Yesterday, Husband told me he was bringing home a team from work for a planning meeting. Something of a shock. He had asked, ages ago, if it would be okay, and I assured him that was fine. But I never actually wrote a date in the diary, and I had assumed he would remind me about a week in advance. I had assumed wrong. Which means the last few hours have been a frenzy of cleaning. Don’t tell anyone, but I really hate doing housework, and my house, whilst hygienic, is not the cleanest house in the world. Which is fine – I don’t think a dirty floor will kill anyone – until we have visitors who are Townies.
So, what is a Townie – and are you one?
I first heard the term many many years ago, soon after meeting husband for the first time. He was this tall, blond, slim boy with very tight jeans. I kinda liked him. So when he invited me for a drive (in battered old Beetle) I was keen to accept. I wasn’t expecting we would stop for a walk. And I wasn’t expecting that the unplanned walk would be through woods. We had recently moved south from Letchworth. They don’t really have woods in Letchworth. My (very pretty) stiletto heels weren’t really up to a hike through a muddy wood. Tall slim blond boy told me I should’ve worn wellies. I told him I didn’t own any wellies. He was flabbergasted. And called me a Townie. I took it as a compliment.
So, the first question has to be, do you own wellies? If so, are they expensive, designer wellies or ones with a pattern on? A true Country Bumpkin would never own such things – where’s the point in wellies covered in dots when said dots will be covered in duck poo within a day? I now pretty much live in wellies. They are extremely dirty, but essential for how I live.
Next question is, when it’s hot, do you open windows? When you live in the country, you can only open windows if the fields nearby don’t have cows in them. A field full of cows is also a field full of flies, so if you open windows, your house will also be full of flies. It also means you will wake at dawn every morning, because the cockerels are extremely loud at that time.
Does your house have carpets throughout? If so, they will either be grubby, or you live in a town. People who live in the country tend to have animals. Animals tend to bring a lot of the countryside inside with them. So carpets are not terribly practical. You need at least some areas with hard floors that can be washed occasionally. My house has mostly floor tiles (and dog hairs and the odd lump of mud). People have been known to walk through my house in wellies, which I don’t encourage, but when they do it doesn’t ruin anything, it just means I have to wash the floor.
Do you notice poo smells? People tend to think of the countryside as far reaching views across fields, birds singing, lots of green. Which it is. But it also smells of poo much of the time. Cows and horses smell like – cows and horses. Sheep are possibly the smelliest animals alive. Fields of wheat are spread with muck, and said muck tends to travel, especially on windy days, into gardens and lanes and open windows….I can’t say I’m keen on poo smells, but I am sort of used to them.
Do you drive a low profile car? When we moved here, I had a very beautiful Mercedes Coupe. It was lovely to drive on roads, not so great in country lanes. Lanes are narrow, so if another vehicle comes you have to drive up onto the verge. They also get really muddy when the tractors use them. In the Winter, if there’s too much rain, the streams flood them. If there’s snow, the lanes are the last to be cleared and are never salted. I now drive something a bit higher, so I get stuck less often.
When you go for an evening stroll, can you see the stars? Country lanes don’t have street lamps. You don’t need them, it is rarely too dark to see where the hedges are, and I love to walk through the black of night, listening to the owls, watching the stars. Whenever we stay in towns and cities, the thing I notice most is the yellow nights, when street lamps colour everything. Night isn’t scary unless you’re not used to it.
So, Townie or Bumpkin? Or maybe something inbetween. I think my husband still thinks I am a Townie, though I can’t remember the last time I wore stilettos (and the whole world is thankful he no longer wears tight jeans!) I guess the important thing is to be happy wherever you live. I know I am.
Thank you for reading.
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Delightfully descriptive. . . !