeless. My own mother was an Irish immigrant, pregnant and homeless in London in the 1950's, so I have every sympathy for those who need shelter. The following words are just to show the 'downsides' of life in rural Wales and to illustrate how:
‘Nothing is perfect’
My son-in-law said that to me once and the words have stayed with me. This phrase can be applied to everything in life I guess.
My son-in-law is very bright and very wise - well he chose my daughter didn’t he? My daughter is also very bright and very wise so they make the perfect couple.
My previous blog post was full of much lyrical waxing, so much so that it seemed to inspire envy from those who would like to live here in the ‘happiest part of the UK’.
Well here and now I am going to redress the balance somewhat. It may be because it feels like winter today, for as I look out of the cottage windows there is a gale blowing and the rain is blowing horizontally across the field. Anyway here are the downsides of life in rural Wales.
The jobs are few and far between and very low paid. It is/was the lowest paid county in the UK. Career opportunities are so poor that most young folk have to leave the area to find work.
The cost of living is high because of the above and also petrol prices are higher than most places in the ‘Otherworld’.
We have no big supermarkets and therefore spend more on our basics than those who do.
Public transport is practically non-existent and what there is doesn’t run often enough or at times that would link in with people’s work/social lives.
You could not live here without a car (unless you used taxis all the time).
Travelling time. You will use/waste a lot of this in order to do anything. My dentist for example is 45 minutes away and he is private (no chance of finding an NHS one). Hospital appointments, or visiting loved ones who are ill, God knows how people without a car or enough money manage this one.
The climate – this one doesn’t usually bother me but this summer has been exceptionally poor. The only consolation is that it has been poor everywhere.
The growing season is short up here in the hills, the temperatures are lower than elsewhere.
There is a dearth of shops. This is an advantage sometimes as one is not tempted to spend money. But it’s difficult to plan meals and you need to because you can’t just pop out to get whatever ingredient you need for a recipe you fancy. Because you have to travel miles for ANYTHING you soon learn to stock up well when you do go shopping (yeah, yeah, who am I kidding here?).
It is miles to an A & E. We have NO county hospital and of late the Air Ambulance (God bless them) has been employed on more occasions than it used to, all funded by local people too.
We are plagued by berludy motorcyclists every weekend who treat our roads as a racetrack. They honestly scare us.
Do they get caught?
Guess who saves them (sometimes)? Our dear Air Ambulance.
If we creep over 30 mph in a 30- limit do we get caught?
Low flying jets regularly scare us (and the animals). It’s sometimes like living in a war-zone.
Mobile phone reception is nil in a lot of areas (including my area). Ditto TV reception, thank God for digital.
Broadband speeds? Don’t ask. (Mine is 1.1 Mbs). If you can get it you are lucky, some folk still can’t, imagine - in this day and age.
Anonymity? Be prepared to lose that if you move to the area. Everyone knows everyone and gossip can and does get ‘distorted' shall we say?
The flipside of this of course is the wonderful sense of community that exists but let’s not venture back into the world of advantages here.
We lack a diversity of cultures, we see the same old faces (and a few young ones). It’s easy to see the risk of becoming ‘insular’.
Tourists too can irritate some folk though they shouldn’t as they are contributing to one of the main sources of income in the area.
And speaking personally now. We have no central heating, coal has gone up to £16 a bag! Calor gas prices have also rocketed and logs will be next I expect.
I had better stop now. I can’t think of anything else to be honest.
A future post had better be on the advantages of life here. I promise that will be a LONG one, honest……
But really, in every aspect of life, if you sit down and think about it, you can always weed out the negatives, it’s all a matter of perception. It’s best to just concentrate on the positives and always remember what my dear son-in-law says:
'Nothing is perfect'……………