What does your ideal home look like? Is it a chic city flat or a smart suburban home? Is it a rustic beach house or a cosy home in the country? I can tell you that the latter describes my dream home to a T.
It’s safe to say I’m not a city person. I’m not even an outer suburban person. Basically, anything that involves a lot of houses, vast amounts of people and ready access to shopping centres is not my cup of tea.
Something that is my cup of tea, however, is the area in which I am staying as I write this post. My parents moved to Beechworth several years ago, so I’m lucky to be able to come up here several times a year and enjoy the lack of suburban-ness (and their company, obviously). Open fields! Country op shops! (They are the absolute best op shops.) The fancy-pants fudge at the lolly shop!
I grew up on a ten acre farm, which is either HUGE or tiny depending on your background. It was just right for me. We loved running to our windows first thing of a Spring morning, checking to see if there were new lambs gambolling around the paddocks. We had fresh veggies and our own eggs and we even had a pet sheep that we used to ride. I say “ride” but the reality was that we’d sit on his shaggy back and wait until he took a step to get to a different patch of grass. I’m pretty sure horses offer a somewhat more thrilling experience of riding.
Growing up in the Yarra Valley also influenced my approach to distance. I think a half-hour trip to get somewhere means it’s practically next door. Anything up to two hours away is a perfectly reasonable distance to travel. Gravel roads are fine – Who cares if your car’s paintwork receives a couple of chips? It just adds character… – but I do draw the line at single-lane roads on windy mountain sides.
For me, isolation wins over convenience every time. If I had my way, I’d be living in the photo below.
What you can’t quite see there is that the house is lacking something in the way of doors and windows, which I, along with most people, consider necessary in a dwelling. So perhaps not that exact photo, but something similar. Provided there are fields, sheep and a house with character, then I’d be happy. The only problem is that the Chef and I require jobs if we are to continue eating, etc., and they’re not always easy to come by in the country, otherwise I’d be dragging the Chef and the cats to some rural location and setting up house there, complete with chooks and probably some pigs, if only to appease the Chef.
This is why my ultimate long-term goal is the whole best-selling author business. I can be a best-selling author anywhere! In fact, the countryside seems the perfect location for such a career. I could keep myself away from distractions as long as necessary and allow myself to be inspired by the views and the landscapes around me. And whenever I felt the need to get out of the house, I could head for a local café and enjoy some fantastic regional produce. My other creative endeavours needn’t suffer; I recently went to the Spotlight in Wangaratta and discovered it has a far better selection of dress fabrics than my local one. (I actually bought some gorgeous fabric there and the lady who cut it for me told me to bring it in and show her when I’d made it up into a dress. Which I would, really, I would… if only it didn’t involve a six hour round trip.)
Basically, any job that involves using words and not having to commute to an office in the city or suburbs would be fine. I’m not greedy. All I want is to have the freedom to escape to a country town and have a commute the involves a cuppa-laden amble from the kitchen to a bright and airy study. Maybe that should be my main plan for 2015: find a way to escape to the country.
I’m heading back home tomorrow and as much as I am looking forward to seeing the Chef and my kitties again, I wish they were waiting for me in a different location. Somewhere a lot more rural, in a quirky oldish house, preferably with a nice wide verandah for sitting and writing or drinking a nice cuppa while enjoying the view. If only!
So tell me: are you a country or a city person? What does your ideal house look like? Tell me in the comments!